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wketteman
Level 1

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

 
7 Replies
tygrtchr
Level 7

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

Normally, when only one spouse works, the couple files as Married Filing Jointly.  There are some clear rules about the stimulus--one of which is the MFJ requirement for married couples--in order to receive your maximum benefit.  If your wife has already filed as MFS, she can send in an amended return in order for you both to receive the full amount you qualify for.  Otherwise, based on her salary, she will get a payment of up to $1200 plus $500 for each child.

wketteman
Level 1

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

Thanks for replying. I just went through the text of the bill as well as the IRS website about these payments (https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center)  and I didn't see anything in either that lists a requirement for married couples to file MFJ in order to receive the payment - though I am definitely not a tax expert or lawyer.

 

The IRS website above has two references to MFS filing status. The first is "Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between: $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately" and the second is

"Taxpayers likely won't qualify for an Economic Impact Payment if any of the following apply: Your adjusted gross income is greater than $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately"

 

Since these statements reference the ability for people to file as MFS, and that eligibility for receiving a payment is impacted their AGI and not filing status, it seems to my untrained eye that married couples can file as MFS and receive a payment if they're eligible based on their AGI. I won't be reporting any income and his AGI will be below $75,000, so based on the IRS website it seems like we'll both be eligible for the full $1,200.  But I definitely could be reading this incorrectly! Thoughts?

Mypupbarks
Level 3

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

I’m in the same boat. I am not required to file a tax return. When I try to complete the stimulus only return, it won’t let me file as married filing separately and rejects me if I put single as TurboTax directed me to do since my spouse already filed married filing separately.  

Expert3
New Member

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

Same boat.  Turbo Tax seems to have a glitch.  With all the complaints about this, why isn't Turbo Tax support chiming in with a comment or solution?  This is a whole category of people not able to use the portal.  And the frustrating thing is we look to Intuit to be the experts and assume we are doing something wrong.  Until after numerous attempts to enter your info, you realize "it can't be me".  Only to google it and find thousands of people having the same issue. PLEASE fix this Turbo Tax! I wasted hours trying to register.

DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

You must file an actual tax return selecting the filing status of Married Filing Separately.  You would use only your information to file the return.  You may have to print and mail that return in depending on the software you select.  Once it processes you will be eligible for a stimulus payment of $1200.  Your best option is to use the IRS free file program here.  

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wketteman
Level 1

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

Hi, thanks for your response. Before I read your response, I decided to use the free IRS tool for non-filers and completed it as "single". Do you think it would confuse things if I now filed a return as married Filing Separately with no income to claim? I imagine it would but don't know. 

tygrtchr
Level 7

I don't work & my spouse files as Married Filing Separately, but the Stimulus Registration Tool tells me I have to file as Married Filing Jointly. What do I do?

The difference is that BOTH spouses have to file as Married Filing Separately.

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