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whirlingtornado1
New Member

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

My girlfriend, son and I live together with her parents. She is 17, I am 20 and we lived separate until she became pregnant, at that time we all made a mutual agreement to get an apartment together, my name is on lease as well as theirs and I work and pay my part of the bills for the household so it is not that I live with them, it is that we all live together. Once the baby was born they got the social security card and birth certificate from the mail and will not allow me to have them because they intend to claim him on their taxes. My question is can they? I have a job and I pay my taxes and file return and my name is on the birth certificate as the father but because their daughter is under the age of 18 and we all live under one roof they are going to claim him and say that I can't. We are not married, my job supports the baby, I pay my bills, shouldn't I be able to claim my child? What would happen if we both claimed him? Can i report them for this? An attorney told us that the only way her parents would not be able to claim him would be if my girlfriend told her parents they can't do it but she is afraid of her mom and won't do this. Any answers or details would be greatly appreciated.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Critter
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

First the GF is the dependent of her parents so she cannot claim the child at all AND you cannot claim her either so she is out of the mix.

Then support is a mute subject since to claim the child all that needs to be true is that the child is not self supporting which I assume he is not at his age.

You will also need to file as single and not Head of Household since you probably didn't pay more than 1/2 of the total household support for more than 1/2 the year.

So we are down to you or the grandparents claiming the child....  

You, as the parent, have the superior right to claim the child and if you & the grandparents both claim the child you will win in an IRS audit. 

IF you choose to let the grandparents claim the child you can as long as the grandparent's income is more than yours. 

Since you all live together you all really need to sit down & talk this over ... see whose return the child does the most on so you get the best return for the entire family not just one person. 

View solution in original post

21 Replies
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

Do you pay them rent? Utilities?
whirlingtornado1
New Member

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

Yes, rent, groceries, electric, cable/internet, water. We split everything.
MichelleT
Level 2

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

Please use the qualifying test from the IRS to find out!
  <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/whom-may-i-claim-as-a-dependent">https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/whom-may-...>
Thanks, MichelleT TurboTax Support Agent
MichelleT
Level 2

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

You will need to be able to answer yes to providing more than half of your girlfriend and son's support for last year to claim them.
Please take the IRS test to figure this out.
TaxGuyBill
Level 9

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

@TurboTaxMichelleT   He does NOT need to provide over half of the child's support.  The child must not provide half of his own support.
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

It sounds like BF and GF did not live together all year, so he cannot claim GF anyway. And I find it hard to believe that BF makes enough money to pay more than 50% support.
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

@TaxGuyBill  is correct.  But Grandparent's income is probably higher than the 20 year old's. And they are likely providing medical insurance for Mom and Baby.
Critter
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

First the GF is the dependent of her parents so she cannot claim the child at all AND you cannot claim her either so she is out of the mix.

Then support is a mute subject since to claim the child all that needs to be true is that the child is not self supporting which I assume he is not at his age.

You will also need to file as single and not Head of Household since you probably didn't pay more than 1/2 of the total household support for more than 1/2 the year.

So we are down to you or the grandparents claiming the child....  

You, as the parent, have the superior right to claim the child and if you & the grandparents both claim the child you will win in an IRS audit. 

IF you choose to let the grandparents claim the child you can as long as the grandparent's income is more than yours. 

Since you all live together you all really need to sit down & talk this over ... see whose return the child does the most on so you get the best return for the entire family not just one person. 

View solution in original post

SweetieJean
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

Excellent advice!
macuser_22
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

If you all live together then this is right out of the IRS publication.

===

Qualifying Child of More Than One Person

Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Although the child is a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit).

1) The exemption for the child.
2) The child tax credit.
3) Head of household filing status.
4) The credit for child and dependent care expenses.
5) The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits.
6)The earned income credit.

The other person can’t take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. In other words, you and the other person can’t agree to divide these benefits between you. The other person can’t take any of these tax benefits for a child unless he or she has a different qualifying child.

Tiebreaker rules. To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply.

1- If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent.

2- If the parents file a joint return together and can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parents.

3- If the parents don’t file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year.

4- If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year.

5- If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' combined AGI equally between the parents. See Example 6 .

Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch03.html#en_US_2016_publink1000204278

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
TaxGuyBill
Level 9

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

In other words, if you both try to claim the child, you would win (assuming the child lived with you at least half of the time during the year).

However, I highly recommend discussing it with them, rather than creating a fight.
MichelleT
Level 2

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

In this case it will depend on who paid to support the child most of the year.

If you both claim him, the one that files first will be allowed to claim him. To change that, you will need an attorney.

There are many relatives one can claim as dependents. I see here this son is your biological child, so it's very possible. 

Also, if you support your girlfriend you can claim her too if she qualifies as your dependent.

You must have paid for at least half of a dependents living expense and lived with them 6 months or more out of the year. Unless of course the baby is under 6 months at the end of December.


Please go through this IRS test to see if you or they can claim your son and girlfriend.

Most likely you can claim both of them. BUT many factors determine whether they will qualify as your dependents.

Please use the qualifying test from the IRS to find out!

  https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/whom-may-i-claim-as-a-dependent

 

Here are just a few guidlines:

In general, to be a taxpayer’s qualifying child, a person must satisfy four tests:

  • Relationship — the taxpayer’s child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or step-sibling, or a descendant of one of these.
  • Residence — has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year. Exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents, kidnapped children, temporary absences, and for children who were born or died during the year.
  • Age — 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, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year.
  • Support — did not provide more than one-half of his/her own support for the year

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

To be a Qualifying Child -

1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.

2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year, (b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student or (c) any age and permanently and totally disabled.

3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Temporary absences while away at college are considered living with you.

4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.

5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. 

6. The child must be a U.S. citizen or U.S., Canada or Mexico resident for some portion of the year.

7. The child must be younger than you unless disabled.

From <https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4155907-claim-granddaughter-and-daughter?jump_to=similar-questions

Carl
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

ALso, just because the mother was under the age of 18 on Dec 31 of the tax year, that has no bearing on this. The mother's age just flat out does not matter.
Your post is also confusing. "it is not that I live with them, it is that we all live together"
Who is "them"? Who is "we"? It's confusing because if you didn't live with 'them", then how could "we" all live together?
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can my girlfriends parents claim our child if I say no but we all live together.

"we lived separate until she became pregnant, at that time we all made a mutual agreement to get an apartment together, my name is on lease as well as theirs"
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