My mother has been living with us since April of 2008. She receives a small amount of Social Security. We do not have to pay for her medical as she has medicaid and medicare but we do foot the bill for everything except 46.00 worth of groceries a month. Can I claim her as a Dependant on my taxes
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Adult children have to overcome a number of hurdles to realize tax breaks for claiming a parent they are supporting. While there is a little flexibility when dealing with children, fewer exceptions are granted when the potential dependent is older. Despite the obstacles, it doesn’t hurt to explore whether you can claim your parent as a dependent. But keep in mind, in some instances, it may make more sense NOT to claim your parents because they may be able to realize greater tax advantages on their own. Each family needs to look at what makes sense for their situation.
You may be able to claim your parents as a dependent on your tax returns if you pass the IRS’s Dependency Test. If your parent meets the IRS’s Dependency Requirements, you’ll be able to claim an added personal exemption on your income tax return. The exemption amount is adjusted annually for inflation and can be found on your tax return form. Second, you can count any medical expenses you pay for mom or dad toward another itemized deduction. Since medical costs must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income before you can claim them, a parent’s added expenses could help you meet the requirement. When adding up those parental medical costs, don’t forget premiums for supplementary Medicare coverage or long-term care insurance.
And the IRS offers a little leeway here. If your parent isn’t considered a dependent for exemption purposes simply because he or she earned too much income (see dependency test #1) but met the other tests, the IRS says mom or dad still could be counted as a dependent for medical-deduction purposes.
Another additional tax benefit is available for people whose dependent adult parents live in their home. If the adult child works (or is looking for work) and has to pay for care of the parent to make their own employment possible, the expenses can qualify for the dependent care credit or for pre-tax payment through an employer-sponsored flexible spending arrangement (FSA). For 2009, the maximum dependent care credit is $3,000 for the care of one dependent. This tax break phases out with your income, so check with your tax adviser.
Last, if you are working at a company that offers a plan that allows for pre-tax deduction of dependent care and/or health care expenses, you can use those dollars for items not eligible for the Medical Expense Deduction or for relief if you will not be able to itemize. This is a great way to get your tax break now instead of later, so be sure to take advantage of it.
The IRS website, or IRS Publications 501 and 503 provide information on the Dependency Requirements as well as any Exemptions you may claim.
Helpful Answer (0)

That is a great question. I asked my tax preparer and she told me that if you are paying more than half of your mother's support then you can claim her or both your parents on your taxes. I am adding the conversation I had with her because i was intrested my self because i care for both my parents alone. ok hope this helps. take care

CherokeeBaby7 [9:59 A.M.]: i have a tax ? for you
VETTE USER [9:59 A.M.]: ok.
CherokeeBaby7 [9:59 A.M.]: can children claim thier parents if they are caring for them and supporting them
VETTE USER [10:00 A.M.]: yes.. as long as they provide more than half the support they can.
CherokeeBaby7 [10:01 A.M.]: so if mom and dad pay half thier own support i can claim them on my taxes
VETTE USER [10:01 A.M.]: if you pay more than half there support you can claim them
CherokeeBaby7 [10:02 A.M.]: what does that count like meds,food,shelter,
VETTE USER [10:03 A.M.]: yep, everything.. electric, telephone, the easiest way to do it is figure your income divided by the number of people living in the house.. and then their income, if yours is more than theirs you are good to go
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Well that sure is good to know because there is so much more electric water, trash food etc being used since moms been there and I have to pay for it she gets a small ss check because neither of my parents ever wanted to work lucky she gets that but thats her money for candy, crayons Nat'l enquirers panties I swear there must be 2000 pair of panties in that room she don't have nothing over victorias secret. Doesn't even think to offer gas money when I run her from candy store to candy store. She hurt my feelings so bad this week end friday was my sons birthday she never said here is a card tell him happy birthday for me nothing but I have a brother who doesn't even recognize the fact that she's still alive and she never forgets his kid sometimes I could just spit nails. Thanks for the info yes that is something we all needed to know. Much appreciation to all of you who help me thru my days and I hope in some small way I help some of you

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My mother lives with my husband and I and she receives Medicare. We provide more than 50% of her support; however my question is our we legally responsible for her debt (e.g. credit cards, hospital, doctor bills, car payments) if we claim her on our taxes?

She is thinking of declaring bankruptcy - how will this affect us because she lives with us?
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Hi, you can claim her on your taxes as a dependant, she is dependant on you for a roof over her head, heat, water, food etc. I don't think you are responsible for bills she has made like credit cards and stuff like that. look on the web or ask one of your creditors that question and let us know what you find out. I think if she declares bankruptcy it is just on her bills not your housing, electric, gas, water etc.

Its always something isn't it? Neon
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Do I Have to Pay my Parent's Debt?

Many people have the misconception that they are responsible for paying their parent's debts, particularly when the parent dies with outstanding bills. This simply isn't true.

The only time one is responsible for paying a debt is when (1) he or she acquired the debt alone or jointly with another person (such as a spouse); or (2) when one
co-signs a loan for another person.

Unless you co-signed for your parent's loan or are the joint accountholder on any type of account with your parent, you are not legally responsible for paying the debt. Who is responsible? Your parent's estate is responsible.

In fact, after paying for your parent's funeral expenses, unpaid creditors are next in line for receiving any money or assets in your parent's estate. You only inherit your parent's wealth after all creditors are paid.

If there is insufficient money or assets to pay all creditors, then the estate must be divided up as equally as possible, with secured creditors receiving priority. This means that, if your parent died with little or no money in their accounts and didn't own a home, unsecured debt, such as credit card debt will not be paid to the creditors. Such creditors must eat the loss, but in no circumstance, are you as the child of the deceased person required to pay such debt.

If a creditor or debt collector tries to convince you that you are responsible for paying your deceased parent's debts, refer them to the executor or executrix of the estate. If they keep harassing you, send them a certified letter demanding they stop contacting you altogether. If they persist, file a complaint with your State's Attorney General's Office.

See also:
Statutes of Limitation on Debt Collection
How to Stop a Collector from Phoning You
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Debt Kit -- Settle unsecured debt for less than half of amount owed
Credit Kit -- Improve credit rating and reduce monthly bills by $200+
Debt > Frequently Asked Questions About Debt Collection > Employer Contact
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Scott J Summer

1 of 1 users found this helpful. Posted about 1 month ago. Flag this as objectionable
Claiming your mother as a dependent on tax filings does not, in and of itself, give rise to personal liability for her credit card debts where you did not co-sign for the credit card(s).

The answer by my colleague, Attorney Shober, though, is thoughtful and considered, and raises several good points, including that necessary medical expenses may arguably become your responsibility pursuant to RI law if your Mom is indigent. I am not personally aware of any recent civil suits, much less criminal prosecutions, regarding such duty, though.

Bottom line, then, so long as the credit card debts are not for medically necessary items, I would not worry about it. Be careful you don;t do anything, though, that might give a credit card company an argument that you somehow benefitted from her purchases knowing or expecting she would not pay the bill
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