Can Stay-At-Home Moms File Taxes? [with Tax Credit 2024]

Many tax deductions and credits are available depending on stay-at-home moms’ income, including the Earned Income Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and Head of Household filing status. Let’s explore.
stay-at-home moms
Can Stay-At-Home Moms File Taxes? [with Tax Credit 2024]
Stay-at-home moms can file taxes regardless of their income. They could file an income tax return as married filing separately. Read on to know more.
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About 24% of the total working population in the USA prefers work-from-home. People are more comfortable with job opportunities at home, providing unique employment possibilities for mothers.

Stay-at-home moms can now become independent and financially stable with such online job offers.

Any working citizen, whether working from the office, home, or remote location, must file taxes. In this article, you will learn about stay-at-home moms’ tax filing conditions. 

Can Stay-at-Home Moms File Taxes?

A stay-at-home mom can file taxes in the United States just like any citizen or permanent resident. Today, many women work from home as freelancers, consultants, and even small business owners. 

Nowadays, stay-at-home moms can earn a supplementary income in many ways. They are accountable for filing taxes if they earn more than a certain amount. They can also file taxes separately in their names since they can make a side income.

stay-at-home mom tax credit 2024

Here’s a breakdown of potential tax benefits for stay-at-home moms in 2024:

Child and Dependent Care Credit:

  • If you pay for childcare expenses while working or actively searching for work, you might be eligible for this credit.
  • It covers up to 35% of qualified childcare expenses for one child (maximum credit of $3,000) and 50% for two or more children (maximum credit of $6,000).
  • Important note: You must have earned income to claim this credit.

Child Tax Credit:

  • This credit provides up to $2,000 per qualifying child under 17 years old.
  • The credit starts phasing out for higher incomes, and up to $1,500 of it is refundable, meaning you can receive it even if you don’t owe any taxes.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):

  • This credit is available for low- and moderate-income earners, including single parents and families with children.
  • The credit amount depends on your income and family size, and it can be refundable.

Other potential deductions and credits:

  • Home office expenses: If you have a dedicated workspace in your home for managing household finances, homeschooling children, or running a small business, you might be able to deduct some home office expenses on your taxes.
  • Charitable donations: If you make charitable donations throughout the year, you can deduct them on your tax return.

can you file taxes without working

Yes, you can file a tax return even if you didn’t work in the traditional sense. There are a few reasons why you might want to do this:

  • To claim a refund: Even if you didn’t have any income from a job, you might still be eligible for a tax refund. This could be due to things like having too much withheld from your paycheck throughout the year, or if you qualify for certain tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
  • To report other income: Even if you didn’t have a traditional job, you might still have had other income that needs to be reported on your tax return, such as interest from savings accounts, dividends from investments, or unemployment benefits.
  • To claim losses: If you had any losses that you can deduct on your tax return, such as gambling losses or investment losses, you may want to file a return to claim those deductions.
  • To start a tax filing history: If you are planning to apply for student loans or other financial aid in the future, you may need to have a tax filing history. Filing a return even if you have no income can help you establish that history.

is a stay at home mom a dependent

No, a stay-at-home mom is not considered a dependent for tax purposes in the United States. This means you cannot directly claim her income or expenses on your tax return.

Why not a dependent?

  • Spouses can’t be dependents: Even though a stay-at-home mom doesn’t have earned income, as your spouse, she cannot be claimed as a dependent on your tax return.
  • Filing jointly offers benefits: However, filing your taxes jointly with your spouse provides significant advantages, including combining income brackets and potentially lowering your overall tax burden. This, in essence, reflects the combined contributions of both spouses, including the unpaid work of a stay-at-home mom.

can you claim a stay at home mom as a dependent

No, you cannot claim a stay-at-home mom as a dependent on your tax return in the US, but that doesn’t mean her contributions are ignored

When can a stay-at-home mom file taxes?

Stay-at-home moms who file taxes separately must file for a return if they earn over $400 from self-employment. Those stay-at-home parents who do not have any amount of income are not required to file taxes. 

