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Checklist for acceptable proof of a child or dependent

For every child or dependent you're claiming a credit for, you must send us:

  • proof of your relationship to the child or dependent, and
  • proof that the child or dependent lived with you for more than half of the year shown on your letter.
Documentation for proving you have a child or dependent
Proof of relationship
checkbox image If you’re listed on the child’s birth certificate, include a copy of the birth certificate.
checkbox image If you're not listed on the child's birth certificate, include documentation showing your relationship to the child or dependent.

For example, if you're claiming a credit for your grandchild, send us:

  • the child’s or dependent’s birth certificate, and
  • the birth certificate for the child’s or dependent's parent, which lists you as a parent.
checkbox If you’re claiming a foster child, include a copy of the decree or other court order naming you as the foster parent.
Proof of residence
checkbox We will accept a letter from the child's doctor or school—on the doctor’s or school’s letterhead—if it includes:
  • the child’s name,
  • the child’s date of birth,
  • the child’s address (for the year shown on your letter), and
  • the name of the child’s custodial parent.

For example, “From January 1, through June 30, 2016, Amy Jones (b. 10/08/2010) attended Maple Greenleaf school. Her address was 123 Lincoln Park Dr., Rome, NY and Amanda Jones is listed as her mother during that time.”

checkbox We will accept a statement from a homeless shelter, signed by a case worker, if it includes:
  • the child’s name,
  • the child’s date of birth,
  • the time period the child lived in the shelter, and
  • the name of the child’s custodial parent.
checkbox We will accept a copy of the child’s birth certificate if it includes:
  • the child’s address, and
  • the child was born in the year shown on the letter.
checkbox If you changed your address during the tax year on your letter, give us the address of each place you lived during the year.
We cannot accept the following
X Form 1095-B
X immunization records
X report cards
X a letter from a parent giving taxpayer permission to claim the dependent without proof of relationship and residency
X a postmarked envelope with the child’s name and address on it
X a lease

 

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