MFJ couple has $200,000 AGI for 2020. This would I think make them ineligible for a stimulus check. They also have an adult college student under age 24 whom they could claim as a dependent. If they claim him as a dependent, do they get a $500 child credit? But if they don't claim him as a dependent, and the student files his own tax return, will the student qualify for a $1,400 stimulus check? Is there any downside to taking the no dependent/student files own tax return route? BTW, parents file California tax return.
Is this a situation where if the parents could claim college student as a dependent, then they have to claim him as a dependent?
No. But if they could claim him, he cannot claim himself and needs to check the box on the return.
It kinda comes down to some of my clients' "do what ever is best" comments. You don't do what's best, you do what is correct. Who is providing more than half of the kid's support? Once you figure that out, the rest is easy.
OK, let's presume that the parents provide over half of the child's support in the form of a roof over the kid's head, and the college expenses. What if the kid files a tax return and admits that he could be claimed as a dependent. Doesn't that just limit his standard deduction to $1,100 as opposed to a standard deduction of $12,400?
I don't understand: "What if the kid files a tax return and admits that he could be claimed as a dependent."
Why is that even a "What if" and "admits"? Why are you not using reality? There is no "admitting" or not admitting. There is the reality of the facts and circumstances that you will prepare and sign off on as the Professional.
"Level Up" is a gaming function, not a real life function.
This usually comes down to the Support Test.
Have your clients fill out the Dependency Support Worksheet. Keep it in your file.
A family of 8 living in a $30,000 house looks different than a family of 3 living in $500,000 house. Some families are way more extravagant than others.