Do stay-at-home moms need to file taxes?

Stay-at-home moms who don’t earn money aren’t required to file a tax return. However, if you want to file a return, you must do so as either a single person or a married couple filing separately. 

You can file personal tax returns online on Beem. It’s an easy process.

stay-at-home moms

What types of income should stay-at-home moms report on their tax returns?

A stay-at-home mom’s income may come from a variety of sources. Among the most common types of income for stay-at-home moms are alimony or spousal support, self-employment, freelance or contract work, child support, rental income, government payments, work-from-home income, and others.

These payments may also significantly impact the finances of both parties, which makes it essential to understand how they will affect their tax filings. 

Many tax deductions and credits are available depending on your income, including the Earned Income Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, and Head of Household filing status. Couples should file jointly for taxes even if one stays at home or both have some income source to benefit from these credits. 

What documents do stay-at-home moms need for tax filing?

Most stay-at-home moms do not have any source of income, so they do not need to report it. However, if they have a small income source or are filing jointly, they must have income proof and documentation for the proof for certain credits and deductions they apply for.

If they are receiving child benefits, documentation related to the child and forms must be presented. Visit the official state website to understand the use of different forms while filing taxes. 

Are there any tax benefits for stay-at-home moms?

While stay-at-home moms may not have earned income from a traditional job, potential tax benefits are still available. For instance, if they meet specific criteria, they may be eligible for certain tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. 

if i’m a stay at home mom do i file taxes

Whether or not you need to file taxes as a stay-at-home mom depends on a few factors, including:

1. Do you have any taxable income?

Even though you don’t have a traditional paycheck, you may still have income that needs to be reported to the IRS. This could include:

  • Self-employment income: If you sell products or services online, do freelance work, or run a small business from home, you likely have self-employment income.
  • Investment income: Interest, dividends, and capital gains from investments count as taxable income.
  • Rental income: If you rent out a property, you need to report the rental income on your tax return.
  • Other income: This could include prizes, awards, gambling winnings, and alimony payments.

2. Do you have any dependent children?

If you have dependent children, you may be eligible for certain tax credits or deductions that could reduce your tax liability or even entitle you to a refund. These include:

  • Child tax credit: This is a refundable credit of up to $2,000 per child under the age of 17.
  • Dependent care credit: This credit helps offset the cost of childcare expenses.
  • Earned income tax credit (EITC): This credit is available to low- and moderate-income workers, including stay-at-home parents who have earned income from self-employment or other sources.

3. Are you married?

If you are married, your filing status will affect whether or not you need to file a tax return. You can usually file jointly with your spouse, which can offer some tax benefits.

Can stay-at-home moms claim deductions or credits for child-related expenses?

Moms can claim deductions and credits on their incomes if they have at least $400. They can also claim credits if they file for taxes jointly with their spouse. Stay-at-home moms can reduce their tax burden by taking advantage of various credits and deductions. These include:

  • Child and Dependent Care Credit
  • Earned Income Credit
  • Head of Household Filing Status 

Can a stay-at-home mom file taxes even if they have no income?

Stay-at-home moms can file taxes regardless of their income. They could file an income tax return as married filing separately.

The spouses are equally responsible for debt if they file jointly, even if one did not earn income. A stay-at-home mom who files taxes with no income won’t owe any tax, but if her spouse earns income and they file jointly, they will owe taxes together. 

Can I file taxes if my spouse is the primary earner in the family?

Yes, you both can file taxes together, even if one of you does not have any income. Filing for taxes together reduces the overall burden.

It allows couples to claim credits and deductions even if only one is the primary earner. Always consult a tax professional online. Check out Beem Tax Calculator to get a quick and accurate estimate of your federal and state tax refund for free.

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Prem Kishan

A seasoned Product Manager who thrives on making a meaningful impact within the organization, Prem is deeply passionate about tackling intricate problems using cutting-edge technology and is a specialist in tax content.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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