Understanding Tax Dependent Eligibility for Domestic Partners

Are you aware that under certain circumstances, you could be eligible to claim your domestic partner as a dependent on your tax return? At The Law Office of J. Michael Clay, we offer knowledgeable guidance on navigating the complexities of tax law so that you can optimize your tax filings. Here’s what you need to know about the possibility of claiming your partner as a tax dependent.

For a successful claim, you must satisfy five key criteria:

  1. Support: It’s imperative that you are the primary provider for your partner, covering at least half of their total annual support. This includes housing, food, clothing, health care, education, and various other necessities.
  2. Citizenship Status: Your partner must either be a U.S. citizen, a resident alien, or a national of Canada or Mexico to qualify as a dependent.
  3. Income Limitations: The gross income of the partner being claimed as a dependent must not surpass a certain amount. It is important to note that this figure does not factor in non-taxable funds such as welfare benefits, non-taxable Social Security, and gifts.
  4. Cohabitation and Relationship Laws: For IRS purposes, your partner can qualify as a dependent if they have lived with you throughout the entire year, given that your relationship does not breach any local laws. Our stance at The Law Office of J. Michael Clay is to advocate for your right to claim your partner; recent legal precedents have cast doubt on the enforceability of local statutes pertaining to cohabitation. Should there be an issue, the IRS may simply recalculate your tax without the dependency credit.
  5. Marital Status: Claiming a married partner is typically not permitted if they file a joint tax return with their spouse. An exception exists if there was no obligation to file a return and the sole purpose was to obtain a refund—the claim can then be made.

At The Law Office of J. Michael Clay, we understand that tax law can be intricate and often daunting. We’re here to provide clarity and help ensure that you don’t miss out on potential benefits. For a more in-depth discussion and a free consultation, please contact us at 210-694-5205. We are committed to advocating for the best possible outcomes for our clients.

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