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...with 1/2 of the tax and 1/2 of the withholding on each return, whatever balance is due would become 1/2 her problem. He could meet his tax obligation by filing a return and paying whatever he separately owed. The balance of the tax obligation would be hers and her problem.

Which brings up a non-tax item: he should document all of his tax discussions (and her responses) he's having and has had with his wife. From a timing perspective, he's switching from MFJ to MFS right before divorcing (assuming he does divorce). The divorce court can get very interested in the switch and the timing since he didn't ever tell his wife (she could well claim) that he was making the switch--and so the court could conclude he made the switch out of spite and ding him accordingly.

As one of the TMFs often says, documentation matters.

Eric Hines
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