Divorce and Taxes
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Divorce and Taxes
Posted by TTB on 1/9 at 12:35 am
Just a question for those that may be able to help.

Wife filed for divorce in August. Had been living apart since April. Pretty sure it will be final this month or next.

How should we file our taxes for 2012? Married jointly? Married filing separately? Single?

All I know is that I didn't make shite for wages this year (less than 10k as I've been living off of savings and working cash jobs) and should get all my taxes paid back. She's made probably 60k or more so I don't want her to weigh me down as far as a refund goes if at all possible. Any suggestions?

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Posted by Poodlebrain on 1/9 at 5:40 am to TTB
Sounds like you would want to file as single. You can do so if you were legally separated, and living apart, as of December 31, 2012. LINK

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Posted by weaglebeagle on 1/9 at 6:03 am to Poodlebrain
You also meet the requirement since you lived the last six months apart. So you are single for tax purposes.

This post was edited on 1/9 at 6:05 am

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Posted by htownjeep on 1/9 at 7:30 am to TTB
This should be addressed in your Temporary Orders yes? It was in mine.

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Posted by TTB on 1/9 at 1:32 pm to htownjeep
Hmm. Temporary Orders doesnt ring a bell but I'll go back through the paperwork and see. Thanks guys for the help. If I can file single it will definitely work out better for me.

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Posted by Newbomb Turk on 1/9 at 11:36 pm to TTB
It doesn't sound like you were legally separated at the end of the year -- that's typically something that is adjudicated and not just granted because you filed for divorce and are separated. Therefore, your options will probably be married filing jointly or married filing separately. Although you should ask a domestic lawyer as your "marital status" depends upon state law.

In your case, you should probably just look to file as married filing separately as you will pretty much wipe out all your income between your standard deduction and personal exemption.

If you can somehow qualify as "single," (although given the facts as presented, that's doubtful) you may qualify for the earned income credit.

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Posted by TTB on 1/10 at 2:38 am to Newbomb Turk
Well how do I know if I was "legally seperated"?

My wife filed for divorce in August and I'm pretty much in the dark when it comes to the legal proceedings. We haven't lived together since April 2012. Should I hit her up for that info and documentation if there is any?

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Posted by TigerGrl73 on 1/10 at 7:29 am to TTB
What state are you in? State law defines legal separation. More than likely you are not legally separated but it depends on the state.

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Posted by weaglebeagle on 1/10 at 7:51 am to TigerGrl73
If this is true and you do have to file married filing separately you better make sure that your wife doesn't itemize deductions. I believe if she itemizes that means you have to itemize as well. I'm assuming on your low income that you wouldn't have many expenses you could itemize. So if she itemizes you could get screwed over. Although with your income being so low it may not matter. Just some food for thought.

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Posted by TTB on 1/10 at 1:32 pm to TigerGrl73
We were both living in Louisiana but I moved to California in April if that makes any difference.

Also, we sold the house we had been living in for the last five years at a loss of around 6k. Would that have any effect on anything tax wise?

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Posted by TTB on 1/10 at 1:35 pm to weaglebeagle
Hmm. We had been itemizing deductions up until now to take advantage of the mortgage deduction, etc. Since we sold the house in Oct can we still deduct the interest paid up until then? That might be the determining factor on whether or not she itemizes deductions.

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Posted by iwasthere on 1/10 at 3:39 pm to TTB
If you have been living apart for over 6 months, you can file as single. Also, if you do file married filing seperately, if one itemizes they other has to also.

I only say this because my coworker was audited last year. She has been living away from her husband( didn't file for divorce though) for over a year. She filed Head of Household. She mailed in her rental agreement, her sons school records, and her husbands address(he file as single). The IRS agreed that she could file head of household.

This post was edited on 1/10 at 3:49 pm

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Posted by TTB on 1/10 at 6:44 pm to iwasthere
Ok- Thanks!

Now I just need to know that if we both file single, only one can claim the mortgage interest deduction right? We paid about 10k in interest for the year. That's what i would imagine. I would just let her take it as she paid most of the mortgage payments anyway. That sound right?

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