Ever since I became a stay-at-home mom, the topic of taxes has come up a lot in my mind. I wanted to know more about how taxes worked for stay-at-home moms. I’ve been wondering about the answers to the questions below.
Can a stay-at-home mom file taxes? What if they have no income, would they still be required to file taxes? If you freelance on the side, would you then have to file taxes? How much would you have to make as a gig worker to be able to file taxes, etc?
Because I didn’t have answers to any of these questions, I decided to consult a tax professional who knew more than I did. I spoke to Kari Brummond who is an accountant at TaxCure.com. She has many years of experience dealing with tax-related issues.
I asked her all the questions I could about how taxes work for stay-at-home moms. Here’s what she said.
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Can a stay-at-home mom file taxes?
A stay-at-home mom can file taxes just like any citizen or permanent resident who works in the united states. If you made more than a certain amount of money during the year, then it’s your responsibility to file taxes.
Nowadays, stay-at-home moms can earn extra income in many ways. They can freelance, offer consultancy services, or even run their own business from home. Since a stay-at-home mom is capable of earning a side income, she is also entitled to file taxes in her name.
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Do you have to file for taxes if you’re a stay-at-home mom?
You don’t have to file a tax return if you’re a stay-at-home mom who earns no money. But if you really want to file a return, then you must files as “single” or “married filing separately”, depending on whichever applies to you. Just remember that you will not earn any tax refund if you earned no money.
When can a stay-at-home mom file taxes?
If you are a stay-at-home mom filing as single, then you are required to file a return if you have over $400 in net self-employment income.
So, if a SAHM was freelancing as an independent contractor, she would be required to file a tax return once her net self-employment income was over this threshold.
However, If you file as married filing separately, you would have to file a tax return after earning $5 or more as an independent contractor. In most cases, it wouldn’t give her any benefits until she got above the $2500 threshold to claim the child tax credit.
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Can a stay-at-home mom file taxes even if they have no income?
A stay-at-home mom can file taxes even if they have no income. She could file her income tax return as married filing separately. Every married couple has this option. By filing separately, a SAHM separates herself from her spouse’s tax liability.
This can be useful (or even critical) in situations where the spouse is going to owe a large tax bill, and the SAHM doesn’t want to share the liability.
In contrast, if they file together, both spouses are responsible for the debt, even if one didn’t earn any income.
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Note that the rules are different in community property states such as Wisconsin. In community property states, married couples who file separately usually have to report half of the other person’s income unless they didn’t know about it.
For instance, if a SAHM earned nothing and her spouse earned $100,000, they would each report $50,000 of income on their married filing separate returns.
This IRS page has more info on community property states.
Unfortunately, in most cases, filing separately will increase the family’s overall tax bill. A stay-at-home mom who files taxes with no income won’t owe any tax. But if her spouse earns income, they will owe tax.
By filing separately, the other spouse cuts their standard deduction in half. If the couple filed together in 2022, they would have a standard deduction of $25,900, and they wouldn’t face tax on this portion of their family income.
If they filed separately, the spouse with income would only receive a standard deduction of $12,950, and all of their income over this threshold would be taxed.
Can I claim my child as a dependent if I’m a stay-at-home mom with no income?
A stay-at-home mom can claim her child as a dependent even if she has no income. To do so, both spouses must agree that they can claim the child before filing.
In most cases, it would be more advantageous for the spouse with income to claim the child.
If a stay-at-home mom with no income files taxes, she will not get any tax refund. Because she isn’t going to get any tax refund, there’s really no point in claiming her child as a dependent.
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Can a stay-at-home mom get the child tax credit if they earn no income?
You can’t get the child tax credit unless you have earned income of at least $2500. So a stay-at-home mom who earns no income can’t get the child tax credit.
Can a stay-at-home mom get the child and dependent care credit?
You may be able to claim the child and dependent care credit if you paid someone to watch your child while you went back to work or looked for work. If this applies to you, then the credit you will get is a portion of the amount you paid for child care.
However, because stay-at-home moms are generally not working or looking for work, it may be very hard to claim this credit. You also can’t claim the child and dependent care credit unless you jointly file as married. You must also have $2500 of earned income to qualify for the credit.
Can a Stay-at-home mom wife be claimed as a dependent?
A stay-at-home mom can no longer be claimed as a dependent. The 2017 Tax Cut and Job Act (TCJA) eliminated personal exemptions. This means that a husband can’t reduce the part of his income that’s subject to taxation by claiming his wife as a “personal exemption” or dependent anymore. For more info, check out this article on the IRS page.
I hope that after reading through this interview with the tax expert, you would have found the answer to some of the questions you were looking for.
Navigating the world of taxes can be confusing for most people. It’s even more confusing if you’re a stay-at-home mom with little to no income. I hope that you now understand the answer to the question of whether you can file taxes with income or with no income.