My mom is a recent (last year) GC holder who is over the age of 70, does not work and lives with us.
1. Do we have to claim her as a dependent on our taxes?=====>it depends; to claim your mom as your dependent on your joint return , you must cover more than half of your parent?s support costs ? meaning 51% or more of their support costs must be covered by you.
These costs include food, housing or lodging expenses, clothing, and medical services and/or equipment costs. Or she must not support herself for more than half of her support costs; Claiming your mom as a dependent is only possible if her annual income is less than an amount established yearly by the IRS. For 2016 tax returns, that amount is $4,050.
2. If we don't claim her as a dependent, does she even have to file her taxes considering she has no income and does not draw social security or any other benefit from the government?=====> In this case, no she does not need to file her own return ;she
must file a federal income tax return if her income is above a certain level; which varies depending on her filing status, age and the type of income she receives. There are some instances when your mom may want to file a tax return even though she is not required to do so. Even if your mom doesn?t have to file,she should file to get money back if Federal Income Tax was withheld from her pay, she made estimated tax payments, or had a prior year overpayment applied to this year?s tax. If not then no she doesn?t need to file a return