How to Decide if You and Your Spouse Should File Separately or Jointly

If you have just gotten married or if your life circumstances have changed, you may be interested in choosing to file a joint return. If you are unsure of the most beneficial way to file, here are some of the factors which should figure in the decision-making process.JustMarriedPic

Filing Together

For most taxpayers, the benefits of filing together are much greater than those of filing separately. The standard deduction which a married couple can claim when filing taxes together is almost $13,000. There is also the earned income credit, educational credits, and dependent credits which can be claimed. Filing together offers you the ability for higher write-offs in most situations and gives you the best tax return outcome.

Filing Separately

There are a few rare instances in which a married couple may want to file separately. This can happen if the spouses have a significant difference in income and one can take advantage of deductions, such as medical deductions. If this is the case, you may consider submitting separate tax returns so that the spouse who paid for large medical bills can get the benefit of these without a higher income knocking the deduction down.

Ask an Accountant

If you are considering filing separately, you always want to consult an accountant. This will give you the knowledge that you need to decide if you want to file separately and the exact tax bill or credit you are looking for in either direction. Specialized knowledge can help you avoid costly slip-ups which could prevent valuable breaks on your taxes.

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johnAbout john
Seattle CPA+John Huddleston has written extensively on tax related subjects of interest to small business owners. He is a graduate of Washington State University and the University of Washington School of Law.

Huddleston Tax CPAs of Seattle & Bellevue
Certified Public Accountants Focused on Small Business

(800) 376-1785
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Huddleston Tax CPAs & accountants provide tax preparation, tax planning, business coaching, Quickbooks consulting, bookkeeping, payroll and business valuation services for small business. We serve Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Tacoma, Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Bothell, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Shoreline, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Renton, Tukwila, Federal Way, Burien, Seatac, Mercer Island, West Seattle, Auburn, Snohomish and Mukilteo. We have a few meeting locations. Call to meet John Huddleston, J.D., LL.M., CPA, Tawni Berg, CPA, Jennifer Zhou, CPA, Jessica Chisholm, CPA or Chuck McClure, CPA. Member WSCPA.