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Tag Archive for Married Filing Jointly

Choosing The Correct Filing Status – Married Filing Jointly (MFJ)

Marital status is decided based on a person’s marital status on December 31. If a couple is married on December 31 of the tax year; that couple may file a joint return for the year, regardless of when in the year they got married. Consequently, you can file Married Filing Jointly if you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests:

• You are married and living together as husband and wife, on the last day of the tax year.
• You are married on the last day of the tax year and living apart, but are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance.
• Your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during the year.
• You are living together in a common law union that is recognized by the state where you live, or in the state where the common law union began. Read more

Why Choosing Married Filing Jointly Might Not Be Your Best Option

Most married taxpayers automatically tend to choose the Married Filing Jointly filing status, because they enjoy being taxed at the lowest rate, and also because there are certain tax breaks they might not be entitled to if they were to file separate returns. This, however, might not always be a wise decision.

If you and your spouse each have income, it might be wise to figure your taxes both on a joint return and on separate returns, and then choose the filing status that gives you the lower combined tax. Generally, you will pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return, because the tax rate is higher for the MFS filing status. However, if both you and your spouse are high earners; and both of you also have large deductions, there may be a possibility that filing MFS could result in a lower tax bill, as Read more

The Concept of Being Married, But Considered Unmarried For Tax Purposes

The general rule for married taxpayers filing their tax returns is that they can only file Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) or Married Filing Separately (MFS). There is, however, a very important exception to this rule. If you are married and separated from your spouse, under tax law you may be considered unmarried if certain conditions are met. This means that you could qualify to use the Head Of Household filing status instead of MFS, and will not be subject to the disadvantages associated with the MFS filing status.

Under tax law, you can be considered unmarried if you meet all the following tests:

• Obviously, you must intend to file a separate return from your spouse.
• You must have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the tax year. Read more