My wife left the country last year. We are in the process of getting divorced (no decree yet) while she is living overseas. Can I file under the status 'Married Filing Jointly' even though we did not live together for most of 2012
Yes, you can file a joint return, however, you still need her permission and consent to do so. You cannot file a joint return without her signature, and signing the form for her or without her knowledge can cause serious issues to arise in the future.
This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship, Moreover, this attorney is Licensed to practiced law ONLY in LOUISIANA and answers to questions from other jurisdictions or states are meant to provide only general information. Users should contact a local attorney in their jurisdiction or state.
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Yes, you can file a joint income tax return. As long as you are both still married, and as long as you report both your income and her income. Remember, if you are filing jointly, even if you live apart, both you and your spouse are telling the IRS that you both are choosing your residence as the address listed on your return. Therefore, to make sure all notices and mail is sent to the correct address, put your address with your income, and your spouses overseas address on the return as well.
Also important, a tax return MUST be signed by both parties. Therefore, your spouse will have to sign the tax return BEFORE you file it. You need to get permission from your spouse and have whoever prepares your tax return fill out her income as well.
You may not need an attorney for this - but due to the potential complications, you should probably discuss this with a C.P.A.
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