Do I use my wife's AGI since we filed jointly last even when I didn't work.
If you filed a joint return for 2017, your 2017 AGI is the same for each of you even if one spouse did not work or have income.
Your 2017 tax return shows your 2017 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) If you filed a joint return then the AGI is the same for each of you.
Form 1040EZ line 4
Form 1040A line 21
Form 1040 line 37
You do not say why you are filing separate returns for 2018--that is usually the worst way to file.
If you were legally married at the end of 2018 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 $24,000 (+$1300 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.
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