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Seemack

New member
I'm in Illinois. The wife and I wanted to file our 2017 taxes married filing seperately. The person who did our taxes instead put me under a different address as single and my wife under our address as head of household. We didn't realize she gave us different filing statuses, because we are married. I did live at a different address because we were seperated. Now we want to file married jointly for 2018 because I am back at home, but we don't know if this will cause a problem with the IRS.
 


Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
First thing: do not go back to that same person to prepare your returns. That person did it incorrectly. Your wife may have been entitled to claim head of household filing status for 2017 if she met all the requirements of the test to be considered unmarried. One of those requirements is that you did not in the home with her at any time during the last six months of the year. See page 8 of IRS publication 501. But even if she qualified for head of household, you could not have filed single for the year. So you will need to amend your single filing to married filing separately or the two of you could amend the returns you filed to go to married filing jointly.

You can file the 2018 return married filing jointly if you want. If you have resumed living together then that status is likely to give you the best result. Doing that won't cause a problem with the IRS other than to perhaps call into question your 2017 single return, which as I said you need to fix anyway.
 
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Seemack

New member
First thing: do not go back to that same person to prepare your returns. That person did it incorrectly. Your wife may have been entitled to claim head of household filing status for 2017 if she met all the requirements of the test to be considered unmarried. One of those requirements is that you did not in the home with her at any time during the last six months of the year. See page 8 of IRS publication 501. But even if she qualified for head of household, you could not have filed single for the year. So you will need to amend your single filing to married filing jointly or the two of you could amend the returns you filed to go to married filing jointly.

You can file the 2018 return married filing jointly if you want. If you have resumed living together then that status is likely to give you the best result. Doing that won't cause a problem with the IRS other than to perhaps call into question your 2017 single return, which as I said you need to fix anyway.
thanks, i didn't know i could go back and change the status. Actually the tax preparer i plan to never go to again put me as head of household under one address and my wife as head of household under her address.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
thanks, i didn't know i could go back and change the status. Actually the tax preparer i plan to never go to again put me as head of household under one address and my wife as head of household under her address.
Oh dear, that is even worse. With single there was a chance that you wouldn't really owe much if any additional tax if you amended it to married filing separately. However, if he put you as head of household, its going to be a lot worse when you amend.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
First thing: do not go back to that same person to prepare your returns. That person did it incorrectly. Your wife may have been entitled to claim head of household filing status for 2017 if she met all the requirements of the test to be considered unmarried. One of those requirements is that you did not in the home with her at any time during the last six months of the year. See page 8 of IRS publication 501. But even if she qualified for head of household, you could not have filed single for the year. So you will need to amend your single filing to married filing jointly or the two of you could amend the returns you filed to go to married filing jointly.

You can file the 2018 return married filing jointly if you want. If you have resumed living together then that status is likely to give you the best result. Doing that won't cause a problem with the IRS other than to perhaps call into question your 2017 single return, which as I said you need to fix anyway.
Re the bolded: I think you meant married filing separately.
 

Seemack

New member
Thank you both for the help despite my confusion. She filed my wife as single and me as head of household under our seperate addresses. Looks like all I need to do is go back and change both of our statuses to married filing seperately and then pay whatever they say I end up owing. Once again sorry for the confusion.
 
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