Can I Report My Self-Employment Income In My Wife's Name?

Feb 26 2017 - 8:30am

I'm a self employed farmer,about to turn 62. My wife is seven years younger and doesn't work off the farm. If I take my Social Security this year at age 62,can we sell commodities in the wife's name,continue to file a joint tax return,and not have to pay a penalty on my Social Security? If so,would we have to buy inputs in her name also? Could we farm under her name (income and expenses) and not have to pay a penalty if we filed joint or as "Married,filing separate"?


Self-employment earnings are supposed to be reported under the Social Security number of the self-employed individual. I'm not a lawyer, but what you are proposing sounds shady at best, and potentially fraudulent. Not only that, what you are proposing could very well turn out to be counter productive.

If you start taking your benefits at age 62, your benefit rate will be about 76% lower than the rate you would receive if you waited until age 70 to file. And, most of this reduction would carry over to your wife's potential widow's rate if you die first. Furthermore, diverting your self-employment earnings to your wife's record may have the effect of lowering your benefit rate, which would also lower your wife's benefit amount if she eventually qualifies for spousal or widow's benefits on your record.

You may want to strongly consider running the maximization software available on this website before making any decisions about when to file for benefits.

Best, Jerry