Filing taxes jointly when you're married. Pros/cons?

posted 2 months ago in Finances
Post # 2
Member
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017 - historical mansion

mrsdrake :  As far as I know, in order to deduct the interest from your student loans, you have to file jointly. I know this because my husband was married before and he filed for divorce in December of one year and it didn’t go through until four months later. Because he has student loans, he still had to file with his ex (and it was a pain…) so he could deduct that interest. Good luck! 

Post # 3
Member
4028 posts
Honey bee

mrsdrake :  there isn’t anywhere near enough information here to say what your tax impact will be. Some couples do better post-marriage while others have a marriage penalty – it all depends on your respective incomes and available deductions. Most couples do better filing jointly but you can do the return both ways and then file the one that gives you the lower tax bill. Our first year married we got a massive refund because we forgot to change our withholdings from single to married. The next two years we have owed. This year we adjusted our withholdings again and we are adding a kid to the mix so I hope we break even lol

Post # 5
Member
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

My husband is a tax CPA.  Filing jointly is almost always less costly in taxes than filing separately.  On the other hand, some people benefit tax-wise from marriage, and some people pay higher taxes (myself and my husband).  The important distinction here is that “married filing separately” is NOT treated the same as “single” as far as the IRS is concerned.

 

Generally, lower income (especially people who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit) and higher income people do NOT benefit tax-wise from marriage.  It costs my husband and I a LOT of money in taxes to be married, actually. 

Post # 6
Member
78 posts
Worker bee

This article may come in handy:

(For some reason just shows up like a graph but click on it, hold until you get the menu, and then click open)

Post # 7
Member
1442 posts
Bumble bee

mrsdrake :  from a CPA, it’s almost NEVER advantagous to file married filing separately.  The ONLY time I’ve ever seen it work is if one spouse owes the IRS back taxes from when they were single or if one spouse has outragious medical expenses compared to the other. 

There is a calculator on the IRS website to see if you need to change your withholding based on you and your spouses income that I would recommend.

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/irs-withholding-calculator

 

Post # 8
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

If you’re on an income based repayment plan for your student loans, it may be more advantageous for you to file separately. If you file separately, you only have to include your income on your annual recertification, if you file jointly, you must include both. You become ineligible for certain deductions if you file separately though, depending on your income, thus may or may not make a huge difference.

Post # 9
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

mrsdrake :  You can go on the H&R Block or TurboTax websites and enter in both situations to see which is better for you. The have free tax calculators which have always been accurate for me.

Post # 10
Member
653 posts
Busy bee

It worked in our favor to file jointly but it’s one of those “it really depends on the couple” type thing. I think filing taxes is generally very easy so I ran the numbers by going through individually and then again by doing it jointly. We had a better tax break by a few hundred by filing together. 

Post # 11
Member
12519 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

DH and I file our taxes separately because of student loans (income based repayment plan).  

I would suggest sitting down with an actual tax professional and have them tell you which way to file is more advantageous.

Just FYI, if you file separately, you are ineligible for many tax deductions, including the student loan interest deduction.

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