Taxpayers can list all dependent household members on their federal tax returns, reports Fox Business. Dependents rely on taxpayers for most of their support and may include children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and non-relatives that live with taxpayers. Spouses filing jointly also qualify for a tax exemption, but taxpayers mark them separately on the tax form and do not list them.
Qualifying child dependents must be under age 19, under age 24 if they are still students or any age if they are disabled, explains the Internal Revenue Service. They must be younger than the taxpayer, live with the taxpayer for over half the tax year and provide less than half of their own support. Qualifying children can include direct progeny, siblings, stepchildren, foster children and their descendants. Only one taxpayer can claim a qualifying child as a dependent for tax purposes.
Stepparents or in-laws can also qualify, according to the IRS. All dependents must have gross incomes of less than $3,950, which is the dependent exemption amount as of 2015. Qualifying dependents do not always have to live with taxpayers, points out Fox Business. For instance, taxpayers can still list dependents as household members if they are receiving medical treatment, at school, in military service or in nursing homes.