IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Definition of Dependent.

Benefits Insights, Spring 2017

In January, the IRS released proposed regulations concerning the definition of “dependent” that relates to changes made by the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 (WFTRA) and subsequent legislation.

These changes offer guidance to individuals who may claim certain child-related tax benefits; in particular, the regulations reflect shifts in the IRS’s position on how to determine a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income under the tiebreaker rules when a taxpayer files a joint return. They also address the treatment of certain governmental payments when determining an individual’s support.

The proposed regulations offer specific guidance on how to determine the sources of an individual’s support or whether an individual resides with the taxpayer for more than half of the taxable year, and how temporary absences from a principal place of residence are treated.

In addition, the proposed regulations match current law, amending the rules relating to the surviving spouse and head of household filing statuses, the tax tables for individuals, the child and dependent care credit, the earned income credit, the standard deduction, joint tax returns, and taxpayer identification numbers for children placed for adoption.

Those who wish to submit comments must do so by April 19, 2017.

Once the final regulation has been published, it will apply to all taxable years after that. More details are available at

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Definition of Dependent