Can My Boyfriend Claim Me and Our Child on Taxes? Explained

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

As the tax season looms, numerous couples grapple with the optimal way to file their taxes. A frequently asked question is whether a boyfriend can claim his girlfriend and their child as dependents on his tax return. This article elucidates the prerequisites for claiming dependents and offers guidance for couples navigating this issue.

Who can claim dependents?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permits taxpayers to claim dependents if they fulfill certain eligibility criteria, including:

  • Relationship: The dependent must be related to the taxpayer in some way (i.e., child, parent, sibling).
  • Support: The taxpayer must provide more than half of the dependent’s support during the year.
  • Age: For most dependents, they must be under the age of 19 or a full-time student under the age of 24.
  • Residency: The dependent must live with the taxpayer for more than half of the year.

Can your boyfriend claim you and your child?

If you’re unmarried to your boyfriend but share a child, he may still be able to claim both you and your child as dependents on his tax return, provided he meets all of the requirements listed above. However, there are some additional considerations:

  • Legal custody: If only one parent has legal custody of the child according to state law or court order, then that parent gets priority in claiming them as a dependent.
  • Support test: Even if your boyfriend provided financial support for you and your child during the previous year but didn’t cover over half of living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, food costs, and bills’ costs, he will not legally “provide more than half each person’s support.”

What are your options?

If both you and your boyfriend meet all eligibility criteria for claiming dependents but only one person can claim each dependent per qualifying rule from government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you’ll need to decide who will claim each dependent.

Some factors to consider when making this decision include:

  • Tax benefits: Determine which person will benefit the most from claiming dependents, based on their individual tax rates and other deductions.
  • Financial agreement: If both parties contributed equally to supporting a qualifying child during the tax year, then more discussion may be required to figure out which parent or partner should receive the tax credit as per your agreement.


In conclusion, whether a boyfriend can claim his girlfriend and their child as dependents on his tax return depends on many factors. By understanding the eligibility criteria for claiming dependents and working together with your partner or co-parent, you can make the best decision for your family come tax season. Please consult with a qualified professional, such as an accountant, for further guidance on specific cases.


Can my boyfriend claim me and our child on his taxes if we’re not married?

No, your boyfriend cannot claim you as a dependent on his tax return. However, he can claim your child if the child meets certain requirements for being a dependent, such as living with him for more than half of the year and not providing more than half of their own support.

Can both parents claim the same dependent child on their taxes?

No, only one parent can claim a given child as a dependent on their tax return in any given year. The IRS has several tests to determine which parent is eligible to claim the dependency exemption, but generally speaking, it comes down to who provides more financial support for the child or has custody of them.

What happens if both parents try to claim the same dependent child on their taxes?

If both parents attempt to list the same dependent child on their separate tax returns, it will trigger an audit by the IRS. They may require documentation from both parties, such as school records or medical bills, in order to determine which parent is eligible to claim that particular exemption for childcare credit.