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Old 02-25-2011, 02:58 PM
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MFS itemized deductions

If not in a community state, can one person filing MSF take all of the itemized deduction (all that have their SS# attached to it) and the other take none (and no standard deduction)? Can you take the itemized deductions that are normally available jointly (mortgage interest, donations, etc.) and assign them to one person instead of splitting them 50/50, if not in a community property state? I have read the Pub. 17 details about MFS and understand the restrictions involved. I called the IRS on this and I was told yes, one person can take all of the deductions. However, I am not convinced that is the correct answer. Everything I am reading says that the itemized deductions must be split.



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Old 02-26-2011, 06:26 PM
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“If not in a community state, can one person filing MSF take all of the itemized deduction (all that have their SS# attached to it) and the other take none (and no standard deduction)? Can you take the itemized deductions that are normally available jointly (mortgage interest, donations, etc.) and assign them to one person instead of splitting them 50/50, if not in a community property state?”---->Not really. If you file married filing separately, you must divide the itemized deduction between yourselves. As you can see, the itemized deductions cannot be taken twice. They should be itemized by the one to whom they apply and who actually paid them. For example, if there are medical deductions, each takes his/her own. If ONLY you made a charitable contribution out of your funds, ONLY you deduct it. Joint obligations made from common funds are divided, usually equally. In addition, you, as MFS taxpayers, must both claim the standard deduction or must both itemize their deductions; what I mean is that one MFS filer cannot claim the standard deduction if the other spouse is itemizing.



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Old 02-27-2011, 02:26 PM
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Question

Anyone else have an opinion? In regard to Married Filing Separately, I am not suggesting taking double itemized deductions. I have read Pub. 17. Nowhere does it say that both must itemize. What it says is that if one itemizes it is usually best if both do so, as the other cannot take the standard deduction. When mortgage payments and charitable contributions are made from joint accounts, is one spouse allowed to claim all of it, and the other none? It does not specify how allowable joint deductions must be divided, if at all. I am not talking about individual state taxes paid or medical expenses or job-related expenses. When I called the IRS, they said that as long as their SS# was on the allowable expense, they could take it all, and the other spouse nothing - and no standard deduction. With the income brackets I am working in, it would be slightly advantageous tax-wise, to do this. Has anyone else done this?



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Old 04-10-2013, 12:21 PM
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no answers

I am a HAPPILY married man who has discovered, I think, that it would be best for us to file separately. However, I can't find an answer ANYWHERE as to how we would divide up our itemized deductions. All answers to this question have to do with couples who are separated or divorced. All our bills are paid from a joint checking account and both our names are on all titles for our "stuff". Seems to me we should just divide the itemized deductions in half, but not sure if that is correct.



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