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Different States, Married Filing Jointly

My husband and I live in separate states, Ohio and Arizona. Can we file jointly?

3 Replies

Different States, Married Filing Jointly

Yes, you can file as Married Filing Jointly.  You do not both have to live in the same household to file jointly.

Different States, Married Filing Jointly

For federal purposes, yes, you can file Joint. Not only 'can' you file Joint, since you are legally married, you have no choice but to file either Married - Filing Joint or Married - Filling Separate. ("joint" is always better financially).


For state purposes, you'd have to check each state whether you are to file Joint, Single or Married - Separate.   Turbo Tax will walk you through this when its time to file.

Different States, Married Filing Jointly

Yes, but...


We need to know more about your living situation, whether it is permanent or temporary, and we need to think about your state laws.


The default if you file a joint federal return is that you file joint state returns.  That would mean that both your incomes would be taxed in both states (double taxation).  It is likely that you would be allowed to file a joint federal return but separate state returns, so that each spouse's income is only taxed in the state where they live, this gets a little complicated in Turbotax but can be done.


We also have to think about your domicile, and about statutory residency.  Your domicile is your real permanent home.  You can only have one domicile at a time, and to establish a new domicile you must also take active steps to abandon your old domicile.  There is no single controlling factor, but some key factors are your permanent home, voter and driver registration, location of doctor, dentist, attorney, key social relationships like clubs, church, etc.  It is possible to be away from your domicile for a long time without changing your domicile, there is no set time limit.


If you are both domiciled in one state, and one of you is a temporary resident of the other state (even if it is a long term stay) then you file a joint return in your home state, but the person living in the other state would file a non-resident return, pay tax in that state, and then get a credit on income tax in your home state for taxes paid out of state. 


On the other hand, if you are permanently separated but still married, and one spouse did change their domicile, then you will want to consider filing a joint federal but separate state returns, which can be done but is a bit more complicated. 

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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