Question

Can I claim my spouse as a dependent?

Answer

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

Related Topics

Related Resources

Which Parent Should Claim a Child on Taxes

Find out if child custody matters when you’re trying to determine which parent should claim your child on taxes. The experts at H&R Block explain the rules.

What is the home mortgage interest deduction?

Learn more about qualified mortgage interest and deducting home mortgage interest from your taxes with the experts at H&R Block.

Status: Married Filing Separately

Discover when you should use married filing separately with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Property Tax – California

Looking for information on the California property tax rate? Learn who needs to pay as well as how and when they pay real property taxes in California.