Claim Your Sweetheart on Your Taxes

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Most of you don’t know that you can actually claim your wonderful significant other on your tax return as a dependent.

Yes, you heard me right.  You can claim that broke boyfriend or girlfriend on your taxes.  I mean didn’t reading those first two sentences put a smile on your face after thinking about how you come home every day from work seeing that “soul mate” sleeping on the couch with “your” empty bag of chips laying on the floor beside them.  Instead of seeing that list of potential jobs written down on the pad of paper you had placed on the coffee table before you left out to go to work that morning (hint, hint).  You bust your butt every day to provide a comfortable place for the both of you to live and eat, don’t you think you deserve a break.  Don’t get me wrong there are those of you who have wonderful significant others who you adore and they are trying so hard to find a job while helping you out by cleaning the house and having dinner ready when you get home – Now that’s a Sweetheart!  Both of these scenarios are very common and both can give you a little tax relief at tax time.

Unfortunately a lot of taxpayers are missing out on this opportunity to claim your boyfriend or girlfriend on your tax return because you do not know a lot about the tax laws or because you go to one of those “tax franchises” that get you in and out with their basic training. I had posted a link on our FB Page stating “Ten Reasons Why You Still Need A Tax Pro” which this would be a good reason to use one.  Check out the info graphic from SmartCenter on the article.

Anyways, back to the subject of taking an exemption for the love of your life.  A federal exemption is earnings that get subtracted from a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). They are often applied when claiming children or qualifying relatives as dependents.  Each year the exemptions increase; for 2013 it was $3,900 and now for the coming tax year 2014 it will be $3,950.

There are necessary criteria in order to be able to claim a boyfriend or a girlfriend on your taxes and you must ensure you take precautions when doing so.  Make sure you have documents that show proof of your financial support like receipts or bank statements showing those items.  If you don’t have proof of residency you may want to get a notarized letter from your landlord or neighbor, but if the person has mail or other proof of residency then that will work as well.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have tests that needs to be met before you are able to claim the significant other on your return.

  • Support Test – You provided more than half of his/her support
  • Relationship Test – He/she must have lived with you throughout the entire year as a member of the household
  • Non-Qualifying Child Test – She/he cannot be a qualifying child
  • Income Test – The significant other (boyfriend/girlfriend) cannot have made more than $3,900 (2013), $3,950 (2014)

Here are some other facts to consider:

  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent by anyone else
  • The person must be a U.S. citizen
  • Your relationship cannot violate local laws
  • Both of you cannot not file taxes jointly

I hope this information was helpful and I would advise you to speak to your tax pro for guidance to make sure you get the most out of your tax filing year.  Feel free to leave a comment or email me at debbie@dmtbookkeeping.com for any further questions or comments.  Also, don’t forget to check out our website at www.dmtbookkeeping.com.

Have a wonderful day!

Debbie Thomas, EA