Married/RDP filing separately Filing status

If you’re married/registered domestic partner (RDP), you may choose to file separately. Each spouse or partner will prepare a separate tax return and report their individual income and deductions.

  • Tax rates are higher for the married/RDP filing separately filing status
  • If one person files itemized, the other spouse/RDP must file itemized as well
  • Generally, you do not qualify for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child and dependent care credit. Check the CALEITC eligibility page for more information.
  • Standardized deduction is reduced (1/2 of married/RDP filing jointly)

You may be able to file as head of household if your child lived with you and you lived apart from your spouse/RDP during the entire last six months of the year.

Community property

California is a community property state. When filing a separate return, each spouse/RDP reports the following:

  • One-half of the community income
  • All of their own separate income

Community property rules apply to the division of income if you use the married/RDP filing separately status.

Visit Guidelines for Determining Resident Status (FTB Publication 1031) for more information.

Filing requirement

Visit Resident, Part-year resident and Nonresident taxation or Military for your filing requirement.