can one file married filing separately after married filing jointly

Discussion in 'Tax' started by rvsw, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. rvsw

    rvsw Guest

    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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    rvsw, Nov 29, 2004
    #1
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  2. rvsw

    Wayne Brasch Guest

    "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?


    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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    Wayne Brasch, Nov 30, 2004
    #2
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  3. > 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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    Helen P. OPlanick EA, Nov 30, 2004
    #3
  4. "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?


    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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    Paul A Thomas, Nov 30, 2004
    #4
  5. rvsw

    Herb Smith Guest

    (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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    Herb Smith, Nov 30, 2004
    #5
  6. > 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 -
    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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    John H. Fisher, Nov 30, 2004
    #6
  7. rvsw

    Missy Doyle Guest

    (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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    Missy Doyle, Nov 30, 2004
    #7
  8. Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    "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?


    It's not allowed.

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

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    David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU, Nov 30, 2004
    #8
  9. rvsw

    CLJ1219 Guest

    > 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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    CLJ1219, Nov 30, 2004
    #9
  10. 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, 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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    Arthur Kamlet, Nov 30, 2004
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  11. rvsw

    Bill Guest

    Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    (rvsw) posted:

    > 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. As long as you qualify for MFJ, you can elect either
    method based on whatever results in a lower tax.

    Bill

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    Bill, Dec 3, 2004
    #11
  12. rvsw

    Phil Marti Guest

    (rvsw) writes:

    > 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. Each year stands alone.

    Phil Marti
    Clarksburg, MD

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    Phil Marti, Dec 3, 2004
    #12
  13. Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    >> 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, I think you read the question wrong - they don't want
    to amend last year's, but file this year's.

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

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    Helen P. OPlanick EA, Dec 3, 2004
    #13
  14. rvsw

    Vida Freeman Guest

    Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    "David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU" <> 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.


    You read this differently than I did. It's right that you
    can't amend a return to change filing status from MFJ to
    MFS, but I think he was asking if they can file MFS this
    year when they filed MFJ last year. And that certainly can
    be done.

    Vida Freeman, EA

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    Vida Freeman, Dec 3, 2004
    #14
  15. Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU <> wrote:
    > "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?


    > It's not allowed.


    This is correct if the question is: Can Last Year's return
    be amended from MFJ to MFS?

    But I read the question to mean for this year, 2004, can we
    file MFS instead of MFJ? If so, the answer is yes.

    __
    Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH

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    Arthur Kamlet, Dec 3, 2004
    #15
  16. rvsw

    Missy Doyle Guest

    Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    "David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU" <> wrote:
    > "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?


    > It's not allowed.


    Different years, David.

    Missy Doyle

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    Missy Doyle, Dec 3, 2004
    #16
  17. rvsw

    Herb Smith Guest

    Re: can one file married filing separately after married filing

    "David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU" <> wrote:
    > "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?


    > It's not allowed.


    Say what? The OP is not talking about amending a return,
    just changing filing status for the following year. No
    prohibition against doing that.

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    Herb Smith, Dec 5, 2004
    #17
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