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<< I share several deductible items with a friend who is married. Running my tax program through the various scenarios, I'm under the impression that the best way to maximize the write-offs is if she claims the deductions while filing separately. The reason seems to be the standard deduction ($4300 for me, $3600 for her and hubby). Does this sound correct?
For the record: We're both at the same approx. AGI and we're good friends so she will 'give me my share'. Finally, I don't have any of my own deductions that I'll miss. >>

Either you're being too discrete or I'm addled, but I can't figure out what's going on here. Without knowing more, and I'm not sure I want to, here's what I can tell you:

1. Whatever these shared deductible items are, whoever paid them (and meets whatever other requirements there are for the specific item) is entitled to take them. You can't divvie them up however it suits you.

2. If your itemized deductions are more than your standard deduction, it's to your advantage to itemize.

3. If your friend and her husband file separate returns, both must itemize or both must take the standard deduction.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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