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Category: General Questions

What is a "Non-Working Spouse" exemption?

A "Non-Working Spouse" exemption only applies to taxpayers that are filing Married Filing Separate return.

If you are filing a Married Separate (MFS) return, the primary taxpayer can claim an exemption for the spouse only if the spouse:

  • Had no gross income
  • Is not filing a return, AND
  • Was not the dependent of another taxpayer
    • This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent

The IRS allows you to claim this exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for United States tax purposes and satisfies the above listed conditions.

TaxSlayer Entry: When the filing status, Married Filing Separate, is chosen within your TaxSlayer account, after the personal information is added and you continue through to the next area, we will ask if you would like to claim your non-working spouse's exemption.