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SuperSnailTax
Returning Member

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

I'm attempted to file MFJ and the first question is "Who Had a Higher Income in 2023?"

 

I have a W-2 with a small box 1 value but a high box 16 (state wages) value. Which number do I use to calculate the answer to this question, or does it even matter? Thanks!

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5 Replies
DMarkM1
Expert Alumni

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

That sounds like a state question.  If that is the case use the box 16 amount.  However, you might repost with what section you are in and/or what state you are working for confirmation.

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SuperSnailTax
Returning Member

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

I'm answering the initial questions before even starting on fed or state, this is for each child claimed TT will ask this income question. 

HollyP
Employee Tax Expert

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

It sounds like you may have accidentally started the flow for Married Filing Separately. I would go back to My Info in TurboTax Online and edit your filing status section again. If you are using TurboTax Desktop, then go to personal info to review the filing status questions again. 

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SuperSnailTax
Returning Member

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

Well, that's embarrassing. I meant to ask about Married Filing Separately 🙂 I don't know why I titled the thread MFJ. I filed MFJ last year and this year I'm filing MFS and wondering how to go about answering these "higher income" questions. 

HollyP
Employee Tax Expert

Married Filing Jointly - Higher Income Question - what counts towards gross income?

That makes more sense now, so just answer those questions honestly. The IRS wants this information just in case your spouse were to contest who claimed the dependent this year. Typically, if there is a dispute and both parents are otherwise qualified then the dependent deduction goes to the parent with the highest income. 

If you earned more, then say yes, and then answer the follow up questions accordingly. If you earned less, then say so and answer the question about legal right accordingly. So long as you and your spouse agree about who is claiming the dependent, these questions will not have a impact on your return. 

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