vmrak Member Newcomer

My ex wife lives with me. She is on social security disability and has no additional income.

can I claim her as a dependent. I have received conflicting answers. I am under the impression that her social security doent count. The point of contention seems to be the part of paying more than half her living expenses. there is no clear definition as to what this means. for example her yearly social security payments are around $20000.

she uses this for whatever she wants. I pay all the expenses involving the house except the electric. so technically I am paying almost all her expenses when it comes to living in the house.

On another note my 26 year old son still lives with us. he has a job makes his own money I charge him rent.

with these two items can I claim head of household.

Im looking for ways to reduce my tax burden but I no longer have enough to itemize and have to take the standard deduction. I file single no dependents and always seem to owe.


Best Answer

  • AlexO
    AlexO FreeTaxUSA Agent
    edited December 2023 Answer ✓

    Hello, vmrak!

    That is a great question!

    When determining if your ex-wife qualifies as your dependent, only taxable social security income is counted for the gross income rule. However, the support test is different. The IRS provides a worksheet to determine if you provide more than half of an individual's support. I will link it below. You'll want to fill out this worksheet and keep it for your records if you determine that you do provide more than half of her support.

    IRS Support Worksheet

    As for claiming head of household, a qualifying person must have lived with you for more than half of the year. An ex-spouse nor a non-disabled adult dependent cannot qualify you for head of household. See Table 4 on page 10 of the link below: