Posted by Thomas G Kinsella, ATP

Can I Claim my Girlfriend/Boyfriend as a Dependent on my Return?

Can I Claim my Girlfriend/Boyfriend as a Dependent on my Return?

If you and your heartthrob are not married but living together, there is a probability you share a lot of expenses. Also, one of the parties might relieve the other financially. In this case, it is natural to wonder if claiming your partner as a dependent can qualify you for any tax benefits. 

One way to bring down your tax obligation is by claiming a dependent on your tax return. However, when does your unmarried partner count as a dependent?

This article sheds light on how you can claim your unmarried partner as a dependent on your tax return according to specifications from Uncle Sam. 

Claiming Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend as Dependent: Any Benefits?

Before you can claim someone as a dependent, you must be offering financial support to the fellow. In other words, you are responsible for their feeding, clothing, housing, and other necessities. As long as you were responsible for over half of their financial support in the year, you qualify to claim them as a dependent. With this, you save money by reducing your taxable income. 

As long as you meet the specifications laid down by Uncle Sam, be sure to claim your partner as a dependent when it is time to file your tax. 

Regulations for Claiming Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend as a Dependent

Uncle Sam has some specific rules regarding who qualifies as a dependent on a tax return. There are couples that do not even meet the criteria, meaning they have to file as individuals if they are not married. If you are not sure if you can claim your unmarried partner or not, be sure to get in touch with a tax professional to help you with the filing process. 

Guidelines from the IRS dependent rules reveal that only kids and relatives that qualify may be claimed as dependents. However, the term "relative" should not confuse you. Your partner (unmarried) might qualify as a relative based on regulations put forward by Uncle Sam, provided the person meets some specifications. 

Here are IRS requirements that one MUST meet to claim a girlfriend or boyfriend as a dependent on the Return:

You must live together. 

You must have lived together with your partner (Your girlfriend or boyfriend) for at least six months in a year. Living for a shorter period disqualifies you from claiming them as a dependent. 

Your Partner must earn below $4.050

In claiming either your girlfriend or your boyfriend as a dependent, the person must have earned less than $4,050 in the tax year.

A partner who earned above $4,050 in a tax year cannot be claimed as a dependent because Uncle Sam believes that the earning is enough to take care of them. With this, even if you live with them in a tax year and they earned above the specified threshold, claiming them on your tax return will not be possible. 

Over 50% of their Financial Support Must come from you. 

Provided you are responsible for more than 50% of your partner's basic living expenses, claiming them as a dependent is possible. Things that qualify as living expenses are education, housing, medical bills, and others. 

One, however, needs to keep track of the expenses as Uncle Sam will need it as proof that you were responsible for over 50% of their financial support. This involves documentation, bills, receipts, etc. 

Situations in which you cannot claim your Partner as a Dependent 

Sadly, some caveats with the IRS regulations specified above might restrict you even if you meet the qualifications above. 

For instance, if another person already claimed your partner, claiming the person will be impossible. Only one taxpayer can claim a dependent. As a result, if your partner has been claimed as a dependent by the parent, ex, children, or others, you cannot claim them. 

Process of Claiming a Partner on taxes 

With the idea of whether you can claim your partner on your tax return or not, the next question is to wonder how you can make a claim on your Return. 

In filing your tax return, the portion designated as “other qualifying dependent” is what you need. Make sure to get in touch with a tax professional for additional assistance. 



Thomas G Kinsella, ATP
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