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Subject:  Married: File Joint or Separate Date:  3/27/2014  10:27 PM
Author:  progmtl Number:  120610 of 127753

Hi tax experts,

I am married and have always filed jointly; I figured it was easier and we didn't seem to fit into the categories of those who would benefit from filing separately (to my knowledge, which may have been limited).

Anyway, I am using H&R Block Deluxe to do my taxes. It has a filing status calculator/worksheet where you can compare filing joint with filing separately. The joint approach has us owing the IRS about $1500. But if I mess around with the allocations of income and deductions to each of us in the filing separate approach, I can make it so that I owe about $19k and my wife gets a refund of $25k. This is a net refund of about $6k.

So, is it legal to assign income and deductions like this? I'm not referring to wage income, which is left exactly as on the W2. I am referring to interest income, dividend income, deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes, tax refund income, etc. All of these are joint income/deductions in actuality. Can I divide them as I choose, or do they have to be split 50/50 (or by some other scheme)?

I think dividing up the deductions and having us both itemize is pulling us out of AMT territory. Any pointers would be helpful.

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