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William Perez

Married Filing Separately: Tax Question of the Day

By February 5, 2006

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Throughout the tax season I will be answering one tax question per day.

Today's question comes from H. Hester in Georgia. She asks, "If you are married, can you file your taxes separately?"

Yes, married couples can file their tax returns separately from each other. You do this by choosing the "married filing separately" filing status on Form 1040 (box 3 on page one of Form 1040). Each spouse will file his and her own Form 1040. Each will also report the other spouse's Social Security Number at the top of the form, and will write-in the spouse's name in the area next to box 3.

There are some very good reasons for wanting to file separately. I detail those reasons in my article on Choosing Your Filing Status.

In general, married couples will have a lower overall tax bill if they file a joint return. Also, couples filing separately will lose out on a number of important tax breaks. Nonetheless, filing separate returns makes the most sense when one spouse owes a significant amount of money, but the other spouse could get a refund. It also makes sense when one spouse is cheating on their taxes, and the other spouse doesn't want to be involved.

Filing separate returns requires a great deal of cooperation and sharing. Both spouses must itemize or take the standard deduction. (They cannot split their tax strategies by one person itemizing and the other taking the standard deduction.) Also, there may be significant state tax issues if the couple lives in a community property state. If one or both spouses lives tn those nine states, then the spouses will split their income using community property rules. They will also split their deductions for community property as well.

I have seen separate tax returns come out about the same as a joint return. When that happens, I recommend filing separately, since that will preserve the separate responsibilities for payment of tax and audit risk. However, in most cases filing jointly will usually produce a noticeably lower tax impact, but filing jointly also comes with joint responsibility for the accuracy of the return and the payment of taxes.

Because of these complexities, couples may want to seek out a tax professional to make sure all the returns are accurately prepared.

Do you have a question? Visit the Ask a Tax Question page.

August 9, 2007 at 10:09 am
(1) ron bishop says:

what is my spouses liability if we file separately, and I owe but do not pay my taxes in full and do a payment plan.

September 7, 2007 at 2:39 am
(2) taxes says:

If you file separate returns, you will each have a separate tax liability. If you owe the IRS and don’t pay, then your spouse will not be responsible for your tax debt. She would be responsible only for her own taxes.

March 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm
(3) willie says:

how will the tax rebate be handled if my wife and I use the married filing separetly option

April 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm
(4) Rafael says:

I just got married and I will be filing married this year. My new spouse has tax liabilities for previous years from filing single. We will be filing jointly this year. Do I inherit her previous tax liabilities?? How will it effect our joint tax return if we get a refund???

April 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm
(5) Marlene says:

You will need to file an injured spouse form. You will not inherit her tax debt. It takes a while to fill it out but it relieves you from the debt.

April 2, 2008 at 1:05 pm
(6) dan says:

My wife and i file married separate even though we pay more federal tax, we pay significantly lower Ohio state tax. The net is about $600 better to file married separate. My wife’s income is about $95,000 and my income is about $45,000. Together our total income is about $145,00, less than the $150,000 threshold for receiving the full $1,200 tax rebate. My understanding is that if we file separately, my wife will not receive any rebate because she is over the individual threshold of $87,000. Will we have to forfeit $600 of the federal rebate because of Ohio’s tax rate which penalizes married couples, or will the IRS look at our total income in figuring the amount of rebate we are entitled to? Because we have to furnish each other’s social security numbers on our tax returns, would the IRS should calculate our rebate on the total of both our incomes? If we lived in a state with no income tax, or one that did not penalize married couples like Ohio does, we would file jointly/.

April 2, 2008 at 7:16 pm
(7) William says:

Dan: The rebate will be calculated based on your separate returns. So it sounds like you will get your rebate, but your wife won’t get her’s. She might then be able to claim a credit for any unpaid rebate on her ’08 tax return.

April 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm
(8) Antonio says:

I want to fill out married filing separately since we are not living together almost for 1 year, but I do not have her social security number and she does not want to give it to me, so what Could I do in this case?

April 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm
(9) William Perez says:

Antonio: If you ever filed a joint return (such as last year perhaps) look on that return to find her SSN. You might also have her SSN buried in some personal documents such as insurance policies or tax statements. If you still cannot find it, file the return on paper. Where it asks for her SSN write “see attached” and then attach a note explaining how you asked her for her SSN but she didn’t want to give it to you.

April 15, 2008 at 8:52 am
(10) James says:

our daughter filed my wife as her dependent. I receive a disability check from government. If I file a tax return with the disability income, will I get a rebate check.

February 4, 2009 at 12:35 pm
(11) Shawn says:

My wife had significant med expenses that will exceed 7.5% of her income but not mine. Everything held equal, is it a good strategy to file separately?

February 4, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(12) William Perez says:

Shawn, this is one situation where it might be better to file separately. Still, I’d run the numbers both ways (jointly/separately) to make sure you’re coming out ahead. And remember, if she itemizes you’ll need to itemize too.

February 7, 2009 at 10:26 pm
(13) Guang says:

My AGI is ~45,000, and my wife is ~85,000. We have a child and two other dependents. If we file a joint return, we could not get child tax credit. But if I file separate return with my child, then I could get $1000 of child tax credit, right? My wife could file return with other two dependents to get more deduction. But if we have joint broker account, how do we split our dividend and capital gains or losses? Eg. if i have $2900 capital loss, if we file separately, could she claim $1500 loss and I claim $1400? Thanks for any suggestion!

February 17, 2009 at 4:38 am
(14) C Davison says:

What do I enter in the past years gross income part if efiling online ? I am filing as “married filing seperately” and it asks me for my past years adjusted gross income. The year it is referring to, my husband and I filed jointly, so it is wanting me enter just my income or both for the last years adjusted gross income ?

February 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm
(15) Brian says:

I’m a British man working in the states and am now divorced. My wife never had a SS number as she never moved here, we got divorced about a year ago. Last time i filed jointly and didn’t get any money back as there was no SS number for my wife.. now that I am divorced, do i file as single? and will i owe more tax now? or do i just do what i did last year? sorry but i am not good with tax issues! thanks

February 25, 2009 at 9:11 pm
(16) taxes says:

Brian, you are now unmarried, and so the only two options for filing status is single or head of household. Your taxes will likely be about the same, since you never got any tax benefit by claiming your wife on your return. You might want to consider talking to a tax accountant as we can help find ways to lower your taxes and make sure everything is filed properly.

February 25, 2009 at 9:14 pm
(17) taxes says:

C Davidson, enter the AGI from your tax return. What’s happening behind the scenes is the IRS servers match this numerical figure with your AGI from last year as a way to verify that you are yourself. (That is, as a way to verify your identity.) Entering this doesn’t affect your tax calculations.

February 26, 2009 at 12:37 pm
(18) Michael says:

I currently work 2 jobs and one does not take taxes out so I end up claiming the income and getting hit harder when it comes time for my refund. My wife is just about to start working part time and we have two kids. A friend recommended that we file separately next year with her claiming the kids so I can pay the taxes and she can get a larger refund and also the EIC. Is this good advice?

March 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm
(19) Rosie Kiwa says:

My husband doesn’t want to claim his income on our income tax, so I am filing “married filing separate” so that I am not liable for his tax burden. However we live in California so does this mean that I am still liable for his State tax burden?

March 31, 2009 at 4:36 am
(20) Jay says:

Hey, i’m married active military. my wife and i will be getting a divorce when i return from Afghanistan. she choose to file sep and not tell me until now. how will this effect me when i’m getting extra money to support her back in the states? will i end up owing money? I will be filing as a california resident. ANY info would be grealty appreciated.

April 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm
(21) Josh says:

Advising couples to get divorced solely for TAX ADVANTAGES?! As a tax preparer and a HUMAN, sir you have crossed a line! Disturbing, simply disturbing…

January 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm
(22) Jen says:

These days its extremely unfortunent, but in order to get any breaks wether it be grants for school or taxes you can NOT be married. Me and my husband have been married for 11 years , we have 3 children and are a hard working family. We dont get 4-6,000 from any tax return. I want to go back to school, guess what.. no assistance there either. If you are married and struggle you get no help. So yes , sometimes you have to think outside the box to get ahead. Theres nothing wrong with it.. Maybe they will be able to enjoy their family and each other a bit more and take a family vacation.

April 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm
(23) shimatta says:

its my first time to file an income tax.
im married but me and my husband are not living together anymore for about a yr.
i do have his social security number and i want to file a separate income tax return but the problem is i can’t contact him and i dont have an idea what status is he going to put on his income tax. can i still file my income tax as married filing separate? what if we put different status(since i cant get a hold of him)on our returns,are we going to get in trouble?
by the way i live in AK and he’s in OR
any advice?

April 6, 2009 at 6:51 pm
(24) William Perez says:

Shimatta, if you have a son or daughter, you could file as head of household. This will provide better tax rates and deductions than filing separately. Otherwise, just fill out all the information you have, and mail in your tax return. His SSN could be on a previous tax return, if you have copies. If you don’t have copies, you might be able to obtain copies from the IRS by calling 1-800-829-1040. Since you don’t know if he’s itemizing or not, I would error on the side of caution and use the standard deduction for yourself. Hope this helps.

April 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm
(25) Sheri says:

I want to file “married filing separate” so that I am not liable for my husbands tax burden. However we live in California so does this mean that I am still liable for his State tax burden?

April 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm
(26) Harry says:

My income is about $135,000 and my wife’s is $38,500. However, she is an independent contractor and her employer does not take any taxes out, so we’ll have quite a bit to pay in Federal and State income tax on her income. In this case, it would seem best to file separately- is that correct? We have a 2-year old child if that makes any difference. Thanks!

May 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm
(27) Andy says:

My wife went behind my back and filed her own taxes, she file separate from me (married filling separately). In the past we have always filed together (married filling jointly) which makes the most sense we get more money back. We have three kids together. This year she filed by her self she claimed two of the kids and got money back. How much? She does not want to answer that question. If we had filed together we would of received 3,200.00 dollars back, but instead I filed my taxes and claim one child and now I have to pay back $6000.00 Everything was all ready to go and when the account submitted the tax return electronically it said that the social security number had already already been in use (my wife social security number). My accountant that does our taxes said that I need to contact the IRS and fight it. What are my options? My wife does not want to do a 1040X. I make 3 times more money annually than my wife makes. Yes we still live together, we have been living together for the past 7 years. Any help anyone can advice will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Yes this action for divorce.

May 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm
(28) taxes says:

Andy, sorry to hear about your tax troubles. The error message probably refers to the dependent being claimed on your tax return. If your wife claimed two of the three dependents, then just be sure to claim the 3rd child on your’s. If you are reporting the right dependent on your return, but still getting the same e-file rejection code, then you will need to mail your tax return in rather than e-filing. Your accountant should have been able to explain this to you.

There’s not much else you can do in terms of optimizing your return. For separate returns, it’s mostly a matter of making sure your are claiming the deductions and tax credits that are available to you. But in general filing separately generally results in higher taxes for both spouses.

May 25, 2009 at 11:36 pm
(29) Andy says:

Yes I did claim the last child on my tax return. But it was still not enough. The error message was due to the fact that my wife had already filed before my accountant filed the tax return.

May 26, 2009 at 12:46 am
(30) taxes says:

It’s not merely because your wife filed first. That by itself doesn’t create the e-filing problem. The problem arises when a name/SSN combo on your tax return is already used on another tax return. Most often this is because a dependent has already been claimed on another tax return filed previous to yours. And that’s what leads me to suspect that maybe the dependent you claimed was also claimed by your wife. So it’s possible that using another dependent will make the efile go through. Your accountant has the exact efile error code, and will be able to confirm if this is the case or not. The idea here is to make sure you are claiming the dependent that she didn’t claim so that the IRS won’t have any further questions about your return.

May 26, 2009 at 6:09 am
(31) Andy says:

So you mean to say that the error was caused by one of the dependants social security has already being used. Not that my wife social security number has already been used.

May 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm
(32) William Perez says:

Yes, that’s what I suspect, Andy. The only reason your wife’s name/ssn would cause a problem is if you attempted to file a joint return.

July 1, 2009 at 5:40 pm
(33) caroline says:

I make $23 K and my husband makes $120 K.
i feel it is very unfair my measly salary is taxed at such a high rate. would filing separately make sense for us? we own, not rent, and itimize our chartitable deductions, btw.

