Skip to content
Home » Can I Write Off My Grandparent as a Dependent?

Can I Write Off My Grandparent as a Dependent?

Can I Write Off My Grandparent as a Dependent?

After Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, National Grandparents Day is the granddaddy of them all this week. That’s cause for celebration since without them, where would any of us be?

More gold is needed now than ever before to get through the golden years, so if you’re helping your grandparents make ends meet financially, you might be wondering if you can include them as a dependent on your tax return. It depends, and I know you’re sick of hearing me say it. In principle, you can probably claim your grandparents as your dependents if you are covering the majority of their expenses since they have minimal means.

The criteria for a grandmother (or any other relative) to qualify as your dependent are as follows.

They must reside in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, or be a citizen or national of the United States.

  • They must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. National, or a residence of the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
  • You must provide over half their support.
  • Their income must not exceed $4,050 per year (excluding social security).
  • They must not file a joint tax return with a spouse.
  • They must not be the dependent of someone else.


The item “living with you” is conspicuously absent from the list of “musts”. As long as you complete the other five requirements, your grandparents may be claimed as a dependant without having to reside with you. However, if you are financially supporting a person who you consider to be a grandparent but who is not a blood relative of yours, they must reside in your household for the whole tax year.

If your grandparent is a dependant, you can also deduct the medical expenditures you pay for them, in addition to the $4,050 dependency exemption. These costs are added to the rest of your family’s medical costs, which must total more than 10% (7.5% if you are 65 or older) of your adjusted gross income to be deductible.

Dependent Care Expenses

  • Similar to how you can claim a tax credit for child care for your children while you are at work, you can claim a tax credit for some of the costs associated with hiring a caretaker or enrolling an elderly grandparent in senior day care while you work or hunt for employment.
  • In the reverse scenario, if your grandma looks after your children while you work, you may be able to claim the child care credit for any money you pay them as long as you include their social security number on your tax return. The money you pay your grandma to watch your children becomes a part of their income, and if their income is over $4,050, they will not be considered one of your dependents. So use caution with this double-edged sword.

Read more: Tax Benefits for Having Dependents