I need to ask this question, as I never quite got a clear answer to it when I asked various people. My husband and I file a joint tax return. My mother wishes to divorce my father (her only income is her Social Security pension - about $150 per month). Upon a divorce, she does not want any money from my father. So, my question is: is there a way, in this divorce situation, for me to financially support my mother and be able to deduct that from our taxes? I pay a fortune in taxes and have been agonizing for a long time over how I could help my mother become financially independent of my father, through making more of my tax dollars go toward help for HER, rather than toward another installment of Tom Brokaw's "Fleecing of America". What options do I have? Is this goal so unattainable for me?
You couuld claim your mother as a dependent if her gross income is less than $2,750 and you provide more than half of her total support during the calendar year. For more details, see IRS pub 501 http://www.irs.gov/prod/forms_pubs/pubs/p50104.htm
Thank you for your reply. I read the information the IRS provides on the site you recommended and have the following question: Let's say that X is the amount of money which constitutes more than half of her annual income. If I pay her more than X - say an amount Y (with Y > X), do I get a larger tax break for giving her amount Y instead of only amount X? My husband and I pay approx. 30% of our income in taxes. What I would like to determine is how much of a deduction we get for giving my mother X, vs. giving her amount Y (maybe formulated as a percentage).Thank you,Agnetha Faltskog
An exemption is an exemption -- it doesn't matter if you pay just over half your dependent's support or all of it.
You will get an extra personal exemption for your mother ($2,800 for this year)if you provide over 1/2 of her support. However, there are some things to consider:1) It sounds like you are in a high tax bracket. If your adjusted gross income (line 33 on your Form 1040) is over $189,950, all of your personal exemptions will begin to be phased-out (reduced). When your AGI reaches $312,450, the personal exemptions will be phased out completely and you will not receive a deduction for them.2) You can also (potentially) take an itemized deduction on Schedule A for the medical expenses you pay on behalf of your mother. However, only the medical expenses paid that exceed 7.5% of your AGI are deductible. High income taxpayers usually are not able to take advantage of this because they do not exceed the 7.5% threshhold.Unfortunately, you won't get much in terms of deductions for supporting your mother. The tax code allows child tax credits and credits for amounts paid for children's day care, etc., but doesn't allow any specific credits or deductions for supporting dependent parents.I hope this helps. Good luck.
Let's say that X is the amount of money which constitutes more than half of her annual income. Her annual income is irrelevant with respect to the support test. What's important is how much is spent on her support, and who pays more than 50% of that amount. For example, let's say that her only source of income is Social Security which is not included in her gross income. If she banks 90% of that and spends 10% on her support, only the 10% is used in calculating the support test.TMF ExROPhil Marti
You sparked a question. If my mother in law lives with us, but does not work and only collects SS, can I claim her as a dependent?
is social security considered under gross income. If i take care of my mother in law and she gets 5K in SS, does that put her over the limit for my deduction.Thanks for your help
If the Social Security is the only income she has, then it will not count towards the gross income test becuase it would not be taxable to her.As long as you provide at least 50% of her support then you may claim her as a dependent.
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