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File jointly or not

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My wife and I seperated in July 2004. The divorce will become final July 2005. I am paying the mortgage on a house that my wife now owns. I am also paying all expenses for our 18 year old son. She contributes zero. She wants to file a joint return this year, but I think I would be better off filing on my own. Am I right?

 If you were legally separated by Dec 31st of 2004, you have the option to file single.  If you file single and paid for more than 50% of the support for your child, you may also be able to claim him as a dependant.


If you are referring to the size of your tax return when file as MFS as it compares to filing MFJ, your return is usually larger if you file as MFJ.


You do not qualify for the head of household filing status because you and your spouse have not lived apart for the last 6 months of the taxable year.


If you paid the mortgage and you are legally obligated to repay the debt (you are listed on the loan) then you can claim the mortgage interest for the portion of the payment that you actually paid.  If it's 100%, you can claim 100%.


You can always run your taxes both ways by using an online filing program like turbotax.  With turbotax, you do not have to pay unless you file with them.  This will give you a good idea of where you stand.  www.turbotax.com


These are some pretty complex questions that you have asked so, if you still don't understand, you can feel free to ask more specific questions.

 
Tammy F., Not an active Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9168
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Tammy F. and 4 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tammy Falkner's Post: This is what I don't understand: My soon-to-be ex wife and I have separate households. Of course, I pay for all my expenses, plus my sons' college, his apt. in NYC, his utilities etc... When he is home,he lives with me. My soon-to-be ex refuses to pay anything. Why should I file a joint tax return with her? It's not the money aspect, it just does'nt seem right.






 You don't have to file with her.  You have the option to file as single and to claim the child as a dependant if you provided more than 50% of his support.


You can make this work out in your favor.

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