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jman3
Level 2

MA asks for spouse's total income and AGI - where is this info

My wife and I are filing married separately for both federal and MA residents. The MA state portion asks me to fill in her federal total income, federal adjusted gross income, and total number of dependents claimed to make sure that the same income and family info is reported.

- Just to make sure I answer correctly, we should fill out our federal returns as married separately. Then, I should look at her 1040, line 9 and line 11, to find the total income and federal AGI to fill in those two values for her (using the preview my 1040 function in TT). And she would do the same for mine. Is this the right approach?

- Regarding the dependents: we have 2 kids and I will be claiming both as dependents (and she would not). So I would answer "2" for the total dependents number claimed, right?

Thanks!

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Accepted Solutions
CatinaT1
Expert Alumni

MA asks for spouse's total income and AGI - where is this info

Yes this is correct.  You will answer 2 for the number of dependents claimed on your return and 0 for the number of dependents claimed on her return.

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3 Replies
CatinaT1
Expert Alumni

MA asks for spouse's total income and AGI - where is this info

Yes this is correct.  You will answer 2 for the number of dependents claimed on your return and 0 for the number of dependents claimed on her return.

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**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

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jman3
Level 2

MA asks for spouse's total income and AGI - where is this info

I was checking whether it is better to file federal as married joint or separate, and the MA state as married joint or separate. I noticed the following when I checked the different combinations:

Total income: federal joint > federal separate for me + federal separate for my wife

Total AGI: federal joint > federal separate for me + federal separate for my wife

 

How come the separate federal incomes and AGIs do not add up to be the same as the joint amounts? Or am I missing something?

 

Thanks!

DanielV01
Expert Alumni

MA asks for spouse's total income and AGI - where is this info

In this public forum we do not have access to your tax return or TurboTax account.  One possibility that might explain this is unemployment.  If you and your spouse drew unemployment, and your combined income is $150,000 or greater, then by the provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act the unemployment compensation will be fully included in taxable income.  However, when you file separately, your incomes could well be under the threshold and therefore be excluded on your individual returns.  If this is the case and you have somewhat similar income amounts, you may have a rare case where filing separately produces a better tax result than filing jointly.  

 

And another tax trick is to make sure that your two dependents are claimed by the spouse with lower income, to maximize the stimulus payments that were issued.  Even if the amounts were issued to the maximum allowable (not phased down), as a joint filing each of you is considered to have received 50% of the stimulus.  Now when you file separately, the spouse with the dependents would be entitled to receive more because of the math.  So if filing separately this year has a tax advantage, file that way.  It's rare, but it does happen.

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