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abwell98
New Member

My husband and I separated Jan. 22, 2017. He claimed me and the children as dependants on his paycheck. When I file separately can I claim the children?

 
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DDollar
Level 4

My husband and I separated Jan. 22, 2017. He claimed me and the children as dependants on his paycheck. When I file separately can I claim the children?

What someone claims as the number of exemptions for payroll tax withholding has nothing to do with how you file your tax returns.  Because you were married on December 31, 2016 you have to file as married. 

You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return.

If you and your spouse don't agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later.

You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules,

As for whether or not you can claim the children, it depends. Since you lived together in 2016, the following IRS rule will apply:

If the parents don't file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year.




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1 Reply
DDollar
Level 4

My husband and I separated Jan. 22, 2017. He claimed me and the children as dependants on his paycheck. When I file separately can I claim the children?

What someone claims as the number of exemptions for payroll tax withholding has nothing to do with how you file your tax returns.  Because you were married on December 31, 2016 you have to file as married. 

You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return.

If you and your spouse don't agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later.

You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules,

As for whether or not you can claim the children, it depends. Since you lived together in 2016, the following IRS rule will apply:

If the parents don't file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year.




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