Can I claim my spouse as a dependent?
You can’t claim spouses as dependents whether he or she maintains residency with you or not. However, you can claim an exemption for your spouse in certain circumstances:
- If you and your spouse are married filing jointly, you can claim one exemption for your spouse and one exemption for yourself.
- If you’re married filing separately, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse:
- Had no gross income
- Isn’t filing a return
- Wasn’t the dependent of another taxpayer, even if the other taxpayer doesn’t actually claim your spouse as a dependent
If you need help handling an estate, we're here to help. Learn how to file taxes for a deceased loved one with H&R Block.
From retirement account contributions to self-employment expenses, learn more about the five most common tax deductions with the experts at H&R Block.
Getting married? Having a baby? Buying a house? Go through your life events checklist and see how each can affect your tax return with the experts at H&R Block.
Donating household goods to your favorite charity? Learn the ins and outs of deducting noncash charitable contributions on your taxes with the experts at H&R Block.