Can I claim myself or my spouse as a dependent?
Everybody gets one personal exemption, worth up to $4,050 for tax year 2016, either as a filer or as a dependent.
Because you're already getting your exemption as a filer, the IRS won't let you claim yourself again as a dependent. Same goes for your jointly-filing spouse – their exemption is already accounted for on your return, and putting them down as a dependent (even if you support them 100%) would be double-dipping.
There's only one specific case where you can claim your spouse's personal exemption:
- You're filing your return as Married Filing Separately; and
- Your spouse had no income; and
- Your spouse isn't filing a return; and
- Your spouse isn't being claimed by somebody else as a dependent.
In that case, we'll apply your spouse's exemption to your return.