Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
Thank you for contacting me about your Tax issue. I will work hard to help you understand the issue clearly.
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.
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.
If not, and you insist on filing separately, the next questions will determine which direction to go.
1. Did you live together for ANY part of 2012?
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?
3. Did your wife file a return? If so, how did she file? Will she share her return with you?
4. Do you have any children at home with you that are your dependents?
When I hear back from you, I can probe further.
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.
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.
I also didn't know if, since she didn't live in texas all of 2012, if that factors into the decision.
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.
It gets tricky when there is commingled money.
R. Klein- I must step away for a little bit (maybe 1/2 hour) but I will return. Thank you
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.