Enhancement suggestion - cost of children

Please extend the ability to set the child-adult equivalency factor past age 19. They might not be "kids" when they're 20, but they might still be dependent, at least partially. Not being able to adjust their relative cost as it changes limits accuracy. It affects me, in particular, as my kids go to college and much of their costs are accounted for through different avenues, such as special expenses for college.

Since the Affordable Care Act allows carrying kids on your health insurance through age 26, that might be reasonable upper limit for your program.

Thanks

Comments

Dan Royer's picture

In my user interface, children can stay in the home until age 50. You are seeing 19 in 2.28.0?

Dan Royer's picture

With my son, I find it makes more sense for me to use special expenditures since he's not in the house and as an expense, I am able to pretty much define specific expenses.

Dan Royer's picture

OH, Ok. you are referring to the cost of children equivalency. I will pass that suggestion on. Not sure why we don't allow that. Perhaps we can.

Yes, it's the equivalency I'm referring to. I'd regard kids as pretty expensive when they're young, somewhat less so in elementary and middle, more expensive in high school, and then drop off after high school. The last change assumes they're not living at home and college costs are recorded elsewhere.

All of that is based on nothing except my intuition, but it would be nice to be able to record those choices above age 19. I think that limit may have been an arbitrary decision. Hopefully it's not complicated to extend it.

Dan Royer's picture

I don't think it is, and I saw a feature request go over to Darryl, the UI developer. I believe (and have an email over to Mike OConnor to confirm) that our software will continue to give you the tax deduction for a dependent if you set the child in home above the standard cut off date for a deduction. In other words, if you might set a disabled child in home to age 50 and still get the deduction for the dependent. But the setting you are referring to is of course not a tax related setting.

Considering the tax effects, children should be recorded as leaving the home whenever they're no longer dependent for IRS purposes. Even if they're still living at home after that, you'd have to record their upkeep as special expenses. Otherwise the program would overstate the dependent deductions.

Considering that the IRS requires that an able-bodied full-time student "... must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year ...", can you please clarify how ESPlanner treats children for tax purposes, given this description:

Jimmy, born in 1993 leaves household at age 25

Does that mean ESPlanner considers them a tax dependent for the entire calendar year in which they turn 25? Or that they're tax dependents through the calendar year of their 24th birthday, and are gone in the year they're 25?

Thanks

They are tax dependents through the calendar year of their 24th birthday, and are gone in the year they're 25.
You can confirm this by looking at the Exemption in the Federal Taxes - Joint Filer report.