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Exception - The joint return test does not apply if a joint return is filed by the dependent and his or her spouse merely as a claim for refund and no tax liability would exist for either spouse on the basis of separate returns.

Example - Your son and his wife each had less than $2,000 of wages and no unearned income. Neither is required to file a tax return. Taxes were taken out of their pay, so they file a joint return to get a re-fund. You are allowed to take exemptions for your son and daughter-in-law if the other exemption tests are met.