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N
Lv 4
N asked in Business & FinanceTaxesUnited States · 2 months ago

I get less money when I file jointly?

I am not happy. My husband was retired military and in a nursing home during January 2020 through August 2020 when they murdered him. I was also working from January until November only (minimum wage job). When I file by myself I get a refund of about $1500.00. When I file married jointly with his retirement 1099R from the military and social security I only get about $500.00. I do not understand. This has never happened before. We always filed jointly, but I was NOT working either, and whatever Federal Income Tax was withheld, that was the amount we always received in refund. Is it against the law for me to file without him even though I was still married to him? Can I file "married but filing separately" and DO NOT FILE HIS TAXES because he is deceased? There was no estate, no attorney, no nothing. He had nothing.

Update:

Update: I appreciate all answers, but I am not asking about getting any military benefits or medicare. Thanks, but I am covered in that dept. I just need to find out about filing the 2020 taxes and if I can just file by myself and NOT file his at all since he is deceased without going to IRS jail!! Thanks everyone.

Update 2:

I guess I need to find someone to help me. We had a joint checking account that never had hardly any money in it. We lived pay period to pay period. We rented apts. I own an old '03 Corolla. Estate? What's that? We had nothing. I was attempting to file married jointly, I noticed that I was getting about $1500 refund until I started his taxes then it dropped to about $500 refund. I don't understand why. His gross military pay for 2020 was only $14,112. Net from Social Security was only $10,672.

9 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Since you are now working, you have a higher tax liability, so you get less back.  Simple.  You can file MFS, but that eliminates eligibility for certain credits and deductions.  DO a mock return that way and see which is better.  A tax return for him must also be filed for the year of his death.

  • Rita
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    In most cases, a married couple will come out ahead by filing jointly. "You typically get lower tax rates when married filing jointly, and you have to file jointly to claim some tax benefits," says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA and tax expert for TurboTax.

  • 2 months ago

    You can file separately.  However a tax return would still need to be filed for him -- even though he is deceased.  Before you file for yourself, see whether anything would be owed for his separate filing -- and find out whether you'd be responsible for paying it.

  • Shay
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You DO need to file his final tax return.  So even if you want to file separately, you still need to do his return also.

    The "refund" amount you see when filling in your tax information is never the ACTUAL refund amount until ALL information has been entered.  This is why it dropped after entering his information.  It is highly possible that you was qualifying for some tax credits until you added his information.  Or, his income put you into another tax bracket and caused the refund reduction.  If a credit was lost, you also won't get that credit when filing separately.Just fill out his return and your return separately and see if it works out better than filing joint.  If he owes, use your refund to pay what he owed - but you are likely to end up with a refund that is about the same amount as you would get filing jointly.

    The IRS came after my mother for tax issues after my father died - so DO NOT skip filing his final return.  

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You always have to right to file as married filing separately, and don't have to give a reason.  But he likely has to fil also, as marred filing separately, if that's what you do. Your other option is aa joint return.  You can't claim the earned income credit if your filing status is married filing separately.

  • 2 months ago

    I will just address taxes. You must file a final tax return for your husband.  If he owes, the estate must pay.  You don't say what the result of his final return is.  You say there was no estate.  Did ha have any joint accounts with you?

  • 2 months ago

    You have to file a final tax return for him, or jointly if that is how you were filing.  Married filing separately - I'm not sure whether you qualify.  What is your reason for wanting to do that?  Usually, that is done when there is a prior marriage and one spouse owes a huge debt, and the other spouse does not.  You can't say he had nothing.  He had whatever you had, or have.  You were married so what you owned, he owned, unless it is real property owned separately before you two were married.

  • hamel5
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I agree with enn that you should talk to a tax preparer.   You're still supposed to file for him.  As the widow, you could file his taxes separately as the surviving spouse. If he has any tax obligations, you're responsible.    I'm not sure why you would owe more this year, unless he had extra income or you didn't claim his personal deduction ( yes, you're still entitled to it for this year and MAYBE  next.)   

  • enn
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    This is where I would advise you to talk to an official tax preparer and pay the price. You need to have them walk you through all of his military benefits to which you are entitled. You need to find out how and where to claim his military benefits and Social Security and whether you qualify for medicare. A good tax preparer can help you step-by-step and explain why certain benefits apply and where they do not. Do ask at your local church about a person who can help you with military benefits and receiving Social Security properly. Good luck.

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