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Deductions

Married filing Separately...have $29.689 in itemized deductions, but TTax will only give me the Standard Deduction of $12.000. Any idea why?

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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Deductions

Is your spouse using the standard deduction? If so, you must also use the standard deduction. When you file as married filing separately, you're not allowed to have one spouse take the standard deduction and the other spouse use itemized deductions.

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8 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Deductions

Is your spouse using the standard deduction? If so, you must also use the standard deduction. When you file as married filing separately, you're not allowed to have one spouse take the standard deduction and the other spouse use itemized deductions.

Deductions

Ah,.,,,,that splains it. Many Thanks!! Now how do I make the correction in TTax so that both are filing itemized?

Deductions


@rjs wrote:

Is your spouse using the standard deduction? If so, you must also use the standard deduction.


Slight correction - it is the other way around.  If the spouse itemizes, then you must also itemize.  Either spouse can always itemize at their choosing and that forces the other spouse to also itemize even if that spouse has nothing to itemize.   Taking the standard deduction does not force the other spouse to also take the standard deduction.

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**

Deductions


@hudspeth_greg wrote:

Ah,.,,,,that splains it. Many Thanks!! Now how do I make the correction in TTax so that both are filing itemized?


Question is - why file separate returns in the first place?

 

If you file MFS (Married Filing Separately) keep in mind that there are several limitations to MFS.  Married filing Jointly is usually the better way to file.
 
A few of those limitations are: (see IRS Pub 17 for the full list

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf page 21

1. Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return.
2. Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return.
3. You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. For more information about these expenses, the credit, and the exclusion, see chapter 32.
4. You cannot take the earned income credit.
5. You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases.
6. You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit) or the deduction for student loan interest.
7. You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U.S. savings bonds you used for higher education expenses.
8. If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year:
a. You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and
b. You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received.
9. The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return:
a. The child tax credit,
b. The retirement savings contributions credit,
10. Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return).
11. If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return.

- If you live in a community property state you must allocate community income between both spouses..
-
- Community property states.   If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. See Publication 555. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/index.html

 
See this TurboTax article for help with this.
https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-married-filing-jointly-vs-married-filing-separately

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Deductions


@hudspeth_greg wrote:

Now how do I make the correction in TTax so that both are filing itemized?


Go back to Federal Taxes > Deductions & Credits. On the screen "Your 2018 Deductions & Credits" scroll down to the bottom and click "Done with Deductions." Proceed through the questions. A few screens later you will get a screen that asks whether your spouse itemizes deductions or takes the standard deduction. Select "Itemized deductions" and click Continue. It should then use your itemized deductions.


You must do the same thing in both your tax return and your spouse's tax return. Check both returns to make sure they are using itemized deductions.

Deductions

Review the MY INFO tab ... that is where you indicated you would file separately and if the other spouse was going to itemize deductions ... that choice will prevail later in the program. 

Mcleroy92
New Member

Deductions

They are asking about cobra form  what is that. 

Deductions


@Mcleroy92 wrote:

They are asking about cobra form  what is that. 


 Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

 

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/health-plans/cobra

 

**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
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