Is there a tax benefit if you work full time and your spouse is a full-time student?

My boyfriend will be attending law school for the next three years, and we're deciding whether to move up the wedding date or not. Is there a tax benefit if your spouse is fully dependent on you because of their education? Do they qualify as a dependent?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are tax benefits -- Tuition deduction, Hope Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit for example.

    Your spouse is NEVER your dependent, however. You'd file a joint return as usual, assuming that you do get married of course. You can always file a joint return, even if only one of you had income.

    If you don't get married, you MIGHT be able to claim him as a dependent. If all of the following requirements are met, you can claim an exemption for him:

    1. He lived with you for the entire tax year.

    2. He had less than $3,300 in gross income from all sources, excluding non-taxable Social Security.

    3. You provided more than half of his support for the entire year.

    4. Your relationship is not illegal under local law. If there is a local law or ordinanace prohibiting cohabitation, even if it's not enforced, the exemption claim will be denied.

    5. He is not the "qualifying child" of another taxpayer.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    A spouse isn't a dependent, but after you're married you can file a joint return, which gives you an exemption for each person and a larger standard deduction than you'd get if you're single and only one of you has income so files a return.

    If you don't get married but you support him and he has no income or only a couple thousand dollars, you might be able to claim him as a dependent but wouldn't get the additional standard deduction amount.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes there is a tax benefit but they do not qualify as a dependent. But don't rush your wedding just for tax purposes. Make sure its what you really want!

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