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    Do they need to file

    MFJ and have been for 25 years. They owe no tax and not required to file a return. Nothing withheld. All income is in taxpayers name and social security number. If he filed single, he would owe a little money. Will the IRS look to him to file?
    Last year, one of my clients brought a letter from IRS saying he needed to file, but when spouse was included he was under the limit, so no return was filed. We wrote to IRS and explained he was MFJ and that took care of it. Do taxpayers need to file if majority of income in one name that would put them over the limit for single, but not MFJ

    #2
    I rarely file

    Originally posted by gman View Post
    MFJ and have been for 25 years. They owe no tax and not required to file a return. Nothing withheld. All income is in taxpayers name and social security number. If he filed single, he would owe a little money. Will the IRS look to him to file?
    Last year, one of my clients brought a letter from IRS saying he needed to file, but when spouse was included he was under the limit, so no return was filed. We wrote to IRS and explained he was MFJ and that took care of it. Do taxpayers need to file if majority of income in one name that would put them over the limit for single, but not MFJ
    If they do not have enough to file and no other credits coming I rarely file these returns.

    Dusty

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      #3
      Depends on the circumstances. If their income exceeds the filing limits for a single person but the MFJ return results in no tax, I usually go ahead and file. It starts the SOL running, plus it heads off any future notices. To me, it seems those frequently come at the most inopportune time. After a couple of years of this, IRS often sends a letter saying they don't need to file. That's a good letter to have on hand.
      "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectful" - John Kenneth Galbraith

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        #4
        Am I missing something here? If he is married, he is not supposed to file as single, but as either MFS or MFJ.

        LT
        Only in government or politics is a "cut in spending" really an increase. It's just not as much of an increase as they wanted it to be, therefore a "cut".

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          #5
          IRS doesn't know the filing status, so they will send a notice based entirely on the income, based on the assumption that the taxpayer is single. The question addresses those situations when the filing status is MFJ but only one spouse has income exceeding the filing limits for a single person.
          "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectful" - John Kenneth Galbraith

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            #6
            Forgive me for being dense. The original post stated that they had been MFJ. Why would there even be a consideration of what the single rules are, when the individual is NOT single and the rules would NOT apply to him? It looks as if something simple is being turned into something difficult. To file as single, if I understand the post correctly, would be to knowingly file a false return. I understand that for practical purposes, it might not matter, but I would not want to intentionally put myself out on a limb.

            Of course, my usual caveat "I reserve the right to be wrong."

            LT
            Only in government or politics is a "cut in spending" really an increase. It's just not as much of an increase as they wanted it to be, therefore a "cut".

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              #7
              Filing single

              was never meant as a suggestion. Just stating that all the income is reported on one individual. Spouse has no income. So when the IRS computer shows the one with the income over the limit, does it kick out that he could owe tax himself, not knowing that he is married filing joint

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                #8
                Originally posted by gman View Post
                MFJ and have been for 25 years. They owe no tax and not required to file a return. Nothing withheld. All income is in taxpayers name and social security number. If he filed single, he would owe a little money. Will the IRS look to him to file?
                Last year, one of my clients brought a letter from IRS saying he needed to file, but when spouse was included he was under the limit, so no return was filed. We wrote to IRS and explained he was MFJ and that took care of it. Do taxpayers need to file if majority of income in one name that would put them over the limit for single, but not MFJ
                the IRS's darling computer may have spit out the letter as a reminder that the TP had not filed for the year, It does this if a prior year was filed and there is no return currently filed. It is meant only as a reminder and this darling computer does not bother to check 3rd party income reported in order to determine whether a return is required. Nor does it pay any attention to the prior filing status or legal deductions the TP can take. It's like...oh Mr. Smith has not submitted a return this year and out goes the letter.
                \
                I know that Director Shulman is working toward "real-time" filing however though I was hoping (against hope) they they would not put it into play until they had worked out all the issues it appears they put the cart before the horse and we are now getting unnecessary notices due to the lack of proper planning.
                Believe nothing you have not personally researched and verified.

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                  #9
                  This is nothing new. I've seen notices of this type for many years, more or less on a random basis That's why I often recommend filing even when there's no tax liability on the joint return.
                  "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectful" - John Kenneth Galbraith

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                    #10
                    Ah but what about the IRS not wanting returns that do not require filing, They say its a paper saving issue. I didn't know Uncle Sam was a tree-hugger
                    Believe nothing you have not personally researched and verified.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No problem. They can send a letter advising the client not to file in the future and then we will stop. That way everybody's happy.

                      As you can see, I dont waste a lot of my time trying to figure out what's in the IRS's best interests. I have other priorities...
                      Last edited by JohnH; 02-06-2012, 06:03 PM.
                      "The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectful" - John Kenneth Galbraith

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                        #12
                        IRS Notice No Filing

                        The problem with this is the IRS will notify the Taxpayer they no longer have a filing requirement, however, NOTE: if situation changes, taxpayer needs to review.

                        Age 75 - Client receives the "No Filing Requirement Letter" and they say great I "never have to do this again" Situation changes when client is age 77 and receives a large distribution from retirement/IRA - whatever - and says I don't have to file and pay taxes, so does not file, or ontact anyone to review --

                        Next scenario - 2 years later - A Very Large Bill generated by a CP 2000 notice, plus interest, plus penalties.

                        Client says why am I receiving this, I have a letter from IRS 3 years ago, that I "no longer required to file a Tax Return"

                        Had this happen!

                        When at all possible, I try to file returns with -0- when in doubt -

                        Then take the last few years, with the Stimulus Rebates, we had to file, for the client to receive, and put them back on the "filing rolls"

                        Too complicated for Seniors to Understand

                        Sandy

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by thomtax View Post
                          Forgive me for being dense. The original post stated that they had been MFJ. Why would there even be a consideration of what the single rules are, when the individual is NOT single and the rules would NOT apply to him?
                          LT
                          Because the IRS does not know what his filing status is for the year in question, regardless of what it may have been in past years, or even the last year a return is actually filed. He could be divorced, a widower, etc. So, in the absence of an actually-filed return, they assume Single.
                          Last edited by Burke; 02-06-2012, 06:19 PM.

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                            #14
                            When trying to see if a person needs to file or not. Don't forget that in some states there are tax credits for people with low income. AZ has a good property tax credit for people over 65 and with low income.

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