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Can a married couple who files jointly each claim all their dependents? My husband and I have 4 children. I'm wondering if we can EACH claim all 4?

Like on my W4 I claim 4 and on his W4 he claims 4, is that possible or should I claim 2 and he claims 2?
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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
pk
Level 15
Level 15

Can a married couple who files jointly each claim all their dependents? My husband and I have 4 children. I'm wondering if we can EACH claim all 4?

urban_04@hotmail , the purpose of the W-4  "claiming" is to make sure that your tax withholdings are generally  adequate  i.e.   when you file your return  you do not owe  and perhaps  even get a refund.  Since you have four children, if you each  "claim" four , the withholdings  are likely to be reduced such that at the  during the year you have more  money but  when  you file your return  you may be under withheld and therefore owe tax ( and may be interest & penalty for owing more than  allowed ).   So I would suggest  that  (a)  each of you claim ONLY two if  your earnings are about the same ( for each spouse ) or (b) claim  2 or 3   for the spouse with substantially lower earnings let the  higher earner get a higher withholding --- this way you will be likely over-withheld and  ensure a small refund.   Of course , you can run TurboTax  with these suggestion and see which one gets you the best tax and cash flow situation.

 

Does this help or can I do more for you ?

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3 Replies

Can a married couple who files jointly each claim all their dependents? My husband and I have 4 children. I'm wondering if we can EACH claim all 4?

You can each claim whatever you want.  Your W4 doesn't have to match your actual tax return.  The W4 is just to tell your employer how much withholding to take out.  Only you know how much tax you need to cover.  But if you both have income you pay a higher tax on your combined income so you may need to have more tax withholding taken out of your pay.  That means you need to claim less allowances on the W4.

pk
Level 15
Level 15

Can a married couple who files jointly each claim all their dependents? My husband and I have 4 children. I'm wondering if we can EACH claim all 4?

urban_04@hotmail , the purpose of the W-4  "claiming" is to make sure that your tax withholdings are generally  adequate  i.e.   when you file your return  you do not owe  and perhaps  even get a refund.  Since you have four children, if you each  "claim" four , the withholdings  are likely to be reduced such that at the  during the year you have more  money but  when  you file your return  you may be under withheld and therefore owe tax ( and may be interest & penalty for owing more than  allowed ).   So I would suggest  that  (a)  each of you claim ONLY two if  your earnings are about the same ( for each spouse ) or (b) claim  2 or 3   for the spouse with substantially lower earnings let the  higher earner get a higher withholding --- this way you will be likely over-withheld and  ensure a small refund.   Of course , you can run TurboTax  with these suggestion and see which one gets you the best tax and cash flow situation.

 

Does this help or can I do more for you ?

rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Can a married couple who files jointly each claim all their dependents? My husband and I have 4 children. I'm wondering if we can EACH claim all 4?

Use the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS web site to figure out what you should each put on your W-4 forms.


Tax Withholding Estimator

 

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