3

From this, it states

Paying more than half of your parent’s household expenses means you are eligible to claim your parent as a dependent.

From Form 2441, I'm assuming you send in receipts or bank statements* of qualifying expenses of up to $3,000 per dependent for this process. But nowhere on the form does it ask you to prove that you paid more than half of your parent's household expenses. Am I missing something?

  1. I'm guessing they could deduce that however much you pay is more than half based on your dependent's gross income or lack thereof. I'm just confused because it seems like the "more than half" is the only qualifier they don't ask you to prove through documentation?

  2. Also, would bank transfer statements be enough to prove that you've made payments in rent, utilities, etc. to a dependent?

  • Also note that claiming someone as a dependent is different from claiming child/dependent care expenses, which is what Form 2441 is for. – user102008 Apr 8 at 17:10
5

Relatively speaking, the IRS asks you to prove very little. For my 2018 return, I paid my 2019 medical insurance in advance, and have a Medical line item on my Schedule A over $40K. Similarly, my cash donations, were listed separately with details, all creating paper (or PDFs) for me, but the forms that flow to Schedule A all say "keep for your records."

For your situation, they won't ask for receipts either. Remember, they prefer electronic filing to paper. They rely on you and me both to tell the truth, under risk of audit, and threat to be charged with filling a fraudulent return. So, I have a file drawer full of receipts, but the IRS has never asked to see anything.

  • Very good point -- thank you for your answer! – CCC Feb 8 at 3:03

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