Qualifying Children

Child/Children must meet three criteria:          

  1. Relationship – Is the taxpayer’s child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of any of them.
  2. Residence – Has the same principal residence as the taxpayer in California for more than half the tax year. Certain exceptions apply.
  3. Age – Must be younger than the taxpayer and either a) under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or b) under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least 5 months of the year. A permanently and totally disabled child may be included at any age.

The child only qualifies for one return. If the child can be claimed by more than one taxpayer, the child’s qualification goes to:

  • The parent
  • If more than 1 taxpayer is the child’s parent, the one with whom the child lived for the longest time during the year, or if the time was equal, the parent with the highest adjusted gross income (AGI).
  • If no taxpayer is the child’s parent, the taxpayer with the highest AGI.