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I have filed MFJ for as long as we've been married but am considering filing MFS because it may save on federal taxes. The only reason it would save on federal taxes is due to Schedule A medical expenses that are not above the 7.5% floor in the MFJ scenario but probably are via the MFS scenario. (One of us brings in the majority of the income, the other has fairly high medical expenses this year.)

Since I am very unfamiliar with MFS, I have a few questions:

1. How must/may we allocate to the separate returns:
a. Income from spouse 1 job.
b. Interest/dividend income from joint taxable accounts.
c. Mortgage interest from jointly owed mortgage.
d. Property taxes from jointly owned home.
e. Charitable contributions made from joint accounts.
f. State tax withholding from previous year's (2000) MFJ filing.
g. Exemptions for husband, wife, children.
h. Child tax credits for children.

2. I am planning two $2K Roth IRA contributions this year. Would MFS preclude this somehow?

3. As far as the medical expenses go, it's only unreimbursed medical expenses, right? So our deductible plus the copays. Could medical expenses for our children be added to the MFS spouse with the medical expenses to increase the Schedule A deduction?

4. The value of even doing this would be roughly equal to the unreimbursed medical expenses times our effective rate, right?

5. If the spouse with the medical expenses has no appreciable income (say, perhaps half of the joint dividends), would the deduction result in a refund? I.e., if the only dollar amount of any question was, say, $3000 in unreimbursed medical expenses, would the Feds end up sending us a check for a few hundred dollars or would we get trapped somewhere by all of those "if less than zero, enter zero" phrases sprinkled throughout.

6. Any other gotchas?

I guess I should just stick an note in my "Taxes" file that I should consider it.

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