turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.

Married filing separately

This is the first time I’m considering this for a couple of reasons: 

 

1) I currently have a past-due child support.

2) I have a single-member LLC with only $600 to report.

3) I have no W-2 income

 

My wife is the bread winner with her W2 income however I’m afraid her refund will be taken by the child support arrearage and I want to avoid this. Will filing separately be more appropriate than filing jointly along with injured spouse form?

x
Do you have an Intuit account?

Do you have an Intuit account?

You'll need to sign in or create an account to connect with an expert.

5 Replies

Married filing separately

You cannot use the injured spouse form on a tax return where you are filing as Married Filing Separately.

 

You should be filing as Married Filing Jointly as it is much more advantageous from a tax standpoint then filing separately.  When filing jointly you can include the Form 8379 for injured spouse with the tax return so that your spouse's portion of any federal tax refund cannot be seized for your unpaid child support debt.

Married filing separately

You might want to look at both ways of filing in order to determine what is better.  If you are in a community property state it gets very tricky.  Your spouse can file as an injured spouse in order to protect the part of the refund that is attributed to her income if you file a joint return.  

 

Or you can file separate returns.   If you owe child support, any refund you are getting will be seized for the delinquent child support.

 

 

INJURED SPOUSE

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1910698-how-do-i-file-form-8379-injured-spouse-allocation

 

To use Form 8379 to report Injured Spouse:  Go to

Federal>Other Tax Situations>Other Tax Forms

On Miscellaneous tax forms, click start or update for Report an Innocent or Injured Spouse

 

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.

 

If you were legally married at the end of 2023 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 $27,700 (+$1500 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 since with online, you get one return per fee.

 

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.**

Married filing separately

Thank you for the feedback.

Married filing separately

Thank you for the reply. I’m in Illinois and it looks like it is not a community property state.

Married filing separately

Illinois is not a community property state.

**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.**
message box icon

Get more help

Ask questions and learn more about your taxes and finances.

Post your Question
Manage cookies