Originally Posted by Ithasca
#1;Hi, I have a tax question. I've been married to my husband for over 2 years, we've always filed married filing separate because we live in 2 different states, and I get a w-2 while he's self employed. I don't know his tax situation, but I know he got audited once by the IRS and didn't receive his refund. Also, he has a child support order, and I don't know if they can garnish his tax refund, so I'm reluctant to file taxes together.
#2;We had a baby this year and the baby has always lived with me, in my house (mortgage in my name bought before we met), I pay all bills associated with her welfare, except daycare costs ($1000+/month), I make him pay for. Now it's tax time again, we still live in 2 separate states, and I want to file by myself because I don't know his tax status, I want to get all the refund I'm due since I pay taxes from my w-2.
#3;I searched online and saw I can claim married filing separate as head of household. Which I'd like to do, however, I want my husband to be able to claim the daycare costs he's paid since when I had to put the baby in daycare when I returned to work after my leave. How can he file his taxes to be able to claim these costs? Thanks
#1;Of course; when you are behind in your court-ordered support payments such as child support, the garnishment rules are different from those of private creditors. Federal laws allow the state agency that services child support payments to take a larger percentage of your disposable income , net take home pay,to go toward paying off your unpaid support. If you have child support order for children from a previous relationship but are currently supporting a family, the garnishment limit is 50 percent of your non-exempt disposable income per pay period. If you are more than 12 weeks behind on your payments, federal laws permit a garnishment of up to 55 percent of your non-exempt disposable income. If you do not currently support a family, the garnishment limit for child support arrearages increases 60 percent of your non-exempt disposable income per pay period. If you are more than 12 weeks behind on your payments, the limit increases 65 percent of your non-exempt disposable income. You must be at least $500 behind on your payments before your federal tax refunds are subject to garnishment. In this case, the state agency sends a request to offset your federal tax refund to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. Financial Management Service , a division of the Department of the Treasury then intercepts your federal tax refund check. FMS refunds any amount of your federal tax refund remaining after the garnishment deduction, to you. Your state tax refund is ALSO subject to garnishment for child support arrearages. State agencies refer to this process as a tax refund offset. The agency servicing your child support payments is not required to take you to court before garnishing state tax refund check. The agency servicing your child support payments must send you a notification of the garnishment of your state tax refund. The state agency refunds any amount of your state tax refund remaining after the garnishment deduction, to you. The MFS filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint return, but you will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves which is the best filing status. There is one clear benefit of filing separately. By filing a separate return,you are solely responsible for the accuracy and payment of tax related to that separate return. By contrast, on a jointly filed return, both spouses are jointly responsible for the accuracy of the return and the payment of tax. A spouse who is unwilling to assume legal and financial responsibility for the other spouse's tax obligations should strongly consider filing separately.
#2;As long as you file your return as MFS, none of you is eligible for child and dependent care credit. When you prepare your federal income tax return, the IRS allows you to itemize your deductions whether you file as head of household or choose an alternate filing status. However, if you are ineligible to itemize deductions, you can claim a larger standard deduction when you file as head of household as opposed to single. HOH filers who are eligible to itemize their deductions are generally able to claim a total deduction that is greater than the standard deduction. You are eligible to itemize when your potentially eligible expenses for the year in total exceed the standard deduction amount for your filing status. Then, you spouse MUST also itemize deduction even if it is smaller than his std deduction. To file as head of household, you must provide at least half the costs of maintaining a home and satisfy the requirements to claim at least one dependent who resides with you on your tax return. However, a dependent parent who does not live with you is the only exception to this rule. If you file your return either as MFS or HOH, you’d be subject to all refund you are due.
#3;As long as your spouse files his return as MFS, he won’t be able to claim child and dependent care credit on his return. He needs to file his return ONLY as MFJ to claim his credit