|FAQ Keyword 115
||2006 Tax Year
Keyword: Married Filing Separately
My wife and I are married filing separately. We have one son and
we meet all of the dependency exemption tests. We contributed an equal amount
to our son's support and want to know if we both can claim him on our separate
Refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction
and Filling Information, for more information.
A dependency exemption may only be claimed on one return. Since your son
is a qualifying child for both of you, you and your wife can decide who will
claim the child. If you cannot agree on who will claim him refer to Tie-Breaker
Rule in Publication 501
My husband and I were separated the last 11 months of the year and
our two children lived with me. My husband provided all the financial support.
Who can claim the children as dependents on the tax return?
Since your children lived with you for the greater part of the year, you
are considered the custodial parent and you are the parent who is eligible
to claim them as dependents on your tax return if the other dependency tests
are met. Your husband is the noncustodial parent and would only be able to
claim the children if you release your claim to the exemption by completing Form 8332 (PDF), Release of Claim to Exemption for Child
of Divorced or Separated Parents, or signing a substantially similar
statement. Please be aware that if you release your claim to the dependency
exemption for a child, you may not claim a Child Tax Credit for that child.
Refer to Publication 501, Exemption, Standard Deduction, and
Filing Information or Publication 504, Divorced or Separated
Individuals, for more information on the special rule for children of
divorced or separated parents.
My spouse and I are filing separate returns. How can we split our
If you and your spouse file separate returns and one of you itemizes deductions,
the other spouse will have a standard deduction of zero. Therefore, the other
spouse should also itemize deductions.
You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain
expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. Deductible
expenses that are paid out of separate funds, such as medical expenses, are
deductible by the spouse who pays them. If these expenses are paid from community
funds, the deduction may depend on whether or not you live in a community
property state. In a community property state, the deduction is, generally,
divided equally between you and your spouse. For more information refer to Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals; and Publication 555, Community
Can I claim an education credit if I am married but file separately?
No. Neither the Hope Credit nor the Lifetime Learning Credit can be claimed
if the individual is married but filed a separate return.
My wife and I have two children and we are going to file separate
returns this year. Can we each claim one child for the earned income credit?
In order to qualify for the earned income credit, your filing status cannot
be married filing separately. If you are married, you usually must file a
joint return to claim the earned income credit.
However, if you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at
any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as
head of household. In that case, you may be able to claim the earned income
Please refer to Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, for
a complete discussion of the earned income credit. Refer to Publication 501, Exemptions,
Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for the head of household
filing status rules.
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