My wife has been my dependent up until now since she hasn't worked this year. We are filing taxes jointly.

She is an English teacher and got a few part-time jobs (on average 5 hours a week each job, but variable hours). I believe from now (late July) until Dec 31st she will make something between 7 and 15 thousand dollars.

What should I do about my tax situation? Particularly, should I "un-claim" her as my dependent? If so, how do I do that?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


If you are married, your wife is not your dependant. You said you file jointly, that won't change. In effect, the income gets stacked on top of yours, whatever bracket you were at with no income from your wife, all of her income starts at that bracket. You should understand the W4 process and try to get your combined withholdings to be close to what's due.

  • If he filed joint returns previously and claimed her (in error) as a dependent should he amend the earlier returns?
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 0:46
  • 4
    Yes. The 1040 has the 2 lines for taxpayer and spouse, then below is space for dependents. It would be a mistake to file jointly, then include the spouse as a dependent. Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 0:50

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