Joint Return Test

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Joint Return Test'

One of the tests administered by the IRS that potential dependents must pass in order to be claimed as such by another taxpayer. The joint return test stipulates that no dependent can file a joint return with a spouse and still be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, such as that of a parent or guardian. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Joint Return Test'

A taxpayer filing a joint return can be claimed as a dependent under two separate exceptions. One is when neither the dependent nor his or her spouse is required to file a tax return, except to claim a refund. The other is when neither the dependent nor his or her spouse would owe any tax if he or she were to file separately instead of jointly. In these cases, another taxpayer may claim this person as a dependent.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Filing Status

    A category that defines the type of tax return form an individual ...
  2. Married Filing Jointly

    A filing status for married couples that have wed before the ...
  3. Joint Liability

    An obligation, including an obligation to repay a debt between ...
  4. Deferred Tax Asset

    A deferred tax asset is an asset on a company's balance sheet ...
  5. Buffett Rule

    A tax rule proposed in 2011, by President Barack Obama, stating ...
  6. Benefits Received Rule

    1. A theory of income tax fairness that says people should pay ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can I add my higher income spouse's name to my Roth IRA in order to raise our contribution ...

    IRS rules prevent you from maintaining joint Roth IRA accounts. However, you may accomplish your goal of contributing larger ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Before You Visit Your Tax Preparer: Do This

    The earlier you start preparing your tax records and documents, the more likely you are to have a smooth tax return experience – and all the tax benefits you're due.
  2. Taxes

    Happily Married? File Taxes Separately!

    Just because you are in love doesn't mean that a joint return is best for both of you.
  3. Taxes

    The Tax Benefits Of Having A Spouse

    Check out the perks designed to promote and preserve your post-work savings - if you're married, that is.
  4. Taxes

    OK, So I'll Be Smarter Next Tax Time

    5 tax resolutions to start on right now for a smoother tax return next April 15.
  5. Taxes

    What To Do If You Lost Your W-2

    There's no need to panic if you don't have your Form W-2 to file taxes, there are easy ways to gain access to the missing form or file without it.
  6. Taxes

    Will Itemized Deductions Get You A Bigger Refund?

    April and taxes are due soon. If you need to file your return, you might have to decide if itemizing your deductions this year will net you a better deal.
  7. Taxes

    The First Thing You Should Do With Your Tax Refund

    Nobody likes to pay taxes, but everyone loves to get a tax refund. When the check arrives in the mail, it's hard to resist spending it on some indulgence.
  8. Taxes

    How Does An IRS Audit Work?

    It doesn't automatically mean an IRS agent will be ringing your doorbell. Here are the different types of IRS audits and how to handle them.
  9. Taxes

    Made A Mistake On Your Tax Return? Don't Panic

    You can always file an amended return. But the sooner you do it, the better.
  10. Taxes

    Business Taxes: Not Paying More Than You Have To

    If you're a small business owner, note these potential tax deductibles so that you don't pay taxes that could have been extra revenue in your account.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. DuPont Analysis

    A method of performance measurement that was started by the DuPont Corporation in the 1920s. With this method, assets are ...
  2. Asset Class

    A group of securities that exhibit similar characteristics, behave similarly in the marketplace, and are subject to the same ...
  3. Fiat Money

    Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat ...
  4. Interest Rate Risk

    The risk that an investment's value will change due to a change in the absolute level of interest rates, in the spread between ...
  5. Income Effect

    In the context of economic theory, the income effect is the change in an individual's or economy's income and how that change ...
  6. Price-To-Sales Ratio - PSR

    A valuation ratio that compares a company’s stock price to its revenues. The price-to-sales ratio is an indicator of the ...
Trading Center