If you do not file a joint income tax return your parents can still claim you on their income tax return. If you girlfriend claimed herself as a dependent her parents cannot also claim her on their return. She would have to file separately and not claim herself for her parents to be able to claim her.
Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.
You cannot be claimed as a dependent if you and your husband file a joint return. IRC Sec. 152(b)(3) The only exception is if neither of you has any income and you file a return only to get a refund. If your husband has income, he must file a return but you need not join him in a joint return if you have no reportable income.
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(Bryant) Keith Martin