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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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Can I claim my step children if husband doesnt?

Resolved Question:

Can I claim my step children if husband doesn't?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello mbranham,


If you and your husband plan to file separate tax returns, then either of you may claim the children.


If you file a separate return from your husband and claim the children on your return, any refund which you have coming will still be send to you and will not be held to pay his student loan debt. You do not have to file for injured spouse. That is only required if you file a joint return and want your portion of the refund to still be sent.



Thank you mbranham



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If we file joint, then file injured spouse for myself, is there a place on that joint form to assign myself as the claimant of the step children?
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

Hello again mbranham,


No, there is not. When you file a joint return, the credits for any dependents that you claim would simply be applied to the total tax the two of you owe combined. The way it works is on a percentage basis. Here is an example.


If you file a joint return with your husband and he shows income of $60,000 for the year and you show income of $40,000 for the year, then 60% of any refund you have coming would be held for his student loan and the other 40% of the refund would be sent to you. That is because you earned 40% of the total income. So the credit for the dependents just applies to your total tax bill, and then the refund is split after applying those credits.



Thank you mbranham



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