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An individual can claim their spouse's exemption if using the filing status Head of Household or Married Filing Separately, and only when specific conditions are met. In the TaxAct® program, this entry is made on the screen titled Spouse Exemption in the Basic Info section.

Line 6b – Spouse Exemption
Check the box on line 6b if either of the following applies.

  • Your filing status is married filing jointly and your spouse cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person's return, OR
  • You were married at the end of 2016, your filing status is married filing separately or head of household, and BOTH of the following conditions apply.
    a. Your spouse had no income and is not filing a return, AND
    b. Your spouse cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person's return.

If your filing status is head of household and you check the box on Line 6b, enter the name of your spouse on the dotted line next to Line 6b. Also, enter your spouse's social security number in the space provided at the top of your return.


If you are filing as head of household and are qualified to claim the spouse exemption:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click on the Federal tab. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal.
  2. Click Basic Information to expand the category and then click Head of Household Information
  3. Check the box to claim your spouse as an exemption

The spouse's social security number must be entered in order to see the Head of Household Information option. If you are not prompted to enter the spouse information, it can be entered in the Name and Address section of Basic Information.


If you are filing as married filing separately and are qualified to claim the spouse exemption:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click on the Federal tab. On smaller devices, click in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal.
  2. Click Basic Information to expand the category, then click Filing Status
  3. Select Married Filing Separately
  4. Continue to the screen titled Spouse Exemption and check the Spouse Exemption box to claim the exemption

For more information about selecting a filing status, click IRS Form Instructions on the right side of the screen.

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