July 1, 2009 at 5:53 pm
(34) William Perez says:

Caroline, I sympathize with your situation. The only way to sell for sure is to run the numbers both ways: MFJ vs. 2 MFS returns and see what’s the lowest tax cost.

July 11, 2009 at 11:50 pm
(35) Kaye says:

I maintain a separate residence from my husband and pay all bills on that residence. Last year we filed jointly, for 2009 I would like to file separately. My husband owes back taxes and we have no children. Would I qualify for head of household and am I responsible for 2008 taxes since we filed jointly?

July 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm
(36) William Perez says:

Kaye, since your filed 2008 jointly, both of you will be jointly held responsible for that tax return, including paying any balance owed for that year. Filing separately for 2009 could help prevent a repeat in owing, especially if you have the refunds and your husband owes. However your refund will be used to pay off your 2008 tax, if there’s a balance still outstanding by the time you file your ’09 return. It doesn’t sound like you’ll qualify for head of household, as that filing status requires at least one close relative (usually a child) as a dependent.

August 8, 2009 at 11:07 am
(37) Dan says:

In order to take advantage of the Income-Based Repayment Program, which basis your student loan payments on your income amount, my wife and I would need to file separately, since they take into consideration joint incomes if you file jointly. The difference in payments could be as much as $680 less per month if we file separately. Unfortunately, we have to sort of forecast which way we want to file our taxes. So, do you believe that filing separately because of the possibility of saving that much per month makes sense? I am estimating that my wife’s income will be 30,000 and mine would be 60,000.

August 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm
(38) Angela says:

Hi, Me and my …well ex husband are thinking of re marrying, but I have some credit issues that creditors are talking of taking any tax refunds I may get, so I am wondering if we get re married and file married filing separately if they would take his refund?
We have a child together, he would be filing and claiming her as I stay at home with her and don’t work.
Thank you

August 26, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(39) William Perez says:

Dan, you could estimate your taxes by comparing the tax rates for joint and separate filers. Here’s a chart of the 2009 tax rates. You’d also have to compare if you will lose any deductions by filing separately. One of the deductions you might lose is the student loan interest deduction.

August 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm
(40) William Perez says:

Angela, generally speaking creditors cannot confiscate your tax refunds. The Treasury does confiscate refunds for some types of debts, notably student loans, child support, and taxes owed to state governments. You may want to consider addressing the credit issues first before marrying just to make sure that he won’t be adversely affected.

October 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm
(41) jay says:

My wife and I are separated. She makes way more money then I do. We have two children who live with her.
I live in the home while they chose to leave and live in an apartment until the divorce settlement. Does married filing separately make sense here and what documents do i need from her? Of course I am sending this message on the day that the taxes are due. Likewise, she has not filed her return. The return in question is 2008.

October 15, 2009 at 8:24 pm
(42) William Perez says:

Take a look at my article on married filing separately. If any of those deductions or tax credits apply to your situation, it may be advantageous to file jointly. However, I have clients who file separately so as to keep the tax matters separate, for example when both spouses has a business.

October 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(43) Evgeny says:

Dear William,

You write: “In those nine states, spouses report their individual income on their federal return, but report half of their combined income on their state return.”
It contradicts with Pub. 555 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p555.pdf) “Community property laws affect how you figure your income on your federal income tax return if you are married, live in a community property state or country, and file separate returns” (Page 2, second paragraph), and to the same effect on Page 3, par. 1.
thus telling us to divide up the income on both fed and state taxes. Do I read something wrong? Which way is it?
I live in CA.
Thank you very much,


November 4, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(44) b says:

if spouse owes money to student loan or child where they take tax return and you are married would you file seperate

January 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(45) fallon says:

I got married in October 2009 and want to know if i can still file single for 2009 tax year?

January 7, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(46) William Perez says:

Fallon: no. You can either file jointly with your spouse or you can file separately. You are not eligible to file as a single person.

January 4, 2010 at 10:53 pm
(47) Heather says:

I owe child support and there is a federal offset for my tax return. Would it be better to file married separately??

January 4, 2010 at 10:55 pm
(48) H says:

I owe back child support. Would it be better to file married separately???

January 10, 2010 at 5:53 pm
(49) albert says:

I’ve been married for two years and have a two year old. We filed jointly last year, but this year I got hit with $14K in retroactive child support for my other 9 year old daughter. My question is if we file together will they take all of our return? And, if so, will filing separate be the right move? thank for your help!

January 11, 2010 at 12:08 pm
(50) Martin says:

Because the filing status is based on your situation on December 31st, can you change your status to “married” now if you plan on getting married in October?

January 16, 2010 at 2:04 pm
(51) Dawson says:

My wife and I are no longer living togeather… (9 months).. we have our own residence and we have 3 children. can her and i file single head of household, I will claim 2 and her 1. or do her and I have to file married filing separate?…Thanks

January 16, 2010 at 7:37 pm
(52) Melissa Seli says:

This is a similar situation to various filers, but not quite. I ran away from my husband in August 2008. We were in contact enough to file jointly for the 2008 tax year. Now for the 2009 year, I haven’t heard from him, and I don’t know whether he is filing jointly, filing separately, taking the standard deduction, itemizing, or even if he’s alive. We have no children. I’m not even sure if he has divorced me. It sounds like I have to file “married filing jointly”? I have no way of getting in contact with him and am currently attempting the divorce (but it’s slow going without a respondant).

January 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm
(53) Dan says:

Hi – I have heard from a friend that once a married couple files jointly they cant file separately in subsequent years? That true? Thanks

January 26, 2010 at 10:02 pm
(54) William Perez says:

Married couples may decide each year whether they want to file jointly or separately. The idea you are referring to is this: Once a couple files a joint return for a particular year, they can switch to separate returns only before the April 15th filing deadline; after that deadline has passed they cannot change from joint to separate returns for that year. They can switch from separate to joint returns for a particular year at any time.

January 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(55) DJ says:

My wife and I have been seperated for over a year. I have a good job and medical benifits (and no intention of ever getting married again) so we are not rushing to divorice. She receives Social Security Disability (very little) and I send her money each month to make up the difference. If we file separately, do I need to put her social security money on my form as income? Also, does she need to report money I send her as income on her return?

January 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm
(56) William Perez says:

Filing separately means that you will each report your income on separate tax returns. The money you are giving to her is not income to her (nor a deduction to you) since you are not divorced. This is simply considered a gift.

January 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm
(57) Bill says:

I have been living separately from my wife for the past 4 years in the house we bought when we were married many years ago. The mortgage is under my name and not hers. I continue to pay the mortgage and all expenses for the house. I also pay the rent for the apartment she lives in as well as all of her living expenses. She does not work or have any income. I have 2 daughters that live with her and I pay for all of their expenses as well. My daughters stay with me every other weekend. We have a separation agreement, but technically we are still married because she has refused to sign it.

My question is, can I file married but separately? I don’t want her to know my income any longer. If I file married but separately, does she need to file even though she has no income?

January 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm
(58) William Perez says:

You can always file separate returns. I don’t see any problem with that.

February 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm
(59) Lisa says:

Can married couples file jointly but use separate addresses?

February 1, 2010 at 4:12 pm
(60) William Perez says:

There’s only one address field on the tax return. So, no you cannot.

February 2, 2010 at 8:20 am
(61) Bill says:

(56) William Perez says:

You can always file separate returns. I don’t see any problem with that.

Thanks for the reply William. One more question, if I file separately, does my wife need to file even if she has no income?

February 2, 2010 at 4:39 pm
(62) William Perez says:

She would not need to file a tax return if she had no income.

February 3, 2010 at 9:03 am
(63) William says:

2008 we filed jointly, and paid 3 payments of estimated tax of 2009; this year we prefer file seperately, how we claimed the 2009 estimated tax? can i take 2 and she take 1, and IRS will be able to figure out? Thanks for suggestion

February 3, 2010 at 11:51 am
(64) Eric says:

I have an interesting question. My wife and I have 2 children. My wages are $135k and her’s are $26k. If we file a joint return we are phased out of the child credit ($110k) and our total taxable income is in the 33% tax bracket. If we file separately she can claim the children and get the $2,000 credit and she’s in the 15% tax bracket. Am I missing something here or did I just find some serious pocket cash? we are in the state of NC.

Thanks …Eric

February 3, 2010 at 3:25 pm
(65) Diana says:

My spouse and I got married the end of November 2009. My spouse is a student and had no income for 2009. At the same time, since he was a student, his mother was supporting him & will be declaring him as a dependent for the year 2009. Since we got married the end of November 2009, can I still file as single & then declare as married for 2010 & the future? Thank you.

February 4, 2010 at 3:47 pm
(66) dan says:

My spouse filed separation papers 7/09. I currently live in a different household. We have joint physical and joint legal custody of our son. She went behind my back and filed head of household and our son. From what I’ve read, I have the right to claim both not her. I have contributed to more of the household expenses, make more money then she does, and have been living apart less than 6mos. Our divorce is not finally and joint legal and physical custody was given 1/2010. Can I still file both and let the IRS figure it out? What happens during an audit process?

February 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm
(67) Mrs. Terry says:

My husband is a resident of NY and works there. I am a resident of AR and I work here. I’m not sure but I think we will have to file state income taxes as married filing seperately. If we file married filing seperately on the state returns, can we file married filing jointly on federal? We have no dependent children and it would be to our advantage to file jointly on federal. Also, we will only be able to take the standard deductions. Thanks in advance for the help!

February 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm
(68) Eric says:

My wife and I are interested in filing married filing seperate. We are unsure as to who take the deductions for the house and the kid and so on.

February 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm
(69) vanessa v says:

Me and my husband are filing sepatate but my husband filed his tax return but he marked single. Are we going to get in trouble for that? how can we fix it?

February 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm
(70) pinkjewel says:

What if my husband and I file under “married filling jointly” but by doing this we owe IRS -$1500, but if we file under”married filling separately” He would owe $2100 but I get $4800 refund, I live in Texas is this legal with the IRS would we get in trouble if we do this “married filing separately”

February 23, 2010 at 2:55 am
(71) William Perez says:

Married filing separately is one of five legitimate filing status options. Married couples can always choose to file either together (a joint return) or separately.

February 25, 2010 at 1:37 pm
(72) cj says:

can you file separately if you have already filed jointly for years? I am writer and I have to file business deductions.

March 8, 2010 at 4:06 am
(73) dan says:

my wife and i are going through divorce. i told her i was going to file married filing separately and claim on or our children. she filed single and claimed all three children. my accountant said my return will be rejected because childs ssn shows up on two returns. will she/can she be forced to file an amended return by IRS? she isn’t single yet!!!!

March 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm
(74) Erin says:

My husband and I have always filed jointly, but now are faced with a quandary. I am starting to pay back my student loans. I heard about the program through Fed Direct Loans wherein if you work in the public field (library, police, fire) that after 120 payments, your loan balance if forgiven. This would save us thousands of dollars, but the catch is we would have to file separately for 10 years. (If we file separately, by loan payments each month would be zero) We have 3 children. Is this worth looking into?

March 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(75) Janet says:

I live in Texas, a community property state. My ex husband and I divorced in 2007 but were physically separated all of 2006.I didn’t work or have any income that entire year, he just put money in our joint account for me to pay bills and support our child. He always did the taxes but didn’t file 2006 I have learned. I need that filed and he will not cooperate. I want to file married separate but I have no way of learning his income or any financial information on him for that year. Also, he is self employed. So basically, a hostile spouse. I have to have it filed in relation to a US VISA for my new husband who is from Europe before his work visa expires.
Do I just file ZERO income? Do I file head of household? The community property state thing is what is confusing me!

March 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(76) Lisa says:

My husband screwed up his withholding and somehow managed to pay 1/4 the federal taxes that I paid. I paid over 12K in fed withholding and he paid only 3k.. we make within 10K of each other.
1. would it make sense for use to file separately?
2. would I be liable for his tax debt?

