What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?
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New Member

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

My spouse filed “single” and I filed “married but filing separate.” Will that effect how we file next year?

10 Replies
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Your spouse cannot use Single filing status. The IRS will catch it (because you correctly used Married Filing Separately [MFS]). He/she will receive a notice from the IRS to file an amended return.

But, to answer your question, how you file this year does not affect how you can  file the following year.

What he (and you) can do is file an amended return changing your filing status to Married Filing Jointly (MFJ).
See: https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-separ...
1. Start by assuming it's better to file jointly, because that's true 99% of the time.
2. Then state you're specific reason you think you may need to file separately and someone here can give you specific guidance.
3. The only way to be absolutely sure is to prepare returns both ways and compare the results.  This is more easily done with the download version of TurboTax rather than the on-line version. Or you could Try this tool   https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/?s=1
New Member

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

what if the IRS did not catch it, and my spouse received her tax return? Can that effect me as well?
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

No. Your return was filed correctly.
She will be hearing from the  IRS, later.
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

if the IRS does not catch it, there is no effect. But the computers will see the discrepancy.
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Are you in a Community Property State?
New Member

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Yes
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Then you (and your spouse) are required to allocate your income between both returned.  Filing "single" when actually married can be tax fraud if done to increase the refund and not just a simple mistake that can be corrected with an amended return with the correct filing status.
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
New Member

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Is there any way to correct it? I just found out about it, and we were separated at the time.
New Member

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

Also,how would this effect me if I had no control of how she filed?
Level 15

What happens if my spouse filed “single” and i filed “married but filing separate”?

It depends.   If you lived together in 2017 and file separately then *you* are required to put half if her community income on *your* tax return and she must do the same on her separate return.  That is one of the hazards of filing separately in a community propriety state.    

If you have been total separate for all of 2017 then you might be able to disregard the community property laws - depending on the laws of your state.  You should consult with a tax professional that knows the state community property laws of your state.

 Community property states.   If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes.

See Publication 555. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/index.html">http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/index.html</a>

 
See this TurboTax article for help with this.
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-married-filing-jointly-vs-married-filing-separately">https...>

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states">ht...>
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
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