Question

My spouse and I are married, filing separately. Itemized deductions on this type of tax return seems complicated. How should we split our married, filing separately itemized deductions?

Answer

 

Married, filing separately itemized deductions appears to be a complicated issue, but in reality it can be quite simple if you follow some basic rules.

First, the spouse who paid an expense that results in a tax deduction should claim the full deduction.

Second, if you and your spouse paid the expense from a joint account you will need to divide the deduction according to your interest in the account. In community property states, expenses paid with community property (a joint checking account) should be divided in half.

When married couples choose to file tax returns as married filing separately they report their own earned income and expenses on individual tax returns. In doing so, the married couple must agree how to best divide itemized expenses or choose to use the standard deduction to reduce their tax. The standard deduction is an amount that reduces the taxable income and eliminates the need to itemize tax deductions. Calculate both methods to decide which is most beneficial to you.

 

Related Topics

Related Resources

Filing for a Deceased Taxpayer

If you need help handling an estate, we're here to help. Learn how to file taxes for a deceased loved one with H&R Block.

What’s Your Filing Status?

Choosing the wrong filing status is a common mistake. Do you know what your tax filing status is? Read on to learn about filing statuses with H&R Block.

Don’t Overlook the 5 Most Common Tax Deductions

From retirement account contributions to self-employment expenses, learn more about the five most common tax deductions with the experts at H&R Block.

New Baby, New House or New Spouse? How Major Life Changes Affect Your Taxes

Getting married? Having a baby? Buying a house? Go through your life events checklist and see how each can affect your tax return with the experts at H&R Block.