April 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm
(77) Steve says:

My wife left me in March of this year and we still had not filed our taxes being as so when I did a preliminary filing it said we owed so I was going to wait until April. However even though I told her on the 13th of April that I would do them on the 15th she jumped the gun and filed separately on the morning of the 15th only for me to figure it out when I went ot file myself later that day. Now i owe $1500+ and she likely got a refund instead of what was a $600 bill if we filed jointly. I also was unable to claim nearly $10,000 in child care expenses due to her pressing the file button an hour or so before me. Is there anything I can do about this? file an amendedjoint return? her lawyer is feeding me what seems like BS, I mean it was for tax year 2009 when we were still married and living together, wouldn’t any refund/bill have to be split amongst the marriage partners, even if they’re separated at the time of filing?
Thanks for any help, off to the lawyer….

April 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm
(78) William Perez says:

Steve, in order to file jointly both spouses must agree and both must sign the tax return. You cannot file a joint return without your spouse’s permission. She obviously wanted to file a separate tax return, and in fact filing separately is the sort of advice that I typically give to clients who are going through a separation or a divorce. The idea is to keep finances as separate as possible so as to prevent any lingering tax issues (for example audit or collection risks) that would require joint cooperation.

June 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm
(79) Charles Grey says:

I am preparing the return (married-filing-separately) for a US citizen who is a permanent resident of Peru and married to a non-US citizen (who is not liable for a US return). Although familiar with the W-7 form, it is not apparently applicable in this particular case. What do I do about the missing social security number of the non-US citizen husband?

June 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm
(80) William Perez says:

I suggest obtaining an ITIN using Form W7 for the non-filing, non-citizen spouse.

July 23, 2010 at 12:49 am
(81) Tammi says:

I have the same situation as Dan and Erin. We have always filed jointly but are considering filing separate since it will save us $400 / month in student loan repayment. We live in Texas and he has his own business.

I am confused about us sharing deductions vs. taking the standard deduction. Are the deductions we would divide be the ones he makes for his business? So if he claims those deductions that would mean that neither of us could claim the standard deduction on our separate return? If this is true then I suppose we would consider which deduction was greater, his business deductions or the standard deduction, correct?

August 9, 2010 at 9:05 pm
(82) William Perez says:

Tammi, your husband’s business deductions would show up on his Schedule C (if he’s self-employed). They are not part of the itemized deductions. For itemized deductions, how to split deductions such as medical, property tax, and mortgage interest (etc.) depends on whether you live in a community property state or not. Texas is not a community property state — in which case you will divide your various personal deductions based on who actually paid the expense. You must both take the standard deduction or both take the itemized deduction.

August 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm
(83) Esta says:

my husband did not wait for my w2 before filling married jointly for 2008,this year iwe filed married seperately.now irs send my husband a mail that we are owning,which part of the money is on my ss and other on my husband just because i did not filed for 2008,also my rebate for 2009 is yet to be given while my husband has gotten his.do i need to pay all the money on both ss or i pay the one on my ss?

August 9, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(84) William Perez says:

Esta, there’s some questions I would ask about 2008. For example, did you sign the 2008 tax return? If so, then you agreed to file your tax return jointly with your husband. And as is true of all joint returns, you are fully responsible for the accuracy of the return and paying any balance owed to the IRS. You may want to consult with a licensed tax professional who can help you figure out whether the notice from the IRS is correct, how much of the tax bill is your responsibility, and analyze if there are any protections available to you under the Innocent Spouse rules.

August 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(85) kay says:

My boyfriend and i are going to get married next year but we are not going to share our money together because we have kids from our past and too many expense going on. so we decide to not share our money together. but how am i going to file my tax since we are going to get married. He make 46,000 a year and i only make 20,000 a year. every year i got money back from my taxe cause i have low income and every year he got nothing back. What i mean is that he doesnt share the money with u and why filling tax together?

September 9, 2010 at 1:58 am
(86) johanna says:

I been marry for 2yr my husband don’t have a ss# he has a ITN number I have file single head of house hold with 5 dependants. he files single head of house hold with his sister address and he has 4 dependents from mexico wich are his parents and 2 yunger brothers and they have ITN numbers. can I file taxes with hime with out loosing my dependents?

September 20, 2010 at 4:05 pm
(87) Glenn says:

My ex wife do not want to sign our 2008 tax retur. She did not work that year, she and our 2 kids were my dependents. We got divorced in 2009, we lived together in 2008. can i file head of hosehold? Im really late already but she wont sing it
Thank you

September 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(88) William Perez says:

Glenn, Filing a joint tax return does require the mutual consent of both spouses — both must sign the tax return and thereby both become responsible for the accuracy of the return and paying any tax. If one spouse cannot or won’t sign the joint return, then you will have to file a separate return. In a way this does offer protection for your now ex-wife, and she won’t be held responsible for paying any tax that might be owed on this tax return, and if the return is subsequently audited, she won’t be held responsible for any additional tax that might become due.

Whether you are eligible for the more favorable head of household status depends on whether you and your wife at the time lived apart for at least the last six months of 2008. If so, you might qualify as HOH. If you lived together at any time during this six-month period, then you won’t qualify for HOH.

September 24, 2010 at 5:11 pm
(89) Maria says:

I am trying to get financial aid for a university I want to attend. I was told by the financial aid officer that there is a problem with my forms because I’m married but our tax preparer filed our taxes separately, me: as “head of household” with our youngest daughter as my dependant, and my husband: as “single” with our oldest daughter as a dependant. Why would she do this? And what problems are we most likely going to face? No one answers her business phone number, and I have yet to find out if her place of business is still open.

September 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm
(90) William Perez says:

Maria, If you were in fact married during the year, then you have three possible filing status options. You could file married filing jointly with both you and your husband reporting your combined income and deductions on one tax return. You could file as married filing separately, with you and your husband filing two separate tax returns reporting only your own income. Or if you lived apart from each other for at least the last six months of the year, then you would be eligible for the head of household status. So an analysis of your situation goes like this: were you married? If so did you live together (and for which time periods)? Do you want to file jointly or separately? From there we can determine the most appropriate filing status for the both of you.

Filing as a single person when you are in fact married is not allowed. So at minimum it seems your husband may need to amend his tax return to correct his filing status.

If you now want to file jointly, you will need to file an amended return to correct both previously filed returns. Once you file a joint tax return for a particular year after the April 15th deadline, you will not be able to amend again to switch to the separate filing status. So any corrections that need to be made should be carefully reviewed and considered before submitting that amended return.

It sounds to me like your previous tax preparer might not have known you were married. It might not mean anything that she’s not anwering her phone as some offices close after April 15th or are open only limited hours. You might want to seek the assistance of another tax professional, especially someone who is available year-round and can advise you specifically about which options will best suit your needs.

October 3, 2010 at 8:23 am
(91) AJ says:

We do not live in a community property state.
If we choose “married filing seperately” how do we spilt income from joint accounts?
Do we split the income 50/50 or do we report the income against the SS# shown on the 1099?

We have the same question regarding capital gains and losses.

October 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(92) theresa says:

my husband owes taxes for back child support so he does not recieve his taxes if we file seperatly will they garnish my taxes too???

October 19, 2010 at 9:46 am
(93) Tpres says:

My wife and I just got married and I am thinking about starting a IRA or Roth IRA. I started thinking and my wife has inherited alot of money over her lifetime, previous to us getting married. She makes probably 200K-300K atleast a year from interest in investments. I only make a salary from my job of 40K per year. We do not have joint bank accounts and we keep all of our finances seperate. I would hate to be put in the same tax bracket as her and I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to do a Roth. Do you think we should file for married file sperately? Should I just do a traditional roth?

November 17, 2010 at 11:21 am
(94) Angie says:

My husband (soon to be ex) is in jail, we got married this year July 2. I believe I can file head of household this year. Is this correct? Or do I need to file married filing seperately? I do not have his SSN

November 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm
(95) Lupe says:

My husband and I got married this year in February. My husband owes money for school loans and is not aware how much is still owed. His tax returns for 2009 were not given to him due to the amount of money he owed on the school loan he defaulted on.

I just recently started school this fall and quit my job this month to go as a full time as a student. What could we do to receive the best tax savings and biggest refund? Would it be best if we file married/jointly or married but separate? My income for this year will probably be about 13K and his would most likely be around 32K. We really need the money, but I know that filing separately would give me fewer tax benefits that I would normally be able to qualify for. Also, I don’t want to be held responsible for his school loan from my possible tax return but filing jointly is the only way I know I would be able to qualify for some tax savings.

Thanks for your help.

November 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm
(96) Anne says:

Is it cheaper taxes for my husband and I to get a divorce? I make about $80K and his retirement is about $36K per year. He does not like not getting any refund as he did before we were married, and I am tired of paying all the taxes for both of us.


December 26, 2010 at 8:30 pm
(97) keiffer says:

hey Angie, you cannot filed head of household because you are still (considered to be legally married). Also to claim head of household you need a qualified child or a qualified relative that you can claim an exemption for.
If you filed a return and fail to submit your spouse SSN you are subject to pay a penalty of $50 dollars. filed married filed seperated will be the best thing for you but you will lose alot of benefits and your tax maybe higher.
Hope this helps you.

January 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm
(98) carl says:


Me and my wife normally file our income taxes jointly. However, this year, her company had her work at an out-of town location for about 14 months. My understanding from the company that did our taxes last year, a lot of her expenses will be tax deductible because we (I) maintained our primary residence. She had to get a place to stay, food, business expenses, etc for that period of time which came out to about 1.5-1.8k/per month. She made about 3.5k per month and I made about 6k. I would like for her to get to what max return back. In the past, we have recieved about 4-5k refund.

Granted, I might have to pay taxes this year, but would this be an overall good move with the understanding, I would like for her to get back as much of the money that she spent for these expenses?

January 14, 2011 at 12:14 pm
(99) charlene says:

i am married but my husband has children from a previous relationship he owes back child support can i file separately and claim our son and my children from a previous relationship?

January 18, 2011 at 3:36 am
(100) Philipp says:

Hi William,

Thanks for all of the great information. I’ve got a quick question for you. My wife and I would like to file separately this year as we are going through a (peaceful) separation. We live in California, which is is community property state, however, would like to keep our state income separate as well.

Is there any way to avoid having to split our combined income in half for 2010 on our California Tax return?

Can we claim that our incomes are in fact separate incomes instead of community incomes?

Also, do you know how TurboTax deals with the CA community income when filing separately?

Thanks so much!

January 18, 2011 at 4:39 am
(101) William Perez says:

Philipp, the only way you can opt-out of the community property rules is if you and your spouse have an agreement that specifies separate property and separate income. You’ll need to speak to an attorney on that particular issue. I’m not sure how TurboTax specifically deals with this issue, but the professional grade software I use requires that I enter community property adjustments to the federal return before it allows me to file the return. You should review FTB Publication 1051A, it’s only two pages long and provides a brief overview of the situation. The hard part is figuring out how to split income and deductions. For that, IRS Publication 555 is helpful.

January 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm
(102) Jose says:

Hello all,

I have a question. I got married in 2010 to a woman from a different country. I am a US citizen but she is neither a citizen nor resident alien of the United States. She currently lives in her home country and we are applying for her US residency. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to file my taxes since she does not have a social security number. Would it make more sense to file as married jointly or married separately? What else would I need to file since she does not have a social security number?
Thank you

February 20, 2011 at 11:20 am
(103) peggy says:

hi I got the same question as you. did you figure out already?

I don’t know the maritual status.

January 22, 2011 at 1:47 pm
(104) aguy says:

should a married couple file jointly but file a injured spouse form(8379) so they still get the tax breaks?

January 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm
(105) Nicki says:

My husband and I were married in May 2010. I make about 24k a year and last year his income was only 4k, which was from self employment, and from which no taxes were taken out. The problem lies in the fact that he has unsettled tax liabilities with the IRS that existed before our marriage. He has not filed taxes for several years, and for the past 3 years has been self employed (commission based income.) He never set aside tax money so now we are facing a dilemma as to how to file this year. I have always filed as single, and claimed our children (ages 3 & 1). Now we know you are supposed to file as married but we really need our tax refund this year, and I want to file single but am afraid of the IRS finding out we are married. I asked a tax adviser and she said there is a form with the IRS called an “injured spouse” form which releases me of tax liablity and she said I would receive the full refund…but I am not exactly sure if this is true based on the fact my husband owes the IRS back taxes…but it was all BEFORE we were married. Like I said, this year, he hardly made anything. Is it possible to file jointly for this year even if he owes money from previous years without the IRS digging into my refund???!!! I estimated from a tax calculator that I would receive about $8000.00 back. (As single). Any advice?????

