Can I claim my friend as my dependent?

If ALL of the statements below are true, you can claim a boyfriend, girlfriend, domestic partner, or friend as your dependent on your tax return:

Relationship: The person lives in your home for the entire year as a member of your household.

Income:  Earned less than $4,400 in gross income in 2022 (not including Social Security and welfare) 

Support: You must provide more than half the person’s total support during the year. Support includes money spent for food, shelter, clothing, medical or dental expenses, education expenses, and other similar items.

Marital status: You can’t claim someone who’s married and files a joint tax return. You can’t claim someone who is claimed as a dependent on another tax return.

Nationality:  A person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, resident alien, or a resident of Canada or Mexico to be claimed as a dependent.

Personal exemptions are no longer allowed as a deduction to reduce your taxable income. They did exist prior to 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). While the new tax law removed personal exemptions, it increased the standard deduction amount.

For the tax year 2022, the standard deduction amounts are:

  • Single: $12,950
  • Married filing separately: $12,950
  • Head of household: $19,400
  • Married filing jointly: $25,900
  • Qualifying widow(er): $25,900


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