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Old 01-05-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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So I inputed to see what I would expect. I put mine in then put in my wifes and it was 2500 less. But if I put her by herself she gets back a few grand and I get back 2500 more.

Is it "legal" to file seperate even though we are married with no kids? Or do I have to file jointly?
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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It depends on what you are asking. If you are asking if you can file "married filing separately" as opposed to "married filing jointly", yes you are allowed to do so. However, "married filing separately" usually (but not always) results in higher taxes than "married filing jointly". One thing to remember: if you file MFS and itemize your deductions, your wife must also itemize. If you take standard deduction, your wife filing MFS must also use the standard deduction. I would be surprised that MFS would entail a combined refund of thousands more than MFJ.

On the other hand, if you are trying to file with you both filing as "single", no, you cannot do it, if in fact you were married on 12/31/2010. If you were married on 12/31/2010, the only options you have are MFS or MFJ.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:16 PM
 
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double check what your doing , its very very rare married filing seperatly works out better then jointly
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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Yeah when I put my info I also included property taxes, interest paid on mortgage, 401k, IRA and a few other things.

So if I file married but seperate then I wouldn't be allowed to do those, correct? I thought the next tax bracket was in the upper 100's but also heard it's around 88k. I'll have to find out and see. But if it's 88k then that's no good.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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deductions are split when you file seperately.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danieloneil01 View Post
Yeah when I put my info I also included property taxes, interest paid on mortgage, 401k, IRA and a few other things.

So if I file married but seperate then I wouldn't be allowed to do those, correct? I thought the next tax bracket was in the upper 100's but also heard it's around 88k. I'll have to find out and see. But if it's 88k then that's no good.
So it sounds like you itemized yours and stacked all the deductions in your return, and then tested filing your wife's with a standard deduction. That won't work. Now, you can itemize, put all items in your return, and then have your wife's return filed with basically no deduction (because she has to itemize, too, and you used all of the deductions). You don't have to split deductions, but she has to be willing/agree to the split of itemized items. Also, MFS loses some credits, so I would double-check to make sure that you aren't losing out if you file MFS.

I know it's a pain, but if you use a program, I would fully fill out the taxes as MFJ and then again as MFS. Some programs will automatically tell you if one way is better than another. There are occasions when MFS is better than MFJ. However, they are rare, and it doesn't seem like yours is a situation when MFS would result in a better refund by thousands of dollars. I could be wrong, but something seems off.

Finally, tax brackets depend totally on what status you use to file. MFS tax brackets are half of MFJ brackets, which is probably why the tax bracket that you thought began in the upper 100s is showing up around 88k. And remember, tax brackets are based on taxable income (after deductions), not gross income/AGI.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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Hopefully something was way off just basing it off last pay stubs for the year. And I just realized that the person who told me 88k is the sole worker in is household. So I guess it makes since that it's in the 100's for 2 people working.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
deductions are split when you file seperately.
They don't have to be split, but they have to add up to whatever the total deductions for the household are. And the major point is what others have mentioned: If one spouse itemizes, the other spouse must also, even if all the deductions were put on the first spouse's return, so the itemized deductions on the second return comes to zero. That's one of the several things that makes MFS a bad deal in most cases.
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