MFS


P

Pats Fan

My software provider, Profx, has on its Form for Basic Taxpayer and
Dependent Data, 3 different filing statuses for MFS
1. MFS itemized
2. MFS not itemized
3. MFS spouse not filing
#3 produces a better federal result than #2. However, I'm not aware
that there is such a separate category as "spouse not filing". Is
there? And maybe you can give me a cite.
TIA.
 
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P

Phil Marti

Pats Fan said:
My software provider, Profx, has on its Form for Basic Taxpayer and
Dependent Data, 3 different filing statuses for MFS
1. MFS itemized
2. MFS not itemized
3. MFS spouse not filing
#3 produces a better federal result than #2. However, I'm not aware
that there is such a separate category as "spouse not filing". Is
there? And maybe you can give me a cite.
It's a software "scenario" distinction, not a legal distiction. It would
have been clearer if they had included with numbers 1 & 2 "both spouses
filing."

You'll have to look at the returns it produces to see why #3 is "better"
than #2. I suspect it's because #3 is claiming the nonfiling spouse's
personal exemption.
 
P

Pats Fan

It's a software "scenario" distinction, not a legal distiction.  It would
have been clearer if they had included with numbers 1 & 2 "both spouses
filing."

You'll have to look at the returns it produces to see why #3 is "better"
than #2.  I suspect it's because #3 is claiming the nonfiling spouse's
personal exemption.

--
Phil Marti
Clarksburg, MD

--
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A scenario distinction? It doesn't make sense to me yet. Do you mean
showing the results based on if both the exemptions were on there?
It IS because the Taxpayer is taking the spousal exemption. But it
seems to me that that's wrong in every instance, in which case, What's
the point of giving me that option?? (#3)
Sorry, but I've had this jostling around inside my head for quite a
while. (g) If I need to hammer it out with the Tax department of
profx, I will. Just wanted to see if anyone could at least understand
my bewilderment about this.
Does it seem to you like 1 and 2 are the only options?
 
R

removeps-groups

My software provider, Profx, has on its Form for Basic Taxpayer and
Dependent Data, 3 different filing statuses for MFS
1. MFS itemized
2. MFS not itemized
3. MFS spouse not filing
#3 produces a better federal result than #2. However, I'm not aware
that there is such a separate category as "spouse not filing". Is
there? And maybe you can give me a cite.
Could this be what #3 is about?

http://www.cclib.lib.pa.us/irs/taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm

<Quote>
If you file a separate return, you can claim the exemption for your
spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a
return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. This is true
even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a
dependent. This is also true if your spouse is a nonresident alien.
</Quote>

#1 and #2 are for the rule that either both should take standard
deduction or both should itemize.
 
D

dpb

Pats said:
....

A scenario distinction? It doesn't make sense to me yet. Do you mean
showing the results based on if both the exemptions were on there?
That is the hypothesis but certainly not possible to tell from here
precisely what is the difference. As Phil says, compare the results on
a line-by-line basis to see what is different to understand the
difference in returns based on what was different in the
assumptions/values used.
It IS because the Taxpayer is taking the spousal exemption. But it
seems to me that that's wrong in every instance, ...
In some cases, it just might _be_ appropriate but how are they to know
whether it is or not for any particular filer? Hence, they give the
option; you have to evaluate what that option actually does and decide
if it fits your circumstances or not.

--
 
P

Phil Marti

Pats Fan said:
A scenario distinction? It doesn't make sense to me yet.
Let's try it this way.

It's information the program is using. For example, every tax prep program
I've ever seen asks for the taxpayer's date of birth. Yet, that information
appears nowhere on the return that I can think of, certainly not on the 1040
itself. The date of birth is information that the program uses in
completing the return, for example, in figuring the standard deduction.

Married persons can choose between Married, Filing Jointly and Married,
Filing Separately for their filing status. There are three scenarios in
which MFS may play out:

1. Both spouses are filing a return and itemizing deductions.

2. Both spouses are filing a return and using the standard deduction.

3. Only one spouse is filing.

For reasons known only to the programmers of this software, they have
evidently decided to present this choice to you during the phase of prep
where you're selecting filing status. I've never seen software deal with
the issue this way, but all software deals with it some way, usually with
some sort of check mark to override the software's automatic selection of
the better deduction method. The end result is the same.

If you want to know why they appoached it the way they did, you'll have to
ask the programmers.
 
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P

Pats Fan

Could this be what #3 is about?

http://www.cclib.lib.pa.us/irs/taxmap/pub17/p17-016.htm

<Quote>
If you file a separate return, you can claim the exemption for your
spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a
return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. This is true
even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a
dependent. This is also true if your spouse is a nonresident alien.
</Quote>

#1 and #2 are for the rule that either both should take standard
deduction or both should itemize.

--
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >>
<< The foregoing was not intended or written to be used,   >>
<< nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties  >>
<< that may be imposed upon the taxpayer.                  >>
<<                                                         >>
<<   The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts   >>
<<  to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy  >>
<<                  are atwww.asktax.org.                 >>
<<         Copyright (2007) - All rights reserved.         >>
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >>
That's awesome. At least it shows that there is an exception. I think
it fits my situation. That middle sentence still confuses me, as I
wonder about whether I understand English at all. (g) But my biggest
frustration is fixed. Thanks to all.
 

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