Filing Requirements Related to Spouses and Children

My spouse works in a doctor's office. Do I report her salary the same way I report my own salary? 

No. For a spouse, only earned income over $1,000 needs to be reported on Schedule A. Additionally, only the source of earned income must be included, not the specific amount received. Therefore, Block A will reflect the name of your spouse’s employer and in the ‘Other Income’ column, you may simply note ‘Spouse’s Salary.’ There will be no boxes checked in Blocks B and C.

It is worth noting that any employee benefit plan in which your spouse participates must be included on Schedule A if it meets the normal reporting thresholds (i.e. fair market value over $1,000 or income over $200 during the reporting period).

In addition to my spouse’s primary job, she also has a small catering business that she runs from our home. Do I have to include this on the form? 

If the value of your spouse’s business exceeds $1,000 or earned more than $1,000 during the reporting period, it needs to be included on Schedule A. The name and the nature and location (city, state) of the business should be reported in Block A. In Block C, simply enter ‘Business Income’ in the ‘Other Income.’ No box will be checked in Block B.

I am separated from my spouse. Do I need to report his assets? 

You do not have to report your spouse’s assets if you are living apart with an intention of terminating your marriage or having a permanent separation.

My spouse and I live together, but we manage our finances separately. Do I need to report my spouse’s assets? 

Yes. You are permitted to exclude your spouse’s assets from your report only in an extremely rare situation. The law requires you to disclose your spouse’s assets unless you can certify that (1) the assets are solely your spouse’s, (2) you have no knowledge of the assets, (3) the assets have not been derived in any way from your income, assets, or activities, and (4) you neither derive, nor expect to derive, any financial or economic benefit from the assets. If you and your spouse live in the same household, or if you have children that you support, you would not be able to meet the last prong of this test. If you think you have a basis for excluding your spouse’s assets, contact your ethics official for further advice.

Do I need to report assets and income for a child who is a college student? 

You need to report assets and income for any child who is (a) unmarried, under age 21 and living in your home, or (b) considered dependent by tax code standards. If your child was dependent at some time during the reporting period, but is no longer dependent as of the date of filing, you do not need to report his assets. However, any reportable income produced by the child’s assets while still a dependent during the reporting period must be reported on Schedule A; any transactions of your child's assets that occurred while he was a dependent must be reported on Schedule B.

I have a 529 account for my son. How do I report it? 

The type of plan that you have will determine what needs to be reported on Schedule A of the OGE Form 278. For a prepaid college tuition plan, you should report the sponsoring state and name of the plan in Block A; the current value of the plan in Block B; and income type and amount in Block C. For a prepaid savings plans, in Block A you should list the sponsoring state and each of the portfolios in which the plan is currently invested; the current value in Block B; and income type and amount in Block C.