Who qualifies as a dependent?
Exemptions for Dependents. You can usually claim an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is either your child or a relative who meets a set of tests. You can’t claim your spouse as a dependent. You must list the Social Security number of each dependent you claim on your tax return. For more on these rules, see IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Get Publication 501 on IRS.gov. Just click on the Forms & Pubs tab on the home page.
What is my filing status?
Single. Normally this status is for taxpayers who aren’t married, or who are divorced or legally separated under state law.
Married Filing Jointly. If taxpayers are married, they can file a joint tax return. If a spouse died in 2016, the widowed spouse can often file a joint return for that year.
Married Filing Separately. A married couple can choose to file two separate tax returns. This may benefit them if it results in less tax owed than if they file a joint tax return. Taxpayers may want to prepare their taxes both ways before they choose. They can also use this status if each wants to be responsible only for their own tax.
Head of Household. In most cases, this status applies to a taxpayer who is not married, but there are some special rules. For example, the taxpayer must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for themselves and a qualifying person. Don’t choose this status by mistake. Be sure to check all the rules.
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. This status may apply to a taxpayer if their spouse died during 2014 or 2015 and they have a dependent child. Other conditions also apply.
Do I need to file a tax return?
This interview will help you determine if you're required to file a federal tax return or if you should file to receive a refund.
Information You'll Need
Federal income tax withheld.
Basic information to help you determine your gross income.
The tool is designed for taxpayers that were U.S. citizens or resident aliens for the entire tax year for which they're inquiring. If married, the spouse must also have been a U.S. citizen or resident alien for the entire tax year. For information regarding nonresidents or dual-status aliens, please see International Taxpayers and Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
Conclusions are based on information provided by you in response to the questions you answered. Answers do not constitute written advice in response to a specific written request of the taxpayer within the meaning of section 6404(f) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Estimated Completion Time: 12 minutes
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