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I am married but I would like to file separately. Will my wife need to make a separate turbo tax account and file as married filing separately as well?

 
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3 Replies

I am married but I would like to file separately. Will my wife need to make a separate turbo tax account and file as married filing separately as well?

If you choose to file separate returns, then you need two accounts and two user ID's (and you will pay twice).  You each have to file the same way--you either both itemize or both use standard deduction.  If you are in a community property state it gets more complicated.

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 each receive the $4050 personal exemption, plus the married filing jointly standard deduction of $12,600 (add $1250 for each spouse over the age of 65).  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.  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.  If you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.

**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.**

I am married but I would like to file separately. Will my wife need to make a separate turbo tax account and file as married filing separately as well?

I am asking because before I entered my wife's numbers I was getting a large return after adding her we owe what we were originally getting in the return. If I chose to file separately who do I put the mortgage interest and car information under? Just choose one and leave it blank on the other?

I am married but I would like to file separately. Will my wife need to make a separate turbo tax account and file as married filing separately as well?

You are very unlikely to be better off by filing separate returns.  What you saw when you entered your spouse's W-2 to your joint return is normal. When you added more income, your tax liability increased, so you saw your refund decrease.  The program begins by giving you your personal exemption of $4050 each plus your  married standard deduction of $12,600—both of which lowered your taxable income. So you are not being taxed on as much of the income on that first W-2.  Then you added taxable income--so the refund went down. Your refund (or tax due) is based on the total of your income, not “per W-2.”  Wait until you have entered ALL of your income and deduction information.  You can't really tell anything until it is all entered.  That “refund monitor” does not mean anything until everything has been entered.
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But if you do file separately--you have to divide up the itemized deductions between the two of you--since you want to itemize then you BOTH have to itemize.  So divide 50-50, choose who deducts what, etc. as long as the amount of the deduction between the two of you does not exceed 100% of the mortgage interest, etc.And again, if you are in any of these states, it gets even more complicated: Community property states:  AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI
It is not easy to compare MFJ to MFS using online TT but you can do it.  Since you only get one return for each account and user ID, you have to use 3 accounts and user ID’s—one for MFJ and two for each of the MFS returns.  Compare, choose, and file—and pay—accordingly.
It is much easier to do this comparison using the desktop version of TT installed from a CD or downloaded to your own computer.  You pay once for the software and you can prepare multiple returns easily, and it has a “what if” feature that allows comparisons.
**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.**
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