Josh
Lv 5

Going through a divorce -- do I have to file my taxes jointly still?

She says she went to legal aid and they said that we have to file jointly, but now that we're separated, I'd rather file separately. It all seems like a ploy to get my tax refund, when I'm the one who did all the work that brought in that income.

Help!

I live in Oregon.

13 Answers

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  • Judy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, you definitely don't HAVE to file a joint return - you wouldn't have to even if you were still together. Your options are a joint return, or filing as married filing separately. If your divorce isn't final, you are ALLOWED to file a joint return if you can agree on it, but you are not required to. It might save you money overall to file joint, but you don't have to.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You NEVER have to file jointly, even if married and NOT going through a divorce. There is always the option of filing separately, using the married tax rates as specified in 1040 instructions.

    As far as distribution of any income tax refund goes, that may be part of the divorce decree. As well, if you do file jointly, any refund check is normally issued to John AND Jane Doe, which would require her to obtain your signature on the check before she can do anything with it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, you do not. You must file as Married, either Jointly or Separately, but you do not have to file a joint return. That said, it will save you money most of the time if you do file a joint return. If you are divorced by the end of the year you'll file as Single for 2007.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You do not have to file jointly; it is an election that you can choose or reject. It is also a judgment call on both your parts. If you can be civil, you would probably be better off to file jointly because you will not be entitled to a number of credits on a separate return. You can prepare returns both ways to see what the differences are. I suggest that after doing it both ways, you make your wife an offer to pay her part of the difference in cash and then have your refund direct deposited to your checking account. Another alternative would be to let any state tax refund be direct deposited to her account and the federal one to yours. If you brought in all the income, anything you give her would be free money.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Until you are divorced you have the option of filing Married but filing separately. When you do this, there are some tax credits that you and your wife will no longer be eligible. Depending on your circumstances, it may not make a difference to file separately, but there is a chance that you would be elgible for a higher refund.

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  • Steve
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    If you made all of the income, then file separately. Logically speaking, you should be able to claim the deductions if you itemize as well. Be sure to file first.

    You could file as Single if you are an abondoned spouse. That means that your spouse left you before July 1 of this year and does not return at all for the rest of the year.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You can file separate. There is an option on the tax form for married but filing separate.

    Source(s): I am in the same boat.
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    here's a clue, Bubba, you need to talk to a CPA. Go to HR Block and ask the simple question. You can PROBABLY file "married filing seperately at a higher withholding rate" . as for your return, if you have kids, you certainly want that money to go to them, RIGHT?!?! Now's not the time to start the childish "mine-mine-yours" crap that divorce causes. The more adult and mature you treat this situation, the easier it'll be on everybody. She's gonna get your money no matter how you look at it, especially if you made more than her and she has the kids. That's assuming that you have kids. If not, great!! At least you can't drag anybody through this mud except for yourselves. I'd think that the mere cost of filing jointly to get her out of your life could be an investment well spent. Don't forget, she can always sue you for alimony. So the less assholish you are, the better the outcome.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Also note that for Federal Income Taxes, if you are married but file separate returns, if one spouse itemizes their deductions, the other spouse is also required to itemize. Potentially if your wife has $10,000 of itemized deductions and you only have $3,000 and you wish to take the standard deduction of $5,350, you can't if she itemizes.

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  • 1 decade ago

    contact the irs.. they have a website called irs.gov.. u can talk to a person via email or they will give u a # to call to speak w/a live person..

    What ur soon to be ex is saying sounds like mumbo jumbo to me cause even if ur married u can still file separately or call ur income tax guy/gal...

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