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Old 01-28-2011, 01:09 PM
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Question Biggest return

OK my fiance and I had crappy years and we are trying to maximize our returns. I have been unemployed all year and have made $22190 on unemployment and had $2238 withheld. My fiance made $6538 and had $1115 withheld. Together we have 2 children and we have lived together for years. New for this year is that we are both full time students and both of us have a 1098-T with $13780 in payments received for qualified tuition. I usually claim her and our children as dependents, but didnt if it benefited us to have her file seperately this year? Or what way to file to maximize our return? Thank you in advance for your help



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Old 01-28-2011, 11:48 PM
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“ I usually claim her and our children as dependents, but didnt if it benefited us to have her file seperately this year?,”----> No, you can’t claim your spouse as your dependent. Spouses are not dependents. In general, it is better for married couples to file a joint federal tax return since more deductions and exemptions are typically available than when filing separately. However, there may be occasions when it actually is more beneficial for spouses to file separate returns. If one spouse has a high amount of unreimbursed medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of his or her adjusted gross income as of 2010, it may result in a higher overall deduction if the spouse itemizes deductions on a separate tax return. However, if one spouse itemizes, then the other spouse also needs to do so. If you file your return as MFS, then you lose certain deductions, exemptions; MFS taxpayers are not eligible to claim the tax benefit, i.e., Tuition and fees deduction ,Student loan interest deduction , Credit for the Elderly and Disabled, or Earned Income Credit oretc. Do not forget tht MFS has the highest tax rates just like Single filing status.
“Or what way to file to maximize our return?”-----> It depends on each taxpayer’s personal taxation situation. However, as said above, in general, The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, By filing a joint tax return, both spouses report all their income, deductions, and credits. Both spouses must sign the return, and both spouses accept full responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information reported on the tax return. The IRS cautions, "Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse



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Old 01-29-2011, 12:20 AM
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but like my post says, she is my fiance, not wife. I have claimed her a a dependent for the past 8 years.



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Old 01-29-2011, 09:04 AM
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"she is my fiance, not wife. I have claimed her a a dependent for the past 8 years. "--->Sorry for that. My bad.Ok, You can claim your fiance as your dependent as you said as long as you meet the requirements required to satify to claim (i.e., as you can see, you must provide over 50% of her support( living expenses, or financial support or etc.) and she lives with you for an entire year, not for more than 6 months)her as your dependent , I mean, as your qualifying relative. Also she can't have her gross income equal to or above the exemption amount $3,650 in 2010. I fyour fiance's gross income is $3,650 or exceeds $3,650, then you can't claim her as your dependent.

" but didnt if it benefited us to have her file seperately this year? Or what way to file to maximize our return? "---> As you know, you must be married to file a joint return UNLESS you are considered married by means of the common law marriage laws in your state, you could file jointly.I guess both you and your fiance must file returns separately.



For further information see IRS Pub 501. Here's a link: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf


Last edited by Wnhough : 01-29-2011 at 09:31 AM.


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