My husband is incarcerated. What should my tax filing status be?

April 14, 2020 by David E. Du Val, EA
tax document showing filing status options

I am married. Neither my husband nor myself have filed taxes in the last 3 years. I do have w2s for the past 2 years to file, he does not. I'm not sure how I should file? He is also now incarcerated, though I do have power of attorney.

Jenna

Jenna,

First, please accept our condolences for the misfortunes that have hit your home.
 
But in answer to your question about filing status, if you do not have a Qualifying Child (rules apply), your only two choices are filing Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separate (MFS).  Generally, MFJ is more beneficial as some items and deductions are not allowed if you file MFS.  However, you can use tax software to compare the two filing statuses to see which is more beneficial.  As a side note, please remember that each W-2(s) has to be filed for the year the income was received.

Deductibly Yours,
Dave

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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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