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can one file married filing separately after married filing jointly

 
 
rvsw
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      11-29-2004, 06:48 PM
My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
(one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?

Thanks

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Wayne Brasch
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      11-30-2004, 03:32 PM
"rvsw" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


You can file your 2004 return as married filing separately,
but cannot go back and amend and try to separate for 2003.
IRS will not accept that. You do need to realize, though,
some tax benefits are not allowable in a married filing
separate situation. At the same time, each of you would be
responsible for only your income and deductions on your
separate returns.

Wayne Brasch, CPA, M. S. Taxation

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Helen P. OPlanick EA
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      11-30-2004, 03:51 PM
> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


No, just make sure of your figures. MFS is a cruddy filing
status for almost everyone (unless you live in Ohio).

Helen, EA in PA
Director, NAEA; Immediate Past President, PSEA; Tax Expert, AOL
Enrolled Agents - THE Tax Professionals

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Paul A Thomas
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      11-30-2004, 03:51 PM
"rvsw" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


None. Be sure to double check your numbers, both federal
AND state, as sometimes the federal savings get more than
offset by the state additions.

Also consider that if one of you is underpaid, there may be
a penalty.

--
Paul A. Thomas, CPA
Athens, Georgia
taxman at negia.net

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Herb Smith
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      11-30-2004, 03:51 PM
(E-Mail Removed) (rvsw) wrote:

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


Each year's taxes are based on the facts and circumstances
of that year. If filing separate (not single) works out
better for you, then go for it. The rules are different, and
rather tricky, so do the calculations carefully.

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John H. Fisher
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      11-30-2004, 04:10 PM
> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


No!!! Generally, it doesn't work out that way, but check
both ways to see which works to your greater advantage.

"Jack" - John H. Fisher - (E-Mail Removed)
Philadelphia, Pa - Atlantic City, NJ - West Wildwood, NJ
My Newsgroups & Boards at: http://members.aol.com/TaxService/index.html

Where Ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise!=

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Missy Doyle
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      11-30-2004, 04:10 PM
(E-Mail Removed) (rvsw) wrote:

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


No. Filing jointly one year and seperately the next is just
fine and vica-versa.. You *cannot* file jointly in one year
and go back and amend that same year to file seperately, but
you *can* file seperately for one year and amend to file
jointly for that same year. Be sure to check the state
income tax rates for filing jointly or seperately, if your
state has income tax.

Missy Doyle

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David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU
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      11-30-2004, 04:29 PM
"rvsw" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


It's not allowed.

--
David M. Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU
Woods Financial Services
Norwood, MA 02062
www.woods-financial.com

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CLJ1219
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      11-30-2004, 04:29 PM
> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


As long as you qualify for the filing status, I know of no
reason you can't change.

Carol
It's a cats world. I'm just here to open the cans.

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Arthur Kamlet
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      11-30-2004, 04:48 PM
rvsw <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> My spouse and I filed taxes married filing jointly last year
> (one spouse's income substantially less than other). This
> year - income of both spouses are comparable. Married filing
> separately seems to produce a lower tax liablility. Are
> there any repurcussions in changing the filing status?


No, there are no restrictions in changing filing status each
year.

In fact, I have quite a few clients who save by filing MFS
rather than MFJ (I live in Ohio)

If you are in a community property state, you will have to
adhere to those rules in listing income and expenses.

Otherwise, there are a few reasons why filing MFS can save
you on taxes, such as:

a) Your state income tax, e.g., Ohio, will be much lower

b) You can receive a child tax credit filing MFS but not MFJ

c) You can avoid AMT filing MFS but not MFJ

d) You have large Schedule A deductions subject to rduction
to a percentage of AGI, such as medical, casualty or
employee business expenses or other misc deductions.

If your tax savings come about due to reasons other than
these, such as one spouse using standard deduction while the
other uses itemized deductions, then there's a real good
chance you have made a mistake somewhere.

Some people file MFS because their spouse has a offset which
prevents a refund, but usually filing MFJ and also filing an
Injured Spouse Allocation and Refund form can take care of
this.

Others file MFS because they do not want to sign their
spouse's tax return for whatever reason. In that case
filing MFS is OK, but the tax situation might not be
optimal.

__
Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH

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