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lelasmom2002
New Member

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

 
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Texas Roger
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

If the son is not also your biological son, you can only claim him as a qualifying relative dependent not a qualifying child dependent. Both of them had to live with you the entire year. Here are the requirements that each of them must meet to be claimed by you as qualifying relative dependents:

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  taxable income for the year must be less than $4,150 in 2018.

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, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.


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8 Replies
Texas Roger
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

If the son is not also your biological son, you can only claim him as a qualifying relative dependent not a qualifying child dependent. Both of them had to live with you the entire year. Here are the requirements that each of them must meet to be claimed by you as qualifying relative dependents:

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  taxable income for the year must be less than $4,150 in 2018.

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, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.


Hal_Al
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

"it's his year to claim him"

If the child lives with his mother, then you cannot claim the child at all. ("The person ... must live with you ALL year as a member of your household). 

The boyfriend should let the mother know  that he won't be claiming the child, so that she can.

lelasmom2002
New Member

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

My boyfriend has custody per the courts, but he allows the mother 50/50 time with the son and to claim him on her taxes every other year. The last 3 years she has claimed him before he had the chance. The agreement this year is that she will not do that.
lelasmom2002
New Member

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

But he has lived with us all year
Texas Roger
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

You can't claim the child as a qualifying child because he is not your child. There is no reason for your boyfriend to  file a tax return and claim the child if he had no income. If the child lived with you and his father all year, the mother can't claim the child because she was not the custodial parent. You can claim the child as a qualifying relative dependent.
lelasmom2002
New Member

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

yes. that is what i planned to do based on your previous answer. I appreciate the helpful information.
Hal_Al
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

I don't agree that you can claim the kid. The custody arrangement (he allows the mother 50/50 time) is problematic as to you meeting the rule that an unrelated child must live with you all year.  The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody.
Even if you can, it's a bad idea. Yes, it will raise a red flag at the IRS. But, more importantly, you can only get a $500 dependent credit (no EIC). Whereas, the mother can get the $2000 Child Tax credit  (and maybe EIC too).
Texas Roger
Level 15

Will claiming my boyfriend and his son for the first time throw a red flag on my return? He didn't work and it's his year to claim him, so instead, I am claiming both.

After further reading of IRS Pub. 501, I agree with Hal_Al. Even though the child's father was the custodial parent, the child can still be the qualifying child of the other parent for certain tax benefits. Therefore, you cannot claim the child as a qualifying relative dependent. His mother can only get the child tax credit and nothing else.
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