MFJ or MFS

Today TaxMama hears from Madhu in Minnesota who needs help.  “I have a peculiar case and need your opinion here. I am living & working in MN and make a lot of money. My wife lives & studies in WI and she has an on-campus job, earning enough to cover her basic living expenses.  Our state of residence is different and so is our tax bracket. So I am not sure whether I should be filling jointly or separately. If I file jointly, I would end up paying a lot of state tax to WI. I am paying her tuition fees and I suppose that would be taken into account irrespective of whether we file jointly or separately.”  http://taxmama.wpengine.com/forum/taxquips/should-i-be-filing-as-mfj-or-mfs/

Hi Madhu,

Actually, this is much easier than you think.

File an MFJ IRS tax return. You will both benefit.

Then, in MN, file a non-resident/part-year resident return. Show yourself as a resident. Show your wife as a non-resident.

Do the same thing in Wi, expect your wife is the resident – and you are the non-resident.

You won’t end up paying any taxes to states where you or your wife don’t income.

Any competent tax pro can help you with that. It’s a bit complicated to do yourself.

Good luck! And I hope this all works out for you both.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about multi-state marriages and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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