My parents run a family farm, and use a professional accountant to keep track of the business, and also prepare their taxes. However, he (the accountant) wants me to amend my tax return so my parents can claim me as a dependent.

My parents DO provide more than half my support, but I am >19 years old (21), and not a full-time student, so I'm not a qualifying child. Also, in 2018, I earned over >$4,050 (10,000+) so my understanding is that I can not be claimed as a qualifying adult either.

The accountant wants my information so he can file an amendment on my behalf; I believe he wants to mark me down as a full-time student, which I definitely am not. I am going to no kind of school currently and have not been in 2018 either.

Shall I turn over my details to the accountant, and let him file an amendment on my behalf (knowing it is dishonest/fraud), or should I tell him he doesn't know his own business, or am I overlooking some clause that lets my parents claim me as a dependent?

If more information is needed, I will provide it.

  • Is it an option to provide the information but specify that you are NOT authorizing him to file any amendments on your behalf?
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 10, 2019 at 1:25
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    Tax fraud is a felony. Why would you suggest the OP do anything but tell the accountant to never contact him? Apr 10, 2019 at 1:29
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    @JoeTaxpayer: Because there is no evidence here that the accountant intends to commit fraud, just a lot of guesswork. So far, the accountant doesn't have any information from OP, only from the parents, and the parents may not even be aware what OP grossed. Unless you live in the world of Minority Report, the accountant has not engaged in any fraud here.
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 10, 2019 at 2:40
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    Moreover, if the accountant actually is filing false returns, OP's family may be at significant risk, and OP may want to catch the accountant acting without authorization (the NO AUTHORIZATION to file statement should be put in writing, and OP should keep a copy) so that IF (which is not certain) there are crimes, when they are found out the liability falls on the accountant.
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 10, 2019 at 2:43
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    @BenVoigt - Both IRL and online I've seen too many 'pros' who make expensive mistakes or advise something that is so wrong, I wonder if they have any education in their field. That is the source of my knee-jerk reaction to this. Instead of testing the accountant, and risking an odd confrontation with a parent, I'd still feel that staying away is the best advice. OTOH, OP can simply reply that his own income is above the level where he'd qualify as a dependent. That should keep everyone happy. Apr 10, 2019 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


From the IRS web site

To claim your child as your dependent, your child must meet either the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test: To meet the qualifying child test, your child must be younger than you and either younger than 19 years old or be a "student" younger than 24 years old as of the end of the calendar year.

The accountant is asking you to participate in a fraud, which I’d encourage not to do. If you speak to your parents about this I strongly recommend you only cite the IRS refs and not quote strangers on the internet. This is why I offer a link and citation.

On a side note - the new tax code did away with exemptions. An adult child (student) would result in a $500 Credit. That’s a remarkably small sum when compared to “felony”.

  • Thanks, and yes I forgot to mention in the question that I would prefer citations.
    – BenjiWiebe
    Apr 10, 2019 at 3:50

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