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filing taxes
January 31, 2016
4:19 pm
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Robert
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I am preparing to file my taxes this year. I am married and have in all previous years filed jointly with my spouse. However, due to my spouse’s substantial increase in salary, our household income increased enough last year that my student loan payments were subsequently increased as well. This year, I am considering filing separately. Considering that we live in a community property state, we are required to calculate a total income for each individual filer based off our combined incomes. My question is regarding the basis of the monthly payments due on my loans; is the amount of monthly payment based on the total income reported on my 2015 taxes, or based on the COMBINED income of the household, i.e. my spouse’s and my income combined regardless of filing status?

January 31, 2016
6:04 pm
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Indiana
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Forum Posts: 304
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May 3, 2014
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Tax law is something far outside the area of questions, I’m comfortable answering.

That being said, the student loan payment plans are pretty clear about when spousal income is counted and when it is not. This article explains some of the factors that go into whether or not spousal income counts for payments: https://studentloansherpa.com/divorce-student-loan-payments/

The short version:
IBR and PAYE: Filing separately keeps spousal income out of payments
REPAYE: Spousal income almost always counts

January 19, 2018
1:15 pm
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Erika
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My spouse and I are still legally married but were separated for a few years, thus we were able to file separately. However, we recently got back together and now that i have to submit recertification for IBR for my loans, one of the questions is are you able to get your spouse’s income tax information? If yes, then, my spouse will be required to sign on my loan repayment and provide his tax information even though we filed separately and will continue to file as married but separately.
My question is, if IBR does not take into account the spouse’s income, why do they ask this question on the IBR application?

January 19, 2018
6:01 pm
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Indiana
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Forum Posts: 304
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May 3, 2014
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Hi Erika,

IBR can sometimes include spousal income. It will depend upon how you file your taxes. If you filed jointly on your most recent tax return, the years you filed separately will not matter.

If you filed separately, I’m not sure why there would be requests for spousal income information. Did your loan servicer offer an explanation?

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