Marriage penalty for deductions?
October 26, 2012 5:48 PM Subscribe
Question about 2011 US federal tax deductions and married filing status: Trying to fix a problem with my tax return; please help!
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl to Work & Money (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
2011 was our first year filing (US federal) taxes with married status. We both filed as "married filing separately", but she took the standard $5800 deduction and I claimed itemized deductions of $14000 as a result of mortgage interest and property taxes for the house I bought before we were married.
So basically, we both paid taxes as if we were single. Apparently, this isn't allowed; both partners must claim either standard or itemized deductions.
Now we face three choices. I've worked out the numbers and it's grim:
1. Amend returns to file jointly (owe IRS additional $1060)
2. Amend my return to claim standard deduction (owe IRS additional $1200)
3. Amend spouse's return to claim itemized deduction of $0 (owe IRS additional $900)
And that's not even counting additional state taxes or penalties.
The reason for the increases is that our combined deductions filing single would have been $5800 + $14000, but under both married options we have to choose as a couple between either $14000 itemized or $11600 standard.
This is a total WTF. By marrying, did we forfeit the majority of our home ownership tax benefits? I can't believe this is how things are supposed to work. MetaFilter, did I miss something?