Is a live-in girlfriend or boyfriend tax-deductible?

Jane Bryant Quinn
by Jane Bryant Quinn, Dimespring Contributor  (@janebryantquinn)

 

Maybe, if she wasn’t working last year, or didn’t earn very much. A qualifying partner gives you an extra personal exemption, worth $3,800. This works for same-sex couples, too.

You can claim a live-in friend as a tax dependent if he or she had a gross income of less than $3,800 last year. Your friend had live with you all year (except for temporary absences, which could include a short spat). You also have to have paid more than half or his or her support.

If your friend wasn’t working, those should be easy conditions to meet. If you paid for her education expenses, you get a deduction or tax credit for that, too.

READ: 4 great tax tips for this year's return

If your friend has children who live with you, you might be able to claim personal exemptions for them as well, H&R Block reports. You get the write-off if your friend (earning less than $3,800) isn’t required to file a tax return or filed it only to get a refund.

The children have to live with you fill time, except for temporary absences.

“Temporary” might be weekend visits to their dad but not a co-custody arrangement that takes them away for months. You also have to pay more than half of the children’s support.

You don’t get the tax credit for children. Nor do you get the tax-saving head-of-household filing status, which is reserved for relatives.

But the extra personal exemption adds to the pleasure of living with someone you love.