Can You Claim a Live-In Boyfriend or Girlfriend as a Dependent?
If you have a live-in boyfriend, girlfriend or same sex partner, you may wonder if the IRS might allow you to claim that individual as a dependent on your tax return. The short answer is…quite possibly. As with most things related to your annual tax return, the answer is somewhat complicated, and there are several caveats, but we have streamlined this information in an effort to help you determine if this might work for your current situation.
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend a “qualifying relative”?
The IRS says that you can claim your boyfriend or girlfriend as a dependent if they meet the specifications of what they call a “qualifying relative.” What does that mean, you ask? Well, it’s actually a more broad definition than you might expect. To be considered by the IRS as a “qualifying relative,” this person does not have to be related to you at all. Instead, they must only meet the following 4 criteria:
1. Residency: Your significant other or partner must have lived with you for the entire calendar year for which you are filing your return. While your home must be that person’s true residence for the year, the IRS does allow for what they call temporary absences which can include trips, medical treatment, etc.
2. Income: Your boyfriend or girlfriend must not make more than $3,900/year (gross income in 2013) in order for you to be able to claim them as a dependent.
3. Your financial support: In order to claim your partner as a dependent, you must be providing them with more than 50% of support toward their overall annual living expenses.
4. Filing Status: Finally, as you might expect, you generally cannot claim a person as a dependent that is already married filing a joint return with another individual.
Additional factors to consider
Other important things to note are that you may also be able to claim your significant other’s children as dependents if they live with you full time and you pay more than 50% of their support. You may also be eligible to deduct education expenses if you provide financial support for these expenses as well.
What if you still have questions?
So, there are instances in which you can claim a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend as a dependent according to the IRS. If you have questions about whether your situation qualifies, the IRS has an online assistant that can help determine if you qualify. You can also consult a tax firm, who can review all of your documentation and make sound recommendations for all types of deductions on your tax return. Success Tax Relief is a trusted tax firm that has been in business for more than 30 years. We help make sense of complicated tax rules and regulations and help our customers translate this into a language they can understand. If you have questions about filing status, claiming dependents or any other related tax issue, contact us now.