How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had...
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New Member

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

Long story I won't get into, but my wife has no income (only social security disability). I have only pension income because I am on social security disability as well. Because of no wife income, that is the ONLY reason that I am trying to get around the 11 week wait for Injured Spouse returns; otherwise, I know she would have to file. So how do I file with my wife and one child being a dependent - to get all the tax breaks as though we filed jointly? It doesn't make sense that only her name, no income, etc., makes this HUGE difference. Thanks!
7 Replies
Level 15

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

You cannot claim a spouse as a dependent.  When you are legally married and living together you can only file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately.  You should file as MFJ even if one spouse has little or no income.

Filing jointly you enter the Form SSA-1099 for each of you on your tax return.

 

To enter Social Security benefits reported on form SSA-1099

  • Click on Federal Taxes (Personal using Home and Business)
  • Click on Wages and Income (Personal Income using Home and Business)
  • Click on I'll choose what I work on (if shown)
  • Scroll down to Retirement Plans and Social Security
  • On Social Security (SSA-1099, RRB-1099), click the start or update button

Or enter ssa-1099 in the Search box located in the upper right of the program screen. Click on Jump to ssa-1099

 

However, if the Social Security benefits are the Only income to be reported on the tax return, then there is no reason or need to file a tax return.

New Member

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

Thanks for your response.  This is actually the wife doing the taxes.  I am pretty savvy since I used to process payroll for several companies.  I was just looking for a way to avoid the Injured Spouse that I have been filing for a few  years; it takes WAY too long to process (11 weeks!).  So at the end of your message, you DO say that if I have no income, then I don't even need to file, which I know.  So I guess my question is WHY is it set up like this so that my husband just cannot file without my name; in other words, why is it so important to have my name with no contribution on the form, in order to get the tax breaks for having children, etc., and earned income (again, his income only)?  Also, do you know of any Injured Spouse waivers?  I have researched and see that individuals use them in certain court cases, but it is not a general IRS form.  Thanks!

Level 15

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

He could file separately however the standard deduction is 1/2 that of married, the tax rate is higher and none of the refundable credits are allowed. You may not like the bottom line results. 

New Member

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

Thanks!  Yes, I ran through that and did not like it! 

Here's a question:  I am not required to even file a return.  The first year that we filed for the Injured Spouse was because they took our entire refund even though it was all of my husband's income - I didn't have any income - because I owed taxes from previous years (I really do not but that's another story that I am working on).  What is the risk if I don't file the Injured Spouse this year that they will nab my account this year?  I would at least know this within a week or so, rather than wait, wait, wait for the Injured Spouse to process.  Your thoughts?  Thanks!

Level 15

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

If you file and still have an offset the refund will be grabbed 100% for sure unless you file the injured spouse form.   If you file the injured spouse form WITH the return it processes faster than filing it AFTER you file ... just file it. 

New Member

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

Thanks for your response.  I do know that the return will process faster if I file injured spouse with my return, but that is STILL 11 weeks as compared to 14 weeks.  Obviously, in our situation, we REALLY could use the refund sooner. 

Level 15

How do I claim my wife as a dependent when she had no income; all income is mine. always filed joint but with injured spouse (trying to avoid). I have child as dependent.

Well your only options are to file married filing separately   or married filing jointly.

 

Separately will get you no refundable child tax credits ... to get them you will have to amend later with the 8879 and wait 16+ weeks for that to process. 

 

 

 

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