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My wife has moved into a mental care facility. Can we

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My wife has moved...

My wife has moved into a mental care facility. Can we continue to file jointly

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My wife and I always filed jointly - she has now moved into a memory care facility - can we continue to file jointly

Submitted: 23 days ago.Category: Tax
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3/30/2018
Tax Professional: Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant replied 23 days ago
Tax.appeal.168
Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4,558
Experience: 3+ decades of varied tax industry exp. Tax Biz owner
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Tax Professional: Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant replied 23 days ago

As for continuing to file jointly, as long as you considered legally married at the end of the tax year, you are able to file using the married filing jointly status. You do not need to live under the same roof.

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Tax Professional: Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant replied 23 days ago

When Can You File a Joint Return With Your Spouse?

You're eligible to file a joint tax return if you're considered legally married. This means that you were married on the last day of the tax year.​ Even if you filed for divorce during the year, the IRS still considers you married if you don't receive a divorce decree or judgment on or before December 31.

That's the basic rule. You can't be legally separated by court order, either, although it's not mandatory that you live together. You can simply live apart without having the court issue an order dictating the terms of your separation.

Both you and your spouse must also agree to file the joint return and you both must sign it.

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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
She is physically unable to sign. I hold her power of Attorney and assume I can use it to sign for her. Right?
Tax Professional: Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant replied 23 days ago

The representative named in a POA cannot sign an income tax returnunless:

  1. The signature is permitted under the Internal Revenue Code and the related regulations (see Regs. Sec. 1.6012-1(a)(5)); and
  2. The taxpayer specifically authorizes this in its POA.

The regulation permits the authorized representative to sign a taxpayer's return if the taxpayer is unable to sign the return due to:

  1. Disease or injury;
  2. Continuous absence from the United States (including Puerto Rico) for a period of at least 60 days before the date required by law for filing the return; or
  3. Other good cause if specific permission is requested of and granted by the IRS.

When a representative signs a return, it must be accompanied by a POA authorizing the representative to sign the tax return.

REFERENCE SOURCE:

https://www.thetaxadviser.com/issues/2016/apr/power-of-attorney-and-declaration-of-representative.html

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Customer reply replied 21 days ago
When the spouses are legally married but live separately, how are the two addresses reported in the tax return - there is only room for one address
Tax Professional: Tax.appeal.168, Tax Accountant replied 21 days ago

The spouse that lives outside of the home can complete the Form 8822.

Link to Form 8822/insturctions:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822.pdf

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