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A spouse filed as joint tax return for year 2012 while living apart for about 6 months (not legally separated). This was done without the other spouse's knowledge as their was no reasonable way to get in touch with them. The other spouse had no income for the year and was claimed as a dependent on their parent's return. Does the spouse that filed a joint return have to amend it or do the parents of the other spouse need to amend their return?


The BIDaWIZ Team's Answer:

We need to know a little bit more about the fact pattern that you've provided. You stated that Spouse #1 filed a joint return without Spouse #2's knowledge. Can you elaborate more on this statement. In order to file a joint return, both spouses must sign it. Thus, they both had to of known of the joint filing unless of course there was a forgery. If both spouses did in fact sign the joint tax return, then it would be the responsibility of the parents to amend their tax return. Per IRC Section 152(b)(2), an individual shall not be treated as a dependent of a taxpayer if they file a joint tax return. If there was a forgery involved, Spouse #1 should have filed as married filing separately. The IRS would likely rule in favor of Spouse #2 in this case. Thus, it is best for spouse #1 to file an amended return of married filing separately if this is the case.

The BIDaWIZ Team



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