Virginia no longer allows the filing status, Married Filing Separately (MFS) on a combined return, where you could choose to allocate the standard deduction between spouses in a mutual agreement.
What are my options if I filed a Married Filing Joint federal return?
If one spouse is a resident of Virginia and the other is not, you can file a joint resident return and calculate your joint income as if you are both residents.
You can file separate returns if the resident spouse files a resident return and the non resident spouse (if there is Virginia source income to report) files a Virginia nonresident return. However, if you choose to do this, you will need to recalculate your Federal return as if you filed separately on the federal return. This means you will need to allocate the exemptions and itemized deductions (if any) as if separate federal returns were filed. Each spouse must be able to prove their claim of the itemized deductions (if any) and exemptions. As a rule, to claim the exemption for a dependent, the spouse must be reporting at least half of the total federal adjusted gross income to claim a dependent exemption.
How do I file a MFS Virginia return if I chose MFJ on my federal return?
You will need to e-file the federal return first using the married filing joint status. After the federal return has been accepted, you will change the filing status to married filing separate and e-file the separate state return. If the nonresident spouse needs to file a Virginia return, they will need to create a new account using the married filing separate status. Please note that if one spouse itemizes deductions on their return, the other spouse is also required to itemize deductions.