A question came in over last weekend that dealt with dependency rules, amended returns, and filing a dependent’s tax return. When it comes dependency rules, there are several tests to used to whether a dependent can be claimed on a tax return. The dependency tests are: A. Relationship What is your relationship to the dependent? Are you the brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, adopted son or daughter, son, daughter, niece, grandparent, uncle or nephew. B. Age Is the dependent under the age of 19 (if not enrolled in school) or 24 (if enrolled in a secondary educational or disabled? C. Support Do you supply more than half of the support for the dependent (housing, food, clothing, etc...) D. Residency Is the dependent a U.S. citizen? If the dependent is not a U.S. citizen, then the dependent can not be claimed as a dependent (ie foreign exchange student). E. Joint Return If the dependent is listed on a joint tax return, normally the dependent can not be claimed on your tax return. The exception to this rule is if the dependent is filing a joint tax report to receive a refund for the taxes they’ve paid in and they don’t have a lot of income to report on a tax return. In the case of the question that I received about dependency, the taxpayer had filed the dependent’s tax return before filing their tax return. The dependent was a student in a community college and did not have a lot of income to report on their tax return and met the dependency tests. The taxpayer provided more than half the student’s support for last tax year. When the dependent’s tax return was prepared and e-filed using a self-preparation tax software, the taxpayer did not check the box to indicate that the student was a dependent of the taxpayer and was not entitled to a tax deduction on her (student’s) tax return. In this case, the taxpayer needed to file an amended tax return for her dependent’s (the student’s) tax return and the taxpayer (taxpayer claiming the student as a dependent) needed to file and mail their tax return on paper which takes between six to eight weeks to process.