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This message is specifically for Roy (TMFTaxes),

I have enjoyed your responses to the many who write under this board, including me. Your style of breaking the original question into sections that may warrant a specific point in reply helps make a lot of sense of both question and answer, and allows me to be reminded of the original question(s) in a clear fashion. Great help to me as your reader, thanks.

Now to my question. I have written before that the family AGI for 1998 will exceed $100K. This will affect several aspects for this year's taxes, including my qualification (NOT!) for converting a traditional IRA to a Roth (darn.) One major reason for the high AGI is because of the little lady. My wife has 1) gained a significant salary increase early on during the year, and 2) made even more attractive by her eligibility and quarterly payout under her employer's bonus plan.

I am presently working overseas, but will conclude my assignment this month, and return to the US thereafter. I wanted to get a head start on tax filing by addressing the potential advantages of filing a Married-Filing Separately tax return, as opposed to a Joint one. The proof of any advantage will be discovered by working through the tax return both ways and calculating the differences. But I would like to know, if you can comment, what areas of concern I should look at specifically, as areas that might affect the taxable results under both types of returns. Again, I know my own picture will have many variables leading to my actual tax, but I figure maybe the big jump in my wife's earnings this year has set up exactly the kind of conditions that might make an alternative filing advantageous. Thanks for your suggestions.

Rob





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