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.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-07-2018

Recently married, I own a house and would like to keep it as separate property. How should we file?

Good Evening,

I have a couple of questions about filing taxes this year that I hope you can answer. I recently married last September and I bought a house before marriage. If my husband and I file taxes together would you guys be able to provide a print out of how much tax return we would get from the house? Also, if worse comes to worse and we get divorced, would filing together and claiming the house together complicate who gets the house? I am the sole owner of the house and the deed is under my name, I just want to make sure that no matter what happens, it will stay that way. If not, would it be better to file taxes separately so that we can keep the house as separate property?
My husband has a Vanguard account where he purchases stocks  what paperwork would we need to bring in for that kind of thing? He is deployed right now and I have his power of attorney, would I be able to file our taxes together without him being present? If i am not able to file our taxes now, would we be able to file it late when he gets back from deployment in June? Do military member shave that option? 
I thank you in advance for all of you help.
Associate (Neighbor)
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎07-22-2014

Re: Recently married, I own a house and would like to keep it as separate property. How should we fi

Hello, shamieyy, and welcome to the community.


First off, congratulations on your recent marriage.  I hope you have many, many happy years together.


Filing a joint tax return should have no impact on property splits in a divorce.  (I hope you never have to deal with that!)  I can't imagine a scenario where a judge would say that claiming a house (i.e. deducting property taxes and mortgage interest on itemized deductions) would have an effect on who has any claim to it.


Generally, it is much more advantageous to file a joint return than using the married filing separately option.  There are several credits that disappear on a MFS return, and there are also quite a few other requirements which can get a little messy.  For example, if one spouse itemizes deductions on a MFS return, the other one is required to itemize, as well - even if that means they end up with 0 for their deduction.


In regards to the Vanguard account, you should be receiving a 1099 statement from the company shortly which will show the dividends earned during the year.  (Their deadline is to have it postmarked by February 15, I believe.)  Some companies' statements also have a very detailed breakdown of all of the trades which took place over the year; others will just show the basics.  Also on the 1099 will be information regarding any stocks which were sold, including information regarding whether they were held long- or short-term, the net profit or loss to the shares, and various other little tidbits of information.  That packet of information will be very useful for your tax preparer to have while working on your return.


Since you have POA for your husband while he is deployed out of the country, you would be able to file a joint return without him being physically present.  (Your preparer would probably appreciate being able to see the POA, just for their own peace of mind.)  Since your husband is on active duty out of the country, you would qualify for an automatic extension to file, should you choose to use that.  However, even though you would have the extension for filing, if you have a balance due, the IRS will start charging interest on that balance on April 17.  (Usually April 15, but since that is a Sunday this year, and April 16 is Emancipation Day, the filing deadline is pushed back to the 17th.)


If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!