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Thread: Qualifying for Surviving Spouse Status

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    Default Qualifying for Surviving Spouse Status

    Code Sec. 2(a) defining who is a dependent for qualifying widow(er) (QW), aka, surviving spouse, defines a dependent by reference to Sec. 152, “determined without regard to subsections (b)(1),(b)(2), and (d)(1)(B) thereof is a son, stepson, daughter, or stepdaughter of the taxpayer…”
    The 152 subsections relate to:
    a) (b)(1) Dependents ineligible-A dependent claimed on someone else’s tax return cannot have any dependents on their own personal return.

    b) (b)(2) Married dependents-A married individual cannot be claimed on another person’s tax return if the married individual made a joint return with her spouse.

    c) (d)(1)(B) Dependent’s gross income is less than the exemption amount-This applies to a qualifying relative dependent.

    Has anyone experienced using one of the “relaxed tests” to qualify a surviving parent for surviving spouse/QW status?
    ----------------------
    Additional Information Added to Original Post

    Assume in 2015 that one of two parents died. A full-time student daughter, Jane, age 20 and her 2-year-old child, Timmy, lived with both parents during 2015 and lived with the surviving parent during the entire 2016 year.

    The surviving spouse can file a joint return for 2015. The following issues relate to the 2016 tax year and possibly 2017.

    I have been unable to find any examples of how these “relaxed tests” are applied, so I have created my own interpretations discussed below.

    Issue 1 (b)(1) Qualifying Child (QC): If Jane is her surviving parent’s (QC) for 2016, (Timmy, the surviving spouse’s grandchild would also be the surviving spouse’s QC) does the waiver of the ineligible dependents requirement allow Jane to qualify her parent as a surviving spouse for qualifying widow(er) status while allowing Jane to claim Timmy (surviving spouse’s grandchild) on Jane’s personal return and claim child tax credit, earned income credit, and child and dependent care credit on the Jane’s return? The tie-breaker rules would allow Jane to claim Timmy on her personal return.

    Issue 1 (b)(1) Qualifying Relative (QR): If Jane was not a full-time student during 2016, but lived with her surviving parent and Timmy in the same household, she would be a (QR). Does the waiver of the application of the gross income amount allow a surviving parent to qualify for qualifying widow(er) filing status if all other qualifying relative requirements for Jane are satisfied except the qualifying relative has gross income in excess of the exemption amount?

    The QR tests of (1) not a QC of any other taxpayer, (2) relationship test, (3) residence test does not apply for a son or daughter, (4) surviving spouse would have to support Jane in order to count her for surviving spouse filing status. Jane can have gross income in excess of the exemption amount that allows a surviving spouse to qualify for that filing status based on the waiver of the application of this requirement. If the QR’s gross income that exceeds the exemption amount allows Jane to provide over half of her own support, then the surviving spouse cannot qualify for that qualifying widow(er) status, as she does not provide over one-half of the QR’s support.
    Issue 2 (b)(2) Qualifying Child (QC): Assume Jane is married and lives with her husband, Timmy, and her mother in the same household. If Jane and her husband file a joint return, the waiver of this provision (b)(2), above, would allow a surviving spouse to meet qualifying widoer(er) filing status if all conditions for a qualifying child are satisfied. The married dependent would not qualify a parent for surviving spouse if the married dependent provided more than half of her own support, as she would not satisfy this QC requirement.

    Issue 2 (b)(2): Qualifying Relative (QR): Assume Jane is married and not a full-time student during 2016, lives with her husband, surviving parent and Timmy in the same household. Jane could file a joint return with her spouse and Timmy. She would be a (QR) if all conditions of a QR were satisfied. The QR gross income test and the joint return test are waived for this purposes of determining Jane’s parents surviving spouse status. Jane would qualify a surviving parent for qualifying widow(er) filing status. The surviving spouse would have to provide over one-half of the QR’s support, as that requirement is not waived. Jane would not have to live with her surviving spouse parent to qualify her surviving paretn for qualifying widow(er) status as the QR abode test does not apply to a relative. However, the surviving spouse would have to provide over half of Jane’s support.

    Issue 3 (d)(1)(B): Dependent’s gross income is less than the exemption amount: This issue has been covered in the preceding comments.

    Related Issue: Do the words, “is entitled to a deduction” from Sec. 2 (a)(1)(B)(ii) mean that the surviving spouse has to claim an exemption deduction on the surviving spouse’s tax return, or only has to be “entitled to a deduction” and let the qualifying relative with gross income more than the exemption amount, the married dependent, and the unmarried qualifying child or qualifying relative with dependents claim the actual exemption deduction on their own return with these three subsections being waived?
    Last edited by OldProfessor; 06-02-2017 at 01:25 PM. Reason: Adding More Information

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