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prestonw12359
New Member

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

MY child, my girlfriend and HER child all live with me 365 and i support them (girlfriend has no income). Can i file for head of household and are there any benefits to filing head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child on my return and again is there any real benefit doing so? Please dont take me asking if there is a benefit to it the wrong way.. Is it worth the extra time and paper work todo so or maybe not? Thanks in advance!! 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

To have Head of Household filing status you must have a qualifying person as your dependent.  Neither your girlfriend or her child will qualify you for HOH since they are not related to you.  Your child would qualify you for Head of Household.

You may be able to claim both of them as your dependents under the Qualifying Relative rules even though they are not related to you.  They must meet all the requirements under the rule.

To be a Qualifying Relative -

1. The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. A child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer if the child's parent (or any other person for whom the child is defined as a qualifying child) is not required to file an income tax return or files an income tax return only to get a refund on income tax withheld.

2. The person either (a) must be related to you or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household. 

3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,050 (social security does not count) in 2017

4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

5. The person must be a U.S. citizen or a U.S., Canada, or Mexico resident for some part of the year.

6. The person must not file a joint return with their spouse.

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9 Replies
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

To have Head of Household filing status you must have a qualifying person as your dependent.  Neither your girlfriend or her child will qualify you for HOH since they are not related to you.  Your child would qualify you for Head of Household.

You may be able to claim both of them as your dependents under the Qualifying Relative rules even though they are not related to you.  They must meet all the requirements under the rule.

To be a Qualifying Relative -

1. The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. A child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer if the child's parent (or any other person for whom the child is defined as a qualifying child) is not required to file an income tax return or files an income tax return only to get a refund on income tax withheld.

2. The person either (a) must be related to you or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household. 

3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,050 (social security does not count) in 2017

4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

5. The person must be a U.S. citizen or a U.S., Canada, or Mexico resident for some part of the year.

6. The person must not file a joint return with their spouse.

VolvoGirl
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

Sounds like his child does live with him in addition to his girlfriend and her child.  So he probably can file as Head of Household .
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

The child is not a Qualifying Child then he cannot have HOH.
See IRS publication 17 - <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf#page=24">https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf#page=24</a>
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

"MY child, my girlfriend and HER child all live with me 365"
**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

Right...Thanks.  The My Child reference did not register.
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

Edited answer to remove reference to filing as Single and added the reference to filing as Head of Household
prestonw12359
New Member

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

Ok sounds like i can claim them BUT just to be clear i can or can not file as hoh? My child would qualify me for hoh but does claiming girlfriend and her child disqualify me even with my own child being claimed as well? Thanks!
DoninGA
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

Claiming the gf and her child as your dependents would not disqualify you for HOH.  Your child qualifies you for HOH and claiming non-related other dependents has no affect on your filing status.
Hal_Al
Level 15

Can i file as head of household? Can i claim my girlfriend and her child?

You can claim Head of Household (HoH) filing status, regardless of whether your girlfriend and/or her child qualify as your dependent. You can claim HoH because YOUR child is your qualifying person. Your child is your qualifying person even if she is not your dependent, because you are letting the other (non custodial) parent claim the child.

Yes, HoH is very beneficial (lower tax rates and higher standard deduction).

 But, your girlfriend and/or her child almost certainly do qualify as your dependents because "girlfriend has no income". .The child may qualify as your dependent, but because he is not related, he cannot be a qualifying child for the earned income credit, child tax credit. But, you do get the $4050 exemption (deduction from income) for each, before tax is calculated

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