Q: Last year, my girlfriend lost her job and I basically supported her. We’re not married, but we do live together — can I claim my girlfriend as a dependent on my tax return to recoup some of the money I spent?
A: The good news is yes, you can claim your unemployed girlfriend (or broke boyfriend) as a dependent on your taxes — IF she passes a number of qualifications.
In order to claim someone who is not a blood-relative as a dependent, they must qualify under the following four conditions:
- He/she is a U.S. citizen, or resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
- You provided more than 50% of the dependent’s financial support.
- He/she lived in your home all year.
- He/she earned less than $3,800 during the 2012 tax year, usually not including Social Security.
If your girlfriend passes these qualification tests, congratulations: You may claim your girlfriend as a dependent on your return and receive a $3,800 exemption on your taxes.
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