Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter


Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

Tax Credit Quiz: Can You Really Claim Your Dependents?

Written by Eva Rosenberg on September 3, 2013 in Tax  |   2 comments

The biggest and nastiest tax battle divorced or separated taxpayers face is over which person gets the rights to the tax credits for children and dependents. One particularly underhanded trick that is often played involves one person filing taxes in early January to grab the…

filing taxes, tax creditThe biggest and nastiest tax battle divorced or separated taxpayers face is over which person gets the rights to the tax credits for children and dependents. One particularly underhanded trick that is often played involves one person filing taxes in early January to grab the dependents and tax credits before the custodial parent files a legitimate tax return.

Here’s a short quiz to see how much you know about your right to claim your dependents, both young and old. The quiz, which is drawn from the Fast Forward Academy bank of practice questions for the IRS enrolled agents exam and the Gleim Enrolled Agents practice questions and answers, covers a number of common issues.


1) Milton is 39 years old. He has been divorced from his wife since March 1 of the tax year. He and his ex-wife have two minor children. One child lives with Milton and the other child lives with the mother. The children have been with their respective parents from March through December of the tax year. Milton provides all of the support for the minor child living with him. The filing status with the lowest rate for which Milton qualifies is:

A. Married filing separately
B. Single
C. Head of household
D. Married filing jointly

2) Thomas and Rebecca are the parents of four children, ages 10, 12, 15, and 22. Their 22-year-old child is a full-time student with income of $5,600. Thomas and Rebecca provided more than 50 percent of the support for all their children. If they file a joint return, how many exemptions can they claim for the above family members?

A. 5
B. 4
C. 6
D. 3

3) Mrs. Brown had taxable income of $600, Social Security benefits of $1,800, and tax-exempt interest of $200. She used all of these amounts for her own support. Her son paid the rest of her support. Which of the following amounts of support paid by her son would meet the support test to allow him to claim Mrs. Brown as a dependent?

A. $2,100
B. $2,700
C. $900
D. $1,800

4) Mr. and Mrs. Green filed a joint return. During the year, they provided more than 50 percent of the support for the following individuals, all of whom are U.S. citizens:

  • The Greens’ daughter, age 23, who was a full-time student for eight months. During the summer, she earned $4,600, which was spent on her support.
  • Mr. Green’s cousin, age 16, who lived with them from March through December.
  • Mr. Green’s widowed mother, age 70, who lived with them and had no income.
  • The Greens’ daughter, age 22, who lived with them for the full year. She had gross income of $4,100.
  • Mrs. Green’s widowed father, age 64, who lived alone. His sole source of income was $4,200 of Social Security.

How many exemptions may Mr. and Mrs. Green claim on their tax return?

A. 5
B. 7
C. 6
D. 2


1. Correct answer: C, head of household

Because Milton is not married at the end of the year, he cannot file as married filing separately or married filing jointly. Head of household is better than single as a filing status in terms of tax rates, and all tests for head of household are met.

2. Correct answer: C, six exemptions

All are entitled to an exemption. Thomas and Rebecca may each claim a personal exemption, and they are entitled to one dependency exemption for each qualifying child. The children are dependents because they meet the definition of a qualifying child as outlined below:

Relationship test: The child must be a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.

Age test: The child must be under age 19 at the end of the year, or under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or any age if permanently and totally disabled.

Residency test: The child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the year. A child who was born or died during the year passes this test if the home was the child’s home the entire time he or she was alive during the year.

Support test: The child cannot provide more than half of his or her own support.

3. Correct answer: B, $2,700

A dependent under the qualifying relative rules is defined in Section 152(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, which requires the taxpayer to provide over one-half of the support of the individual. Mrs. Brown’s son must give her more than $2,600 of support in order to satisfy this requirement (see Publication 501 for further details).

4. Correct answer: A, five exemptions

To qualify for the dependency exemption, a taxpayer must provide more than 50 percent of the support to a U.S. citizen who meets certain relationship and residency tests stated in Section 152(a).

Based on the relationship tests and income limits, Mr. and Mrs. Green are entitled to one exemption for their 23-year-old daughter (because she is a full-time student under 24 years of age); Mr. Green’s widowed mother; and Mrs. Green’s father (because Social Security is not included in determining the gross income limit). They are also entitled to two personal exemptions (one each for themselves), for a grand total of five exemptions.

The cousin does not qualify under the relationship test because she was not a member of the household for the entire calendar year, and the 22-year-old daughter does not qualify because her income exceeds the exemption amount outlined in Section 151(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (see Publication 501).


Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. Vandy says:

    22-year daughter can be their qualified child as there is no income test for a qualifying child. There is an income test for qualifying relative but not for qualifying child. If she has not spent more than 50% of her income on her own support then she is the qualifying child.

    • Anonymous says:

      She doesn’t qualify for Child because she is over the age of 19 and not a full time student at the end of the year. Therefore she has to meet the Gross Income test for a Qualifying Relative…and in 2014 that limit was income less than $3950. She ‘makes too much money’ (unbelievably) to count as a dependent in this case.

Leave a Comment

Name :

Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Tax Archive