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Married Filing Separately IRS Regulations

Below are the married filing separately IRS regulations and rules. If a taxpayer files under the married filing separately tax status, then the taxpayer:

  • cannot claim the standard deduction if the other spouse itemizes
  • cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses
  • cannot take earned income credit
  • cannot take the credit or exclusion for adoption expenses (exceptions apply)
  • cannot take the education credits (Hope and Lifetime learning credit)
  • cannot deduct interest paid on a qualified loan
  • cannot exclude interest income from qualified US savings bonds used for higher education expenses
  • cannot take the credit for the elderly or disabled unless he or she lived apart from the spouse for the entire year
  • cannot take the tuition and fees deduction
  • may have to include as taxable income more than would for a joint return of:
    • social security benefits
    • other equivalent railroad retirement benefits
  • cannot roll over amounts from traditional IRA into a Roth IRA
  • cannot claim the standard deduction if the spouse itemizes deductions. If the standard deduction is clamed, it is half the amount allowed on a jont return.
Married filing separately and spouse's social security number

When filing married filing separately, you need to show your spouse's social security number in the label section as well as the spouse's full name. The IRS uses these information to match up the federal income returns for both spouses.

After I filed married filing separately, can I change to file married filing jointly?

Yes. If ou have filed married filing separately tax returns, you can change your tax filing status to married filing jointly by filing the IRS tax form 1040X, the Amended US Individual Income Tax Return. You can change your tax filing status from married filing separately any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. This does not include extensions.

I have been filing married filing jointly, can I change my tax filing status to married filing separately?

Once you have filed a joint return with your spouse, you cannot change the status of that tax return to married filing separately that year after the due date of that return.