Search Questions & Answers

Most questions can be answered quickly and easily with our Q & A search tool. If you don't find the answer to your question please contact us.

Results 1-10 of 150  View Next ->

What filing status should I use if I got married during 2017?

If you are married on or before December 31, 2017, you are considered to be married the whole year. You can either file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. Married Filing Jointly almost always gives you a bigger tax refund than Married Filing Separately.

If you were married after December 31, 2017, you would still file as Single or Head of Household on your 2017 tax return.



What filing status should I use after a divorce?

If you are divorced or legally separated on or before December 31, 2017, you are considered to be unmarried the whole year. The best filing status is Head of Household if you qualify. You usually qualify for Head of Household if you have a child or dependent who lives with you for more than half the year, even if your ex-spouse claims your child as a dependent on his or her tax return. Otherwise, you would file as Single.

If you are still married on December 31, 2017, you will either file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. Married Filing Jointly almost always gives you an overall bigger refund. However, if you are worried that your ex-spouse is cheating on the tax return or if you owe money to the IRS on the tax return and you don't think your ex-spouse will pay his or her half of the taxes owed, you might consider filing as Married Filing Separately.



What is an Ohio STABLE account?

A STABLE account (Ohio's ABLE account) gives its owner tax benefits for saving for qualified disability expenses, similar to college savings accounts for college expenses. You can deduct any contributions you make to the account, up to $2,000 per beneficiary per year. Any contributions you make above the $2,000 limit can be deducted on future years' returns (up to $2,000 per beneficiary per year) until fully deducted. Contribution limits are the same for married taxpayers, regardless whether filing jointly or separately.

For more information about these accounts and how to open one, see the Ohio STABLE account website .



How should I file if I'm in a same-sex marriage?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS ruled that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

Legally-married same-sex couples generally must file their 2017 federal income tax return as Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, or Qualifying Widow(er).



What is the 529 College Savings Plan subtraction?

You can subtract the amount contributed to a qualified DC 529 College Savings Plan from your taxable income. The maximum amount you can deduct is $4,000 annually, and the contributions must be made to qualified college savings accounts you own. If you are married and file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately - Combined Return, each spouse may deduct up to $4,000 for contributions made to all accounts owned.

A rollover distribution doesn't qualify as a contribution for this subtraction.

If you contributed more than $4,000 (or $8,000 for eligible joint filers) to one or more accounts, you can carry forward the excess (subject to the annual $4,000 limitation) for up to five years.



How do I check the status of my federal refund?

Use the IRS's Where's My Refund? tool. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-829-1954.

To get your refund status, you'll need to provide the following information as shown on your return:

  • Your Social Security number (or IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)
  • Your filing status (Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er))
  • The refund amount (It's important to enter the refund amount exactly as it is shown on your return).

You can use the IRS's Where's My Refund? tool to check the status of your refund 24 hours after the IRS accepts your e-filed tax return, or 3 to 4 weeks after you mail your paper return. But if you filed Form 8379 with your return, allow 11 weeks (14 weeks if you mailed) before checking your refund status.



What is the additional Medicare tax and net investment income tax?

Starting in 2013, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) imposed an additional Medicare tax of 0.9% on high income earners. ($200,000 if filing as Single, Head of Household or Qualifying Widow(er); $250,000 if filing as Married Filing Jointly; $125,000 if filing as Married Filing Separately).

The act also imposed a net investment income tax of 3.8% on unearned income of taxpayers with high income ($200,000 if filing as Single or Head of Household; $250,000 if filing as Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er); $125,000 if filing as Married Filing Separately).

Complete your return and we'll calculate any applicable taxes.



How much is my standard deduction?

For 2017, the standard deduction amounts are:
Single or Married Filing Separately: $6,350
Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widower: $12,700
Head of Household: $9,350



Do I have to set up a separate account for my spouse?

If you are filing jointly you should just use one account.

If you are filing a married separate tax return, you will need to set up a separate account for your spouse in order to file his or her tax return.



Married Filing Separately

Menu Path: Personal > Filing Status

Enter on the Filing Status screen.

If you are married and file a separate return, you will usually pay more tax than if you use another filing status that you qualify for.

Also, if you file a separate return, you cannot take the student loan interest deduction, the tuition and fees deduction, the education credits or the earned income credit. You cannot take the standard deduction if your spouse itemizes deductions.

It's rare for married filing separately to give you more refund than married filing jointly. However, if you itemize your deductions and one spouse has a large amount of medical expenses, casualty losses, or miscellaneous itemized deductions, you may get more overall refund by filing separate returns.

When someone chooses to file a separate return it is usually because of reasons other than getting the largest refund such as if one spouse may be cheating on their taxes and the other spouse doesn't want to be responsible for any tax problems the other spouse will have if he or she is audited.



Results 1-10 of 150  View Next ->
© 2002-2017 FreeTaxUSA, a TaxHawk, Inc. owned and operated website - Terms of Use | Privacy Statement