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How can I negotiate this?

Have you considered asking him to file a joint return with you? If the intent is to minimize your tax burden, file jointly and negotiate an split on the return. Even if he agrees to file joint and keep the return, you will not owe any taxes. I did this the first year I was separated and she foolishly agreed (guilt is a wonderful tool if used correctly).

It appears, not knowing his status, that he has nothing to lose either way. If filing joint will cause him to realize a lower return, he might not agree. The other flaw with this option is the refund check must be endorsed by both parties.

Good luck,
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