If my spouse and I have a Separation Agreement that states we separated on 27 Jun 2010 and we have lived completely seperate lives, in seperate homes where we each pay 100% of the bills, what are our income tax filing status options?
Married filing separate (MFS) or if you have no divorce decree married filing jointly. Filing MFS will result in you not being exposed to any of his tax debt, but the total taxes that you pay this way may be greater than if you filed jointly. Finally, if you have children and you can meet the so-called abandoned spouse rules, you may be able to file as head of household. Get with a tax attorney or tax accountant to explore your situation and do some number crunching to see what makes sense both financially and from a personal tax liability perspective.
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Until you are divorced, your filing options are married filing separately and married filing jointly.
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Your options are to file as married filing separately or married filing jointly. It may be preferable to file as married filing separately to protect yourself from joint liability for any tax debts that may be incurred by your spouse during the past tax year. It may make sense for you spouse and you to meet with a tax advisor to ascertain the specifics and determine which is advantageous.
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Your status on the last day of the tax year determines how you file. If you were married your only choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.
Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.