February 21, 2011 at 5:04 pm
(106) Sherry says:

You cannot file single status when you are married. Either file married filing separately or jointly. It depends also where you live. I live in California (where community property laws exist) and my husband owes back taxes even before we were married. I filed taxes for 2 years along with Injured Spouse form but both years, they took ALL the refund because they said I am now married to my husband, our refunds become community property and IRS took the refund. So it does not matter if you file Injured Spouse, if you live in community property states, the IRS will get your refund. I suggest filing married but filing separately.

January 28, 2011 at 6:42 am
(107) sandra finger says:

I have a question. If my spouse and I decided to file separate returns, can we divide our mortgage interest and property taxes in half? We live in NJ, which is not a community state

January 29, 2011 at 11:39 am
(108) George says:

For various reasons not to be aired here, I am thinking of filing separately but I am legally separated and my wife will not cooperate. Can I file married filing separately without my wife’s cooperation?

February 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm
(109) Rev. Jim says:

Wondering why Evgeny’s comment/question from Oct. 19, 2009 was never addressed. Also, on Aug. 9, 2010 in a reply to Tammi you told her “Texas is not a community property state — in which case you will divide your various personal deductions based on who actually paid the expense.” This is not accurate, as Texas is very definitely a community property state.

February 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(110) Jose Vasquez says:

I have a situation, me and my wife filled together jointly, I made $20,000 for the year, she maid $2,000, the thing is that she wants for me to give her half of our refund because since we cliamed it togeter I am getting $800 dollars more on the refund. Do I really have to give her money and how much. We also checked how much she would get on her own and it was $87.00. I claimed my two daughters.

February 5, 2011 at 3:02 pm
(111) William Perez says:

Jose V., If you file jointly, your are equally responsible for the tax, equally responsible for defending the return if it happens to be audited, and so logically it seems to me you should share equally in the refund money.

February 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm
(112) Crystal says:

My husband and I married March 2010; but now he wants to divorce. We live in different states due to his work, because he is in the military, and my schooling. I am currently unemployed and won’t be filing for taxes. My husband will file but where does that leave me? What happens if he were to put “single” instead of “married but filing separately”? Any advice?

February 7, 2011 at 9:18 am
(113) Will says:

If you live in Ohio, you should run through both options. I found that if you and your partner make over 40,000 each – you will most likely be MUCH better off filing separately. I did a little research as to why, and posted the details on my blog:

February 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm
(114) Kai says:

I am married and we are filing separately. When the form asks for my wifes information do i need to enter it ? last year i did enter her information and it screwed her taxes up even tho i did not enter any information from her w2, Just her name and social.

February 8, 2011 at 1:27 am
(115) Lulu says:

My husband and I got married Sept 2011. He had a foreclosure write off for 2010. We don’t live together in the same house yet, but he we do live in the same state.

I also have my own mortgage interest to write off. Can we file jointly and write off his mortgage foreclosure write off before we got married?

Thank you very much for your help

February 15, 2011 at 11:30 am
(116) Mike says:

I am stuck in a tough position and looking for some expertise. My wife is a medical student and has financed her schooling entirely through loans, a little is from undergrad as well (300K+). We live in NYC and I made 66K (6.7K in federal tax paid, 3.6 in state and 2.1K in city), I have no debt. We were married in April 2009 and filed jointly last year. I am thinking we may have to file separately this year but if we do it is estimated I will owe 3.5K, however, we plan to apply for IBR and would rather apply with her income as ZERO then with around combined 66K income. My main question is could we apply for the IBR program this year when the time comes having filed jointly and have our montly payments driven off of the 66K income and then next year file separately then when we have to reapply for the IBR program (you have to apply each year) we could drive down that monthly payment as my wife will be in residency and will prob make only 18-21K next year. The loans will go into repayment late this year so I am thinking we could afford the IBR monthly payment at the 66K level for a few months until we file our 2011 taxes (ideally as separate) and resubmit the information to adjust our IBR montly payment down. Do you think our lendor will have to allow this based on how we file or could they say we see last year you filed jointly and together you make much more than the 18-21K so you still owe X dollars per month (X being the amount determined this year if we apply having filed our taxes jointly)?

February 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm
(117) Codie says:

Will my spouse and I get penalized for filling seperatly? My taxes are taking to long to come in and we need the extra funds???

February 20, 2011 at 12:48 am
(118) xeniah says:

I have a question. My husband is going to claim his disabled brother as a dependant eventhough the brother does not live with us. I’ve heard that is okay as long as he meets all the other requirements (he does) except Im not sure about the making less that 3,700 a year income requirement. He receives around 500.00 a month disability from the government/military from getting hurt while he was serving them. Is that considered income?? Thank you for your help. It is so appreciated!

February 20, 2011 at 11:16 am
(119) peggy says:

I have a question about my maritual status. my husband live in other country, he never been USA before, and he also has no SSN. so can I file as a single?

March 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm
(120) Rob says:

I do not work and therefore do not file income tax. My husband works full time in a state other than which we live and owes back taxes to the state we live in. Should we file separately or jointly? We are recently married. Is there a benefit to filing separately since I do not have an income and he owes back taxes or would filing jointly benefit us better? I ask because we are going to owe taxes again to the state we live in because he works in another state- would filing jointly lower the state taxes we would owe?

March 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm
(121) TB2011 says:

My wife and I have always filed jointly. She was defaulted on a student loan from before we got married. One year, they took our tax return because of it. Up until then, I told her that her loan issues were her responsibility – but she never took care of it. Because it was going to start effecting me, I took control of the situation and started making the payments on the loan. This of course got us in good standing, and we always filed jointly to maximize the refund.
For the last year, things in the marriage have soured. We have not divorced or seperated, but appear to be heading that way – and due to that scenario, I no longer have been keeping up with the student loan payments.
We have two children and a mortgage (mortgage is in my name – but we live in a community property state). In filling out my tax return, I prepared as “Married Filing Seperately”. I am entitled to a refund. If I simply handle my business, file and claim the two kids and mortgage can she come back and cause trouble for me if/when she files – saying that she was entitled to the deduction instead of me? Not sure how the IRS looks on those types of situations or if they would come back on me.

March 15, 2011 at 6:25 pm
(122) Leslie says:

My husband and I just got married at the end of 2010. I have always filed with standard deductions and it works fine for me… On the other hand, my husband has always filed itemizing his return because of his employment and working out of the home.
For 2010 we were planning on filing separate but married- we are being told by one place that we both have to itemize since he has to, and by another place that it does not matter.

Which is correct? & What would be the best way to file?

Also, can we both file as ‘single’ even though we are now married but were single for majority of the tax year?

March 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm
(123) William Perez says:

Leslie, congratulations on getting married. Now that you are married, you have two filing options: either to file jointly with each other, or separately from each other. In either case, you’ll utilize the same deduction status: you’ll both use the standard deduction, or you’ll both itemize. “Mixing and matching” in this instance is not permitted, unfortunately. There’s no “correct” answer as to which is the best way to file. Rather it depends on an analysis on the one hand of the tax benefits and on the other hand of whether you are willing to be responsible for each other’s tax obligations. My article on filing separately has more information on this topic.

March 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm
(124) Mary Ellen Albritton says:

If married filing separate, and you have a home mortgage and home equity loan, can you split the property taxes as deductions? (i.e. can one half of the year’s taxes be deducted from one person and the other half deducted on the other tax return?).

April 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm
(125) Atanu Mukherjee says:

I got married in July 2010, and so this year I was trying to file tax return as married, filing separately (as my wife is not in this country) using turbotax as a Florida resident for tax purposes & found that they need my wife’s SSN or ITIN. Now, she just visited me for about 1 month & then she left US & she never had any SSN or never worked here & never applied for any SSN or ITIN either. The efile is not allowing me to use it in turbo tax because my wife’s SSN is missing. I can’t even put “UNABLE” or “NA” in that box. So can I just ignore this error message & print out the forms & handwrite “UNABLE” in her SSN box? Then just attach a note separately to explain the situation? Will I get any money (it’s about $1042 I’m gonna get back) back if I do so? Or, I was wondering if I could file just as single this time?

April 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm
(126) Amy Andrus says:

My husband and I were married last year but are divoiced now. Do we still need to file “married filing single”? Do you need each others SS# to do this?


April 7, 2011 at 3:48 pm
(127) Rina says:

I got divored Nov. 1 2010, can my ex husband and i file joint/married? I think it would be in our best interest to do so.

April 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm
(128) William Perez says:

Rina, marital status for tax purposes is determined on the last day of the year (12/31). Since you were unmarried on the last day of the year, you will file as an unmarried person (either single or head of household, as the case may be).

April 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm
(129) maymann says:

I am a US citizen, who stopped working since August of 2010 and got married to a Canadian citizen two months (Oct 2010) later. When I was working and paying taxes, I was single. I haven’t worked ever since since I got married. I am planning on moving to Canada soon, I will need to submit my immigration papers.
I have nothing under my name as far as the house we live in or his job or anything that we own. We have kept everything separate since I haven’t even changed my last name on legal papers.
When I file for my taxes, when i select “married but file separate” it keeps asking for his info such as SSN and all that. But he is not American. I cannot answer the questions and I dont have any other selection to indicate my situation clearly.
If applying “single” while “married” is out of the question, in this case, what are my other options?
THanks in advance.

April 12, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(130) Anne says:

My husband and I were married in June 2009. We seperated after three month and I moved out of state last year. I took a big hit on my taxes last year filing married but seperate because he took all th deductions by filing long form. I do not have any contact with him and dicorce papers were filed in Nov 2010. There is no way he is going to not file long form again and I have to take the hit again. If I filed single, I would owe nothing. Is there anything I can do?

April 12, 2011 at 8:57 pm
(131) William Perez says:

Marital status for the purpose of your filing status is determined on the last day of the year (12/31). Since you divorced in Nov 2010, you are unmarried as of 12/31, and so you would be single for tax purposes.

April 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm
(132) Nathan says:

I am married but we have lived apart for 2 years. Last year we filed jointly. This year, without telling me, she filed her own taxes. Her preparer had her file head of household. He said that if we haved lived apart for over 6 months that in the state of texas we can file single. I think that is wrong and was going to file married filing separately. I pay for my daughters after school care and I can’t deduct it because she claimed out daughter as a dependent. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

April 17, 2011 at 12:35 am
(133) Liz says:

Thanks for the info! I have a question for you. Here is some background:

We live in Texas and we are considering MFS simply because it seems to mean a bigger refund for us.

We made a bit more money last year which put us right over the limit to receive Child Tax Credit. We dont qualify for any other credits, except the Make Work Pay Credit.

If we do MFS, we would get a bit of Child Tax Credit, and it seems that the standard sales tax deduction works better too. I made more than my husband last year, and we plan to itemize deductions and allocate them based on whether they are community property or not. Mortgage interest and property taxes are the biggest deductions we have and they are for the house in which we live, that I purchased by myself before we got married. Therefore, the biggest deductions are going in my return, and my husband is going to claim our daughter as the dependant.

My question is regarding community income. In the article, you mention that “In those nine states, spouses report their individual income on their federal return, but report half of their combined income on their state return.” This suggests that we can file our individual income on our federal return. However, Publication 555 says that in community states, income should be reported as half of the combined income when the income in earned while you’re married. This seems to contradict your article, unless I’m reading something wrong.

Can you clarify, please?

For us, MFJ would mean the smallest refund. MFS would mean abiout twice the MFJ refund. But if we could file MFS with out incomes separately as your article suggests, it would mean three times the MFJ refund. I want to get back as much as we are legally entitled to.


April 17, 2011 at 2:42 am
(134) William Perez says:

Liz, first of all, Thank You for pointing out that mistake in my article. You are correct that couples in community property states will share or split their income on their federal tax return. I have posted new articles covering community property income, community property deductions, and some tips for preparing community property tax returns. I have also revised the post above to reflect the correct understanding of community property at the federal level.

Now on to your questions.

