The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Divorce & Marriage Issues

If I File As Married Filing Separately, Are There Any Tax Benefits That Will Be Lost ?

Yes. The American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning credits are not available for married filing separate returns. For MFS you must have lived apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of the year to take advantage of the dependent care, earned income, elderly credits and the $25,000 rental loss allowance. Also Social Security will be 85% taxable. Speak to your local CPA abount the tax strategy of using married filing jointly or married filg separately.

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