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.”

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

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