Texas is a community property state. And so if you file separate returns, you would have to follow Texan community property rules when figuring your federal tax return. I’m not familiar with the Texan rules, and I will look into that further after April 18th :-)

The general rule is that most income, deductions and tax withholding are totaled and divided evenly in half between the two spouses. But there’s additional analysis here. If property is separate property, then the income or deduction arising from that property is that spouse’s separate income or deduction. Thus if the house is your separate property, then the mortgage interest and property tax deductions would be your separate deductions. The caution here is to check your state’s community property rules, because these specifics do vary by state.

Your situation is actually not too unusual. I have seen separate returns under community property turn out much better than joint returns, and much better than two returns using complete separation of income/deductions. The downside of this “good news” is that software programs really don’t provide any easy way to prepare community property returns.

April 18, 2011 at 4:02 am
(135) Liz says:

Hi William! Thank you very much for the clarification! The other links to other articles were very helpful.

Now, this is question is somewhat off-topic.

I finished creating the returns in the H&R software. My husband owes and I get a refund. The software indicates the address to which the returns need to be sent. His refund says to mail Charlotte, NC whereas mine says to mail to Austin, TX. I think our reports should go to the same office but I dont know what office to choose to send them to.

Any thoughts?

May 11, 2011 at 12:56 pm
(136) Sarah says:

We filed jointly with injured spouse form. I just found out bc of California’s community property law I will not receive my substantial return. I had considered married filing separately and had bad advice about the injured spouse form. My question for you is: If I had filed as married filing separately, would I have received my refund? Or would my refund be viewed as community property and still applied to my husband pre-marriage tax burden?

Thanks for the help.

May 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm
(137) Nicole says:

I have been filing with my husband who’s income is significantly higher than mines.His income being around 35,000-40,000 and mines being around 20,000-25,000.For the past 3 years we’ve filied jointly and in the begining he was just using a tax payer id# and he has been informing me that we have received nothing.It’s difficult to believe but he keeps the forms from me and i have no way of figuring the truth out.This year he says that we owe and i have no idea how but he has been keeping the return form from me so i tried to call and check but they need information from that form.He is forging my signature and i’m feeling a bit powerless and in the dark.I want to file separatley next year,not sure if i can though.

June 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm
(138) TINA says:

I was married 5 years ago but due to unforeseen events we separated ONE MONTH later. I have not lived with him for 5 years now. Do I still need to file as married even though we are “estranged”? We were never “legally” divorces or separated. I filed MFS and itemized but now got a bill as he did NOT itemize. Is there any way I can file Single at this point??

June 14, 2011 at 9:42 pm
(139) William Perez says:

Tina, you must continue filing as married-filing-separately until such as as either you can claim a closely related dependent (such as a child) thus making you eligible for Head of Household instead of married filing separate, or you become legally separated or divorced. You’re not eligible for the single (unmarried) filing status.

July 19, 2011 at 1:18 pm
(140) Scott says:

My ex-wife and I were separated in 2007 (not legally),and divorced in 2008. I did not file a return for 2007,and now must do so. My question is, what status do I file? Married filing Separate or single? I know my ex-wife went and filed single for the 2007 tax yr,and I know if I have to file married but separate for a past tax return (even though I’m not married now),there is no way she will give me her ss#,as I’m sure they will pull her return and she will get penalized. So,I don’t know what to do in regards to filing status. Any information would be appreciated. Thank You

July 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm
(141) Notsure says:

My husband and i married in Sept of 2010, separated April 2011,he loved to another location, I own own my business, he works for a corporation. He had previously been claiming his 3 children from his ex wife before marrying me, and once we married he left his exemptions on his tax withholding the same, and no longer able to claim his 3 children. I have 3 children of my own, not his, I want to file married separate, but he says that this will cause him a tax liability. He did not live here more than 3 months last year and i supported all the bills in my house. He uses his paycheck to pay for his preivous problems with his ex and child support and 2 vehicles. Any advise? I feel I should be able to file separate and claim my own children.

September 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm
(142) John says:

My wife and I were married and lived together for only 4 months. Now, she has left US & she never had any SSN or never worked here & never applied for any SSN or ITIN either.
I understand that I have to use the status “married filing separately”. But what do I say in the column for spouse SSN. I have no contact with my wife now.

September 29, 2011 at 9:03 pm
(143) Anne says:

Help! April this yr 2011 divorce finalized. Husband did a sep return for 2010 still married so I guess I have to file sep return. During marriage, he set up accts for his income in his name only. Last yr, he had 88k in gains. He took that on sep return and also took 200k of losses from prior yrs to balance. I think I am due some of losses from prior years as some were joint acts and some were in his name only. Married 25 yrs in ct.

October 24, 2011 at 6:02 pm
(144) Tania says:

I live in CA, I work full time and my husband has been without a job for the past 3 years. We do not have kids in common, but I have a full time college daughter and a 9 years old kid. He owes a lot of money in back child support and eve though we file married join with the injured spouse, still the IRS takes almost 1/2 of my return, and most of it is my children credits. It is hard to see that the money that belongs to my kids goes to other pocket that does not have anything with me. Can somebody please tell what should I do. It has to be a way, PLS HELP.

November 5, 2011 at 8:41 pm
(145) james monroe says:

me and my wife usually file jointley,but this year we are filing married filling separate but she has no job and no income and has 4,000 owed in student loans and thats why we are filling seprate because we dont want them to take my tax return.does anyone know if they can take it.thank you

November 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm
(146) William Perez says:

James, this is more of a legal question than a tax question. From the tax side, the Treasury will collect federally-enforceable debts from a taxpayer’s refund. Whether the IRS can collect from one spouse for the debts of the other spouse depends on whether you live in a community property state.

November 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm
(147) AT says:

My girlfriend and I are planning to get married – but would like to time it right so that it does not affect either of our lives too harshly.

She is beginning a University degree in 2012 and will be eligible for many loans and grants/scholarships based off of low-income (need based).

I am graduating this year with a degree and will be starting an entry level job that pays a pretty decent amount. If we get married and file jointly – she(we) will have to report this higher income on fafsa and she will not be eligible for as much (and then we wouldn’t be able to afford schooling for her).

If we get married and file separately – does this
a) allow her to report only her income to fafsa as well?
b) effect her in any other way (she would not be receiving EIC, the HOPE education credit, and is not taking loans that require interest payment as I understand these are things you can no longer deduct if filing “married – separately”)
c) will this effect me in any other way as I will be making quite a bit more.

Is this a good situation to put to use “married – filing separately”?? Or should we put off the marriage until after she has graduated??
Thank you for any help!

December 14, 2011 at 12:25 pm
(148) Destiny says:

I live in Michigan. I left my husband in February of this year and am interested in filing “married filing separately”. My name is not on the mortgage and I have an apartment. I pay students loans for 2 grown children and one child is still a dependent although, he is 23. Which of us would claim him? I make about 48k. I am wondering about any tax breaks for me and if I would have to pay or receive money back.

January 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm
(149) Jacqui says:

My husband started a business this past year and I work for someone else. Can we use the filing separately status? I don’t itemize and we usually get the low income credit. If so how would we go about doing it correctly?

January 7, 2012 at 12:16 am
(150) Shara Bunting says:

We filed married/joint last year and owed, making payments.
Can we file married/seperate and the first one to file pay the whole amount owed?

January 12, 2012 at 4:14 am
(151) TJ says:

I owe a military credit card money. I am in the very beginning process of filing for bankruptcy. I just called the Dept. Of Treasury and my SSN has been flagged for offset but my husband’s is not. What the best way for my husband to file (I do not need to file, as I do not have a job)? If he files married, filing separately can the refund still be taken since He has to put my SSN? Thank you in advance!

January 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm
(152) samantha says:

My fiance is currently in Afghanistan and we plan to get married when he comes back. He will be stationed in NC and I go to college in FL, so we will not be living together. I am completely dependent upon my parents for school expenses etc… If my husband files “Married filing separately” and doesn’t claim me as a dependent would my parents still be able to claim me as their dependent as I am still a full time student? Thank you!

January 16, 2012 at 11:55 am
(153) Dee Keith says:

My husband contributes zero to the mortgage payment and child expenses. I am thinking it would be wise for me to file married/seperate. Would I be correct in this?

January 24, 2012 at 1:11 am
(154) William Perez says:

Dee, what state do you live in? I ask because the answer to your question depends on whether you live in a community property state.

January 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm
(155) James Grover says:

We would like to file as Married Filing Separate and we live together in a non-community property state (Ohio). For both of us, our main income is 1099-R income (STRS-OH) with not a penny of W-2 income. May I divide the 1099-INT, 1099-DIV and 1099-G to our best advantage as long as both SSNs are associated with the accounts and the total amounts are accounted for?

January 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(156) Bernadine Torznik says:

In Green Bay, WI the judge that I had claims we are married in 1997. No divorce ever filed. Since 2006 I have filed married separately. My husband married in 1998. He has two marriage certificates but no divorce certificate..

I have gone to H&R Block in Green Bay, WI. Each time I have gone there they do nothing about what you wrote about married filing separately. My husband is a bigamist. He uses her name and social security number on tax papers. 1.2 million in stocks, bonds are in his reports to the IRS. I received a copy of his returns in 2006. The DA John Zakowski refused to file bigamy charges.

Reported all this fraud to the IRS, Security and Exchange.

What else can I do?

January 23, 2012 at 9:58 am
(157) charles b says:

i live in nj i am married and have 3 kids 2 in school and 1 in child care my wife made under $20,000 and i made about $35,000 should we file together or seprate what way would we get a bigger return

January 24, 2012 at 12:15 am
(158) William Perez says:

Charles B, the only way to find out is by preparing your tax return both ways (jointly and separately) and comparing the results. There’s no way for me (or anyone else) to be able to tell in advance which method will be more advantageous.

January 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm
(159) Sohan says:

What if we both are working in H1B visa status and have US born baby?.
is it ok to file separately and keep baby dependent on my spouse’s dependent not mine?

January 24, 2012 at 12:07 am
(160) William Perez says:

It’s always okay to file separately, in fact that’s the default filing status for married couples. You can decide among yourself which parent claims the child, as long as you don’t both claim the child, because then the IRS will get involved. If you cannot decide which parent should claim the child, then you can follow the tie-breaker tests.

January 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm
(161) Zinx says:

Is it possible to file the federal tax jointly and state tax separately ?

January 24, 2012 at 12:03 am
(162) William Perez says:

Depends on the state. Some states, such as New York, mandate using the same filing status as on the federal return.

January 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm
(163) Stacy says:

Last year I had to file injured spouse to receive my portion. Otherwise I was getting nothing due to my husband & his ex wifes debt. This year im filing separate. Do I still need to file the injured spouse form?

January 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm
(164) William Perez says:

Stacy, an excellent question. There’s no need to file an injured spouse claim if you are filing separate from your spouse. The reason for this is that by filing separately each spouse has his or her own separate tax liability, and each spouse gets his or her own refund. That way, if one spouse’s refund is diverting to pay for other debts, then the other spouse’s refund is still protected. This is one of the major benefits of filing separately, and I prefer it for situations where one spouse has outstanding debts.

January 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm
(165) ElizabethM says:

I just got married, we are filing separately because of his tax issues. Question: Can I file my taxes now and get receive my refund, even though he won’t be filing until closer to the deadline? Or, will they hold onto mine until his are filed?

January 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm
(166) John says:

I’m married but not living with her for the whole 2010 and 2011 year and the H&R filled my tax last year as a “single”. This year should I do the same as “single” I’m confusing about that.
Thank you.

January 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm
(167) William Perez says:

John, If you are married and living apart from your spouse for the whole year and have no kids that you’re supporting, then your filing status should be married-filing-separately. You can ask your tax preparer to revise your previously filed tax returns to correct the mistake.

January 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm
(168) Monica says:

My husband and I stopped living together in November 2011 but still legally married. Am I allowed to file married filing separate or Head of Household? It looks like I have to be not living together for the entire 6 months to do so. Is that correct? We also have three kids. Being that we shared expenses for 10 months what’s the best way to file taxes this year? We both made approx. $30K each. this is all new to me, please help.

