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IRS.gov Website
Publication 596
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298563

Rule 12—You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person(p16)

rule
If you aren't filing a joint return, you meet this rule if:
If you are filing a joint return, you meet this rule if:
If you aren't sure whether someone else can claim you as a dependent, get Pub. 501 and read the rules for claiming a dependent.
If someone else can claim you as a dependent on his or her return, but doesn't, you still cannot claim the credit.
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298567

Example 1. (p16)

In 2016, you were age 25, single, and living at home with your parents. You worked and weren't a student. You earned $7,500. Your parents cannot claim you as a dependent. When you file your return, you claim an exemption for yourself by not checking the "You" box on line 5 of your Form 1040EZ and by entering $10,350 on that line. You meet this rule. You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements.
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298568

Example 2. (p16)

The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you earned $2,000. Your parents can claim you as a dependent but decide not to. You don't meet this rule. You cannot claim the credit because your parents could have claimed you as a dependent.
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298569

Joint returns.(p16)

rule
You generally cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person if you are married and file a joint return.
However, another person may be able to claim you as a dependent if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. But neither you nor your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by another person if you claim the EIC on your joint return.
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298570

Example 1—Return filed to get refund of tax withheld. (p16)

You are 26 years old. You and your wife live with your parents and had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Neither you nor your wife is required to file a tax return. You don't have a child. Taxes were taken out of your pay so you file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Your parents aren't disqualified from claiming an exemption for you just because you filed a joint return. They can claim exemptions for you and your wife if all the other tests to do so are met.
taxmap/pubs/p596-012.htm#en_us_publink1000298571

Example 2—Return filed to get EIC. (p16)

The facts are the same as in Example 1 except no taxes were taken out of your pay. Also, you and your wife aren't required to file a tax return, but you file a joint return to claim an EIC of $63 and get a refund of that amount. Because claiming the EIC is your reason for filing the return, you aren't filing it only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Your parents cannot claim an exemption for either you or your wife.