Question

If someone else claims my spouse as a dependent, can I use married filing jointly?

Answer

If you’re filing taxes married, you can always file married filing jointly. The filing status you choose will affect the return of the person claiming your wife or husband as a dependent.

If you file jointly, your spouse can be claimed as someone else’s dependent only if these apply:

  • You file a joint return merely to claim a refund.
  • No tax liability would exist for you or your spouse if you filed separate returns.

Otherwise, you’d have to file married filing separately for your spouse to be claimed as a dependent.

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