Monday, May. 02, 2011

Write Your Kids Off (On Your Taxes)

The job market is getting better for new grads, but it still stinks. The unemployment rate for 20- to 24-years-olds is 15% and so it's likely that many college graduates, and even not-so-recent graduates, will want to return home for a bit. If that's the case in your family, don't miss the financial upside: You may be able to claim your new "houseguest" as a dependent and get a tax break of $3,650. The IRS says you can claim your child as a dependent if they are under 24, spent more than four months of the year as a full-time student, live at home and rely on you for at least half of their annual expenses. After 24, the rules change. Your child no longer has to live at home. But they have to make less than $3,650 a year, and still rely on you for half their annual support.