Things to Know About Claiming Your Boyfriend / Girlfriend As Dependent On Taxes
As you think about completing your tax return this year, you may be wondering if there are additional items that you might be able to deduct. It is always helpful to think about things in your life that may have changed over the year that could have positive or negative tax implications. If you had a child, went back to school, or purchased a house, you could claim new deductions or credits on your annual return. So, what if you are in a serious relationship in which your girlfriend or boyfriend lives with you? Can you claim them as a dependent on your taxes? This is actually possible in some instances, but as with most things related to taxes, you should be careful and make sure that you follow specific guidelines set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Criteria for Claiming Your Significant Other This Year
In order to legally claim your boyfriend or girlfriend as a dependent on your annual tax return, the following criteria must be met:
- Your significant other must have lived with you for the entire calendar year (January through December).
- Your boyfriend or girlfriend must make less than the annual limit that the IRS sets. You should note that this limit can change. In 2016, the limit is $4,050 and can include any income that is subject to tax.
- You need to have paid more than ½ of your partner’s living expenses for the entire tax year that you claim your boyfriend/girlfriend. This calculation can be tricky, so you should be aware that you have to account for funds that your significant other receives from other sources. If he/she also received support from their parents and that support exceeded the support provided by you, then you cannot claim them as a dependent.
- Two other important factors to note:
- You cannot claim a married person as your dependent if they are also filing a joint return with their spouse.
- You cannot claim a boyfriend/girlfriend as a dependent in states where “cohabitation” is illegal. You should check with your state laws to be sure that your state does not have this law on the books.
Finding Reliable Tax Support
The IRS website has a calculator that can help you determine whether you are eligible to claim your significant other as a dependent. If you have other questions about this tax issue, or about general tax preparation as April 15th approaches, you may also want to seek the help of a reputable tax firm.
Success Tax Relief has been helping individuals and businesses with their taxes for many years. With a combined 30 years of experience, our tax team can help you identify deductions and credits that will help you keep more of your money each year. Our mission is simple — we focus on helping our clients find solutions to their tax problems. For more information about claiming dependents on your tax return or any other tax questions, call our team at 877-825-1179 or contact us online.