Married Filing Separately

by Ken Cromer
(Highland Heights, KY)

Married Filing Separately

Married Filing Separately

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?

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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.


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