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Tax Tip For Married Couples

Filing jointly isn't necessarily the best option for you and your spouse, even if you have promised to be there in sickness and in health. The goal is to collectively pay the least amount of taxes possible, so run the numbers for both filing scenarios before settling.

Couples may benefit from separate filing if one of you had large medical expenses, high business expenses, or if one of you had significant theft losses. It could be beneficial to seek professional help the first time you file after marriage to prevent overpaying your taxes.


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supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
One thing I found out last year (I assume it's still the same), is that you can only take the student loan interest deduction if you file jointly.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
It's never seemed to make much of a difference with us. But the last few years we've owed money and I couldn't figure out why. We finally went to an accountant, who said that whichever of us makes the least money needs to change their W4 to "married, filing at the single rate". So I get more money taken out of each paycheck for taxes again and that sucks, but at least we aren't going to owe anything this year.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
thanks! y'all must be more skilled with taxes than I am, because I don't know how to do it on paper. I just use Turbo Tax and it asks you at the beginning whether you want to do joint
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
lawchick, it was explained to me that basically you're taking everything and splitting it between the two of you. So, think like if one of you made $100,000 and the other made nothing, it's like each of you making $50,000. And someone making $50,000 would of course be taxed less than someone making $100,000. But it's the same with deductions. It's awesome to have like $10,000 in deductions, but if you split it then you each only get $5,000. Bottom line, though, is it's like syako said. It's always best to just do the math both ways and see what comes up.
lawchick lawchick 8 years
I've heard that filing jointly is best when there are huge income disparities. Last year we filed jointly and I worked and he was in school, and we got a large I GUESS it worked for us... Has anyone else heard the same?
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
This is definitely one of the huge perks to being married! I was thinking as I did my taxes that it would be nice to have those two options to see which works better.
syako syako 8 years
We didn't file jointly last year because it would have been a HUGE payment to the IRS. We will always try both ways. This is good advice.
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