Hi, I am confused after checking a few posts, like https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/taxes/discussion/married-couple-living-in-different-states-filing-....
Based on what I understand, the MFJ/MFS option varies depending on where both people stay and how long they stay in each state.
Before TY2023, we lived in different states and married in the US during TY2023 (we've been independently filing 'single' tax forms for more than four years). We are still living in our own state, and I think it will be the same for the next few years. I will say each of us (me and my spouse as A and B).
A is in Michigan, and A gets paid by a state university as a student (stipend, W2, considered as a state employee). A rents a house, and A's residential address is also in Michigan (e.g., driver's license). A bought an EV car in 2023 and knows that A can claim EV tax credit (up to 7.5K) as A's TY2022 income was far lower than 100K (confirmed by IRS). B was a MI resident, but moved to GA around 4 years from now.
B is in Georgia, and B gets paid by a state university as a professor (salary, W2, considered as a state employee); much higher income than A. B bought a house in GA a few years ago, and B has a mortgage loan debt, also within GA. B's residential address is also in Georgia and B has been filing with itemized deduction as B has mortgage. A never considered as GA resident.
We want to file MFJ for federal as (1) A can claim EV car credit and (2) B can get tax benefit as A's current income is low. However, I am not sure how to do our state returns. Based on my understanding, MI require to file MFJ once we go with MFJ for federal, but I failed to find such requirement from GA (I only find that GA gives credit for the tax paid to the other states).
If that's the case
Q1. Can we file MFJ Federal, MI with MFJ, but file GA as MFS ?
Q2. If I can file as Q1, then should B's income needs to be taxed in MI?
Q3. If Q2 is correct, I think GA's income tax is higher and will get credit for the amount B paid to MI and B should pay just the residue (= GA tax - MI tax. I assume A don't need to file GA tax as there is no income or asset in GA). Is it correct?
Q4. If Q1 is false as we should file GA as MFJ, then does A's income should also be taxed in GA?
Q5. Which TurboTax desktop version would support the following? Deluxe? Premier?
I know that it could be complex, but I really appreciate your help if you can even give a hint for us.
on the federal, file Joint. 96% of married couples file Joint (and not Separate). All the tax laws that Congress passes protects the sanctity of marriage, so unless you have student debt and an income repayment plan (and still taht may not matter), filing Joint is the way to go.
for the states, your question is complex, just follow TT for the state in question. Only the income earned in that state by the respective spouse will be taxed by that state. So even if you are required to file joint in MI, that doesn't mean that the GA income is going to be taxed in MI.
Any version of TT will work; Deluxe should be all you need.
Think simply and trust TT will figure this out!
Michigan's form is a little unusual. You are required to file jointly if you file a joint federal return, but there is a box on the form to declare that one spouse is a resident and one spouse is a non-resident, and there is a non-resident worksheet, so presumably the non-resident can exclude their non-Michigan income. However, you may want to call customer support and ask to speak to a Michigan specialist.
Sounds interesting to hear.
Does "a box on the form to declare that one spouse is a resident and one spouse is a non-resident" mean MI-1040 and Schedule NR here?
Based on what I checked, #8 (RESIDENCY STATUS) in MI-1040 shows "Check all that apply." Does it mean I need to check Resident and Nonresident there and submit Schedule NR for person B (who lives in GA)?
By the way, where can I "call customer support and ask to speak to a Michigan specialist"? Does it work if I call the Michigan Department of Treasury? I have never made a call for a tax purpose in my life, so I want to double-check before making a call.
Thanks for the comments. I generally understand, and I know how to run in TT, but I want to know some rulesets behind it, as even TT sometimes requires me to manually create multiple submissions/forms to handle exceptional cases (like the one above; I do think that I should create multiple submissions this time). Anyway, thanks for sharing!
I have never prepared a Michigan return, but from my reading of the instructions, you would check both the resident and non-resident boxes and then use the worksheet.
By contacting a specialist, I meant calling turbotax customer support. They only provide limited tax advice (unless you enroll in the Live or Full Service product during tax season) but they should be able to tell you how to use the functions of the program. Not every operator knows every state, but if you call and ask for a Michigan specialist, they may be able to walk you through the process of entering the data and allocating your income.
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