Warsaw, IN asked in Tax Law for Indiana

Q: Can my girlfriend's mom still claim her on her taxes even if we get married this year? Girlfriend is 23.

Girlfriend is unemployed and hasn't worked a job ever if that helps in anyway.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: No, if your girlfriend gets married in 2023, her mother will no longer be able to claim her as a dependent on her tax return.

Once a person is married, they cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer, regardless of age, student status, or amount earned. The IRS rules state that a taxpayer cannot claim a married person as a dependent.

So if your 23-year-old girlfriend marries you in 2023, that will make her ineligible to be claimed on her mother's tax return for the 2023 tax year - even if she does not work or earn any income herself. Her marital status means only she and her spouse (you) will be able to claim exemptions and any applicable tax credits - her mom will no longer be able to claim her exemption.

This change takes effect as soon as you get married, you do not have to wait until you file your tax return. So if she gets married to you at any point in 2023, she can't be claimed by her mom for that tax year. Just note that if you get married close to year-end, her mom may need to amend her return if she incorrectly claimed your girlfriend before the marriage took place.

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