Can I Claim My Girlfriend As a Dependent on My Taxes?

See more information on this topic here.

A dependent is an individual that relies on you for financial support. Being able to claim a dependent on a tax return allows for a number of tax-related benefits. Taxpayers who dependents can claim an additional personal exemption for each dependent. However, the matter of who can be claimed as a dependent is much trickier than it appears. One of the most popular questions we see each tax season is “Can I claim my girlfriend/boyfriend?” Let us explain who you can claim as a dependent.

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Infographic by Column Five Media

 

Embed the above image on your site using the code below:

DEPENDENT TAX RETURN
Free Tax Filing, Efile Taxes, Income Tax Returns – TurboTax.com

Comments (77) Leave your comment

  1. Hi,
    I have a question regarding being able to claim my girlfriend. I understand that she has to live with me for a full year, I provide over 50% support and make less than 3650 during the whole year which under these circumstances qualifies, but my question is I’m a truck driver and to make things easier we had lived with her parents since I’m only home once a month until recently where we bought our own home. Will I still be able to claim her as a dependent even though our address was the same as her parents?

    • Yes, it would seem so. So long as your parents aren’t claiming you as their dependent or her as their dependent, and you list your address happens to be the same as your parents. It’s like two families living under one address.

  2. I live in CT, bf and I live together, have a daughter. he gets state assistance food/medical, no income-has been stay at home dad…we have different addresses and he does not receive mail here…but have lived together all year, and for the last 9….

    Will this affect his State Assistance

      • I believe it will. As far as I know, state assistance is granted when total household income qualifies an individual. That means when he filled out his paperwork, he did not fill out your income included with his (which you said was zero). Now if you make low enough, being that you are 3 total, he may still qualify- but be certain it won’t make sense if you claim him and then he isn’t reporting your income as part of the income that supports him-in order to qualify for his insurance. Also know that it doesn’t necessarily mean he will lose it, as there are tiers and different levels. Also this differs according to the state you live in. Best best is to check out your state’s health care offerings and see what the income limits are. Also I do not think that it matters about his mailing address. Many people have different mailing addresses- what matters is where the person physically was during the year. You can claim him as a non relative only if he was physically living with you for the whole year.

  3. My daughter and I live with myself and my significant other. I am 100 % disabled and she claims me. Usually she would claim my daughter. This year she is a junior in high school and I am concerned that the money my significant other makes will affect her ability to acquire financial aid when she is ready to attend college…me being disabled she is eligible for help with college…can you advise how this may work for our case?

  4. Can my son claim his girlfriend and her child if he supported them 100% for the entire year (she did not have any income herself) and they lived with him the entire year as well?

  5. I want to claim my boyfriend on my taxes this year. He made under $3900 and lived with me the entire year yet he receives financial aid for school and he owes money to the IRS from past tax seasons. Will this effect my refund?

  6. If my girlfriend and my son live with and I claim both of them as dependants can I still claim Single Head of Household? We are not married and she has no income.

  7. I live with my boyfriend all year and I have zero income. He messed up his checking account years ago, and he now just deposits cash into my bank account to cover expenses each month. Will it cause problems that I have no income, yet deposit cash into my acct every month?

  8. Can my boyfriend/ sons father claim me on his taxes I worked part time and only made about 2500 does he have to claim my income? Also I attended a month long class at aims for about $600 can that be used as a write off? And we have lived together for about five years but the last five months we both had to move in with my parents till we found a house to rent can that cause a problem? Thank you

  9. Can I claim my girlfriend as a dependent? I moved in with her and we been living together since 2012 and we have a son together. She doesn’t have any income as she is a stay home mom. I pay for all the Bills and any medical expensive they have. Would i be able to claim her?

