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What defines a domestic partnership in Oregon for a heterosexual couple? Can the domestic

What defines a domestic partnership...
What defines a domestic partnership in Oregon
for a heterosexual couple? Can the domestic partnership be used to claim a child for purposes of the Earned Income Credit?
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5/13/2013
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
Verified

MyVirtualCPA :

Thanks for asking your question! I'm sorry to hear about your tax issue and I'm going to try my best to help you understand or resolve it.

MyVirtualCPA :

Are you asking about the Earned Income Credit, which is a federal benefit?

MyVirtualCPA :

Could you please expand on your question?

Customer:

I have been with my girlfriend for the past 8 years. She had a child I thought to be mine. I have been there for his birth and have been with him all of his life. Now I have discovered he is not my biological son. He and my girlfriend are still living with me. Can I claim him for the EIC since I have been there and raised him and been living eith the childs mother as husband and wife for the last 8 years?

MyVirtualCPA :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation! I'll help you navigate the tax impact of this

MyVirtualCPA :

So, you're asking if your girlfriend's son can be your dependent on your tax return, to qualify for the EIC on your earnings

MyVirtualCPA :

Not her earnings, correct? Because you can't file a joint return. You aren't legally married

Customer:

Yes, I have been advised he needs to be my biological child or I have to be his stepfather. Can I qualify to be his stepfather if I have been living with the mother for 8 years and am listed as his stepfather on the childs school records?

Customer:

I provided all the support for the household, my girlfriend does not have any earnings.

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, but for tax purposes this child would not be your qualifying child

MyVirtualCPA :

Unless you adopt him

MyVirtualCPA :

You can claim the child as a dependent on your return; however, he would not qualify you for the EIC

MyVirtualCPA :

  • Relationship — the taxpayer’s child or stepchild (whether by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these.

  • Residence — has the same principal residence as the taxpayer for more than half the tax year. Exceptions apply, in certain cases, for children of divorced or separated parents, kidnapped children, temporary absences, and for children who were born or died during the year.

  • Age — must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under the age of 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year, or be permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year.

  • Support — did not provide more than one-half of his/her own support for the year.

MyVirtualCPA :

I have just copied the requirements to claim the EIC above

MyVirtualCPA :

http://www.irs.gov/uac/A-%E2%80%9CQualifying-Child%E2%80%9D

Customer:

Does that apply even if I would be considered a domestic partner under Oregon laws?

MyVirtualCPA :

You say your girlfriend had no income, so you could claim both her and her son as dependents

MyVirtualCPA :

Yes, because the IRS does not recognize domestic partnerships the same way they do marriage

Customer:

What about common law marriage?

MyVirtualCPA :

Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Utah and Texas recognize common law marriage, but Oregon does not.

MyVirtualCPA :

Therefore you could not claim this as a common law marriage for federal income tax purposes

MyVirtualCPA :

And it's too late to make the change for 2012. You would have had to have had the status as of December 31

MyVirtualCPA :

I'm truly sorry about this.

Customer:

Thank you.

MyVirtualCPA :

You're welcome

MyVirtualCPA :

Please take a moment to rate my response "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
Verified
Megan C and 87 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
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Megan C
Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16,581
16,581 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level

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