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vicss396
New Member

Can I claim my wife as a dependent. She is retired and makes less that $12,000.00 in Social Security?

 
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xmasbaby0
Level 15

Can I claim my wife as a dependent. She is retired and makes less that $12,000.00 in Social Security?

You do not “claim” a spouse as a dependent.  By filing as “Married Filing Jointly” you will each get the $4050 personal exemptions and the standard deduction of $12,600 for a married couple.

You can file a joint return even if one of the spouses had little or no income.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

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2 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Can I claim my wife as a dependent. She is retired and makes less that $12,000.00 in Social Security?

You do not “claim” a spouse as a dependent.  By filing as “Married Filing Jointly” you will each get the $4050 personal exemptions and the standard deduction of $12,600 for a married couple.

You can file a joint return even if one of the spouses had little or no income.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
jerry2000
Alumni

Can I claim my wife as a dependent. She is retired and makes less that $12,000.00 in Social Security?

No, you can not.
You can not claim a spouse as a dependent.
See page 11 of IRS Publication 501 which says:

“Your spouse is never considered your dependent.”

You can find IRS Pub 501 at this link:
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

What you can do is to file as married filing jointly. You must report your wife's SS income on your joint return. Do not think that you can avoid tax on her SS by filing separately. There is a special rule if you are married and live together and file separately. That special rule requires the person getting SS to count the SS as gross income when deciding whether to file and 85% of their SS benefit becomes immediately taxable.
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