My wife and I are currently separated. Last year we filed married jointly. We sold our house late last year. She normally handles the taxes, but hasn't submitted a return yet for us this year. Earlier this year, she made a payment so we don't owe anything and she submitted an extension. She recently told me that she needs to complete the taxes before the October deadline, and will take care of it, but I'm worried that nothing is done yet. If I go ahead and file married single and then she files married jointly, can my married single be cancelled when she files married jointly?
You said "Earlier this year, she made a payment so we don't owe anything and she submitted an extension."
There is no penalty for being late if money is not owed. Trying to file a MFS (Married Filing Separately) return ahead of a MFJ return risks complications.
Q. Can my married separate be cancelled when she files married jointly?
A. Simple answer: no. Tax returns cannot be cancelled, they can only be amended. In your situation, the timing, in addition to the normal problems of switching form MFS to MFJ makes it particularly messy. The fact that an MFJ extension was filed also complicates it. Your other post indicated you may be claiming an education credit. MFS is not allowed to claim the tuition credits.
Thanks for the quick response - Do we/I need to file by October 15 to avoid penalties?
Also - My account shows a zero balance owing. But the payment she made is not recorded on my account. So I have no record of the payment being made. From my research on the IRS website, it appears that until a joint filing is posted, the payment is only recorded to the account that the payment was made under. Then it will be recorded to both accounts. Is this accurate?
Q. Do we/I need to file by October 15 to avoid penalties?
A. No. There is no penalty for being late if money is not owed.
Q. From my research on the IRS website, it appears that until a joint filing is posted, the payment is only recorded to the account that the payment was made under. Then it will be recorded to both accounts. Is this accurate?
A. It's not clear why you have two accounts at the IRS. When your spouse made an extension payment, I assume she file the extension for a MFJ return. There's only one account (the MFJ account) to post the payment to.
There is no such thing as "married single".
If you were legally married at the end of 2022 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.
Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $25,900 (+$1400 for each spouse 65 or older) You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit.
If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return. Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states: AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)
If you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.
And.....if you file married filing jointly, you cannot amend to married filing separately later on. That change is not permitted after the April filing deadline. However, a return that was filed married filing separately CAN be amended to file married filing jointly after the deadline.
Another thing you need to be aware of... online preparation and e-filing for 2022 returns will be available until mid-October. After the October deadline, online software will close down, and e-filing will cease. Returns prepared after the deadline must be prepared using the desktop software on a full PC or Mac, and can only be filed by mail on paper forms.
@WHEREAMI Oh dear.....You have more than one thread going for the same issues, which can lead to confusing us here in the forum. Please confine your questions to just one thread so that those of us who are trying to help you do not become confused by the missing information, etc. that you only put into one of the threads.
See your other thread here:
@WHEREAMI what is your biggest concern? it's not clear.
as long as you and your spouse are willing to file a Joint return, even if you are separated, there is no issue.
the issues surface is one or the other is unwilling to sign the Joint return.
Don't over look the lost Tax benefits of filing Separate - you lose any educational tax benefits.
Filing Separate ALMOST NEVER makes sense financially (96% of married couples file Joint(. (It may make sense emotionally - e.g. both are unwilling to sign a Joint return)
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