If my girlfriend and her children live with me and their father isn't around, can I claim my girlfriend and her children as dependents?
First, determine if you can claim your girlfriend. She might be your qualifying relative, which means you can claim her as your dependent if all of these are true:
She lived with you the entire year.
Her gross income was less than $3,800 .
You provided more than 50% of her support for the year.
If you meet all of these tests, you can claim your girlfriend as a dependent.
Next, determine whether you can claim your girlfriend's children. In order for you to claim the children as your dependents, they can't be the qualifying children of your girlfriend Since the children live with their mother, they're likely her qualifying children. This is the case even if you provide most of their support, since the qualifying child support test only requires that the children don't provide more than half their own support.
There's 1 exception where you might be able to claim the children as your dependents. If your fiancée isn't considered a taxpayer, you can potentially claim her children. Your girlfriend isn't considered a taxpayer if 1 of these is true:
She isn't required to file a return.
She doesn't file or only files a return to get a refund.
Even if your girlfriend isn't a taxpayer, the children must still qualify as your dependents by meeting the same 3 tests to be qualifying relatives that your girlfriend had to meet.
Keep in mind — even though you might be able to claim your girlfriend and / or her children, you can't file as head of household, since your relationship to your girlfriend and her child isn't a type that allows head of household filing.
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This advice is for general information purposes only and may not apply to you. Every tax situation is different. This is not intended to be legal advice. Taxpayers should consult an H&R Block Tax Professional regarding their individual tax situation.