Sign Up

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
amhillebrand
New Member

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

My business made $0 income this last year so I'm thinking I won't file as my losses were under $1k. I had no paying clients. I have personal investments however. Is it smarter for my husband and I to file jointly or should I just not file at all and just have him file? We have 1 dependent as well.
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
jerry2000
Alumni

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

Each year you can choose to file as Married Filing Separately. However, that may not provide the benefit that you expect, and you will almost always end up paying more in tax than if you file jointly.
The Married Filing Separately filing status is very different than the Single filing status. There are a number of severe restrictions on deductions and credits, and on the amount of IRA contributions that you can deduct, especially if you live together with your spouse.
You can not take the EIC,
You can not take the credit for Child and Dependent Care, in most cases,
You can not take the Education credits/deductions, and there are many other restrictions.
 If either of you receive Social Security benefits and you live with your spouse, more of the SS benefit will be taxable, and the person receiving it will have to include the SS benefit in their gross income when determining whether they have to file. If one of you itemizes deductions, the other must also itemize even if they have nothing to itemize.

Before you decide, you should carefully read the restrictions that go with MFS in  IRS Pub. 501, at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

You should carefully read the limits on IRA deductions in IRS Pub. 590-A at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590a.pdf

In addition, if you live in a Community Property state, there are special rules you must follow for reporting income and expense. For further information on that, see IRS Pub. 555, at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p555.pdf

and/or the Turbotax FAQ at this link:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states

View solution in original post

4 Replies
jerry2000
Alumni

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

Each year you can choose to file as Married Filing Separately. However, that may not provide the benefit that you expect, and you will almost always end up paying more in tax than if you file jointly.
The Married Filing Separately filing status is very different than the Single filing status. There are a number of severe restrictions on deductions and credits, and on the amount of IRA contributions that you can deduct, especially if you live together with your spouse.
You can not take the EIC,
You can not take the credit for Child and Dependent Care, in most cases,
You can not take the Education credits/deductions, and there are many other restrictions.
 If either of you receive Social Security benefits and you live with your spouse, more of the SS benefit will be taxable, and the person receiving it will have to include the SS benefit in their gross income when determining whether they have to file. If one of you itemizes deductions, the other must also itemize even if they have nothing to itemize.

Before you decide, you should carefully read the restrictions that go with MFS in  IRS Pub. 501, at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

You should carefully read the limits on IRA deductions in IRS Pub. 590-A at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p590a.pdf

In addition, if you live in a Community Property state, there are special rules you must follow for reporting income and expense. For further information on that, see IRS Pub. 555, at this link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p555.pdf

and/or the Turbotax FAQ at this link:
https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states
VolvoGirl
Level 15

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

If you have a business (self employment) you still need to fill out schedule C even with no income.  You should still report your expenses.  You can show a loss on your tax return.
amhillebrand
New Member

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

Seems like a lot of work to file when I received no money from any clients. My losses are so low I wasn't sure it's necessary to file. Are you saying that it's the law or just generally suggesting I file for self employment. What happens if I don't?
amhillebrand
New Member

How should I file? Married with no personal income but I have investments.

Also for the first response: Thank you for the information. We've never qualified for a most of the deductions you listed...especially since our income is the same as last year (our tax rate is 25%), even without my contribution. We didn't receive SS. No education costs.
Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads
Privacy Settings
v