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Can I file tax as Married Filing Jointly even if I lived apart?

Boston, MA |

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

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Yes as long as you both report worldwide income and she signs the tax return.

Eric P. Rothenberg, P.C.
Orsi Arone Rothenberg
160 Gould street
Suite 320
Needham, MA 02494
781-239-8900
FAX:781-658-2203

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Asker

Posted

I am planning to electronically file here from the States. She is not present in the States to sign it along with me. In this case can I still e-file with filing status jointly when she is outside states? Do I need some special documentation that she needs to mail me giving consent if I want to efile?

Eric P Rothenberg

Eric P Rothenberg

Posted

Yes you need uncontroverted evidence that she authorized a joint return. She can fax to you, or email to you, her signature on the return and the efile authorization form.

Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Eric is correct.

Posted

Mr. Rothenberg gave you the correct. answer.

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Posted

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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2 comments

Eric P Rothenberg

Eric P Rothenberg

Posted

It is permissable to sign a wife's name when you have explicit authority to do so. But in cases such as this person, where there is a divorce pending, it raises issues beyond just authority and should only be done with full discosure and in writing.

Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Brian is correct.

Posted

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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Bruce Givner

Bruce Givner

Posted

Alex is correct.

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