02-21-2014 12:32 AM
My husband and I have been on again off again since July 2013, Do we have to file together,
He has kids form his first marriage but their mother has already claimed them on her taxes, However neither parent lives with them. But his address is still legally where the kids live. I have already filed I just don't know if I should file together with him or send in an amended return.
02-21-2014 07:19 AM
You never have to file together, though it may be beneficial. The Married Filing Jointly filing status is usually preferable, but both parties have to agree to file jointly. If you have already filed Married Filing Seperate, you can amend your tax return to change your filing status to Joint, but he must agree.
It's also possible you can file Single if you are "considered unmarried." Generally that means you were living seperately on the last day of 2013 and legally seperated under your state's laws.
02-21-2014 02:38 PM
Correction - if you live separately the last six months of the year (NOT last day of the year!) you can be considered unmarried for tax purposes. As this does not sound like it's the case for you, you must file jointly or both file separately. The important thing to know about this is that if you itemize your deductions (have mortgage interest, etc.), then it's going to be beneficial to file jointly probably. When you file Married Filing Separately, either both of you itemize or neither of you itemizes. One cannot itemize and the other use the standard deduction.
Regarding the children, the determination of who was supporting the children would have to be made, and there is a residency test as well. Even if your husband's official address is theirs, it doesn't mean he resides with them over half of the year which is what he would need to do to claim them as qualifying children for credits.