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01-09-2018 12:03 PM - edited 01-09-2018 12:06 PM
I have been with my Domestic Partner for 4 years. His son moved in with us a year and a half ago. I pay for his food, clothing, shelter, medical needs and health insurance. Can I claim the child as a dependant on my taxes since he has been under my care for over a year?
01-09-2018 12:32 PM
Your partner's son is not related to you. Therefore you would have to be legally married in order to claim him as a qualifying child. If your state recognizes your type of partnership as a legal marriage than you can file a joint return which will allow you to claim the child. Otherwise this child can only be claimed by your partner if they were eligible.
You can however claim the child as a qualifying relative if he lived with you for the entire year.
The difference is that a qualifying child qualifies you for head of household filing status (if you're unmarried), the earned income credit and the child tax credit. A qualifying relative who is not related to you will give you an extra exemption and that's about it, but that's still better than nothing at all and it will still reduce your taxable income.
HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.
Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)
01-09-2018 02:11 PM
The reply by Louis is thorough and excellent. I do have some further thoughts on your situation.
Does your domestic partner file a tax return? He is required to file if his income is $10,400 or more during 2017. If so, he should claim his son as a qualifying child and receive child tax credit (if the son is under 17) and possibly earned income credit (EIC). Even if his income is less than $10,400 he should file and claim his son to see whether he can get EIC.
There is the possibility that your domestic partner himself can be claimed as a qualifying relative. If so, and you haven't claimed him in past years, you can amend past year returns and get additional refund.
I hope the foregoing is useful.