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wafco33
Returning Member

was MF Joint, now MF Separately

After years of filing jointly, selling a rental property in one spouses name seems beneficial to file MFSep since we have no credits and take standard deduction.

 

Does filing this year as MFS have ramifications for next year, ie, must also then file MFS or does it get complicated going back and forth, MFJ to MFS then back to MFJ next year?

4 Replies
VolvoGirl
Level 15

was MF Joint, now MF Separately

You can switch filing status each year.  But Joint still should be better.

 

It is usually better to file Joint. Joint has the lowest tax rates and the highest Standard Deduction.   And if you are in a Community Property state MFS gets tricky to figure out.  Here's some things to consider about filing separately……

 

In the first place you each have to file a separate return, so that's two returns.  And if you are using the Online version that means using 2 accounts and paying the fees twice.  

 

Many people think they come out better when filing Married Filing Separate but they are probably doing it wrong.  If one person itemizes deductions then the other one must itemize too, even if it's less than the standard deduction, even if it is ZERO!  

 

And there are several credits you can't take when filing separately, like the

EITC Earned Income Tax Credit

Child Care Credit

Educational Deductions and Credits

 

And contributions to IRA and ROTH IRA are limited when you file MFS.

 

Also if you file Married Filing Separately up to 85`% of your Social Security becomes taxable right away even with zero other income.

 

See …….

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-...

 

 

wafco33
Returning Member

was MF Joint, now MF Separately

Thanks. When I convert my MFJointly file to MFSeparatley I can only find my tax return, where is my spouse's return?

VolvoGirl
Level 15

was MF Joint, now MF Separately

What?  How did you "convert" Joint to Married filing Separate? To do separate returns you need start over with a new return for each spouse.  You have to prepare the spouses separate return.   You can't transfer from a joint return.   If you are using the online version you need 2 separate accounts.  if you are using the Desktop program you need to start new separate returns for each person, go up to File-New.

Here's some info.......

If you used Turbo Tax last year with your spouse you should start a brand new account for yourself and not transfer from last year.  You can not remove a spouse or switch the order of names.

 

Online is only good for 1 return.  But you can use the same email address for 5 accounts.   How to start another return in the Online version  

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/using-turbotax/help/how-do-i-start-another-return-in-turbotax-onli...

 

And may I ask why you are filing separate returns?  Sometimes people don't realize the differences between filing  Joint and MFS.

 

Unless you have a specific reason to file separate returns,

It is usually better to file Joint. Joint has the lowest tax rates and the highest Standard Deduction.   And if you are in a Community Property state MFS gets tricky to figure out.  Here's some things to consider about filing separately……

 

In the first place you each have to file a separate return, so that's two returns.  And if you are using the Online version that means using 2 accounts and paying the fees twice.  

 

Many people think they come out better when filing Married Filing Separate but they are probably doing it wrong.  If one person itemizes deductions then the other one must itemize too, even if it's less than the standard deduction, even if it is ZERO!  

 

And there are several credits you can't take when filing separately, like the

EITC Earned Income Tax Credit

Child Care Credit

Educational Deductions and Credits

 

And contributions to IRA and ROTH IRA are limited when you file MFS.

 

Also if you file Married Filing Separately up to 85`% of your Social Security becomes taxable right away even with zero other income.

 

See …….

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-...

 

DoninGA
Level 15

was MF Joint, now MF Separately


@wafco33 wrote:

Thanks. When I convert my MFJointly file to MFSeparatley I can only find my tax return, where is my spouse's return?


As stated by @VolvoGirl 

In the first place you each have to file a separate return, so that's two returns.  And if you are using the Online version that means using 2 accounts and paying the fees twice.  

 

If using the TurboTax online editions did you create two separate accounts since you are filing as MFS and then complete your spouse's return on the second account?

If using the TurboTax desktop software you have to create a New Tax Return for each of you when filing as MFS.

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