Filing Status

In general, you should use the same filing status as on your federal return. However,

  • if you file a joint federal return and you are an injured spouse (e.g., your spouse owes a liability, for which you are not responsible, to a government agency), you should file separate Illinois returns using the “married filing separately” filing status. Do not recompute any items on your federal return. Instead, you must divide each item of income and deduction shown on your joint federal return between your separate Illinois returns following the Allocation Worksheet in the Form IL-1040 Instructions.

    You may choose to file separately as an injured spouse only until the extended due date of the return, and once you choose a filing status the decision is irrevocable for the tax year.

    Note: If you choose to file a joint Illinois return, we may take the entire refund to pay your spouse’s liability.

  • If you file a joint federal return and one spouse is a full-year Illinois resident while the other is a part-year resident or a nonresident (e.g., military personnel), you may choose to file “married filing separately.” Do not recompute any items on your federal return. Instead, you must divide each item of income and deduction shown on your joint federal return between your separate Illinois returns following the Allocation Worksheet in the Form IL-1040 Instructions.

    If you choose to file a joint Illinois return, you must treat both your spouse and yourself as residents. This election is irrevocable for the tax year. You may be allowed a credit for income tax paid to another state on Schedule CR. For more information, see the Schedule CR Instructions.

Note: If you are in a civil union that is not recognized as a marriage for federal income tax purposes, you must file your Illinois return using the same filing status as on your federal return.