Q&A: Can I Claim My Girlfriend as a Dependent on My Taxes or Is Saving Money on My Return Impossible?

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:

  1. He/she is a U.S. citizen, or resident of the U.S., Canada or Mexico.
  2. You provided more than 50% of the dependent’s financial support.
  3. He/she lived in your home all year.
  4. 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.

Photo credit: hoyasmeg