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Some problems aren't really tax problems

January 14, 2010

'Kristen' has a question for an IRS consultant at

I need to know if I can claim my boyfriend as a dependent on my 2009 taxes. He has been unemployed with no income for whole, I pay for everything for him, and we have lived together.

I did see the answer that a boyfriend could be claimed as a not a qualifying child - a child cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else, but is there a age limit? He turned 25 on December 20th, 09.

I'll take a shot at the answer, Kristen. No, you can't take the deduction. You may qualify, if he is not claimable by anyone else. But that's the least of your problems. When you have a grown man mooching off you while you go out and bring home the bacon every day, it's time to examine more than your 1040.

UPDATE: That's what I get for being a smart-aleck. You can be a "qualifying relative" without being related under IRC 152(d)(2)(H):

An individual (other than an individual who at any time during the taxable year was the spouse, determined without regard to section 7703 , of the taxpayer) who, for the taxable year of the taxpayer, has the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer and is a member of the taxpayer's household.

That means Kristen just may get to claim her boyfriend, at least on her tax return. Thanks to the commenters for setting me straight.

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If they lived together all year, wouldn't boyfriend be a qualifying relative and thus ok as a dependent?


I don't normally disagree with you, but unless they lived together in violation of local law, I think 'Kristen' CAN claim her boyfriend as a dependent.

Rules for a qualifying relative, from Pub 17, are:

1. Not someone else's qualifying child - check

2. Member of household test - if he lived there for the entire year, he passes

3. BF has gross income under $3650 - check

4. GF provides more than half of total support - check

He meets all four tests for qualifying relative, as far as I can see.

I do agree with your last sentence, though.

Robinson and NCTaxPro are correct. I have changed the post accordingly - my apologies.

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