Citizenship Test

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Definition: Citizenship Test

A citizenship test is one of the five requirements stated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to claim an exemption for tax payments for a dependent. The IRS defines a dependent as any individual who resides in the taxpayer’s house and relies on him/her for support.

The IRS has highlighted five tests to determine if an individual can be classified as dependent for the purpose of being considered for tax exemption. They are:

• Citizenship test

• Support Test

• Gross Income Test

• Joint Return Test

• Relationship Test

The Citizenship test states that in order to qualify as a dependent for tax exemption, a dependent must be either:

• A citizen of the United States of America

• A resident of the US, Canada or Mexico for part of the year

• A legally adopted child of foreign origin residing with the taxpayer in the US

• An adopted child living with the taxpayer for the entire year in a foreign country

An individual cannot claim tax exemption as a dependent if none of the above criteria are met. The citizenship test should not be confused to be the one used to administer citizenship to immigrants who are seeking a citizenship in the country.


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