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Category: Tax
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Experience:  over 40 years experience in tax matters
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I am about to go thru a divorce and need to know how to file

Customer Question

I am about to go thru a divorce and need to know how to file taxes this year would it make more sense to file married together or married seperate.. together our salary would be around 140,000 to 150,000 seperate I make about 47000.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  CGCPA replied 4 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer. I am here to help you resolve your tax and finance concerns. Please feel free to ask anytime you need extra help.

In any divorce situation I advise filing separate returns regardless of the tax cost. To you it will be a savings, but will cost you almost ex a bit more. The reason I recommend separate returns is that neither of you can then be held responsible for any shortcomings on the others return. It's a safety thing in these situations. However, there are rules as to how you can file. The IRS has a statement about this which I will attach for you.

<table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">

Eight Facts About Filing Status

IRS Tax Tip 2011-09, January 13, 2011

The first step to filing your federal income tax return is to determine which
filing status to use. Your filing status is used to determine your filing
requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits and
deductions, and your correct tax. There are five filing statuses: Single,
Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.

Here are eight facts about the five filing status options the IRS wants you
to know so that you can choose the best option for your situation.

  1. Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your marital
    status for the entire year.

  2. If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that gives you
    the lowest tax obligation.

  3. Single filing status generally applies to anyone who is
    unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to state law.

  4. A married couple may file a joint return together. The couple's filing
    status would be Married Filing Jointly.

  5. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during 2010,
    usually you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of

  6. A married couple may elect to file their returns separately. Each person's
    filing status would generally be Married Filing

  7. Head of Household generally applies to taxpayers who are
    unmarried. You must also have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home
    for you and a qualifying person to qualify for this filing status.

  8. You may be able to choose Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent
    as your filing status if your spouse died during 2008 or 2009,
    you have a dependent child and you meet certain other conditions.

There's much more information about determining your filing status in IRS
Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
Publication 501 is available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM
(800-829-3676). You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS
website to determine your filing status. The ITA tool is a tax law resource on
the IRS website that takes you through a series of questions and provides you
with responses to tax law questions.


Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information (PDF 196K)

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