I am planning on paying graduate school tuition fees for my girlfriend of 5 years. During this time, I will be the only one of the two earning money. Since we are not married yet, I am curious whether there are any ways to make my payment (partly) tax deductible. Or is the only way for the deduction to happen by her being my legal spouse?

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Posted by Alix Ryu (MONEY FORUMS: 4, Answers: 2)
Asked on March 9, 2016 11:27 am
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Hi Alix, great question. The IRS rules in general allow for education credits or deductions as appropriate to be taken when qualified expenses are taken for an “eligible student”. An eligible student can be the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or a dependent of the taxpayer. The last provides an avenue where you may be able to claim education expenses. In order to do so, your girlfriend would have to qualify as your dependent for tax purposes. As you would be the sole breadwinner this should be pretty straightforward. There are specific requirements which must be met in order for someone to be your dependent, but there is no requirement that they be spouse or blood relative. I would consider consulting a tax practitioner or at least going through the requirements to claim someone as a dependent in IRS Publication 17 to make sure you have met all the requirements. Good luck!

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Posted by Peter Neeves (MONEY FORUMS: 1, Answers: 59)
Answered: April 2, 2016 4:40 pm