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