Filing separately. Must we share the mortgage interest deduction?

Discussion in 'Tax' started by gsiddiqui@gmail.com, May 16, 2005.

  1. Guest

    My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    mortgage deduction.

    I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).
    OTOH he called the IRS and claims that the IRS supports his
    position.

    Can anyone help? I'd like to be sure of my position, and
    even some printed official guidance will help.

    Thanks so much!
    Ghina

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    , May 16, 2005
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  2. Rick Merrill Guest

    wrote:

    > My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    > divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    > payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    > deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    > because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    > mortgage deduction.
    >
    > I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    > anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    > who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    deduction.

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    Rick Merrill, May 16, 2005
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  3. Phil Marti Guest

    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    If one MFS filer itemizes both MUST itemize.

    Whoever paid gets the deduction. In OP's case, a 50/50
    split for the period when they were together (and, I assume,
    contributing to the expenses) sounds reasonable.

    --
    Phil Marti
    Clarksburg, MD

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    Phil Marti, May 17, 2005
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  4. Barry Picker Guest

    <> wrote:

    > My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    > divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    > payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    > deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    > because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    > mortgage deduction.
    >
    > I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    > anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    > who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).
    > OTOH he called the IRS and claims that the IRS supports his
    > position.
    >
    > Can anyone help? I'd like to be sure of my position, and
    > even some printed official guidance will help.


    You have to meet two criteria to claim a deduction for
    mortgage interest (and real estate taxes). One, is that you
    are liable for the payment, and two, is that you actually
    MAKE the payment.

    So, to the extent that YOU paid the mortgage, you claim the
    interest deduction. To the extent that he paid it, he can
    claim the deduction. If he paid none if it, that's how much
    of the deduction he can claim.

    Barry Picker, CPA/PFS, CFP

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    Barry Picker, May 17, 2005
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  5. Rick Merrill wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    Wrong. With married separate returns both must itemize or
    take the standard deduction. The spouse who is named on the
    mortgage or deed of trust and paid the mortgage gets the
    interest and tax deductions on the house.

    --
    Frederick E. Jorden http://Tax-Accounting-Payroll.com
    7825 Midlothian Tpk - 207 Richmond, VA 23235-5247
    EMAIL
    (804) 320-6210 FAX (804) 320-6211

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    Frederick Jorden, May 17, 2005
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  6. Herb Smith Guest

    Re: Filing separately. Must we share the mortgage interest deduction?

    Rick Merrill wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    That is wrong. If you file Married Filing Separate, and one
    of you itemizes, then the other MUST also itemize. The
    mortgage interest deduction can only be claimed by the TP
    who actually PAID it. Unless the payments were made from a
    joint account, it looks like the OP should get the entire
    2004 deduction.

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    Herb Smith, May 17, 2005
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  7. Wayne Brasch Guest

    "Rick Merrill" <> wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    That is not correct! When you file married filing
    separately, both spouses must either itemize or both must
    take the standard deduction. I suggest that Ghina download
    Publication 17 from irs.gov and see what it says about this
    situation.

    Wayne Brasch

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    Wayne Brasch, May 17, 2005
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  8. Rick Merrill <> wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    If one of you files MFS then the other also files MFS,
    unless there is a dependent child involved.

    If both file MFS and one of you chooses to itemize, the
    other's standard deduction is zero. So, in practice, both
    must now itemize.

    If one files MFS, that tax return is private and
    confidential and need not be shared with anyone else unless
    a judge says otherwise.

    __
    Art Kamlet ArtKamlet @ AOL.com Columbus OH K2PZH

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    Arthur Kamlet, May 17, 2005
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  9. Jo Firey Guest

    "Rick Merrill" <> wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    Someone tell me this is wrong. Its early, coffee isn't
    working, and I'm suffering from major brain fog.

    But if one itemized, both have to, right? Please?

    Jo (retired CPA)

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    Jo Firey, May 17, 2005
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  10. Bob Sandler Guest

    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    That doesn't sound right. If MFS and one itemizes, the other
    cannot take the standard deduction. Therefore, if one
    itemizes the other normally itemizes also.

    The OP's question, essentially, is whether actually having
    paid the interest is a requirement for deducting it, or can
    someone who was liable for it but did not pay it take the
    deduction.

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    Bob Sandler, May 17, 2005
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  11. Bryan Kellar Guest

    "Rick Merrill" <> wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    Oops, perhaps a slip there? If you file MFS, then either
    both spouses must itemize or both spouses must take the
    standard deduction.

