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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Feb 12, 2013.

Question

I have custody of my 3kids, 2 recieve ssi survivor benefits. I havent worked this year 2012 and was remarried in this year also... Can my new husband claim all 3 kids including the 2 receiving ssi? FYI his income is greater then the ssi. And will ssi survivor benefits be taxed now that we are married? Thanks in advance for any insight!

Answer

If you have custody of your 3 children, then you can claim them on a joint return with your new husband, even if you had no income.

Survivor benefits are paid to the children, under their social security numbers, and are not taxable to the parent. It is unlikely that your children receive enough additional income to render their benefits taxable.

If they had other income, they could have earned up to $5,950 and be under the Federal filing limit for IRS purposes. You would have to check with your state for the minimum income triggering a state return needing to be filed ($3,000 in New York). If they have unearned income of greater than $950 (I.e. investment income) then the "kiddie tax" rules apply. They may then file a return for their investment income or go on your joint return with your new husband, depending on the specific circumstances.


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