Joint Return Test

What is ‘Joint Return Test’

One of the IRS standards that prospective dependents must pass in order to be claimed as such by another taxpayer is the dependency test. In accordance with the joint return test, no dependent may submit a joint return with a spouse while also being claimed as a dependent on another person’s return, such as that of a parent or guardian. There are, however, a few exceptions to this general principle.

Explaining ‘Joint Return Test’

Depending on the circumstances, a taxpayer filing a combined return may be able to claim a dependent under two different exclusions. If neither the dependent nor his or her spouse is needed to submit a tax return, with the exception of claiming a refund, this is referred to as a non-filing situation. Other situations include situations in which neither the dependent nor his or her spouse would be required to pay tax if the dependent and his or her spouse filed separately instead of jointly. In some situations, another taxpayer may be able to claim this individual as a dependent.

Joint Return Test FAQ

Is the joint return test met?

Individuals who gave more than half of a person's total assistance for the full year will be considered to have met the requirements of this test. • welfare, food stamps, and housing supplied by the state; education, medical and dental care, recreation, and transportation; and • other forms of assistance provided by the federal government.

What is joint return in tax?

When a married couple files a joint tax return (i.e., has married filing jointly filing status), they record their combined income, credits, exemptions, and deductions on a single tax return that is submitted with the IRS.

Who can file joint tax returns?

In addition, joint filers are eligible to claim a standard deduction that is twice as large as the standard deduction available to a single taxpayer. Unmarried couples, on the other hand, are never eligible to file joint tax returns because the IRS only enables a couple to file a joint tax return if the state in which they live recognizes the relationship as a legally binding marriage.

Further Reading

    • Diversification when it hurts? The joint distributions of real estate and equity markets – [PDF]
    • Event studies in economics and finance – [PDF]
    • Liquidity and stock returns: An alternative test – [PDF]
    • A joint test of market segmentation and exchange risk factor in international capital market – [PDF]
    • Global financial crisis, extreme interdependences, and contagion effects: The role of economic structure? – [PDF]
    • Asymmetries in stock returns: Statistical tests and economic evaluation – [PDF]
    • A hybrid joint moment ratio test for financial time series – [PDF]
    • Neglected chaos in international stock markets: Bayesian analysis of the joint return–volatility dynamical system – [PDF]
    • Using financial prices to test exchange rate models: A note – [PDF]