    The answer to the question is that the mortgage interest may
    be taken by the person who paid the interest (i.e. the
    payments), presuming that person is legally liable for the
    loan. If the payments were made jointly, then you would
    split them. If one or the other made the payments, then you
    may deduct the interest for the payments you made.

    Good luck!
    Bryan
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Bryan Kellar, EA
    Oregon Tax Help, Inc. -- Portland, Oregon
    www.oregontaxhelp.com
    www.canadatax.org

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    Bryan Kellar, May 17, 2005
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  12. Re: Filing separately. Must we share the mortgage interest

    "Rick Merrill" <> wrote:
    > wrote:


    >> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >> mortgage deduction.
    >>
    >> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    > If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    > itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    > deduction.


    Why can only one itemize?

    --
    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, May 17, 2005
    #12
  13. Re: Filing separately. Must we share the mortgage interest deduction?

    Rule is - if you are obligated to pay (name on the mortgage)
    and did pay, you get the deduction. He who didn't pay -
    can't.

    Married Separates must both itemize or both take standard.
    If you itemized, he has to also even if the standard would
    have been better.

    He's out of luck.

    Nan, EA in LA

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    Nan, EA in LA, May 17, 2005
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  14. Guest

    Re: Filing separately. Must we share the mortgage interest deduction?

    Thanks Rick!


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    , May 17, 2005
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  15. Jo Firey wrote:
    > "Rick Merrill" <> wrote:
    >> wrote:


    >>> My husband moved out in July of 2003 we would like to
    >>> divorce. Since that point I have been making the mortgage
    >>> payments. So for 2004, I took the mortgage interest
    >>> deduction. Soon To Be Ex (STBX), has delayed filing,
    >>> because he wants to see my tax returns and claim have the
    >>> mortgage deduction.
    >>>
    >>> I combed through the info on irs.gov but couldn't find
    >>> anything on that. I called the IRS and they said the person
    >>> who pays takes the deduction (I have proof that I paid).


    >> If you file Married Siling Separately only one of you can
    >> itemize, hence only one can take the mortage interest
    >> deduction.


    > Someone tell me this is wrong. Its early, coffee isn't
    > working, and I'm suffering from major brain fog.
    >
    > But if one itemized, both have to, right? Please?


    Technically correct. However in practice, if one itemizes,
    the other doesn't always do so. In fact they're rarely
    even speaking to one another. Also in practice, IRS
    doesn't even notice, or if it does, mostly doesn't force the
    issue.

    (Can you imagine ? on the phone: "Dahling.... are you
    going to itahmize deductions this yeah?" "Well, hmm,
    yes, honey dumpling, spose I will." (Sigh. "Well, then
    I'll guess ah'll have to also, and start over at zero.
    Well, ta ta, deah!"

    ChEAr$,
    Harlan Lunsford, EA n lA

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    Harlan Lunsford, May 18, 2005
    #15
  16. MTW Guest

    Barry Picker wrote:

    > You have to meet two criteria to claim a deduction for
    > mortgage interest (and real estate taxes). One, is that you
    > are liable for the payment, and two, is that you actually
    > MAKE the payment.


    I think there is actually a third requirement, or at least a
    modification to the second. That is, that the payment must
    be made from SEPARATE FUNDS. If made from community property
    funds, then a 50/50 split is what you get. If made from
    "joint" funds, then ~perhaps~ a pro rata split (based on
    "contribution") would be called for, but I suspect this
    would also end up as 50/50 in most cases.

    I don't think the original poster mentioned her state of
    residence. If it is a community property state, you would
    have to determine when, under applicable law, the
    "community" ends. Mere separation may or my not end the
    community. Thus, the taxpayer's wages may continue to be
    "community funds" even though the couple has separately.

    MTW

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    MTW, May 18, 2005
    #16
  17. classicalhorses

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    married filing separately

    i have a similar situation, my ex filed (apparently) married filing separately so the IRS told me i have to as well and rejected my tax returns for 2004. this has been going on for some time. i noted that there was a reply talking about dependent children. we have two children. Does that change anything? also how does one prove who paid the mortgage? my income was considerably larger than hers, and i paid the mortgage and most of the bills while she started up her own business. she had oodles of deductions for starting the business as most people do.

    thanks in advance
     
    classicalhorses, Feb 16, 2012
    #17
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