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Old 02-03-2009, 09:38 AM
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Exclamation Question RE: claiming dependents

Situation Details: Boyfriend and I have lived together, unmarried, for entire year. My 3 children from previous marriage have also lived here, they have only ever been claimed as dependents by me. I have not worked at all in 2008 and boyfriend has supplied all of support for me and the kids. In December, we had a baby who can obviously be claimed by the boyfriend on taxes and qualifies him to file HOH.

Question: Can boyfriend claim me and my 3 other children on his taxes as dependents?

I've read the stuff at irs.gov and am still slightly confused. I want to be absolutely certain before the return is filed.

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Old 02-06-2009, 12:13 AM
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i too have asked this question and didn't get an answer. i was with a guy for 11 years that wasn't my kids' father. he claimed head of household and my two children. we never got audited or questioned about it. 12 yrs later, me and my 7 yr old son have been living with my new boyfriend for almost 3 yrs. i do not work. he supports us 100%. we seem to meet all the requirements for claiming a dependent, but i'm still confused about the relationship aspect of the requirements. i just wonder if we are not married, does my son fall under the stepchild category. my boyfriend didn't claim head of household the last two yrs because he thought that if my son wasn't his blood relative, that he couldn't claim him and hoh. i have seen several Q&A's that had similar questions, and the answers were always yes, you can claim hoh and your gf's or bf's children. soooo.. hopefully we can get this cleared up asap.. i don't know who else to ask!

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Old 02-06-2009, 12:20 AM
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i just read this..

My girlfriend and her two kids are living with me and I support them for everything. What are the requirements for me for filing my taxes? Am I allowed to claim them as my dependents even though they are not my children and she doesn't collect any child support from their fathers? Would it be considered head of household or still single?
Plus she recently started working, does she have to file taxes? If so, can she claim the child tax credits? If only one of us is allowed to claim them, who would benefit more? What are the requirments and limitations for her filing?



Based on your circumstances, you would simply file your tax return as a Single Filer. The IRS tax code would not permit you to claim the children as dependents as you do not meet the requirements for claiming the children as a dependent.

Your Girlfriend on the other hand would be filing as a Head of Household filing status and would be able to claim the children as her dependents. She also be entitled to claim the child tax credits for both the kids!

Since you cannot claim the child care tax credit, the only option is for your girlfriend to claim the children as her dependents and therefore claim the child tax credit on personal tax return.

If you had qualified to claim the children as your dependents clearly, then the person making the most income would generally benefit by claiming the children as as dependents. But, at times this may not be true as at certain levels of income the taxpayer with the lowest income may qualify for the earned income tax credit.

I suspect that your girlfriend may qualify for the dependency allowance deduction, child care tax credit as well as qualify for the earned income tax credit.

so i really don't know. i have gotten conflicting answers.. so i have no idea. the others said this...

My girlfriend lives with me and does not work. I supported her and her two daughters for all of 2008, can i claim them on my taxes? what form would i need? The children are not mine.


You can take an exemption for your girlfriend and her daughters if 1) they lived in your household for the entire year, 2) You provided over half the support for each of them, 3) If any one of them had gross income of $3,500 or more you cannot claim that person. Additionally, for your girlfriend, the relationship between the two of you must not be in violation of state or local law.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA



Thanks for your question.

He can take a dependency exemption for the female if her gross income is less than $3,500, if she lived in his household for the entire year, and he provides over half her support. The same rules would apply to claiming the child. In addition, the relationship between the two adults cannot be in violation of state or local law.

If he can claim either as a dependent he can file head of household if he paid over half the cost of keeping up the household.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

I was wondering if i should claim my step daughter. We are not married but we all live together all year.My girlfriend has no income this year but has claimed the child for all the past years she filed as her dependent the child is 14. What can i do.

Mike ,

Thank you for your question.

1)What can i do.

There are six criteria for qualified relatives.

Taxpayers may claim a dependent for a person who meets the criteria for a qualifying relative. A dependent is a person who meets either the qualifying child or the qualifying relative definitions.

I would say you are head of household status with dependents. You should be able to claim your step daughter.

To be claimed as a qualifying relative, the person must meet all of the following criteria:
Not a qualifying child - The dependent cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer.

Gross Income – The dependent earns less than the personal exemption amount during the year. For 2008, this means the dependent earns less than $3,500.

Total Support – You provide more than half of the dependent's total support during the year.

Relationship – You are related to the dependent in certain ways.

Joint Return – If the dependent is married, the dependent cannot file a joint return with his or her spouse.

Citizenship – The dependent must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico

As to your girlfriend :

Dear Tax Guide, Can I claim my boyfriend / girlfriend / roommate / friend ... as my dependent? He (or she) didn't work at all last year, but stayed at my apartment and I provided over half of that person's support?
I have been asked this question many times. The short answer is, "Maybe." The long answer? You have to meet five tests for claiming a dependent. One of those tests is the relationship test. You must be related to your dependent by blood or marriage. Or the person must live with you as a member of your household for the entire year. If you supported your roommate while she was looking for a job, that's very generous of you. But you don't get to claim her as a dependent unless she lived with you from January 1 to December 31.

My boyfriend and I have been living together for two years. I didn't work for the year of 2008. Can he claim me as a dependent. We have one daughter together. I also have another daughter that lives with us full-time can my boyfriend claim her as a dependent or a dependent child? She does not live with her real father she visits him one weekend a month, but he does pay child-support, but does not claim her on his taxes

If your relationship is not against local law, and you have no income, he can claim you as a qualifying relative. He can claim your daughter (that you have together) as a qualifying child. He can also claim your daughter as a qualifying relative.

Helen, EA in PA

Last edited by gaconnie : 02-06-2009 at 12:23 AM. Reason: added information

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:47 PM
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According to the law, he can only claim his child only but not your other 2 children because he is not legally married to you. This is despite the fact that he meets the support test, he still fails the relationship test!

At least that is the interpretation most tax experts would tell you!

Find a CPA near you!

Ask TaxGuru Please refer to the legal disclaimer.

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