Should Married Couples File Taxes Jointly or Separately?

by whatsmind

Can you believe that 28% of Americans think it would be easier to give up their smartphone for a week instead of filing their taxes?

Taking care of your own taxes once you turn 18 can seem like a nightmare, but things get even more complicated once you get married. You and your partner have to grapple with the age-old question of whether you should file taxes jointly or separately.

It’s important to understand that there are all kinds of factors that can affect your ideal filing status. Keep reading this guide if you want to break down the top things that you should consider.

Many Couples Benefit From Married Filing Jointly

It’s true that the government offers lots of tax benefits for married couples to entice people. The biggest perk is that married couples tend to fall into lower tax brackets than individuals who file with the same income. Take some time to figure out where you and your spouse would fall if you filed independently or together.

People who are unemployed can still contribute to an IRA retirement fund if they file taxes with their spouse as well. You’ll also have access to more tax breaks that can lower your taxable income. 

Older couples should also consider tying to knot legally to keep their home and any other assets in their hands if one of them should die. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying high estate taxes to continue to have access to your shared belongings.

There Are Times When Married Filing Separately Makes More Sense

Some couples choose to keep their finances separate to remain independent or look after children from previous relationships. For example, if you make a bunch of money and your spouse does not, then it’s unfair to expect them to split the taxes owed in half.

You may also be shocked to discover that your spouse isn’t as responsible when it comes to managing their finances or filing taxes as you are. If you file your taxes together and your paperwork gets flagged, then you’re just as responsible for their errors. You should learn more about the irs innocent spouse relief program if you don’t want to take on your partner’s debt.

Good healthcare can be hard to come by in this country. Filing together can allow a spouse to share their excellent plan with their spouse, but it could also raise their threshold for deducting medical expenses.

File Taxes Jointly or Separately? Now You Know the Facts

There are a lot of points to review in the debate on whether couples should file taxes jointly or separately. Since we all have unique finances and lifestyles, you won’t know the correct answer until you crunch some numbers. Talking with a tax professional will give you clarity.

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