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Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15203
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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My boyfriend of 17 years has supported me and my two

Customer Question

My boyfriend of 17 years has supported me and my two grandsons for the last 12 years. can he take us all as dependents? I am on SSI and so is one of the children.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Tax.appeal.168 replied 1 year ago.

For tax purposes, there are two types of dependents, a qualifying child and a qualifying relative. There are strict requirements for both. In order for your boyfriend to claim you and your children, either of the following qualifications have to be met.

Qualifying Child(ren):

Relationship

  • Your son, daughter, adopted child1, stepchild, foster child2 or a descendent of any of them such as your grandchild
  • Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, step brother, step sister or a descendant of any of them such as a niece or nephew

Age

  • At the end of the filing year, your child was younger than you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) and younger than 19
  • At the end of the filing year, your child was younger than you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) younger than 24 and a full-time student
  • At the end of the filing year, your child was any age and permanently and totally disabled3

Residency

  • Child must live with you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) in the United States4 for more than half of the year

Joint Return

  • The child cannot file a joint return for the tax year unless the child and the child's spouse did not have a separate filing requirement and filed the joint return only to claim a refund.

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Qualifying Relative:

An individual must meet all 4 of these requirements in order to be considered your Qualifying Relative.

  1. Not a Qualifying Child: The individual cannot be your Qualifying Child and cannot be someone else's Qualifying Child. They are a Qualifying Child if they meet all the requirements, whether or not they are claimed as a dependent.
  2. Relationship: The person must either have lived with you for the entire year as a member of the household (a person who is not actually related to you may meet the requirements in this way), or be related to you in one of the following ways: your child, stepchild, grandchild or other descendant of one of your children (or stepchildren or foster children), son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, parent, stepfather, stepmother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, grandparent, and, if related by blood, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew. Remember that a child whom you legally adopted is always considered to be your child. Also note that, for the purposes of this requirement, divorce or death does not change any relationship which was established by marriage (e.g. son-in-law, daughter-in-law, etc.)
  3. Gross Income: The person must have made less than $4,000 in gross income during 2015.
  4. Support: You must have provided more than half of the individual's total support during the year.

If the above qualifications are met, then he can claim you and your children as qualifying relatives.

Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you regarding this matter.

Expert:  Robin D. replied 1 year ago.

Hello

I am a different expert and although all the above is correct there is a consideration based on your state residency.

The relationship cannot violate state or local law.

This means that even if you meet all the requirements and you lived together for the entire year, if your state has laws against cohabitation (which Florida still does) then he could not claim you.

He may be allowed to claim the children provided they lived with him all year and the SSI the one received was not more than half the costs to support the child. SSI is not taxable to the child but it is considered income for support in this situation.

Florida does not really enforce the co habitation laws but they are still on the books.

Expert:  Robin D. replied 1 year ago.

Please advise if you need more information