  10. my three daughters and i live with my boyfriend since feb 2013 i dont work can he claim the four of us on his taxes as he has supported us .. the only problem i have is i dont recieve any mail as it gets sent to my moms is that an issue

  11. My son has a girlfriend who has worked little and he provides her support. He works full-time and her only contribution is that she gets food stamps. I recommended that he see if he can claim her on his taxes. He’s afraid that if he does, he will mess up her food stamps which is the only thing she does that helps financially. His he correct or are these two totally different things? They live in Oregon.

    • I am a Welfare Caseworker in Pennsylvania and deal with the Food Stamps program daily (we follow federal policy, so it’s the same throughout the U.S.). If your son claims his girlfriend on his taxes, this will have no effect on her Food Stamps.

      • what about my child’s Medicaid? they asked me at my interview if anyone else could claim him and his father cannot but now my friend I live with is asking if he can claim us since I did not work last year and I was told it would stop his Medicaid if I did

      • Teresa,

        I saw your question and I will get back to you tomorrow when I can respond in full. Also, it would not allow me to respond to your post — only to my original post.

      • Theresa,
        What state do you live in? Currently all states are subject to what we call “MAGI” rules and there are very specific ways we determine eligibility for households that have children. We look not only at tax dependency status but also relationship to the child. You stated that your friend with whom you live would like to claim your son. If your friend is not-related, then he should have absolutely NO EFFECT on your son’s Medicaid eligibility — regardless if your friend claims your son. Your friend is not a parent and does not have “care and control” of your child. You do. This is important when it comes to the new MAGI rules. I’m guessing that the caseworker you spoke with was unsure about the rules and just threw it out there that your son would lose Medicaid. Once they process the case, they’ll probably realize at that point that your friend has no bearing on your son’s Medicaid eligibility.

  12. Can I claim my girlfriend and my daughter on my taxes. We all live with my in-laws, and it was for the whole 2013 year,the only thing is we don’t have any papers that show we all lived at the same address.

  13. Can my husband and I claim a friend who lives with us but does not have any income? Also, this same friend owes back taxes and I wondered if that would affect our refund.
    Thanks!!

  14. My boyfriend is filing his tax return and we have some questions. He is claiming my daughter as a dependent, and he wants to claim me too. We both rely on his financial support. The thing is, we do not live together. My daughter and i live with my aunt. He works during the weeks and comes home on weekends, so he still primarily lives with his parents. Can he still claim us?

    • Hi Samantha,
      Unfortunately one of the first test for claiming a non-relative is that you have to live together the entire year so he would not be able to claim you and your daughter. Only relatives you claim are not required to live with you.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  15. I’m still legally married to someone that is filing as head of household for himself and our two biological children. I filed as head of household for myself and my son (his stepson) last tax year. In 2013 I only earned $3000 as a private contractor. Can my live in boyfriend who has supported me and my son all of 2013 claim us as dependents? He’s already planning on claiming our baby boy that was born last October. I guess my question is does it matter that I’m still legally married to someone else that hasn’t given me any child or spousal support? Our divorce should be finalized this March.

  16. Almost a year ago I left my wife to be on my own but during that process I met this girl, who is from a different country from honduras and here in the USA for 7 years. We’ve been together since April of 2013 and depends on me till now can I claim her as a dependent in my taxes? She is not a USA citizen but she’s been here 7 years.

    • Vt,

      The answer is maybe.

      Is your girlfriend a permanent US alien? Does she have a permanent alien card and has she been issued a US Social Security card? If so, then you will likely be able to claim her. If she does not have permanent status and does not has her own US Social Security number, then you cannot claim her. See this page on the IRS site: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Six-Important-Facts-about-Dependents-and-Exemptions-1
      See point six and be sure to read IRS Pub 501 for additional information.

      Denise M

  17. If I claim my boyfriend as a dependent and he owes child support, will his debt become my debt? Will the child support he owes come out of my return?

    Secondly, he has medicaid and I have insurance through my place of employment. Will this be a problem?

