Thursday, November 13, 2008

Filing Status Part II - Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

If a taxpayer is married on the last day of the year he or she is considered married according to the Internal Revenue Code. This means married and living together in a common law marriage that is recognized by the state in which the couple resides or in the state where such marriage began. They must be married and living together as husband and wife. It is permissible to be married and living apart, but not legally separated by operation of law such as a divorce decree or separate maintenance. A taxpayer is also considered married if they are under a divorce decree that has not been finalized.

A taxpayer is considered married for the whole year if their spouse died during the year. IRS code has several stipulations regarding filing status with the death of a spouse. For more information on this subject refer to IRS Publication 17.

When filing jointly both spouses must include all income, exemptions, and deductions and use the same accounting period. If either spouse is a non-resident alien at any time during the year a joint return cannot be filed. In the event of a divorce, the IRS code stipulated that both spouses may be held liable, both jointly and individually, for any tax, penalties and interest due on a joint return that was filed before the divorce no matter what the divorce decree states.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thanks for the info!