This post has been closed and is not open for comments or answers.

I'm married but want to file separately because my husband owes back child support and don't want my taxes taken how do I go about filing so that doesn't happen?

    You can, and probably should, file MFJ with a form you have to mail in for innocent/injured spouse relief. See for details and information.
    • I'm in a similar situation. My husband owes back taxes (from previous marriage, which has nothing to do with me), so we were going to file married filing separately with injured or innocent spouse relief. My question is which is better?  Separate appears to be $3500 refund. Married filing jointly appears to be $6500 refund, but we have no idea if and how much will be allocated for injured spouse.  Any idea? Is there a percentage of the refund?  How is the refund amount calculated for injured spouse??
    • You should file MFJ with the innocent spouse relief. Basically, they will take the portion of your joint refund that is allocated to your husband's taxable earnings. All those details are in the link above, and on other pages reference on the page you see on the link above.
    • I went to the link, but the more I read the more confused I become.  We brought our paperwork to a tax company and the preparer who is an Enrolled Agent said she recommended we file MFS and "take what you can get, because you don't know how much will be allocated for injured spouse."  Can I just SCREAMMMMM now ?????
    • It sounds like that EA wanted to have a result you could be "sure" of rather than one that you may not know the final outcome of until you file based on the statement of "take what you can get". I'm making a lot of assumptions, though. However, I believe you will most likely come out with a better result filing jointly with the innocent spouse form attached. (can't be sure mind you... just most likely).   The downside is that it will take a little longer to get "your" part of the refund back.  If you're due $6500 filing jointly -- but only $3500 separately -- that's $3000 that you neither get back nor get credit applied toward the back debt for.  It's just gone.  If you file jointly there's no immediate way to know how much comes back to you as your refund after the allocation is processed but you do know that the sum of the payments made on the debt PLUS the amount you get back will be the $6500.  (I may be incorrectly assuming the $3500 is the total and not just on your own return.)    

       It takes a few weeks longer but you could get $3000 more money between the increased refund and the increased "credit" applied toward the back child support (or taxes).  I hope this helps.
    • Some info to consider.....
      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. 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

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


      You may be an injured spouse if you file a joint tax return and all or part of your portion of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied (offset) to your spouse’s legally enforceable past-due federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan.