    • Jennifer,
      Neither of these conditions should be a problem. You can claim your BF if he lived with you the entire year, if you paid for at least 50% of his expenses, and if he made less than $3900 for the year. His child support debt will not become your debt because you claimed him as a dependent; the debt is in his name specifically through Domestic Relations and not yours and you would not be responsible regardless of your tax claiming status. As for Medicaid, claiming him will have no effect. I work for Welfare in Pennsylvania. As long as you are not married, then your income will not effect his Medicaid eligibility and we do not use tax relationships to determine this. It may be different if he were sent to the Federal Marketplace for coverage, but he is receiving state Medicaid, so you have no worries.
      Denise M

  18. My boyfriend has made too much to claim him as a dependent, but had only worked three months last year, otherwise supported by ME. He wants to know if I can claim his children since I supported them.

  19. My girlfriend is receiving housing assistance and food stamps. Could I claim her as a dependent? Would this effect her benefits in any way? Does the Food Stamp office check with the IRS?

    • I work for Welfare in Pennsylvania. We do not check with the IRS and we do not report to the IRS if we see anything that would contradict what has been reported before (this is at least how it is done in Pennsylvania; we are guided by Federal policy for most things so I imagine it is the same throughout the US). You can claim your GF as a dependent only if she lived with the you entire year (if so, are you both on the HUD lease?), if you provided more than 50% of her support (excluding her public assistance, which is not reportable to the IRS), and if she did not earn more than $3900 that year.

      Denise M

  20. My fiancé works and pays for all expenses while I go to school part time and care for our son. I am 25, can he claim me? And if so do I still have to file my own taxes?

  21. Is my finacee able to claim me I stay at home going to school online he supports me and are kids we are not married. And I received tax papers for college can he claim that also for me going to college?

  22. I qualify as a dependent on my sons tax return as I live with him and have no income. But I owe back taxes, will this affect his refund?

  23. my husband is diasable he is 62 he recive 1.860,00 per month di make 18.000 per year i have my 2 grand kids with us do ineed to put my husband disability
    thank you very much

    • Spouses are not considered dependents. They are exemptions. On a joint return you can calim one exemption for yourself and one for your sapouse. See IRS Pub17.

  24. my boyfriend and I have been living together for almost 2 years now, and I am the sole supporter of our household. he had a job for a couple of months but did not make much at all (I think 6 or 7 checks all less than 125$) should we file together or separate and I claim him as a dependent? He is 22 and I am 21.

    • Based on this brief information given you can claim your boyfriend. You would only file together if you were legally married.
      I agree with TurboTaX Lisa as she stated previously:
      You would be able to claim him as long as:
      – he lived with you the entire year.
      – you provided over half of his support.
      – he did not earn more than $3,900

  25. I made over $3900.00 but under $7,000. My Boyfriend was the sole supporter of myself and my son. Can he at least claim my son?

    • He cannot claim your son unless he is the father. Your son is considered your dependent and quallifying child. See Pub 17 for dependent rules.

      • I’m confused…He doesn’t have to be the father…he CAN claim her son, provided the boy lived with him all year, he provided more than half the support, and the boy made less than $3900…wouldn’t he be considered an “other” dependent (NOT a qualifying child)??

  26. I live in Mississippi and for the past year My fiance has been a stay at home dad with our two children. He has lived with me the entire year and I do provide 100% for him and our children. Is it true that I can claim him? He is 24 years old so I wanted to make sure I could before I tried and ended up getting into trouble with the IRS. This is also my first year doing taxes completely by myself I feel so lost.

  27. My boyfriend and are child live together and he worked all year and I did not but I was doing selfemploye childcare can he file me with my selfemploye and are child?

  28. I am younger then my g/f but I take care of her and pay for everything. She has lived with me the entire year and has made 0 income. Does she qualify as a dependent?

  29. Same sex couple-

    Can my fiancée claim me this year as I was unemployed this year and attending school. We have the same address, but I did receive unemployment benefits for part of the year. Also, we have a daughter who is biologically mine, can she claim her as well. Same address.

