Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Unique Filing Status and Exemption Situations

Exemption for Nonresident Alien Spouse

Personal Exemptions

Recall from the Personal Exemptions lesson that each taxpayer is allowed a personal exemption (unless the taxpayer is claimed by someone else). Taxpayers who file a joint return may claim their spouse's personal exemption. On a Married Filing Separate return, taxpayers may claim their spouse's personal exemption only if the spouse had no gross income, was not filing their own return, and could not be claimed as a dependent by anyone else.

The same rules apply to a citizen or resident alien who is married to a resident alien.

More Information

Remember, a spouse can never be claimed as a dependent of the taxpayer.

U.S. Flag and exemptions section of tax return.