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abandoned spouse - file single?

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was I dreaming?

I thought I read that spouse could file as single if husband gone for years...

WI - community property state so claiming own income..

No children left

Any insight? Read Pub 17, Pub 555 - anywhere else? Crazy?  - well please do not answer that one..

Thank you,

D

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Maybe you are thinking of head of household if they are separated for longer than six months. Everything that I have found says they have to file jointly or separately, unless they live in a state that allows for legal separation and they have done that. I researched this years ago, when someone tried to file single, because a wedding in Vegas didn't count. She found that it actually did count when there was no divorce or annullment.

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How many years?  Is husband still alive?  Could he be declared dead?  Has he changed his name?  (Or sex, for that matter, these days.)  I'd say that if it's been ten or more years, no indication the guy is alive, and no one the client knows has heard anything from, of, or about him (including maybe a goggle (sic) search for him turning up nothing)... then you could make a very good case for single.  Because people who drop off the face of the earth are sometimes literally no longer on it.  OTOH, if that search turns him up in Saskatoon, Saratoga, or Santiago - then nope, MFS, and look for a jurisdiction with a quick cheap divorce for next year.

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2 hours ago, Catherine said:

look for a jurisdiction with a quick cheap divorce for next year.

I think the code is firm; in order to file single she would need to be legally separated  under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.

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I have researched this before, and although I don't have at my hands any reference, I found that the person who cannot find their spouse can file as HOH or single, depending on their circumstances.  That the IRS no longer will consider them married if there have been attempts to find and cannot find the person and therefore cannot get divorced.

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11 minutes ago, schirallicpa said:

I have researched this before, and although I don't have at my hands any reference, I found that the person who cannot find their spouse can file as HOH or single, depending on their circumstances.  That the IRS no longer will consider them married if there have been attempts to find and cannot find the person and therefore cannot get divorced.

If you can't find the person to serve them legal papers to separate, it's sort of hard to legally separate. It's still possible.

 

Realty though is that this client could just go to the next preparer and inform them they are single and file that way. Also, I've personally never inspected someone's divorce papers to assure the IRS that they are legally divorced.

 

 

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If you marry someone and you happen to know his/her name and date of birth, you can get a divorce whether they are alive in cabo verde or dead in La Patagonia. All the court will do is to publish it on a local newspaper and voila you are free to remarry in 30 days after the decree.

 

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15 minutes ago, Pacun said:

If you marry someone and you happen to know his/her name and date of birth, you can get a divorce whether they are alive in cabo verde or dead in La Patagonia. All the court will do is to publish it on a local newspaper and voila you are free to remarry in 30 days after the decree.

 

Oddly specific. 🤣

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thank  you - I will ask her more... I once new the years.. but I did not right it down - so I forgot!

we were just talking a the door - when it was safe to do that!

Thx again!

Stay safe!

d

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The tax rate for S and MFS is the same up to $306,175.  So, if it is less than that and there are no credits denied for filing MFS, then I would file S.  The SD vs Itemized you don't know either way.       I have never seen this be an issue with the IRS and it doesn't appear to be tracked.  It could possibly come up in an audit, but the way audits are conducted, it seems highly unlikely.

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19 hours ago, Max W said:

It could possibly come up in an audit, but the way audits are conducted, it seems highly unlikely.

And in that unlikely event, you tell the auditor that the former spouse skedaddled years ago and cannot be found.  Hey, auditor - can YOU guys find him for the client; he oughta know that the client's great-aunt Millie died six years ago and left him her plastic rosary bead set.  

😉

 

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