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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.


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