Camara and Jatta v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue: Tax Court Grants Joint Filing to Husband who Filed Singlely Erroeously

In Fansu Camara and Aminata Jatta v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 149 TC no. 13, the Tax Court ruled that a husband who had mistakenly claimed he was single in his 2012 individual income tax return was entitled to the rates and advantages of a joint filing after he petitioned the court and submitted a corrected version.  The court also ruled that his original filing did not constitute a separate return.

The Tax Court’s summary of the opinion reads as follows:

Although Ps were married at all relevant times, H erroneously claimed single filing status on his 2012 individual income tax return. In the notice of deficiency R changed H’s filing status to married filing separately. After petitioning this Court, Ps filed a joint 2012 income tax return. R contends that H’s original 2012 single return was a “separate return” such that the limitations of I.R.C. sec. 6013(b)(2) apply to prevent Ps from claiming the benefits available to married taxpayers who file a joint return.

Held: The 2012 return that H originally filed, erroneously claiming “single” status, did not constitute a “separate return” within the meaning of I.R.C. sec. 6013(b). See Ibrahim v. Commissioner, 788 F.3d 834 (8th Cir. 2015), rev’g and remanding T.C. Memo. 20148; Glaze v. United States, 641 F.2d 339 (5th Cir. Unit B Apr. 1981), aff’g 45 A.F.T.R.2d 80-740, 1979 WL 1533 (N.D. Ga. 1979).

Held, further, H is entitled to joint filing status and rates.

See the full opinion at Fansu Camara and Aminata Jatta v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue No. 12051-15. (September 2017).

Posted by Quinton Weinstein, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal