IRS Deductions for Canadian/Mexican Dependents
Question: Can I claim my parents as dependents when my parents live in Mexico?
Answer: Yes you can, the first main requirement is to establish that the person you seek to claim as a tax dependent is a relative.
The second requirement is citizenship. Your parents must be citizens or residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Both immigration law and tax law can be quite complicated and an overlap of both can be an audit waiting to happen. Only claim your parents if you actually know they meet the citizenship requirement. If you have any amount of uncertainty, confirm your parents’ status before you claim them as dependents on your income tax.
The third requirement relates to your parents’ gross income. Their gross taxable income (e.g., capital gains, self-employment income and other taxable income) must be less than the personal exemption for the year in which you claim them. In 2015, the limit is $4,000.
The fourth requirement concerns who else may claim your parents as dependents. Once you claim them as dependents, your parents cannot file a joint return and cannot claim themselves as head of a household. To avoid hurt feelings or confusion, visit with your parents (and anyone else who may want to claim them) so that you do not duplicate their status as a dependent.
The last requirement is support. You must provide more than 50% of your parent’s total financial support during the year. Support includes amounts spent to provide food, lodging, clothing, education, medical and dental care, recreation, transportation, and similar necessities.
***Disclaimer: This communication is not intended as tax advice, and no tax accountant -client relationship results**