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Anonymous
Not applicable

How can we claim the Massachusetts child care expenses deduction with a mock federal return as filing separately (even though actual federal return is filed jointly)?

 
3 Replies
JohnB5677
Expert Alumni

How can we claim the Massachusetts child care expenses deduction with a mock federal return as filing separately (even though actual federal return is filed jointly)?

You would have to prepare three separate tax returns.

  • You would prepare the joint return and file your Federal taxes
  • Prepare your spouses return and not file the Federal, but only file Massachusetts.
  • Prepare your return and again not file the federal, but only file the state.

You can E-file the Federal return, but you will have to mail the two Massachusetts returns.  Send them in separate envelopes.

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Anonymous
Not applicable

How can we claim the Massachusetts child care expenses deduction with a mock federal return as filing separately (even though actual federal return is filed jointly)?

Thank you. We undertstand that.  We are specifically interested in claiming the Massachusetts child care expenses decuction, however the software does not allow us to claim this with filing separately status. 

 

Per mass.gov:

Please note if you are married filing separate you do not qualify for this deduction. If you are filing a joint federal return but are married filing separately for Massachusetts purposes, either spouse may claim the deduction for expenses he or she incurred, but their combined deduction cannot exceed the $4,800 or $9,600 maximum amounts.

 

The current turbotax software does not ask we we are filing separately for Massachusetts purposes and therefore does not allow us to take this deduction.  Is there a work around for this or do we need to find alternative software?

DaveF1006
Expert Alumni

How can we claim the Massachusetts child care expenses deduction with a mock federal return as filing separately (even though actual federal return is filed jointly)?

Ok, here is how you can do this.  If you are using Turbo Tax Online, there is not a way to indicate that you wish to married filing separately in Massachusetts while filing jointly. Before you run off to H&R however, there is a way you can do this however but you must be willing to switch to a Turbo Tax Desktop product. Here you can transfer your online file to the desktop file and file your separate returns in the same product. You must be willing to pay for your software upfront but you will have the ability to change to married filing separately in the Information Worksheet in your Massachusetts state return. Follow these precise instructions on how to do this.

  1. Save your online return as a tax data file.by going to tools>Save your 2019 return to your computer. Be sure to note which folder this is being saved to
  2. Sign out of TurboTax Online.
  3. Install your 2019 TurboTax software you will need to click on the link below to access the product screen
    • If you have not purchased TurboTax Desktop software, select the product you need to complete your return.
    • Important: If your return includes a state, make sure you also install the corresponding state program(s), otherwise you'll get Error 539.
  4. Once installed, choose File then Open Tax Return in the software.
  5. Browse to where you saved your .tax2019 file, select it, and then select Open.
  6. If you get an error, delete your tax data file and repeat these steps from the beginning.
  7. Once you have your Turbo Tax software installed and your tax data populates into the return, select the forms mode in the right hand corner of your screen, if you are using windows. If you are using Mac, go to view>go to forms.
  8. Find the information worksheet in the Massachusetts state return and go to part 3 and select married filing separately
  9. If the dependent care credit is entered in the federal return, it will show up as a deduction in line 12 in your Massachusetts Form 1
  10. Since you have the software, your spouse can file a separate Married File Separate return in the same software and using the same process in loading the same tax file in their return.

I know this may seem overwhelming but it is worth it. Be sure to reach out for phone support for further assistance if you need to. Please select this link for information to contact phone support.

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