Other Tax Questions
Questions and comments on other topics covered in Fairmark.com, such as UTMA accounts, and any tax questions that don't fit our other categories.
Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: kaneohe, September 4, 2017 07:31PM
If taxpayer filed MFJ last yr but is filing single this yr because spouse passed away, how is the safe harbor calculated? Is it the same as if taxpayer were still filing MFJ?

Re: Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: tomd37, September 4, 2017 09:05PM
Kaneohe - Don't know the answer to your specific question, but when did the spouse actually pass away; 2016 or 2017? I think you know if 2017 then surviving spouse can file MFJ for 2017. If 2016 the filing status would be single unless qualified to use Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Head of Household filing status may come into play after Qualifying Widow(er) depending on circumstances.

Tom D.

Re: Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: kaneohe, September 4, 2017 11:03PM
Tom, thanks. Yes, thanks to yrs of TCE, I am familiar w/ that rule even tho it's surprising how little it comes into play......I guess it's only that one yr out of many when you use it.

Re: Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: tomd37, September 4, 2017 11:37PM
Kaneohe - I thought I remembered you being in TCE and that is the reason for my wording. At 80, I start my 15th year in VITA/TCE this year, most of which is TCE. Keep up your good work there.

Tom D.

Re: Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: triad, September 4, 2017 11:45PM
IRS publication 505 has the this information it it:

2016 joint return and 2017 separate returns.
If you plan to file a separate return for 2017, but you filed a joint return for 2016, your 2016 tax is your share of the tax on the joint return.

You file a separate return if you file as single,
head of household, or married filing separately.

To figure your share of the tax on a joint return,
first figure the tax both you and your spouse would have paid had you filed separate returns for 2016 using the same filing status for 2017. Then multiply the tax on the joint return by the following fraction.

The tax you would have paid had you filed a separate return

divided by

The total tax you and your spouse would have paid
had you filed separate returns.

Re: Safe Harbor When Filing Status Changed
Posted by: kaneohe, September 5, 2017 03:37AM
triad.........perfect! Thanks much for the answer and source.



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