Federal MFJ, state MFS (MA and NY)
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Peter S
New Member

Federal MFJ, state MFS (MA and NY)

Hi,

My wife and I lived in different states (I was a full-year MA resident, my wife part-year NY and part-year MA resident). We are filing a joint federal return and separate (MFS) state returns. For NY: Form IT-203 asks for the federal income as well as the New York income. Does this only refer to my wife's portion of the federal income or do we have to include the entire joint income reported on the joint federal return? I don't see an option to specify my part of the income as such. For MA TurboTax asks whether we lived together and which portion of the federal income is from the other spouse.

 

Thanks for the help.

2 Replies
LenaH
Employee Tax Expert

Federal MFJ, state MFS (MA and NY)

No. Your wife cannot be a full-year resident a New York and a part-year resident of Massachusetts. She is considered to be a NYS resident if she spent at least 184 days in New York State during the taxable year. Any part of a day is a day for this purpose. 

 

In New York State, there are two options for married individuals who file a joint federal return and one spouse is a New York State resident and the other is a nonresident.

 

For New York, you must either:

  • file separate New York State returns using filing status (married filing separate); or
  • file jointly, as if you both were New York State residents, using filing status (married filing joint).

For your situation, it would be best to file jointly on your federal return and file separately on your state returns. She would be a full-year resident of NY and you would be a full-year resident of Massachusetts. 

 

To do so, you must follow the instructions below:

  1. Prepare one married filing jointly (MFJ) return to file with the IRS.
  2. Prepare a mock married filing separate (MFS) return for each taxpayer. This is for your records only and will be used to generate separate state returns for each person. The mock federal returns are not filed.
  3. Then, for the first taxpayer, label and use the first mock MFS federal return to prepare their state MFS return. Use only their income and their half of the deductions from the MFJ federal return.
    • This ensures that TurboTax only transfers the first taxpayer's income to their married filing separate state return.
  4. File this MFS state return, not the mock federal return that it pulls the information from.
  5. For the second taxpayer (spouse), label and use the second "mock" MFS federal return to prepare their state MFS return. Again, use only their income and their half of the deductions from the MFJ federal return.
  6. File the second MFS state return, not the second mock federal return that it pulls the information from.

Be sure to name each TurboTax federal return so you know the MFJ federal return to file, and which mock MFS federal and state return is for which person. This is often the best way to ensure you accurately minimize state tax situations with two different state incomes.

 

For more information, please see How do I prepare a joint federal return and separate state returns?

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Filing Requirements, Residency, and Telecommuting for New York Stat...

Peter S
New Member

Federal MFJ, state MFS (MA and NY)

Thank you for your reply.

 

I think I did not make my question clear enough. My wife is a part-year NY resident (less than 184 days) and part-year MA resident (rest of the year). We are filing a joint federal and separate state returns.

 

My question was related to the federal income that needs to be reported on IT-203 in the federal column. I did find the answer to that issue though after carefully reading the instructions for the form.

 

Thank you.

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