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I was told I could claim my deceased spouse for 2 years. He passed in 2018. How do I claim him on my return?

 
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Level 15

I was told I could claim my deceased spouse for 2 years. He passed in 2018. How do I claim him on my return?

No you misunderstood.  You can file a Joint return the year he died.  Then if you have a child you can file as qualified widow for 2 years.  You can't claim him for 2 years.

 

For the next two years following a husband's or wife's death, the surviving spouse can file as a qualifying widow or widower if they have a qualifying child. That basically lets you continue to use the same tax brackets that apply to married-filing-jointly returns.  After the year of death if you don't have a child you file as Single.

 

See

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/using-turbotax/help/how-should-i-file-my-return-if-my-spouse-recen...

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Level 15

I was told I could claim my deceased spouse for 2 years. He passed in 2018. How do I claim him on my return?

In the year of the spouse's passing you can file as Married Filing Jointly.  For two years after the year of passing, if you have a qualified child as a dependent, then you can file as a Qualifying Widow.

If you do not have a qualifying child as a dependent then you can only file as Single if you have not re-married.

Level 15

I was told I could claim my deceased spouse for 2 years. He passed in 2018. How do I claim him on my return?

No you misunderstood.  You can file a Joint return the year he died.  Then if you have a child you can file as qualified widow for 2 years.  You can't claim him for 2 years.

 

For the next two years following a husband's or wife's death, the surviving spouse can file as a qualifying widow or widower if they have a qualifying child. That basically lets you continue to use the same tax brackets that apply to married-filing-jointly returns.  After the year of death if you don't have a child you file as Single.

 

See

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/using-turbotax/help/how-should-i-file-my-return-if-my-spouse-recen...

View solution in original post

Level 15

I was told I could claim my deceased spouse for 2 years. He passed in 2018. How do I claim him on my return?

So sorry for your loss.  That is not exactly how it works.  For the year that your spouse passed,  (2018)  you could file a joint return.  For 2019 and 2020, IF you still have dependent children who you are supporting, you can file as a widow and you will still get the same standard deduction as if you were filing a joint return which lowers the amount of income you can be taxed on.    You are not claiming your deceased spouse as a dependent on your tax return.

 

However, if there are no qualifying children as your dependents, then you now file Single for 2019.  If you need to file as Single, it would be better for you to use a new account and user ID.  If you use the same account that you used in the past for a joint return, you may encounter a lot of errors that will make it difficult to file.  It is just too hard to remove all the data regarding a spouse from the return.

**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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