TurboTax FAQ
TurboTax FAQ
447 people found this useful

Married Filing Separately in Community Property States

Filing taxes in community property states as married filing separately (MFS) can be complicated. Certain states have laws about community property defining how they expect MFS couples to share, or allocate, income.

Community property states are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.

TurboTax has allocation screens and a worksheet to assist you in entering any adjustments your community property state may require when filing separately. For more information, refer to IRS Publication 555 Community Property.

If you're using TurboTax Online, we recommend that you transfer your return to the TurboTax CD/Desktop version. You will save time by entering less information.

Begin by completing a MFS federal tax return for you and your spouse, as you'll need the amounts for different income categories, tax amounts, and all tax payments for each of you. If one of you plans to itemize deductions, the other person must itemize as well. Otherwise, you’ll both have to use the standard deduction.

You may not be able to e-file, in which case TurboTax will guide you through the steps to file a paper return.

Entering income adjustments for a community property state

First, use your community property state rules to determine what adjustments you expect to enter in TurboTax. Often one return has an addition to income and withholding, while the other will have a reduction (subtraction) to income and withholding.

  1. With your return open type “community property” in the search box.
  2. Click the “Jump to” link in the search results.
  3. On the Community Property Income screen, select Yes and follow the instructions to enter any income adjustments.


Complete the community property worksheet

After you’ve told us your income adjustments, you’ll have to fill out the community property worksheet. The worksheet shows how the income on this tax return compares with the other taxpayer's return.

Your community property worksheet will appear right after you complete your income adjustments.

If you can’t find the worksheet:

  1. Type “community property worksheet” in the search box and
  2. Click the “Jump to” link in the search results.

We’ve added clear instructions directly on the worksheet to help guide you through filling it out correctly.

Once you have determined how to split both your combined income and tax withholding between you and your spouse, continue with your state tax return.


Finish your tax returns

Continue entering or checking all other information necessary for both state returns. Be sure to review your federal and state returns for completeness and accuracy when you are finished.

Depending on how tax withholding payments are allocated between the two MFS returns in a community property state, the IRS may not accept e-filed MFS tax returns at this time.

If your tax return is rejected with error code 0103, please print the tax return with the community property worksheet and mail the return to the IRS.