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My spouse owes back taxes for the state of Louisiana. I filed as married filing jointly for state, but I don't want to be responsible for his previous debt, so I filed married filing separately for federal. I was thinking I could just amend by state tax return. Can I do this?


The BIDaWIZ Team's Answer:

There are certainly quite a few moving parts here as there are both tax and legal implications to your inquiry. Firstly, as per Louisiana state tax code, you must file using the same filing status as you did when you filed your federal tax return. If you filed married filing separately on your federal tax return, then you should file as such on your Louisiana state tax return. You can certainly file an amended form IT-504 prior to the due date to adjust the marital status to married filing separately on the state tax return. The other factor to consider here is that your spouse already filed the federal and state tax returns as married filing jointly. Unless, he amends his returns by the tax due date, it's likely that the IRS and state will accept his return since he was first to file and your returns will likely be rejected as duplicates. You can of course write a letter to the IRS to explain the inconsistency. The last factor to consider is Louisiana state law. Louisiana is a community property state in which spouses are jointly liable for each other's debts. Still, on the federal return you can file what is called an injured spouse form 8379 to protect your tax refund.

The BIDaWIZ Team



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