January 28, 2012 at 3:51 pm
(169) William Perez says:

Monica, my recommendation is to file as “married filing separately”. Neither of you are eligible for Head of Household because you do not meet the “considered unmarried” test (which requires no co-habitation for at least the last six months of the year). I would shy away from filing jointly as a measure of protection, just in case either of you have any tax issues, filing separately will keep those issues separate.

January 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(170) Julie says:

Me and my significant other have been together for 9 years and have five kids together but not legally married. Do we have to file as married because we’ve been together for 9 years? im confused and need help. It would be greatly appreciated.

January 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm
(171) William Perez says:

Julie, you can file as married only if you are in fact married. Otherwise, you’re unmarried.

January 28, 2012 at 12:00 am
(172) Kimberly says:

Both my husband and I make the same amount…around $55K. I have a child from a previous marriage (no day care expense). We don’t have any special deductons other than a $410 energy credit for a new roof. If I do our taxes “jointly” it comes out with a REFUND that’s $300 less than if I do ours separately (using free TurboTax). What could be going on here. I claim my son as a dependant, married filing separately, I put in the interest on the house (but it doesn’t count since I end up with the standard deduction) and my energy credit for the roof. On my husbands return he claims nothing (no child, no house…nothing)…Under “community property we put in each other’s incomes which are practically ZERO’d out because we both get paid the same and we pay the same taxes. But filing JOINT we get less of a refund…WHY? Am i missing something…it seems so simple.

January 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm
(173) William Perez says:

Kimberly, it’s impossible to diagnose this situation. What I do in these situations is compare the two separate returns to the joint return line by line to see where the difference is.

January 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(174) coutterhill says:

If we file married filing separately, can I still claim my kid and get the credit?

January 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm
(175) William Perez says:

Couterhill, several tax credits are denied to couples who file separately. Please refer to my article on married filing separately in which I list which tax breaks are not allowed for separate filers.

January 29, 2012 at 12:20 am
(176) Joshua says:

what happens if i filed seperately and the tax office entered the wrong social security for my wife?

January 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm
(177) William Perez says:

Joshua, have your tax preparer correct their mistake.

January 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm
(178) Judy Roberts says:

If tax was not taken out of a retirement fund in my husbands name and we were seperated for 10 months of the year would I have to file with him or seperately to avoid tax being my responsibility/

January 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm
(179) William Perez says:

If you desire separate tax liabilities, you will need to file separate tax returns.

January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm
(180) larry harvey says:

If my spouse and I have filled married filing jointly for years, who claims form 1099-G the year we file separate. Both of our names are on the document from a last years refund.

February 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm
(181) Razor says:

My fiance and I got married last January , 15th 2011 . We are filing Married but seperatly , since she lives in Florida and has taxes taken out and I live in Ohio and pay my estimated taxes thru out the year but we dont live under the same roof over 9 months at a time , what do we both have to do . First time doing this

February 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm
(182) kimberly says:

Well I figured it out well enough. Together…we make just a teeny tiny bit into the next bracket. The “child” credit…Takes something like $50 for every thousand over some “magical” limit. Together we’re more over that “magical” limit than we are when we’re separate…that seemed to be the difference. It’s stupid but that apparently is the major factor.

February 5, 2012 at 5:17 am
(183) John S. says:

My wife and i have been married for 10 years. She has been a stay at home mom the whole time and i have always claimed her on my taxes. I owe taxes for some of those years. Is there anyway for her not to be responsible for my tax debt? Basically is there anyway she could file seperatly claim our 3 kids and ever see a penny? We previously lived in NH, MA and currently FL.

February 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm
(184) William Perez says:

John S., the preferred method is for each of you to file separately, as that will effect a complete separation of your tax liabilities for the year in which you file separately. An alternative method is for your wife to request a separation of tax liabilities for years in which you filed jointly by filing an innocent spouse claim. However, if she has no income, then having her claim the kids as dependents will not result in any tax refunds for her.

February 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm
(185) Kris says:

I am in the process of filing my MA state tax return. I am a MA resident and paid MA state income tax. My wife is a NH resident and obviously paid no MA state income tax. Am I legally allowed to file ‘married filing separately’ for myself in MA and not file MA taxes for my wife. Will her social security # trigger a red flag with the MA IRS? We already filed our federal taxes ‘married filing jointly’. What is the best, legal way to resolve this issue?

February 6, 2012 at 4:08 am
(186) William Perez says:
February 8, 2012 at 3:30 pm
(187) Nancy says:

I got married for the first time on June 3rd of this year. I have a 19 year old daughter living at home. I have filed my taxes faithfully every year since I was 16 years old, including the years that I worked under the table in a bar. I recently found a letter addressed to my husband from the Irs. Apparently HE has not filed taxes for the last 3 years, since his divorce from his last wife. I do NOT want to be held responsible for HIS tax debt when I have always paid my dues and almost always have gotten a return. Is it legal for me to file separately and claim my daughter as my dependent, and will this exempt me from his debt? Is there any way I would be held responsible for his debt now that I am his wife? When I confronted him, he informed me that he has been having his work hold an extra $10 a week from his paycheck for this entire(2011) year to offset taxes he may owe. So will this help? I am asking since I am assuming that I will be filing his tax forms for him to keep this debt from getting any larger and to help protect myself in the future of this marriage. What are your professional recommendations for how to proceed in this situation. Thank you in advance for your response.

February 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm
(188) Jill says:

What if I have no income but husband is not fiing joint returns (still has not filed 2010) as he owns his own business. I do not want to be dragged down by his inability to be responsible

February 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm
(189) chuck says:

I didn’t file federal taxes last year in tx ,now i live in a different state, how do i file this year. Thanks.

February 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm
(190) Bob_in_CA says:

When married filing separately, how do deductions like mortgage interest work? Must it be split in half or can one spouse claim all of it?

February 17, 2012 at 2:30 am
(191) William Perez says:

Bob, depends on what state the spouses live in. It appears you are from California, and California is a community property state. In a community property state, such as California, spouses who file separately report one-half of the total income belonging to the marital community, one-half of all deductions belonging to the marital community, plus any separate income or separate deductions.

February 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm
(192) Nancy says:

I posted above and never got a response…are you still answering questions, or only the simple ones?

February 17, 2012 at 2:39 am
(193) William Perez says:

Nancy, filing separately will result in each of your being solely responsible for your own tax responsibilities. I’d recommend filing separately for now, and then reconsidering whether to file jointly after your spouse has gotten his tax situation under control.

February 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm
(194) mrs.pitts says:

My husband is owed back Childsupport from his kids mom. I was told if she was married that the IRS would seize her refund and take out the amount she owes then they would hold it for 6months before seending it to my husband…giving her husband to file the injured spouse claim. What if her and he husband filed married but seperate? Will the IRS still hold that money for 6 months since they filed seperate and his money can’t be touched anyway?? Or is there still a 6 month waiting period no matter how she files???

February 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm
(195) William Perez says:

Good question, Mrs. Pitts. I’m not familiar with the time frames for processing child support. You may want to direct your questions to the Treasury Department’s Financial Management Service, which handles these sorts of refund offsets. As for separate filers, the Treasury can only offset the refund of the taxpayer who files. If the couple files separately, only the debtor’s refund is seized and utilized to satisfy debt obligations for which the Treasury acts as a collection agent.

February 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm
(196) mrs.pitts says:

Oh and I forgot to mention we live in KY

February 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm
(197) Miss I. says:

I got married in December 2011, my husband is in the marines and he’s stationed out of state – I live in Texas. He has already filed his taxes and he filed married filling seperately as he owes back child support and all his refund gets seized. All his mail comes to our apartment here in Texas so we “live” together and he sends money for some bills. I have a younger brother who stays with me and I usually claim him as he makes less than 15K a year and I take care of him. He is 23 yrs old, I’m 25, will this be a problem if I file married filling seperately but I still claim him? Please advise.


February 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm
(198) nelson says:

I have a question, me and my wife claimed our taxes jointly 3 years ago. We’ve been doing them seperatly for the past 3 years. She’s claims our 2 kids and I file just myself. The problem is she’s puts married filing separately while I put single. I want to fix the past three years I’ve been filing but I don’t know if I should or take my chances next year ans say I’m married filing separately. Will I be audited next year if that happens?

March 5, 2012 at 4:04 pm
(199) Marc Mocon says:

Can a married couple heading for a divorce in 2012 file their respective 2011 income tax return as individual tax payers?

March 5, 2012 at 10:16 pm
(200) William Perez says:

Marc, the married couple would file as “married filing separately”.

March 6, 2012 at 2:11 pm
(201) Alicia says:

If married couple filling separately but one wants to itemize since he owns the house, the wife wants to take standard deduction because she doesn’t have enough to itemize, who really wins in the case? If wife files first using the standard deduction is she okay? Or will she be penalilzed if the husband files later, itemizing? They live in MN.

March 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(202) William Perez says:

Alicia, both spouses must use the same method – either to itemize or to use the standard deduction. If one spouse itemizes, the other must also itemize. Doesn’t matter which spouse files first.

March 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm
(203) smed08 says:

I understand that you can file seperately from your spouse if he/she owes back taxes. Can I file seperately and never have to list his name or SS#? Or would I have to file a different filing status? ex:single, head of household

March 14, 2012 at 2:10 am
(204) William Perez says:

You have to report your spouse’s name and SSN per IRS instructions on the Form 1040 when filing separately.

March 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm
(205) Ron T says:

Wife and I want to file separate tax return in California. We had file separate tax returns for several years. Now wife got incarcerated in California in the fall of 2011 and we are seeking how to file for 2011 for Federal at State. We have one w2, 1099ssa, three 1099Rs (two for me and one for her), on unemployment (hers), state tax return for her and me for 2010, Do we count as community property the income while we were living together up to the date of her incarceration and separat property from the date of incarceration onward? Do we proportionate the deductions and withholdings proportionately community and separate property based on the time together and the time she in incarcerate? Would like some answers.

March 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(206) William Perez says:

Ron T., it’s too complicated to give a short answer here. The short answer is that we allocate income based on California’s community property laws. Different types of income are treated differently based on various state and federal tax rules. I highly encourage you to take this to a tax professional who has experience dealing with community property issues, as it’s not your standard tax situation.

March 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm
(207) CMoore says:

My husband owns his own business and is behind in filing taxes. I will be filing seperately 2011 and seperately on a late return for 2010. Will my seperate filings trigger IRS attention on him? Just want to know what to expect. Thanks.

April 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm
(208) kay says:

what if one spouse recently filed bankruptcy, would it be beneficial to file seperate to protect the other spouses return

April 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm
(209) JLaPlante says:

Hello William. My ex wife and I just finalized our divorce. Previous to the finalization, we filed our taxes as ‘married but filing seperately’. The “Mortgage Interest Payment” sheet came in my name only, so I filed these taxes myself along with my own W2s, and I received the payment before our divorce was complete. Do I have to legally split the house taxes with my ex wife, even though they came only in my name, and I filed them myself. We live in Maine, and she filed her own taxes.

April 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(210) Bree says:

I owe fed taxes due to a defunct business over 10 years ago & I haven’t worked in 1-1/2 years due to an injury. My husband is the sole owner of house, boat, & auto. If we file married filing separately he would want to itemize. Since I have no income (other than exempt veteran’s disability) do I still file an itemized return?

April 10, 2012 at 1:52 am
(211) William Perez says:

Bree, if you don’t need to file a tax return (because, for example, you have no income), then you don’t need to file just because your husband does.

May 21, 2012 at 2:41 pm
(212) Suzie says:

My husband and I have been living seperately for over a year. If our status is “married, filing separately”, can we both claim our children as dependants? Our daughters live most of their time with me, and our son lived with him for most of the time until recently. There is no child support order as we plan on reconciling in the next year, but we have a set amount of money that he has agreed to give me twice a month.

May 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm
(213) William Perez says:

The rule is: dependents can be claimed by at most one taxpayer. So as long as you and your husband don’t claim the same dependents, you’ll be fine.

June 8, 2012 at 10:30 am
(214) CURIOUS ME says:

My fiance isn’t working and doesn’t file any taxes. If we get married, how will that affect him with me filling ‘married filling separate’? Will he end up getting in trouble if he doesn’t file? Will I?

July 12, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(215) Bonnie says:

I was married in March 2012. My husband owns his own company. I just found out that he has not filed taxes for his company or himself for 2011. If I file “married but separate” will the IRS take my money to pay for his taxes owed for the company or personal?

