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

Are Political Contributions Tax Deductible? | H&R Block

Are political contributions tax deductible? Before signing a check, learn the difference between charitable giving and political donations at H&R Block.

10 Ways Getting Married Affects Your Taxes in 2018

What happens to your taxes after marriage? Learn how marriage can lead to changes in tax filing and returns at H&R Block.

Is TurboTax Live the Best Virtual Tax Prep Option?

Looking for virtual tax help with your online filing? Learn more about your options by comparing TurboTax Live to H&R Block Tax Pro Review and Tax Pro Go.

Taxes Get Personal: What’s Your Filing Status?

Do you know what your tax filing status is? Learn how to determine and check your tax filing status with H&R Block.