Married Filing Separately

by Ken Cromer
(Highland Heights, KY)

I am retired and have very little income besides social security and pensions. The problem is that I owe over a $100,000.00 in back taxes I pay a monthly payment plan on these taxes but I will probably never pay them off. My wife still works and we have everything in her name. When we filed as single I always came out not owing anything and she always got money back. Since she has all the deductions she can still do OK filing married/separate. We have run it on tax software and it looks like she would get back about $2,000.00 and I would pay over $1500.00. If we file married/jointly the IRS will keep her refund money to pay against my back taxes. What should we do?

Hello Ken,

Thanks for your great question.

You have explained a common predicament very well and are well informed and aware of your options. Alas the decision of course is up to you.

Either option is legit, so you must determine if you would like to use any refunds to pay down your liability thus filing together. Or if you would like to get a bigger refund now, and continue to pay down the liability as you have been through monthly payments.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Income Tax Questions.

Married Filing Joinly or Married Filing Separatly

by Joyce
(Moulton,AL)

What's the difference between married filing jointly and married filing separately?

Hello Joyce,

Thanks for your question.

Married Filing Jointly can be chosen as your filing status if you are married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. On a joint return, you report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses.

Married Filing Separately can be chosen as your filing status if you are married also. This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you may have to use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status.

Married Filing Separately also has special rules. Because of these special rules, you will usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you used another filing status that you qualify for.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Income Tax Questions.


Please subscribe to my monthly newsletter, Bookkeeping Basics E-zine. It tells you each month about the new information that I have added, including some great tips and advice from myself and other Bookkeeping Basics readers.


Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Bookkeeping Basics E-Zine.


Like Bookkeeping-Basics.net?