Spouse not a New York City resident - how to file?

Options
NYMike
NYMike Member Posts: 2 Level 2

My wife and I live separately. From what I understand we can still file Married Filing Jointly on our federal and 2 Married filing separately New York State returns. I saw on other tax prep products and tax advice in general I would need to create 3 returns -

Both Spouses: Fed MFJ - file with Fed

Only Spouse 1 Income Federal MFS - file with NYS but only by mail

Only Spouse 2 Income Federal MFS - File with NYS but only by mail

My spouse does not reside in NYC. She does not have access to my current home in NYC. (I am not discussing NYC residency requirements here) She is only required to pay New York State tax.

Will I be able to file a Federal Joint Return and 2 NYS MFS returns? Could I also E-File the 2 state returns? Will I be able to do this with FreeTaxUSA?

Thank you

Answers

  • KeriC
    KeriC FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 93
    Options

    According to the NY State instructions, "In most cases, you must use the same filing status you used on your federal return.

    "The only exceptions are for certain married couples filing a joint federal return in the following situations:
    • One spouse is a New York State resident and the other is a nonresident or part-year resident. In this case, you must either:
    - file separate New York returns using filing status ③; or
    - file jointly, as if you both were New York State residents, using filing status ②. "

    Source: Page 6 at https://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/2023/printable-pdfs/inc/it201i-2023.pdf

    If both of you are full-year residents of NY State, you will be required to use the same filing status on your federal and state return. (MFJ on both or MFS on both).

    If one of you was a part-year resident of NY State, you would qualify to file a joint federal return and separate state returns. In this case, you would need to have 3 accounts on our website to file each of your returns; 1) Federal MFJ, 2) State MFS for one of you, and 3) State MFS for the other one. The state returns would have to be mailed in since they are not being filed in the same account as an e-filed federal return.

  • NYMike
    NYMike Member Posts: 2 Level 2
    Options

    It seems we can file jointly in NYS, but because only one of us lived in New York CITY then we can use line 51 to calculate CITY tax owed. Does FreeTaxUSA software handle this scenario?

    Line 51: Other New York City taxes Enter the total amount of other New York City taxes from Form IT-201-ATT, Part 3, line 34. Joint returns If you are married and filing a joint New York State return and only one of you was a resident of New York City for all of 2023, compute on a separate sheet of paper the New York City resident tax on the New York State taxable income of the city resident as if you had filed separate federal returns reduced by the New York City household credit (if applicable).

    If one spouse was a resident of New York City and the other a nonresident for all of 2023, compute on a separate sheet of paper the New York City resident tax on the New York State taxable income of the city resident as if you had filed separate federal returns reduced by the New York City household credit (if applicable). Transfer the amount from your separate sheet to line 51. Be sure to write the name and Social Security number of the city resident and Taxable income of New York City resident on that paper. Submit it with your return.

  • MatthewD
    MatthewD FreeTaxUSA Team Posts: 247
    Options

    Hello,

    I am sorry, but our software does not support that particular scenario where one spouse is a resident of NYC and one is not. If you have a NYC address and are a resident of NYC, then you must both report your income as NYC taxable income. Otherwise, you must file separate returns. Or you may need to complete your NY return manually.