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Subject:  Char cont in year of marriage Date:  2/10/2002  5:18 PM
Author:  gtownsend Number:  58708 of 127753

Hi Everyone,

I have a question about claiming charitable contributions.

My wife and I were married this year. We had each been making contributions via check to our church before we were married, her from her account and me from mine. After we were married we began making the contributions from our joint checking account, but we continued to use the envelopes the church had provided HER (she is a member of the church, I am not).

We received the Record of Contributions from the church in January, and it includes the contributions she made before we were married, and ALL of the contributions we made AFTER we were married. My name does not appear on this statement because I am not a member of the church.

I'm calculating our tax both ways (married filing jointly and married filing separately) to see which is most beneficial (taking state taxes into account of course). I'm confused on which return I should be deducting these contributions when doing married filing separately. Since my taxable income is substantially higher than hers, I'd like to take all of them on my return, regardless of who made them. I'm guessing that's not going to fly though.

I think it's pretty straightforward that the ones we made before we were married have to go on our separate returns. What about the ones after we were married? I'd like to get those on my return if possible, but like I stated above, they show up on the church's record of contributions which only has my wife's name on it. They were made from our joint checking account, which has my tax I.D. on it.

Is there a form or pub that details which return items must go on when filing as married filing separately? I looked on the IRS web site but didn't see anything.


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