July 13, 2012 at 8:53 am
(216) Larry says:

I am a U.S. citizen. My wife is not a U.S. citizen or green card holder. She has never worked in the U.S. nor wants to. I know I can file ‘married filing separately’ because simply she doesn’t have to report anything to the IRS. If future houses or accounts are in her name, do I have to report these to the IRS? I would assume that if I do not legally own them, then I have nothing to report…is that correct?

July 17, 2012 at 1:07 am
(217) George Ramirez says:

I was married I owe the IRS for 2008 / 2009 taxe’s, my exwife and I always filing separatey when we where married, now we’r divorce can my exwife pay half of my taxes??

August 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm
(218) tct tran says:

I have another question:

John Doe – single – went overseas and married a lady in 2009 and he filed petition to bring his wife here.

The petition was approved in 2012 to allow his wife to come in USA and was given a Social Security Number in 2012.

Can John Doe refile (1040X) as married filing jointly for 2009, 2010 and 2011?


August 25, 2012 at 4:07 am
(219) Carrie says:

Me and Fiance are planning on getting married soon but he doesnt file taxes and I do. Could this be a problem for us getting married?

September 10, 2012 at 10:46 am
(220) Brett says:

My wife is considering applying for IBR for her student loans early next year, and is planning on filing married but seperately on her taxes, so that the payments will be lower, since its impossible to afford the payments now. My question is does it matter which one of us claims our child? ( in regard to appling for IBR). thanks.

September 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm
(221) Wendy says:

Ok,I was just recently married,like yesterday,to be exact Sept.10,2012,and I have been working and filing my own taxes as single,head of household with my 2 children,getting a healthy tax return for as long as I can remember.But now that I am married to a man that owes back child support,which has me startled now,am I or will I be held responsible for any of his misfortunes,and how will I file for the year 2012,being we will have only been married for approx. 3 months before it’s almost time to file again. He has also been permanately disabled since 99,so I don’t believe he has ever filed taxes. Please share anything with me,to enlighten this staggering ordeal for me.Please tell me,I will still come out the same as I have been.

September 18, 2012 at 2:42 pm
(222) stacy says:

I am on ssi n ssd and my wife filed me on he tax.teturn n I owe back child support n they took her whole tax reurn is that correct?

September 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm
(223) Karen says:

My husband and I have gone over the AMT limit twice and apparently we lose most of our deductions (or have them deferred) They seem to count all of the income from our 3 upsidedown bleeding money rental properties, and then we don’t get to subtract all of the expenses that these properties incur. Would married filing separately give us back those deductions? Would it keep us out of AMT? Oh yes, and we live in California where our taxes are going up, up, up!

October 1, 2012 at 10:13 am
(224) noeljdv says:

What happens if I filed my return separately from my wife but, then, failed to declare that i’m married and, as a result, wasn’t able to also write her SSN?

i wasn’t really aware of this technicality. Also because, she lives and works in another state…

Any advice will be appreciated…


November 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm
(225) Angie says:

I just got married in 2012 and my husband owes child support in New Jersey and we live in MN, is it best to file married seprate?

November 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm
(226) Ken says:

In the case where neither married person makes over 200k but jointly make over 250k is it helpful/wise to do so separately? Both parties wont owe significantly and neither party cheats on their taxes.

November 16, 2012 at 1:09 am
(227) "h" says:

Mu husband and his ex filed jointly in 2001-owing thousands of dollars to IRS. Per divorce decree he opted to pay 3/4 and her 1/4. She has not paid a penny and my husband and I completed the debt owed. Ex fails to cooperate and now filed bankruptcy (which states if owe debt to former spouse it turns into spousal support per divorce decree). The court decided it was considered an equalization and now he is non priority in ch13. My question is, can IRS assist us in this matter since we finished paying it this year and make her responsible for her share plus int/penalties and file it w/ch 13 or can I file injured spouse and receive my money back and that debt be placed on the ch13? Seems courts don’t adhere to other judges decisions and we are literally paying for it.

November 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm
(228) Brenda says:

I have a defaulted loan and was wondering how this is going to affect our income tax? I haven’t worked in 2 yrs, my husband is the sole provider. We have 3 kids, can we still file married but separate?

December 7, 2012 at 8:57 am
(229) Robynleigh says:

I live in Ca. I’vee been married almost 18 yrs., separated for three. Going through a divorce…my husband lives in our house with 3 of our 4 children.
I know he is hiding money, possibly a business as well.
First, can he file separately without my consent?
Second, can he file jointly for federal and separately for state taxes?
Third, am I allowed access to his married but filing separately tax forms without getting a subpoena from the court?
Fourth, what kind of trouble could he be in if he signed my name on federal tax forms
Thank you

December 11, 2012 at 9:04 am
(230) tracey says:

we filed separtely on taxes. He was self employed. During divorce I found you he did not file. I do not owe IRS, however the judge said I had to pay half that he owes. ??

December 11, 2012 at 9:09 am
(231) Tracey says:

can a local judge make you pay half the ex spouses tax if you filed separately?

January 17, 2013 at 9:42 am
(232) Stan says:

I haven’t worked in a couple of years so I won’t be filling taxes this year and my wife of course works full time. I have a couple of student loans that have defaulted and now I have a lean on my name for them in our state. So my question is if my wife files separate will they be able to take money from either her federal or state tax return then? Thanks so much

January 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm
(233) Dawn says:

My husband and I have one child together but he has two from a previous relationship and has some child support that is back owed, for the past two years we have filed “married filing seperate”. I claim our son and get a tax refund, my husband’s tax return always goes to what is back owed. Someone recently mentioned that there was a new Oregon Tax law that passed that state we should not be filing this way. Is this correct?

January 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm
(234) Thenew mrs says:

I am in bankruptcy and my refund is taken and I do not want my husbands taxes effected. We are filing separately until that is resolved. Will that be be an issue for him?

January 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm
(235) Steven says:

My wife and i have 2 kids, i only made 26,300 and she made 15k at her job before she ways laid off. She also cashed in her 401k for about 12000 after penalties and taxes as well as a little over 10k in unemployment. We need to know if we should file seperately or together because of the Earned income credit for couples earning under 47k with two kids. Please help! We really need the Earned Income Credit.

January 26, 2013 at 3:16 am
(236) joko says:

Am married for 3years but we not leaving together and i even dont know his where about.evrytime i try to apply fot financial or student loan, they ask me to give my husbands income tax. Please help me what can i do. I dnt want to stop school

January 27, 2013 at 8:02 pm
(237) DJ says:

I am trying to file taxes for my daughter and son in law as married filling separately. They were married for two months and 10 days, do I adjust their shared income to reflect only the two months they have been married?

January 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm
(238) Tomika says:

If I filed married filing jointly last year with my husband can I file married filing separte this year and not be audited?

February 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm
(239) M says:

My husband and I got married in April 2012. He is worried that they may garnish is taxes again, because they did that last year. So, he want us to file seperatly. If we do, what is that best way to file. Single?

February 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm
(240) Jeremy says:

Hello. My wife and i seperated( not legally) and i read we are supposed to file married , she filed single head of household( we have lived apart since june of 2012) i cant get her social and now i do not know what to do

February 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm
(241) Deana says:

My husband and I both filing married but separate so what information do we need for the itemization thats required to do this?

February 7, 2013 at 2:08 am
(242) Av says:

@ Robyn, from what I have read trying to figure out something similar in regards to filing status, if u have been separated from your spouse for the last six months of the year you can file as head of household if u have a qualifying dependent. You can also file as married filing jointly or married filing separate so if your husband chooses to file HOH he can since he has 3 of your kids that live with him. You cannot force him to file jointly and vice versa you need each others signature to file together.

February 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm
(243) laura says:

my husband i have been seperated for 6 months it is not a legal seperation but we do not live together, i want to file my taxes he doesnt file and he owes back childsupport how should i file ? i dont want to be held responsible for his childsupport also can i file head of household? i have one dependant a minor child, i have custody of my niece for the lastt year

February 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm
(244) ali says:

My husband and I got married in 2012 but when he went to do his own taxes on Turbo Tax, he just selected the same personal information from the year before and already filed his return as “single”. When trying to go back and amend it, it never asked him for my information after selecting “filing jointly”. Shouldn’t we be only filing 1 return as a married couple?

February 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm
(245) Missy says:

If my husband and I file jointly like we have in the past, this will be the first year we do not get full credit for our two daughters @ $1000 per child because we made too much together,. However, if we file separately I qualify to claim both kids to get full credit of $2000 since I did not make too much on my own. My issue now is medical expenses, Do I include my husbands on my return? Or just me and the kids?

February 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm
(246) Ladyhlub says:

My Fiance has been divorced for a year now and filed his taxes this year as single and held of household, but GA state still has him and her listed on a refund check that they had in error. Now he cant cash that check because it is in both their names and who know where the heck she is. and who cares. But we just want to know what could we do and why did they do that?

February 20, 2013 at 9:20 am
(247) Angela says:

Got married in June. We agreed that we would file “married filing separate”. I’ve recently found out that my husband filed “head of household”. I found this out because he received a letter saying his return is being audited and that they need proof for his filing status and dependent. His sister is in college and lived with us for part of the year. I don’t know if he told his tax preparer that he got married and therefore I assume that’s why “HOH” was done. He is not going to be able to prove HOH because his sister stopped living with us at the end of May. Therefore, the IRS will recalculate his taxes. I haven’t done by taxes for the year. Should I go ahead file my taxes or wait until he hears back from the IRS on what he true taxes for the year are?

February 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm
(248) Annikay says:

Can my my husband and I file separately, him using a 1040ez and me filing with itemized deductions?

February 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm
(249) William Perez says:

Married couples who file separately must both itemize or both take the standard deduction. So based on your situation with you itemizing, your husband will need to file the Form 1040 and itemize as well.

February 24, 2013 at 6:12 pm
(250) Jorge says:

Hi my wife and I we are both full time workers and part time students at the same time. Since we got married we had always filed taxes together but this year we were thinking in filing them separately. I was reading some of the pros ans cons about this option and I don’t know if you can provide us with more information about this IRS paragraph:

Separate returns may give you a higher tax. Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. There is no joint liability. But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return.

Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return.

Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer.

You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases.

You cannot take the earned income credit.

You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most instances.

You cannot take the credit for higher education expenses (American opportunity and lifetime learning credits), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction.

Rule #6 talks about the educational credits. I would like to know if this rule means that if we decided to file separately while married we are not going to be allowed to get Financial Aid to study? and if the answer is yes, I would like to know why they would do that?
Thanks for your help

February 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm
(251) Jesse says:

I have unusual situation. My Husband died last year and we have always filed separate returns because of my defaulted student loans. He would claim our 4 kids & the IRS would take my return. Now that he passed, can’t he IRS take his final return if I put my social security number on form 1310? We always use his return to pay our rent for the year and this year is no different (more difficult actually). I don’t want to mess this up and don’t know what to do.

February 25, 2013 at 7:08 am
(252) Schaeffer says:

My taxes for the 2012 yr are in offset. If my refund is only about $2000, how much will the government take from me?

February 26, 2013 at 12:48 am
(253) cindy says:

Hi William,
My husband and i have been married for 17 years and own a home and are going through a divorce, we have 2 young children and live in CA. We have been living separately since april 2011. I have been a stay at home mom for the last couple of years. I usually do the taxes but just found out from my lawyer that he filed taxes without me, where does this leave me in regards to the refund (if there is one) if he maybe didn’t put my name on the tax forms at all? and do i need to file even if i have no income (sorry if that’s a silly question).
Thank you!

March 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm
(254) Walt says:

I filed taxes today, here in California. I have been married since June , 2012. Not very long. I wanted to file married seperate but was told by my tax guy we were past the deadline and had to file joint. My wife always itemizes her return, she is a teacher. She wanted to file joint. I always just standard file and get $$ back, have daughter, now house. Filing jointly got even less back this time. i basically got nothing and wife for about what she usually gets. Is it true that I can not file married seperate. There is a deadline? This does not seem right from what I’m reading.

