Can I Claim My Boyfriend or Girlfriend as a Dependent on My Tax Return?

3 minute read

Intro

When it comes to tax season, many people consider claiming their dependents to reduce their taxable income and receive various tax benefits. Typically, a dependent is defined as a qualifying child or relative who is financially supported by the taxpayer. However, many individuals may not be aware that they can also claim their domestic partner as a dependent on their tax return.

What is a Dependent?

A dependent is a person who is financially supported by another individual, typically a parent, guardian, or partner. In the context of tax returns, a dependent is someone who can be claimed by the taxpayer as a qualifying child or relative in order to reduce the taxpayer's taxable income and receive various tax benefits.

The IRS defines a qualifying child as a son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them, such as a grandchild. To be considered a qualifying child, the dependent must meet certain criteria, such as being under the age of 19 (or 24 if a full-time student), not providing more than half of their own support, and being a U.S. citizen or resident alien.

A qualifying relative, on the other hand, can include a parent, sibling, or another relative who is not a qualifying child but who lived with the taxpayer for the entire tax year and whose gross income was less than the exemption amount for the tax year. The taxpayer must also provide more than half of the relative's total support for the year.

In addition to qualifying children and relatives, a domestic partner can also potentially be considered a dependent for tax purposes if they meet specific criteria set forth by the IRS.

Conditions to Claim an Unmarried Partner as a Dependent

In order to claim an unmarried domestic partner as a dependent on a tax return, both the taxpayer and the domestic partner must meet certain conditions set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These conditions include:

Residency requirement

The domestic partner must have lived with the taxpayer for the entire tax year in a domestic partnership that is recognized by the state or local government where they reside.

Financial support requirement

The taxpayer must provide more than half of the domestic partner's total support for the tax year. This includes expenses such as housing, food, clothing, medical expenses, and any other necessities.

Gross income requirement

The domestic partner's gross income for the tax year must be less than the exemption amount set by the IRS. In 2022, this amount is $4,000.

Filing status requirement

The taxpayer must not be able to be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

It is important to note that domestic partnerships must be recognized by the state or local government where the couple resides. Additionally, same-sex partners are eligible for this tax benefit, as long as their partnership is recognized by the state or local government.

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Information and Forms You'll Need

When it comes to claiming your domestic partner as a dependent on your tax return, there are certain forms and documentation you will need to provide. Some of the key forms you may need to complete and file include Form 1040 and Schedule H (Household Status). In addition to these tax forms, you will also need to provide proof of residency, documentation of financial support, gross income information, and certification of your domestic partnership. The specific forms and documentation required may vary depending on your individual tax situation and the state or local government where you reside. It is important to consult with a tax professional or to visit the IRS website for guidance on the forms and information you will need in order to claim your domestic partner as a dependent on your tax return.

Conclusion

In conclusion, claiming a domestic partner as a dependent on your tax return can provide various tax benefits, such as a reduction in taxable income, access to tax credits, and eligibility for certain deductions. However, it is important to thoroughly evaluate your individual tax situation and to meet the criteria set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before making this claim. By having the necessary forms and documentation in order, you can ensure that your tax return is filed accurately and in compliance with the law. If you have any questions or concerns, it is recommended to consult with a tax professional for guidance.

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