Maximising Tax Refund After the Wedding

posted 3 years ago in Married Life
  • poll: How did your refund change after getting married?
    It didn't. : (3 votes)
    13 %
    I get more now. : (9 votes)
    38 %
    I get less. : (8 votes)
    33 %
    Other - specify : (4 votes)
    17 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    11772 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We use TurboTax! And that includes dealing with my rental place, and DH’s stocks/bonds/dividends.

    We considered going tax pro route this year, since we got married and sold my rental, but ultimately we feel very confident that we can handle it.

    Though, to be fair, DH also has a degree in business which involved a LOT of work with accounting.

    Post # 4
    Member
    3394 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    @Jilliebean1:  I would just fill out all the stuff on TT as “married filing jointly”, NOT e-file it, see what result I get, then go back and change it to “married filing separately”, see what I result I get and then actually file whichever way I got a better deal.

    Post # 5
    Member
    2320 posts
    Buzzing bee

    @Jilliebean1:  We used Turbo Tax Premier and filed jointly. It was pretty complicated, because DH has a condo that he rented out last year and he also went back to school full time. He also filed seperately in the state his condo is in and I filed seperately for the state I work in (and that I live in). Needless to say, it was a bit of a hot mess, but it still worked well with Turbo Tax and I was able to get a lot of money back with DH not working right now…way more than I would’ve gotten on my own, so score!

    Post # 6
    Member
    4440 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We just strated out turbo tax today and we’ve used it seperate ly in the past. when I plugged in joint married and started with my only W3 (before entering his) I already made double+ of what I normally get single. I still need to fill out his So well see !

    Post # 7
    Member
    4440 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Sorry.  On iPhone. Clearly meant w2

    Post # 8
    Member
    546 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    @Jilliebean1:  you can only file MFJ or MFS. There’s not a lot of benefits to MFS most of the time and you can’t take advantage of some of the credits/deductions if you do MFS. There are also a lot of limitations, like if one spouse itemizes then the other spouse must itemize too, even if they have no itemized deductions. However every situation is different so do what PP said and run the numbers both ways. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    4043 posts
    Honey bee

    @Jilliebean1: My DH and I both work in Education as well, but I make almost double what he makes. We are doing Turbo Tax and checking to see what is more beneficial before e-filing (MFS or MSJ). I would only consider going to a professional if I had a really complicated situation (multiple deductions, owning lots of properties or a business, etc). 

    This year, our return looks like it will be lower or we may have to owe (hoping not) because I jumped up into the next tax bracket after a substantial raise 🙁 While I love the increased income, I don’t like the idea of writing a check for taxes.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2197 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    We haven’t filed yet, but I’ve been doing a little research…

    Couples who file together get to deduct two exemption amounts from their income and they qualify for multiple tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits, the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses, and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Joint filers also receive higher income thresholds for certain taxes and deductions – this means they can earn a larger amount of income and still qualify for certain tax breaks.

    In 2013, married filing separately taxpayers only receive a standard deduction of $6,100 compared to the $12,200 offered to those who filed jointly. If you file a separate return from your spouse, you are automatically disqualified from several of the tax deductions and credits mentioned earlier. In addition, separate filers are limited to a smaller IRA contribution deduction. They also cannot take the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction.” 

    SOURCE: (in case you want to read more) https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/IRS-Tax-Return/Should-You-and-Your-Spouse-File-Taxes-Jointly-or-Separately-/INF20137.html

    Post # 11
    Member
    2197 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    Oh and I didn’t vote in the poll yet. Since obviously I won’t know if we get more or less. I’ll try to remember to come back and update once we file. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    2720 posts
    Sugar bee

    I worked for a CPA for three years. Unless something has changed, which it always seems to, if you got married the last half of the year, you can choose to file both single, married, or married filing separately. Usually, it’s not to your benefit to file married filing separately. For example, if he itemizes then you both have to itemize. I would go through a tax program and input your numbers all ways to see where you’ll get the biggest benefit before you send it in. 

    ETA: MFJ is no more complicated than two single tax returns.

    Post # 14
    Member
    1147 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    DH’s taxes are pretty complicated. We use an accountant/tax firm to take care of it all for us. I used to do turbo tax for myself but now we use DH’s people. I really enjoy just filling out our tax organizer and sending it in for them to take care of.

    Post # 15
    Member
    151 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    @MRSsrm85:  The rule is if you were married as of December 31, 2013 you must either file Married filing jointly or Married filing Seperately.  Its all about your status as of 12/31. 

    @Jilliebean1:  Turbo Tax is really easy – as long as you have straight forward income like W-2s from your employer.  If you have a lot going on, such as rental properties or business income and don’t feel confident doing it yourself, I would go to a professional.  But I think you can definitely handle it on your own! 

    I’m an accountant and think tax prep companies like to make you think you’ll mess up your taxes and miss out on refunds just so that you will pay them to do extra services, but the majority of people have pretty straightfoward returns that they could easily do themselves.  Good luck!  Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

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