If you file a joint tax return but have been separated for over a year, is that fraud?

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If you file a joint tax return but have been separated for over a year, is that fraud?

My husband and I have been separated for over a year and were read to go forward with the divorce but he still wants to file taxes together even though we haven’t lived together in a year, is that fraud even though we are still married?

Asked on August 8, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your tax filing status depends on your marital status on the last day of the tax year. If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or head of household. If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. You need to loom tot he law in your state to help determine whether you are considered divorced or legally separated or not legally separated.  There are often more tax advantages to filing jointly and that is why he is pushing that option.  But I would speak with your lawyer as well as your accountant here. This is not a mistake that you want to make.  It will come back to haunt you.  Good luck to you.


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