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Would filing tax return jointly benefit me?

Temecula, CA |

Our divorce hasn't been finalized yet. He left the house in early June. I still live in it until now and he has been paying for the mortgage (it's his house), and utilities. I'm a full time student without income.
Would filing the tax return jointly benefit me? Him? Or both of us?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. This is a question that you should ask your tax preparer because you can provide you preparer with all the documentation needed to prepare the return two ways = married filing joint and married filing separate.

    Good luck!
    Phillip M. Smith Jr.
    Los Angeles Tax & Business Attorney
    Licensed in the United States Tax Court
    Main: 323-292-4116 ❘ Cell: 562-505-1004

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mr. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in Los Angeles County. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. His phone number is 323-292-4116 or his email address is

  2. Most likely, filing jointly will save taxes for him. It also may expose you to liability if there is a balance due. i suggest you both go to the same tax preparer and have the taxes prepared jointly and as married filing separately to determine which is better. Also, consult your divorce lawyer before filing.

    Good luck!

    Ron Cappuccio

    If you do not like this answer or disagree, please look at one of the other answers provided. It is not necessary for you to try prove this answer is "wrong" or something with which you do not agree. This is a free service for you based on limited facts. Nevertheless, many times you need to consult an attorney with the details to get actual advice specific to your concerns. Do not put too many details in your questions or comments because this makes the information public and could hurt you. Government Regulations contained in IRS Circular 230 regulate written communications about Federal tax matters, including e-mail, between us and our clients. This is another attempt by the government to limit your rights and to extend the control of government over individuals and businesses. Nevertheless, such communications are either opinions or other written communications. This is not an opinion. It is other written communication and was not written to be relied upon, by itself, to avoid any tax penalties. In order to receive assurances of protection from tax penalties from a written communication, you should get an opinion letter. If you would like to discuss an opinion letter relating to any matter, please contact me and I will explain what is involved and what it will cost.

  3. It is really impossible to answer this question without having all the numbers, but most likely joint filing would be better as separate is typically the worst option. The other attorneys are right that you should run the numbers both ways before making a determination.

    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.

  4. I agree with each of the other attorneys. The only thing I would add is that when meeting with a tax preparer make sure that person is neutral and not advocating for either side. Also, you should recognize that any allocation between the two of you for the responsibility for the payment of taxes on a joint income tax return is not binding on the IRS or the Franchise Tax Board (unless a tax clearance certificate under Revenue and Taxation Code section 19006 has previously been issued). So if he fails to pay the taxes for which he is responsible, the law may give the taxing authority power to collect these taxes from you.

    Brad Jefferson Landon, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship with Brad Jefferson Landon, Esq. For a full consultation call 951-677-7774.

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