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Hopeful1
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KennethB
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Can I Claim My Girlfriend or Boyfriend as a Dependent?TAX DEDUCTIONS AND CREDITS

Are you living with your girlfriend or boyfriend? Have you ever wondered whether or not you could claim him or her on your tax return as a dependent? Like many things in life, it depends. Even if it feels like an awkward thing to wonder, it’s worth the ask: each dependent lets you claim a dependent exemption, reducing your taxable income by $4,050 per dependent for 2016 and 2017.

A boyfriend or girlfriend can be claimed as a dependent if they pass some of the same tests used to determine if your child or relative can be claimed as a dependent.

First, your significant other cannot be claimed as a dependent if they are eligible to be claimed as a dependent on another tax return. Whether your boyfriend or girlfriend is being claimed is irrelevant, it’s the eligibility that matters. Once you see the rules, especially the residency and support rules, this will make perfect sense. So, if your significant other’s parents could claim him or her, you cannot. Your significant other also must be a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.

That’s the first phase of tests.

If he or she passes those rules, these four “tests” will need to be passed to qualify as a dependent. He or she:

  • Is not a “qualifying child” of a taxpayer. The IRS has specific qualifying child rules based on relationship, age, residency, and joint return
  • Earned less than $4,050 in taxable income (amount of the personal exemption) in 2016 and 2017
  • Did not  provide their own support. You must provide more than half of the total support for the year
  • Lived with you all year as a member of your household (keep in mind: dependent relatives do not have to live with you)

As you can see, the tests make it impossible for someone to be claimed as a dependent on two returns. Either you provided their support or someone else did.

If you and your significant other are living together and considering this route, there are also other ways you can save a lot of money by integrating your finances, without having to get married. For example, you could combine auto insurance policies for a multi-car discount. It might not be as romantic as getting married, but it could result in big savings over the course of a year!

Don’t worry about knowing these tax laws. TurboTax makes it easy to claim the dependent exemption by asking simple questions about your life and giving you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers.

Get your maximum tax refund with TurboTax today

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8 Replies
Carl
Level 15

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If you are an undergraduate, most likely it's your parents and not the BF that qualify to claim you.  Here's the deal.
If THE STUDENT did NOT provide MORE than 50% of THE STUDENT'S own support, (scholarships, grants, 1099-Q funds, Gifts from Aunt Mary, boyfriend, etc do NOT count as the student providing their own support) then the parents qualify to claim the student as a dependent on the parents tax return, and the parents claim all the education stuff (with one exception that might apply to you) on the parents' tax return.
Here's the thing. It flat out does not matter if your parents claim you or not. It matters if they QUALIFY To claim you. Note that the support requirement is 100% on the student. There is no requirement for the parents' to provide any support - not one penny.
Hopeful1
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Hopeful1
Returning Member

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KennethB
New Member

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Can I Claim My Girlfriend or Boyfriend as a Dependent?TAX DEDUCTIONS AND CREDITS

Are you living with your girlfriend or boyfriend? Have you ever wondered whether or not you could claim him or her on your tax return as a dependent? Like many things in life, it depends. Even if it feels like an awkward thing to wonder, it’s worth the ask: each dependent lets you claim a dependent exemption, reducing your taxable income by $4,050 per dependent for 2016 and 2017.

A boyfriend or girlfriend can be claimed as a dependent if they pass some of the same tests used to determine if your child or relative can be claimed as a dependent.

First, your significant other cannot be claimed as a dependent if they are eligible to be claimed as a dependent on another tax return. Whether your boyfriend or girlfriend is being claimed is irrelevant, it’s the eligibility that matters. Once you see the rules, especially the residency and support rules, this will make perfect sense. So, if your significant other’s parents could claim him or her, you cannot. Your significant other also must be a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico.

That’s the first phase of tests.

If he or she passes those rules, these four “tests” will need to be passed to qualify as a dependent. He or she:

  • Is not a “qualifying child” of a taxpayer. The IRS has specific qualifying child rules based on relationship, age, residency, and joint return
  • Earned less than $4,050 in taxable income (amount of the personal exemption) in 2016 and 2017
  • Did not  provide their own support. You must provide more than half of the total support for the year
  • Lived with you all year as a member of your household (keep in mind: dependent relatives do not have to live with you)

As you can see, the tests make it impossible for someone to be claimed as a dependent on two returns. Either you provided their support or someone else did.

If you and your significant other are living together and considering this route, there are also other ways you can save a lot of money by integrating your finances, without having to get married. For example, you could combine auto insurance policies for a multi-car discount. It might not be as romantic as getting married, but it could result in big savings over the course of a year!

Don’t worry about knowing these tax laws. TurboTax makes it easy to claim the dependent exemption by asking simple questions about your life and giving you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers.

Get your maximum tax refund with TurboTax today
Carl
Level 15

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Basically says the same thing I said it appears. Who is this Jim Wang guy that authored it? Just curious.
KennethB
New Member

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It's TurboTax Blog article: <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://blog.turbotax.intuit.com/tax-deductions-and-credits-2/can-i-claim-my-girlfriend-or-boyfriend...>
Carl
Level 15

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THanks. I"ve not looked at the blog in so long, years actually, that I totally forgot it even existed.
Hopeful1
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