You have claimed your spouse's exemption on a return with a married filing separate status

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? You have claimed your spouse's exemption on a return with a married filing separate status
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    It means you put down your spouse's social security number as a dependent on your return.  When you file as Married Filing Separate you are only filing a return for yourself.  You each have to file your own return.  Maybe you meant to check the Married Filing Joint box.  

    Check your information under Personal Info and make sure you didn't claim your spouse as a dependent or change your return to a joint return.
    • no, i want to file separate; i am not claiming him as a dependent . . . i just want to change my exemptions from 1 (myself) to 2 (both of us)
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    As has been mentioned already here, if you file a Joint return you can claim an exemption for your spouse.  But if you are filing separate returns, or as head of household, you can still claim an exemption for your spouse, but only if you meet all of the following:
    • Your spouse has no gross income.
    • Your spouse is not filing a return.
    • Your spouse was not another taxpayer's dependent.

    I know this first-hand because my situation meets all the above criterion.  (On a separate note, I am a US Citizen living 365 days/yr in Japan and my wife is a Japanese citizen with no SSN.   For that reason the IRS does not allow E-Filing.  The return must be printed on paper and mailed back to the states.)


    Notes:

    If your spouse could be claimed as someone else's dependent, you cannot claim the exemption, even if the other taxpayer does not claim the exemption for your spouse.

    If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry, you can claim an exemption for your spouse if you are filing a joint return in the year of your spouse's death.


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      Change your exemptions where?  On your tax return or for your withholding at work?  If you file as Married Filing Separate you only get 1 exemption for yourself.  You can't take the exemption for your spouse.  You probably should file a Joint return even if only 1 person works.  Joint is the best way to file.  It has the lowest tax rates.
      • When you are filing separate and you don't include your spouses information, it asks you three questions or none of the above, and if your spouse isn't filing, no one can claim him, and something else it adds him as a credit or claims him for you as a credit, even though your filing separate. Then when your fixing errors the system shows the error for the credit it gave you for the spouse. EVEN THOUGH you are filing separately. How do you fix it so it doesn't claim the spouse anymore and just yourself.
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