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R. Klein, EA
R. Klein, EA, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3375
Experience:  Over 20 Years experience
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I have a confusing situation, and am late in filing my 1040

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I have a confusing situation, and am late in filing my 1040 taxes for 2012, but I just 'almost' completed it on Turbo Tax on my computer----all the way up to the point where it asks the questions about 'do you have any community property adjustments or community income to report for 2012'? My wife and I have a pretty messy situation: basically we are married filing separately, and have been separated for over 5 years (but still married, since I wanted to help her get through law school, and hoping we might get back together). I live in Austin Texas, and my wife filed to divorce me in 5/2008, but we never completed the divorce decree (my huge mistake)---she completed law school in Arkansas from 8/2008 until she moved back to Texas in May or June of 2012, and apparently finished her law degree August 2012. Now, on my tax return in turbo tax I have a good size return coming to me, however I don't like the fact that now I can't just complete my own tax return and get my own refund, so I have to now claim her income as mine now, and give her half of the thousands of dollars that I responsibly had withheld for federal income taxes in 2012? We are hoping to finish a divorce in december, there are tons of debts, apparently she has much tax liability herself, now I am concerned I will now have to pay thousands to IRS (which I can't pay without going into debt) because of my soon to be ex-wife. I feel stuck and don't know what to do. I have an attorney, but am I now going to forced to speak with my wife to find out how much some figure she earned in 2012? this new law is really confusing to me. thanks for any help, and please also let me know what the fee is. thank you

R. Klein, EA :

Thank you for contacting me about your Tax issue. I will work hard to help you understand the issue clearly.

R. Klein, EA :

Since you are in Texas, this IS a community property state. What this means to you is that half of what you earned legally belongs to your spouse and vice versa.

R. Klein, EA :

First, I would like to know if there is any chance you can file a joint return for 2012? It is the simplest solution for both of you, even without delving into any details.

R. Klein, EA :

If not, and you insist on filing separately, the next questions will determine which direction to go.

R. Klein, EA :

1. Did you live together for ANY part of 2012?

R. Klein, EA :

2. If she went to school in AR, did she take up permanent residence there, or did she temporarily live there for school purposes only?

R. Klein, EA :

3. Did your wife file a return? If so, how did she file? Will she share her return with you?

R. Klein, EA :

4. Do you have any children at home with you that are your dependents?

R. Klein, EA :

When I hear back from you, I can probe further.

Customer:

I doubt we will end up filing together--I assume she has already filed separately, but I don't know how she did so, if she did, since I hadn't provided her with any of my income info yet. We did 'not' live together at all during the last 5 years. I don't think she claimed to set up permanent residence in AR, but lived there for school purposes----however, doesn't living in a place more than 1 year automatically make them a resident--from a student enrolled perspective, they are considered a resident after being there 1 year. We have no children. Sounds like I really need to speak to her.

Customer:

I have been successfully filing married filing separately these last 3 or 4 years, while she wasn't living in Texas, and that hasn't caused any issues on my taxes that I am aware of.

Customer:

I also didn't know if, since she didn't live in texas all of 2012, if that factors into the decision.

R. Klein, EA :

If your finances are completely separate from hers, then there likely is no community property for your main income. If you paid for all your own living expenses from your wages, and don't have commingled accounts with her, you probably can get along with not having any community property adjustments.

R. Klein, EA :

It gets tricky when there is commingled money.

Customer:

R. Klein- I must step away for a little bit (maybe 1/2 hour) but I will return. Thank you

R. Klein, EA :

The only thing is that you will need to use the same deduction choice she did (standard or itemized). If she picked one, and you pick the other, the IRS will adjust both of your returns to standard deduction.

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