March 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm
(255) Shiree says:

I am married and at this time an the only one with an income. I also work out of the state I live in. My husband has a small business at home that does not generate income. I have many expenses for running this business like utilities and other expenses but no profit. How should I file my taxes?

March 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm
(256) Tanya says:

My ex-husband and I were separated all of 2012 and the divorce wasn’t finalized until January of 2013. I filed my taxes first “Married filing separate” and I itemized my tax return because I own a home without him. I know he is SUPPOSED to file itemized as well. If he didn’t itemized and took the standard deduction OR he filed Head of Household, can I get in trouble for him not filing the same as me??

Thank you for your input!

March 21, 2013 at 9:01 pm
(257) William Perez says:

No, it will be up to your husband to itemize. Also, one thing I learned about head of household is that if the other spouse qualifies to file head of household, then that person doesn’t need to use the same method of deductions.

March 24, 2013 at 8:18 am
(258) Nicole says:

What would happen if a married couple with two kids living in the same house files taxes separate, each spouse with one kid?
Is it illegal?What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Thank you

March 24, 2013 at 9:24 am
(259) Fred says:

We filed jointly in 2010, in 2011 we filed MFS. My wife claimed our state income tax refund on her 2011 MFS return, i claimed nothing for my state return. Now the IRS says that i owe them money for taxes against my state return. Why are we getting taxed twice on this return, she claimed it on hers, why should i claim it on mine too?

March 30, 2013 at 6:07 pm
(260) Ben says:

My wife and are are separated. She filed taxes already but I don’t know if she itemized or did standard deduction and she won’t tell me either. Is there a way I can find out?

April 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm
(261) Coby says:

My wife and I are in the process of getting divorced, and our accountant ran our tax scenarios recently It turns out that if we file jointly, we’ll collectively owe $240 in taxes. If we file married but separate, I get back close to $4k, and she will have to pay over $1400 in taxes (she makes considerably more money than I do). I told her I wanted to file MFS and she refuses, saying she demands that we file jointly to reduce her tax burden. Can I simply go ahead and file MFS without her agreement?

April 11, 2013 at 10:45 pm
(262) Coby says:

I should have pointed out in my comment above that I meet all the criteria for filing ‘head of household’, which is actually the scenario that would give me the favorable return. My question essentially is, can my wife force me to file jointly, or somehow negate me filing head of household?

April 12, 2013 at 11:02 am
(263) William Perez says:

Filing jointly requires the consent of both spouses, as both spouses would have to sign the return. One thing I noticed in your scenario that is by filing separately, the combined net tax impact is (+1400-4000) or a net 2600 refund by combining your refund and her balance due, versus a joint owing of 240. Seems like you would both come out way ahead by filing separately. Perhaps you can share some of your refund with her to soften the impact of filing separately?

July 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm
(264) College Student says:

I am a college student applying for financial aid. My parents are married and living in the same household. However, my dad filed his taxes as SINGLE because my mom does not have an IITYN or SS. My school has asked to clarify their marriage because the information is inconsistent, or they will not disburse aid. In addition, the school has asked to amend my dad’s filing status. What are the best steps in fixing the problem of: 1) My mom and dad’s marital status in the taxes, despite my mom having no SS. 2) What are the best ways to approach this situtation.

Please help! :(

July 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm
(265) William Perez says:

Sounds like your dad may need to revise his tax return to reflect the fact that he’s married. He can discuss this situation with his tax professional to see if there’s a good way to approach this situation.

August 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm
(266) Layne says:

My husband & I own houses in both NC and SC. We have always filed married-jointly with 2 dependents and itemized. We both have jobs in SC as well as own a business that is operated out of the SC home we own. We’ve always filed the NC address as our legal residence as it is where we primarily reside. However, our daughter attends school in SC. Can we file married- separate this year with my husband’s 1040 address still as NC and mine as SC claiming my daughter as a dependent? We are hoping to establish her legal residency as SC so that she would be considered for SC in-state tuition. Can we do this? Can you file married separate both showing different addresses in different states and one dependent on each of our returns?

August 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm
(267) William Perez says:

Layne, I’m not too familiar with the rules for NC and SC, so it may be better to consult with a local enrolled agent or certified public accountant on this question.

September 27, 2013 at 11:32 am
(268) Sheila says:

my husband filed married filing seperate in 2012 and because i receive SSI only I didnt file.. Is this wrong?

October 18, 2013 at 12:37 am
(269) Paloma says:

My husband and I have been filling taxes together for the last 5 yrs and we now owe money to the Irs because on something we didn’t claim on 2011. My question is , Can we filed next year separately? And if so ,Who will the irs give this dept go too? Thank you

October 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm
(270) trish says:

what if u dont have ur spouse ss number an they wont give it to ,,,, what do u do then

October 29, 2013 at 3:11 am
(271) William Perez says:

Trish, what I have done is to write in “Unable to Obtain” for the other spouse’s SSN, and then mail in the tax return for manual processing as the return won’t be able to e-file.

October 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm
(272) Edward says:

My wife has secret dealing where she may be avoiding disclosing foreign income; proceeds from a land sale. Although we were filing (USA Federal Income Tax) as “married filing joint” in the past, I am not feeling comfortable doing it that way anymore. I know if I want to file married file, I have to provide my income to her and she has to provide hers to me along with each other’s SS#s. I know for sure she will lie about her actual income by omitting the sale of land. If she is that dishonest she can also compromise my SS# later on. Is there a way for a spouse (similar to my situation) can get an ITIN from IRS and omit providing each other’s income when filing federal income tax as married filing separately? I am sure most estrange spouses will like hiding financial information and SS#s from the other. Your answer will definitely benefit those souls as well. Thanks.

October 29, 2013 at 3:21 am
(273) William Perez says:

Edward, spouses filing separately need to share income information only if one or both spouses lives in a community property state. (See Publication 555 for details about community property.) So if you live in a separate property state, you will only need to share SSNs and whether you are itemizing (since both spouses will either need to itemize or both take the standard deduction). You may want to consider talking to your tax professional about this situation to see if there are other tactics you can put into place to protect yourself.

January 5, 2014 at 8:57 pm
(274) latisha says:

I am married but have a dependant from a previous relationship if I file married but separate can I claim my son. My husband taxes are going to child support and I don’t want my return to be taking.

January 7, 2014 at 2:13 am
(275) William Perez says:

Latisha, to prevent your tax refund money from being used to pay for your husband’s debts, you have two options. You can file a separate tax return (using the married filing separately status). Or you can file jointly with your husband and include the injured spouse (Form 8379) with your tax return. The IRS has a brief overview of injured spouse at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Seven-Facts-about-Injured-Spouse-Relief.
Your tax advisor will be able to calculate what your refunds would be under either option.

January 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm
(276) NanB says:

My husband and I are divorced but were still married at the end of the 2013. Isn’t it better to file jointly. We have sold some stocks/bonds and mutual funds that are in both of our names. If we file separately how does this effect each others taxes. If thee are capital gains/losses who then would report them. I have the house. Who then claims the interest and deductions. Please help.

January 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm
(277) marie says:

I just got married four months ago can file separate this year.

January 20, 2014 at 1:08 am
(278) Crystal Mooney says:

My husband and I have no children together. Children from earlier marriages. We do not own our home. Really do not own anything together. But we would receive more money back if we file separate. Is this a good idea?

January 22, 2014 at 11:15 am
(279) Erick says:

My wife has a defaulted student loan we are on a payment plan with. I made roughly 75000 this year and she made approx 5000. We live in Texas. Should we file separately because I typically get a significant refund?

January 24, 2014 at 10:38 pm
(280) Malinda says:

I separated from my husband in late November. We share a 13 year-old son. My husband collects disability (and gets an extra $200/mo for our son), while I work a full time job. He wants to file jointly this year, even though we’re separated. However, because we ARE separate, I would like to file separately. Which is the better option for us?

January 26, 2014 at 4:12 pm
(281) swartz says:

If I am still.legally married but have been separated how can I file if they will not give me there social security number

January 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm
(282) jessica says:

If i am married, bought a house in 2012 and had a baby in 2013 which way is the best way to file to get the most back from taxes. Together we made about 55,000.00 in 2013. Should we file seperatly or Jointly to get the most back?

January 29, 2014 at 7:51 pm
(283) joe says:

Hi I recently Separated from wife like 9 months ago ..caught her cheating long story short!! Never filled for divorce but went our own ways…I kept the boys and she kept the girls as an Agreedment between us that I Wouldn’t charge her with adultery. .we had always file together.but this year I will try to file single with my boys.would irs penalize me for not being divorced.

February 2, 2014 at 10:14 am
(284) Luz says:

I’m married and always have filed head of household. The reason why I have always file that is because my husband owes Child support arrears and they take all of his refund, I always have had some one like H&R block and Liberty tax do my taxes. Now it wasn’t until last year that I found out that I couldn’t file Head of house hold if we are married. I’m so confused can I still file separately with out having Child support take my refund money?

February 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm
(285) vivian says:

My husband and I are in the process of a divorce, but nothing is official yet. We lived in separate houses for the whole 2013, and have been doing a physically joint custody of our two children. Can both of us file as head of household claiming one child as dependent? We also have a joint bank account that is not closed yet. Will that cause a problem if we file married/separately or head of household? Thank you!!!

February 9, 2014 at 1:21 pm
(286) tasha says:

I filed legally separated head or household my ex is claiming that i have to give him all my tax information for him to file. Is this true? I didnt need any of his tax information to file. I dont want to give himmy information if i dont have to.

February 10, 2014 at 10:31 am
(287) karen says:

Hi my husband & I only been married for 7months now he want to file jointly which I have no problem but im afraid that our daughter want get medicaid anymore & We cant afford Ayn healthcare on her right now so can anymore give me any advice on what to do in this situation plz…

February 14, 2014 at 11:47 am
(288) rose says:

my fiancé and I live in fl we have 3 children together he owes child support in nys how can I still use the child tax credit and avoid getting my refund seized for his child support debt. we are getting married soon

February 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm
(289) Tina K Stevens says:

My Husband and I have been filing joint tax for the last 4 years we have 6 dependence we made over 54000 jointly this year however do not qualify for the EIC or CTC we are considering filing married filing seperately however fear that it will raise a red flag and we may be audited what are our options

February 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm
(290) Marci says:

I usually owe at tax time. My new husband usually gets a refund but it gets taken for child support arrearage. My question is: if we file jointly, does his overpayment help offset my underpayment first, or does his whole refund amount still go to child support?

February 27, 2014 at 5:38 am
(291) Brenda says:

My question is my husband and I filed married and jointly last year but are considering filing married but separate this year because my husband makes significantly more than I do and usually gets a refund. I work as an independent contractor (1099misc), have K1 and have business taxes to file so I usually owe the IRS. We live in the same home so not sure what needs to be done in regards to communal property income and deductions? I put down the deposit but he pays monthly mortgage and interests. Any suggestions?

February 27, 2014 at 4:49 pm
(292) mary says:

Hi my question is, my dad is a. Accountant and have bee filing my taxes since I started working. I am thinking of using another service, but I don’t want my dad to get offended, what do you think I should say to him?

March 1, 2014 at 12:09 am
(293) Diana says:

Me and husband file together but this year he had no income. We have three kids so could I file as head of household or marry filing separately. He also has pin number not a social security number. What your advice?

March 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm
(294) Kathleen Rae says:

My new husband owes a lot of money for student loans that he is behind in. When I filed taxes this year the refund was withheld. Would filing separately solve this issue for me. I am working, he is retired and any refund is for what I have withheld, not him. Thanks, Kathy

April 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm
(295) Stefano says:

I got married in 2013. I’m a non resident alien, my wife is a resident alien.
I have a US-Italy Treaty and I think for me it would be better to file separately as a non resident.
We leave in california so we are in a community property state and indeed this is making complicate to fill the 540NR and 1040NR (for me) and 540 and 1040 (for her).
We don’t know how and where we need to report our incomes and deductibles (combining our values and reporting half of it).

thanks in advance,

April 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm
(296) darren says:

What if my wife n I seperated and she late in the year and she filed without me.

April 13, 2014 at 11:37 pm
(297) William Perez says:

Darren, you’ll have to file separately. A joint tax return requires mutual consent. Since your wife already filed a separate return, she has not consented to a joint return. Thanks for reading.

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