Joint Return Test

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

WHAT IS the joint return test

The Joint Return Test is one of the IRS tests that potential dependents must pass to be claimed as such by another taxpayer. The Joint Declaration Test states that no dependent can file a joint declaration with a spouse and still be considered a dependent on someone else’s declaration, such as that of a parent or a tutor. There are, however, exceptions to this rule.

FAILURE Joint return test

Under the joint reporting test, a taxpayer who files a joint return can be declared a dependent under two separate exceptions. One is when neither the dependent nor their spouse are required to file a tax return, except to request a refund. The other is when neither the dependent nor their spouse would have to pay tax if they had to file separately rather than jointly. In these cases, another taxpayer can claim that person as a dependent.

Joint return test to claim dependents

Modern income tax was first introduced in 1913, and a dependent deduction was added to the tax code four years later. The fact that Congress has supported a deduction for dependents for so long reflects its desire to support the option of having a large family, while maintaining the overall escalation of the federal income tax system. The initial income tax was fairly progressive, with only about 1% of the highest income taxed. But with this progressiveness came a bias against large families, who generally need more income to support themselves.

Congress has continued to support deductions for dependents since then, and has made dependent claims even more lucrative for certain taxpayers with its 2020 tax reform legislation. As of 2020, taxpayers who can claim a dependent under the age of 17 will receive a tax credit of $ 2,000 per child, up from $ 1,000 previously. In addition, Congress has raised the level of income at which credit is gradually disappearing. The credit is now starting to disappear at $ 400,000 of income for married couples and $ 200,000 for singles, compared to 2020 levels of $ 110,000 for married couples and $ 75,000 for singles. This benefit is a particularly valuable part of the tax code for many tax filers, because the child tax credit is a tax reduction for a dollar for a dollar, rather than a deduction, which reduces taxable income .

Because claiming dependents is valuable, the IRS institutes several tests, such as the joint return test, to ensure that dependents are not counted twice.

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