Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
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.
Print the post  


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.
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.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! 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.