All Things Tax

All Things Tax

Like the title says, from the filing process and tax questions to tax policy and reform, you can search and share All Things Tax here. This is the place to find answers to all your general questions that don't fall under the other categories. And just a reminder: questions about software or online filing should be posted in DIY Products.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-09-2018

Domestic Partner's Child

[ Edited ]

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? 

Trusted Council Member
Posts: 6,191
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Domestic Partner's Child

Hi Kizmet13,






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.




  1. The child must be related to you.
  2. The child must live with you for more than half of the year.
  3. The child must provide less than 50% of his or her own support.
  4. The child must not file a joint return with another taxpayer.
  5. The child must not be the dependent of another taxpayer.
  6. The child must be under age 19 or under age 24 and in school full time.



  1. The person must live with you for the entire year OR be related to you.
  2. The person must earn less than $4,050 for the year.
  3. The person must receive more than 50% of his or her support from you.
  4. The person must not be the dependent of another taxpayer.



  1. You must pay more than 50% of the upkeep costs of your home (mortgage or rent, insurance, repairs, food, utilities) for the entire year.
  2. You must have either a qualifying child or a qualifying relative who is related to you.
  3. You must not be married or you must meet the exception to filing using the MFS filing status for those who are separated but not legally divorced.



If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.



Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)

Associate (Neighbor)
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎03-22-2016

Re: Domestic Partner's Child

Hi Kizmet13:


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.


Simon Tung

(Tax Preparer)