    • Hi,
      Your fiancee can claim you as long as you lived with her the entire year, you did not make over $3,900 taxable income for the year, and she provided over half of your support. There would have to be the same requirements for your daughter, as well as no one else could claim her in order for your fiancee to claim her.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I have been seperated from my husband since the day after we married. I am not divorced yet its been 3 yrs. I have lived we my boyfriend for 2 years. I am disabled and dont work. Can myboyfriend claim me. I live in tx.

  30. i live with my girlfriend and we have two children. My girl friend does not work I am the only one that works. I know I can claim my two children, can I claim also?

  31. Okay a got a hard one here. I am married, but she and I separated in 2009 and have not spoke since. I have not been able to find her to divorce her. I am currently engaged and provide all of the income, can I claim my current partner?

    • Hi Timothy,
      You would be able to claim her as long as:
      – She lived with you the entire year.
      – You provided over half of her support.
      – She did not earn more than $3,900
      – Your relationship doesn’t violate your local law.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  32. I have a few questions so please bare with me, I claimed my son last year and will be claiming him for 2013 as well. My girlfriend lives with me, and ive been supporting her and my son since last year. The people who did my taxes last year informed me that claiming her won’t give me any kind of break. Even though she made no money, and lives with me all year round. Is that true? My other question is, should I change my exemption on my w4’s? Since im my and trying to claim my girlfriend. I currently claim 0, but I feel like I need to be claiming more since I need more money each week. I just don’t want to owe money at the end of the year. Is it going to effect my refund if I switch from 0 to 1 or 2 even tho the year is half way over? Please any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  33. Can my boyfriend claim me and our child as dependents if I received pregnancy medicaid in NC because I am technically single and they don’t include household income in the requirements?

  34. Hey, I was wondering, does age play a difference in how much money you will get back? How much money should my boyfriend (26) be getting for claiming me (20) as a dependent? He provides all income and we’ve lived together for over a year, and I haven’t had a job. Thank you.

  35. Hi,

    I’ve been in a same sex relationship for over 7 years and we do live together. In 2012 my partner did not work. Can I claim her on my taxes? We live in AZ.

    Thanks,

  36. Can i still claim my boyfriend if he owes the IRS in back taxes? He did not earn more than $3500 for 2012. He’s lived with me for 2 yrs, he is a citizen. Thank you!

  37. What do I need to claim my girl friend. She has lived with me for a year and has not had a job or any income. Do we need to be common law.

    • Hi Jeremy,
      As long as you:
      -Provide over half of her support
      -She lived with you the entire year
      -She did not earn more than $3,800 the entire year
      -She was a US Citizen, National, or resident of Mexico or Canada
      you can claim her. For proof of residency she would need to have documents like car registration,voters registration with your address.
      Thank you,
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      • I’m in a similar situation with my boyfriend, and know I can claim him. My only hold up is that neither of us changed our address from our parents’, will that matter?

  38. can I claim my gf on my taxes she did not work and went to school full time but she is five months older than i am does that matter? do i need to be older than my dependents?

    • Did you read the chart? You can claim a grandparent…

      no, you don’t have to be older than your dependents.

  39. What if i rent out a room from someone and my girlfriend lives with me? Could i then claim her? She didn’t have a job.

  40. I am not sure where you’re getting your information, however great topic. I must spend a while finding out much more or working out more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  41. Carrie, The link you posted is not relevant. Also, it seems to me that Federal taxes and state taxes are two separate issues. One may not qualify for an exemption on their state income tax and still qualify as a dependent on the federal income tax. Folks should check with their local CPA or tax preparer before they decide they cannot claim this deduction.

  42. My girlfriend qualifies as my dependent. She earned $2,400.00 last year with no taxes withheld and and doesn’t need to file a return on her own. Since she qualifies as my dependent on my tax return do I need to include her $2,400.00 earnings on my tax return?

Leave your comment* = required field