      Here is a blank form 8379

      And the 8379 instructions
    • mam did u figure anything out on this i need to know the same thing
    Per item 3 at I interpret that as saying you will get back "your portion" of the refund. I further interpret "your portion" to be based on the share of the taxes paid from your income, that are your share of the overpayment to the IRS from "your" income. Seems pretty clear to me. As for state taxes, I know nothing about community property states as per item 2 which references IRS Pub 555.  So if you're in a community property state, I can't confirm or refute the Enrolled Agent's statement. Additionally, the Enrolled Agent is probably more aware of your financial situation than you would care to make public in a forum such as this.
     What you can do, is complete your taxes both ways in TT and see which turns out better. Then e-file the better one. That's what I would do if I were in your shoes and getting different advice from different sources. Which way you do it, has no effect on me, and it has no effect on your Enrolled Agent. It only affects you. So figure it up both ways and file the one that works to your advantage the best.
    • Carl, you seem so calm about TAXES. I wish I were.  Actually, I don't mind making my financial situation public.  What I really want is to file myself to avoid paying hundreds of dollars in preparer fees and receive what is due me.  That however is what I don't know.  I've been throwing around numbers on Turbo Tax for weeks now and continue to get different results each time.  The community property income/taxes is the part that confuses me.  I made $71,357.74 and he made $31,875.18.  On my return add half of his income to the addition adjustment and then subtract half of mine to the subtraction adjustment?  Then for the tax portion do the same? Add to federal half of what he paid in and then subtract half of what I paid in? (i paid in $10,038.25 he paid in $4032.12).  Does this sound right?
    • As far as his owed back taxes from previous marriage, he has made a settlement with IRS and only owes ONE MORE PAYMENT of $526.18!!!!  But, any refund he is entitled to they will take this year and next year (probation period), After that we will definitely file MFJ and not have to deal with this confusing mess:(((
    • With that income difference between the two of you, I'd look at MFS myself. But you also have to consider dependent exemptions and if one or more of those dependents are in college and you qualify for education credits. Lots of factors to consider there, which makes for more than just 2 ways to figure the taxes between the two of you.
       Just remember, the IRS is not the gastapo - though some IRS agents try to make you think and believe they are. If you make a mistake or get audited, they're not gonna come blazing into your house wearing flak vests and guns drawn so they can haul you off to the IRS dungeon. You simply get a letter explaining the changes they made to your return and why they made them. That letter also gives you instructions on what to do if you dispute their findings.
       In the case of an actual audit like I experienced, I got a letter informing me of my "random" selection for an audit. I simply called the phone number, and they set up the appointment at "my" convenience and told me what all I needed to bring. Peice of cake.
      I'm calm, because I was audited in 2008. I started my buiness (self-employed) in 2005 and file a SCH C with my personal taxes for that business. In 2008, my business (SCH C only) was audited for the 2006 tax return. While it wasn't "fun" at the time, after it was over I realized I really enjoyed it. This was because I showed up for the audit appointment well armed with my laptop, internet access, and links to all the IRS pubs I could find that related to "my" specific business tax filing. Everytime the auditor would show me something that "disqualified" and expense or other deduction, I'd open the laptop and go straight to the IRS Pub on line that superseded what he had and proved I was right, he was wrong. In the process, I even found several deductions and expenses that I was allowed, but hadn't claimed. In the end, the IRS ended up owing "ME" money. I considered taking the agent to lunch when the audit was done, but decided against it. Figured that would look like I was "bribing" him since I came out on the better side of the experience. I later learned that my auditor was a temp hire, and not a full fledged employee of the IRS. So the only "knowledge" he had pertaining to my taxes, was in the books provided him by the IRS for the purpose of my audit. In other words, he was just a puppet doing what he was told.
    My situation is similar, but my wife has already filed her 1099 and has already paid what she owed in back taxes. on my income I claimed 0 only made bout 16,000 last year do I file for Mfs or a single refund?
    • If you are married you can not file Single.  Have to file as Married filing Separate or Joint.
    • P.s. she is pregnant and due in april
    • Congratulations on your upcoming new addition.  If your wife already filed a return separately from you, you will need to file MFS this year as well.  Single isn't an option for married people.
    • Thank you but I think my wife file single and we didn't get married in the US I married her in Vietnam and sponsored
    • Does that effect anything?
    • Wat if my wife has already filed her 1099 at a tax rep? She paid about $700 dollars to the Irs bout 3 weeks ago and I think she filed single do I still file mfs?
    • Congradulations on your upcoming tax deduction! (Sorry, I just couldn't resist)
    • Its OK, so how should I file my refund?
    • Your wife can't file single. If the two of you were legally married on Dec 31, 2012, she filed either MFS or MFJ. If your wife has already filed MFS, then you "have" to file MFS. Also, if your wife itemized, then you too have to itemize too. So talk to the spouse and get the facts on how she filed. That determines how you have to file.
    i need help to my husband owes back i filled out injured spouse but scared to file that way because i dont know how much would be mine. is there any way to figure out what is due to me. if i file seperate i am due 3200 but if i file with him we get 3800. how do i know how much i would get of the 3800 so i know which one i will come out on top with? i need my money badly im not gonna lie. also ami guarenteed to get my portion with injured spouse or is that just a maybe?
    • In some states they are taking half,  it he or she owes back child support,back taxes, etc. If the amount he/she owes is more then your taxes. Injured spouse is taking additional 6 weeks on top of 21 day. My husband owes child support and I filed for injury spouse last year and they took all of his taxes and half of mines. But each case maybe different.
    anyone on here actually file injured spouse and still not get their portion? im trying to figure out what i should do
    • I filed injured spouse last year and they took it all. they said the amount of taxes owed was all hers? i dont know what to do this year
    I've never been in such a situation. But what I feel faily certain about is, if you don't file injured/innocent spouse, the entire refund will be taken if the debt equals or exceeds it. If you do file, then if the IRS approves, you "might" get something above zero dollars back.
    In the TT Program, click on the "Other Tax Situations" near the top. Then scroll to the bottom and select Mescellaneous Tax Forms.
    Then select Report And Injured Or Innocent Spouse Claim, and go from there.
      Removed advertisement
      • I have no idea what this post has to do with "the price of tea in China" as my mother used to say but please don't post advertisements on this user board as it is in violation of the user agreement.