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A few years back when I took my taxes to have them filed for me with someone that had done my taxes for me before I ask about filing married but separate and he said that you could not file that way unless you were legally separated for at least six months. So I guess my question is is that true? I had figured my taxes both ways and had discovered that if we filed separate our taxes wouldn't be as high that year. But taking the advice of my accountant I decided it wasn't worth the risk especially when he said we could get fined very heavily for it if we were caught. Of course that is the same year he messed up my taxes anyway and we no longer feel the need for his services. Thanks
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A few years back when I took my taxes to have them filed for me with someone that had done my taxes for me before I ask about filing married but separate and he said that you could not file that way unless you were legally separated for at least six months. So I guess my question is is that true? I had figured my taxes both ways and had discovered that if we filed separate our taxes wouldn't be as high that year. But taking the advice of my accountant I decided it wasn't worth the risk especially when he said we could get fined very heavily for it if we were caught. Of course that is the same year he messed up my taxes anyway and we no longer feel the need for his services.

Sounds like a wise decision. Married people can file as married, filing jointly or married, filing separately. While a joint filing usually results in less total tax, there are occasions when it doesn't. It's your choice.

When preparing separate returns be very careful and read every rule. There are a lot of strange things about this filing status.

Phil Marti
VITA Volunteer
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"he said that you could not file that way unless you were legally separated for at least six months. So I guess my question is is that true? "

No, that is not true. If you are married you have the choice of filing taxes jointly or separately. You don't have to be separated. Where'd he get that baloney?
You did right to fire this accountant.
Married filing separately you have to both itemize or both take standard deduction; there are a myriad of picky little things. If you think it might be in your favor to do it that way by all means get a tax software program and go through the interview carefully. You can file either way that you owe less taxes, as long as you make the calculations correctly.
Best wishes, Chris
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