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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 10139
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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I have to file my last two years taxes as it didn't get done

Customer Question

I have to file my last two years taxes as it didn't get done as I thought it did with my now ex husband. So I have 3 small questions. 1. The year we were separated can I file single and head of household as I have my two kids. 2. The year before we were separated can I file married filing single and head of household with my kids. I do not want to file with him and have any of his issues associated with mine. 3. And when you file separately do I have to put any of his information on my return?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

OK, in years where there is a legal separation agreement, you can file as single (head of household if the children qualify as dependents)

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In years where you are still married, you can either file as married filing jointly (MFJ), or married filing separately (MFS).

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MFS only requires that you enter his social secueurity number on the return (he is not required to file)

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Then there's ONE exception for Head of household while married and that's called "considered as married," where you lived apart for the last six months of the year.

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And again, ANY time that you file as Head of Household, there must be at least one qualifying dependant.

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

So on 1. that's a yes, as long as there was a written separation agreement OR you lived apart for the last 6 months of the year (and at least one child qualifies)

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Relationship

  • Your son, daughter, adopted child1, stepchild, foster child2 or a descendent of any of them such as your grandchild
  • Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, step brother, step sister or a descendant of any of them such as a niece or nephew

Age

  • At the end of the filing year, your child was younger than you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) and younger than 19
  • At the end of the filing year, your child was younger than you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) younger than 24 and a full-time student
  • At the end of the filing year, your child was any age and permanently and totally disabled3

Residency

  • Child must live with you (or your spouse if you file a joint return) in the United States4 for more than half of the year

Joint Return

  • The child cannot file a joint return for the tax year unless the child and the child's spouse did not have a separate filing requirement and filed the joint return only to claim a refund.

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On 2 So sorry, no UNLESS you can be "considered as unmarried," which requires that you not live together for the last six months of the tax year

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On 3 The only information is his Social Security number

Expert:  Lane replied 1 month ago.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all, before you rate me

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If this has helped, and you DON’T have other questions … I'd appreciate a positive rating (using the stars or faces on your screen, and then clicking “submit").

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Thanks!

Lane

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I have a law degree, with concentration in Tax Law, Estate law & Corporate law, an MBA, specialization in financial accounting & tax, a BBA, and CFP & CRPS designations, as well - I’ve been providing financial, Social Security/Medicare, estate, corporate, non-profit, and tax advice, since 1986.