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Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

Old Mar 11th 2012, 3:33 pm
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Default Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

Hi everyone,

Hoping someone can give some advice re: filing taxes.

I am a UKC and have lived in US since August 2010. Here on E2 visa. A professional tax person did my taxes last year as I was told it could be a bit complicated since I wasn't in the US the whole year.

In November 2011 I got married. Was told this year it would be simpler to file taxes, so had a go at Turbo Tax yesterday... but am utterly confused.

Our main issue is that we want to file married jointly. However, we live and work in different states. This seems to be a problem for turbo tax, and it is telling us we cannot efile jointly due to us living separately the entire year, but it does say we can file jointly by mailing the forms. Anyone know why this is?

The other complicating part is the state taxes section of turbo tax. I live in NC where I do pay state taxes, but hubby lives in Florida so has no state taxes to pay. A drop down menu appeared and asked me and hubby to select whether we were non-residents or part-year residents of NC... Hubby was fine and could just select he was not a resident and didn't earn anything in NC, but it wouldn't let me put that I was a full year resident - the option wasn't listed.

So... given our situation, can we only file married separately? Or is turbo tax just not set up to deal with our situation? Any advice much appreciated!
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 9:56 pm
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Default Re: Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

Originally Posted by icybluesmile View Post
Our main issue is that we want to file married jointly. However, we live and work in different states.
You are allowed to do this. The IRS doesn't care.


This seems to be a problem for turbo tax...
While they're generally very good for most situations, tax software is not designed to be all things to all people. Do it manually... or find another tax package.


The other complicating part is the state taxes section of turbo tax. I live in NC where I do pay state taxes, but hubby lives in Florida so has no state taxes to pay.
Yet another reason to do it manually.


So... given our situation, can we only file married separately?
You always have the choice to file jointly or separately. Don't be a slave to the limitations of the software.

Ian
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

The IRS doesn't care. You must have Turbo Tax deluxe which includes a state return and I don't know if Turbo Tax can handle that situation. You probably don't want to file state tax as married filing jointly since you would need to include her income so this confuses Turbo Tax.

Some states require the federal tax return to be included with the state tax return and Turbo Tax may not be able to figure out how to file federal taxes as married filing jointly and state taxes as married filing separately. I suspect Turbo Tax throws up it's hands and indicates that you must file a paper return. This is probably because they are not going to do your state taxes for you and expect you to do it yourself by filling out the forms manually in Turbo Tax but Turbo Tax will then do the calculations or to fill out the forms by hand.
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Old Mar 11th 2012, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: Tax - we live in separate states - can we file jointly?

Thank you both for your replies. I suspected it might be a case of Turbo Tax not quite being able to figure out our situation, or us not using Turbo Tax correctly (very likely!) Good to know we can file jointly though. We are now probably going to pass everything over to a tax accountant and let them puzzle it out.

Thanks again.
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