No one ever said, “I feel closer to my spouse because we file taxes together.” Just the opposite – talking about money seems to ignite far more arguments than it puts out.
It’s a bit radical food for thought, but here are a few reasons why you might want to say “Sweetheart, let’s file separately this year.”
Much as you love your partner in crime, you don’t want to be handcuffed to their mistakes or oversights. Filing separately ensures that you aren’t shackled to your spouse’s tax evasion issues, and thus have to owe on their behalf. (If you’re already in this pickle, don’t hesitate to meet on TaxConnections – we help innocent spouses!)
You Might Just Come Out Ahead
Assuming your trust your partner’s tax-filing integrity, you still might want to file separately. If one of you makes a considerable amount more income than the other – and the other has potentially higher deductibles, it will likely behoove you to file separately.
Reasons to File Together
Filing together won’t bring you closer, but there are a few good reasons to do so: namely tax credits (aka, money that is offset for how much you owe) and deductions. Child and dependent care credits, student loan interest deductions, and earned income credits are only available to those who file together.
While it’s clear no one is going to be walking around saying “Joint filing for happy marriages,” it’s worth looking at why you file together, and consider all your options.
Original Post By: Barry Fowler
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