Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

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Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-24-2016
Accepted Solution

Filing status - married filing separately

My husband and I are separated. I already filed my 2015 taxes using status of:

 

  • Married Filing Separately

My husband's CPA is now recommending that we should each file as single since we have not lived together for over 6 months and so he is now asking that I amend my 2015 tax returns. 

 

Is this allowed? Please advise as I can't find a way to contact online the HRBlock file Tax Pro that did my taxes to ask her specifically.

 

Thanks in advance.

Tax Pro
Posts: 1,424
Registered: ‎09-04-2014

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

Welcome. To the Community.

You husbands CPA  is NOT correct. You cannot file single unless you have a legal separation signed by the court.

If you did not live together at anytime during the last 6 mo. Of 2015 and you have dependent children, the custodial parent may claim head of household if requirements are met. The custodial parent could release dependents to the non custodial parent by signing form 8332. The noncustodial parent would still file married filing separate.

If both of you agree, you could amend your return to Married Filing Jointlly.  You absolutely CANNOT file Single!

( if you have been separated for 10 years and have not divorced and do not have children, you would still file Married Filing Separately. ) 

Hope this answers your question. 

As a reminder, should you amend your return for any reason, be sure to amend your state return. 

BettyB
Sr. Tax Analyst
Tax Pro
Posts: 5,351
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

Hi yaransyankee,

 

Welcome to the community.

 

Your husband's accountant is incorrect.

 

Once you've been legally married you cannot go back to filing as a single taxpayer unless you are legally separated or divorced through a court of law.

 

You filed correctly by using the married filing separately status.

 

There is one exception here.  You may file as head of household if you lived apart from you husband for more than the last six months of the tax year, you have qualifying dependent children, and you meet the other HOH reuquirements.

 

I do hope this helps you out & please ask us if you have any other questions.

Associate (Council Member)
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎12-13-2013

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

[ Edited ]
Hello yaransyankee.

Just to add a third opinion regarding your circumstances, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE with the answers provided by Betty and Louis. To further clarify the details regarding your allowable filing status(es) available as a married individual who is currently separated from your spouse, you might wish to read IRS Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals (beginning on page 3) at the following link:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf?_ga=1.70931474.329350844.1428533511

Good luck to you.
WillMc1
Tax Professional (Retired)
Pioneer
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-24-2016

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

Thanks so much for your response

Tax Pro
Posts: 5,351
Registered: ‎02-23-2016

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

You're quite welcome.

Pioneer
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-10-2017

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

My wife is filing 2016 taxes as married filing separately as my income was more than five times greater than hers, and the total is less than $150K. Two days ago I was served with divorce papers, and in October 2016 I was permanently relocated by my company to Tampa, FL from a different state where my wife had moved out of our house in August. The software calculated it would cost me over $5K more to file separately. Any way for me to file jointly even though my estranged spouse is going to file separately?

Highlighted
Tax Pro
Posts: 1,424
Registered: ‎09-04-2014

Re: Filing status - married filing separately

You may only file jointly if your wife is in total agreement.  If she has already filed and she is willing to file jointly you will need to amend her return to add your income.  The problem with this for her would be if you owe a balance due both of you would be legally responsible to pay that balance due on a jointly filed return. 

BettyB
Sr. Tax Analyst