A:

For the purposes of taking a deduction for an IRA contribution, the IRS provides special allowances for individuals who are married, file separate returns and lived apart for the entire year by treating these individuals as "single" filers.

1. If you and your spouse did not live together at any time during the year, then you are considered "single" for tax filing purposes and should use the guidelines for a single taxpayer.
2. If you and your spouse did not live together at any time during the year, you are each allowed a full deduction.

A person who was married during the tax year, regardless of whether he or she lived with the spouse, has a filing status of married filing jointly or married filing separately unless he or she qualifies for the exception that requires a separate household maintained for a dependent/child for a certain number of months of the year. The IRS provides that certain married individuals who lived apart from their spouses for the last six months of the year and are eligible to claim someone as a dependent may use the head of household filing status for tax filing purposes.

This question was answered by Denise Appleby
(Contact Denise)

RELATED FAQS
  1. Can I file single if I am legally married but have not lived with spouse for two ...

  2. What are the income limits for Roth IRA contributions?

    The 2007 and 2008 income limits for Roth IRA contributions are as follows: Situations 2007 2008 Individuals who are married ... Read Answer >>
  3. Am I eligible to file a federal tax return receiving social security disability & ...

  4. Do we have to file taxes?

    Our only income is social security and a very small pension amount. We were told by our accountant that we did not need to ... Read Answer >>
  5. I don't have taxable income at age 73, do I still file taxes for 2015?

  6. Are mutual fund withdrawals all capital gains losses?

    Someone age 88 sells mutual fund shares. The 1099-B shows all sales to be capital gains losses. This person has no gains ... Read Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Income Tax Brackets for 2015-2016

    Learn about the 2015-2016 tax brackets, how to calculate your marginal tax rate, the five types of filing status and how to qualify for them.
  2. Retirement

    Top Reasons to File Separately When Married

    Most of the time, it makes sense for couples to file their taxes jointly. Except for these possible exceptions...
  3. Financial Advisor

    Tax Time is Coming; Don't Be Caught Off Guard

    It's time to think about tax returns again. The good news is that the regulations in 2016 have not changed dramatically from last year.
  4. Personal Finance

    Should Married Taxpayers File Together?

    Married couples that file a joint tax return can enjoy several credits and benefits that aren’t available when filing separately.
  5. Financial Advisor

    2016 Tax Code Changes Add Some Wiggle Room

    It's never too early to prepare for tax season. Next year features a host of tax law changes. Check our handy list to see which ones apply to you.
  6. Personal Finance

    Gay Marriage and Taxes: Everything You Should Know

    Same-sex couples now have a variety of tax strategies to consider.
  7. Personal Finance

    How American Expats Are Taxed

    Learn what tax forms American expats are required to file, what tax breaks and deductions are available, and what potential pitfalls to avoid.
  8. Personal Finance

    Do You Qualify as Head of Household?

    When you hear the term “head of household,” what comes to mind? The breadwinner? The main source of household income? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
  9. Retirement

    5 Things To Consider Before Late-In-Life Marriage

    Waiting to marry has become the norm, but do you know what to consider before saying "I do"?
  10. Personal Finance

    How Might The Affordable Care Act Affect You?

    The Affordable Care Act is the largest change to the tax code in 20 years that could affect you when you file that 2014 tax return next year.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Married Filing Jointly

    A filing status for married couples that have wed before the ...
  2. Married Filing Separately

    A filing status for married couples who choose to record their ...
  3. Joint Return

    A U.S. income tax return filed on behalf of a married couple, ...
  4. Separate Return

    A separate Form 1040, or a variant thereof, filed by a married ...
  5. Single Filer

    The filing status used by a taxpayer who is unmarried and does ...
  6. Individual Tax Return

    The type of tax return filed by an individual. Both single and ...
Hot Definitions
  1. GBP

    The abbreviation for the British pound sterling, the official currency of the United Kingdom, the British Overseas Territories ...
  2. Diversification

    A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. The rationale behind this technique ...
  3. European Union - EU

    A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official ...
  4. Sell-Off

    The rapid selling of securities, such as stocks, bonds and commodities. The increase in supply leads to a decline in the ...
  5. Brazil, Russia, India And China - BRIC

    An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China combined. It has been speculated that by 2050 these four ...
  6. Brexit

    The Brexit, an abbreviation of "British exit" that mirrors the term Grexit, refers to the possibility of Britain's withdrawal ...
Trading Center