Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (8) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: progmtl Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121189  
Subject: Re: Married: File Joint or Separate Date: 3/28/2014 8:56 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
There are many tax benefits which are eliminated or severely reduced for MFS returns. It is very unusual for MFS returns to be better than MFJ except for those who live in OH.

We are in CT. I haven't looked at the state return yet to compare MFJ and MFS.

It's possible that the H&R Block worksheet is not calculating something correctly. In fact, I compared the amount of tax owed by each of us in the MFS case to the IRS tax tables based on taxable income and the values seem to be off by a little bit. I will probably have to go through the process of filling out whole separate returns to find out for sure.

But in our case it may make sense that we pay less tax when MFS. I found online a list of deduction/credits which you can't take as MFS - pretty much none of them apply to us anyway. When we MFJ, we end up having AMT, and I think that kills all our itemized deductions. When I switch to MFS, neither of us hits the AMT barrier, so suddenly we get our deductions back. The three big deductions for us are real estate taxes, mortgage interest, and state income taxes. So not having these deductions in the MFJ case hurts us a lot, and getting them back by MFS is a big plus. We are in CT, so non-community property state.

Any income or deductions which naturally belong to only one of us I am allocating to that person. But we have some that seem to be joint:
- interest on joint savings accounts
- dividends on joint investment accounts
- income from last year's tax refund (MFJ)
- deduction for mortgage interest and real estate tax - house owned as joint tenants
- state income tax (might have to be divided for who incurred what amount)

So I guess most of these joint things should just be split 50/50? Or do I have the flexibility of using them where they help us most?

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (8) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next


In accordance with IRS Circular 230, you cannot use the contents of any post on The Motley Fool's message boards to avoid tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions.
Managing Your Wealth
Our own TMFHockeypop from Rule Your Retirement fame on the TV show Managing Your Wealth.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Post of the Day:
Value Hounds

Back to the Future Buffalo Wild Wings
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.