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TMFTaxes wrote: "About the only people who use the married separate status are those in very specific and unique
circumstances, or simply don't understand how the law really works. "

Are the circumstances really that rare? We have been filing separately because by doing so I can take advantage of the 2% floor for miscellaneous deductions (mostly unreimbursed job-related expenses). Spouse normally doesn't have significant miscellaneous deductions so we wouldn't meet the floor if we filed jointly. We save perhaps fifty to a hundred dollars in taxes this way--- not big bucks but why give it away? I have computed the taxes both ways so I know it is true.

We have never come anywhere close to the 7.5% floor for medical (thank the deities), but I have read that in cases where, for example, children have significant med. bills that reach the 7.5% floor, it can be advantageous for one spouse to pay all of those bills, file separately, and claim the medical deduction. Since many people do not have good medical insurance, and even run-of-the-mill childhood illnesses can rack up the bills, I would not think this would be a totally uncommon situation.

Although I've never run the numbers to check, I have heard these strategies work best when both spouses have similar incomes-- but that happens a lot these days.

My point is I don't think MFS should be easily dismissed as a possible advantageous option for happily married couples. People should take the time to run the numbers both ways.
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