Can I Claim EIC on a Domestic Partner's Child?

A federal 1040,1040A or 1040EZ is used to claim the EIC.
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The earned income tax credit, also known as the earned income credit, is a federal and state refundable tax credit for those with low-to-moderate income from working for others or themselves. Taxable earned income can come from tips, salaries, wages, union strike benefits, self-employment earnings and certain disability benefits. To claim the credit, you must meet several conditions, one of which comes with the option of having a qualifying child. A domestic partner cannot claim a partner’s child unless that child meets the federal requirements and your state recognizes such partnerships.

Domestic Partnership

The state that you live in must recognize domestic partnerships. If the state recognizes the partnership, you must be registered with the state’s domestic partner registry. According to the IRS, for a domestic partnership to qualify for tax purposes, it must be registered. If you just say you are in a domestic partnership because the two of you are together, the IRS will not accept this as a true partnership for tax purposes.

Earned Income Credit

To qualify for the earned income credit by having a qualifying child, that child must meet the relationship, age, residency and joint return test. The relationship part of the test is what you will use to determine if you can claim your partner’s child. To claim her child for the EIC, the child must be your foster child that was placed with you by an agency or the courts, a stepchild, a daughter, a son or a descendant such as a grandchild of your foster child, stepchild, daughter or son. If your partner’s child does not fall into any of these groups, you cannot claim that child for the EIC. If the child does not qualify for the federal EIC, you cannot claim that child for the state EIC either.


As a partner, you can claim your domestic partner as a dependent if you provide more than half of her support and the partner lived with you for more than half the tax year. You can claim her child as a dependent if you provide more than half of the child’s care and no one else can legally claim the child on their taxes. This would include a legal guardian or natural parent.

Tax Tips

When you claim your partner’s child and your partner as a dependent on your tax returns, you need to include each person's name, Social Security number and relationship to you. You can use your partner and her child for the exemption on line 42 of Form 1040 or line 26 of Form 1040A, which lowers your taxable income and your tax liability.

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