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mcarroll378
New Member

Hubby and I were separated for 2 years and filed separately. Covid brought us back together. How do we file now? Do we need special forms?

We have 3 children and I claimed them the entire time.
2 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Hubby and I were separated for 2 years and filed separately. Covid brought us back together. How do we file now? Do we need special forms?

You do not need any special forms.   You are allowed to change from MFS to MFJ if you want to.

 

 

If you were legally married at the end of 2020 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 $24,800 (+$1300 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.

 

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

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-separ...

 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Opus 17
Level 15

Hubby and I were separated for 2 years and filed separately. Covid brought us back together. How do we file now? Do we need special forms?

As long as you are legally married, you can file as married filing jointly or married filing separately according to your preference, which gets you a bigger refund, or even your whim, and you can switch back and forth without paperwork.

 

Specific to Turbotax, you can't merge accounts.  You can either pick one account and add the other spouse to it, or make a new account and start fresh (this is recommended).  Not because of IRS rules, but because of certain problems that can sometimes happen because of how Turbotax is programmed.

 

Good luck. 

*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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