File Taxes Married Jointly or Separately – Which is Better?

Last Revised on February 7, 2012

Love Your Health Money Family & Relationship

A lot of new couples might not know, but as a married couple you have a choice to file tax jointly or separately.  Even though you are not considered single anymore, you can both file your taxes individually which is also known as married filing separately. We will explore pros and cons of filing jointly vs separately, and how to file as “single” even when you are married. Which filing status is better for you will depend upon your individual circumstances, as you will see after reading the reasons why.

Married Filing Taxes Separately versus Jointly

How do you file a tax return married filing separately? To prepare a tax return for a person who is married but wants to file separately from spouse, you have to choose the option “married filing separately” or MFS on box 3 of page one of tax form that you will use, either 1040 or 1040A. Only thing that will be different in the form than that of those individuals who aren’t married is that you will have to write your spouse’s name and social security number.

Advantages of filing taxes jointly and drawbacks of filing separately: generally speaking, when you are married, you are better off filing jointly or MFJ; this one of the reasons people want to get married on legal paper. The tax benefits include lower overall tax bill because it makes you eligible for many tax breaks that aren’t available for singles. To be eligible for this type of tax return your status should have been declared married to your spouse at least by the last day of the year, and both decide to sign the return together. If the husband and wife have kids, they can claim dependents in their taxes very easily when filing jointly.

However, when a married couple file separately, they have to coordinate which dependents one of them can claim and usually it will be based on with whom the dependent children spent the most time. Your exemption amount will nearly be less than half of what is allowed for joint tax filers. The amount that you get to exclude from income under an employer’s dependent care assistance program is limited to $2500, which is $5000 if a joint return is filed. This much amount of money makes your tax return type worth carefully taking a look at.

Advantages of filing taxes separately and drawback of filing jointly: Married filing separately (MFS) helps one partner in the marriage owes a lot of money back in tax return while the other person can potentially get a huge tax refund. It is also helpful to file separately if your spouse has complicated taxes, possibly lying or cheating the IRS, that could potentially result tax return getting audited in few years and you don’t want to get involved. Therefore, the main benefit of married filing separate taxes is separate tax liabilities for the spouse and you.

Why file married filing separately type of tax return and not jointly? There are many people who are not together; they will have hard time figuring out what type of tax return to file. It is then best to get divorce finalized as soon as possible so they could take advantage of filing as a single person. Married filing separately is however a different as we explained above; you are still married but filing separate from your spouse. Here are some of the top reasons why married couples file taxes separately: one wants to file tax, while the other one doesn’t; one is self-employed and runs complicated business, other doesn’t want to get into the problems; one spouse owes tax bill, other expecting a tax refund check; the couple wants to be responsible for their own taxes, and you two are separated but not divorced yet.

Who qualifies for to file married filing separate tax returns? There are some qualification requirements that you need to satisfy if you are married but decide to file taxes separately from your spouse. This means you cannot take earned income credit nor can you take the education credits such as Hope, Lifetime learning and American opportunity credit and other student deductions like loan interest, tuition and fees. You will not be able to take credit for child and other dependent care expense in most cases. As a married but separate filer, your new home buyer credit will be $4,000, which is $8,000 if filed jointly with your spouse. However the  tax credits may get reduced to what you would get if you do a joint return filing.

Therefore, as you see, if you are filing tax return married jointly together with your spouse, you may get better refund than filing returns separately or individually even though it is allowed by IRS. Also, even if you use the married filing separate status, you must enter your spouse’s name and Social Security number at the top of your 1040 form. An important tax tip for someone who is just learning the basics: always submit your tax return by April 15 to avoid penalty fees and incurring interest if you owe IRS any money. If however you have to amend your taxes, you have until mid October to file the tax, that’s the final last day.

Due to any disagreements between you and your spouse if you can’t file a joint tax return, then instead of filing married filing separate, you also have the option to file as Head of Household if you pay for more than half of the cost of maintaining the house and pay for child expenses.

PS: you cannot file as “single” if you are married; you can either file a joint tax or have an option to do “married filing separately status.” Usually, the joint returns are better options for many families and even for individual families, since it give you higher refund and IRS charges lower taxes. What I don’t know, however, is if you have complicated situation where a couple has a child together but they don’t really live together but at the same time not divorced either. One spouse makes more money than the other but the child lives with both; my understanding was that both cannot claim  the child as their dependent if both husband and wife are filing taxes separately.

As always, please feel free to leave suggestions, ask any questions for help or simply discuss the topic. We highly appreciate your involvement and input everyday. If find it helpful, please share it with your friends by using one of the buttons below.

130 Responses to “File Taxes Married Jointly or Separately – Which is Better?”

  1. File taxes single or married? Says:
    December 26th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    We are confused about our tax filing status. Is filing single better or married better? When a husband and wife lives together but one person makes a lot of money and the spouse doesn’t work but stays at home. We have child dependents who we can claim and have been doing that thus far every year. Our tax preparer we hired suggested that married filing separately might work out better for both of us and save on tax liability.

  2. Should we file our IRS taxes single or seperate? Says:
    December 28th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I recently got married in year 2010 to my longtime boyfriend, now how do we go about filing tax return. We weren’t married throughout that tax year, nor are we sure if there are any benefits if we file jointly or is there any disadvantages if filed separately at all. Here are some facts/things that tax software usually seem to care about: My husband worked the entire years making more money than me. We have child together to claim as dependents too.

  3. joint filing Says:
    January 4th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    My ex and I divorced 4/2010. Can we still file jointly?

  4. Allie Mcnaair Says:
    January 4th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    To the poster #4 above me, you are asking: Can you file jointly even if you are divorce and separate? The answer is no; you can only file jointly if the husband and wife are together and not divorced. The joint tax return can be filed only by married couples not when the marital status was divorce during the tax year.

  5. Sandy Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Hi.. I am on H1b Visa. I got married in Dec 2010 in india. Me and my wife came back to USA in Jan 2011. She is on H4(dependent). Can i file as married? or i have to file as a single?

  6. Tammy Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I have been seperated since 10/10 , I want to file my taxes seperately , there is 2 children involved, one his and one mine . I make sugnificantly less then him , would it be wise to file seprate

  7. Big John Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I owe the irs, im married with children. Can i file married filing seperate and claim a dependent? Would it affect the amount that my wife can get back? should she file head of household?

  8. Jay C Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I am in the military and married trying to file married filing jointly. How do I file if my wife is in another state than me? Do I add her state to the file because it only shows how much I get for taxes in the state I live in and does not show her state?

  9. Tanya Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    hi, please help me out with this question. my husband did not work in 2010, so he has nothing to file, he does however owe child support from a prior marriage. he was in the rear on child support for alot of years due to incarceration. he now pays, and has been paying for two years, however still owes a substantial amount. i want to make sure they dont take my return when i file for what he owes the state. if i file married filing seperately will they take my return because we are married? what should i do????

  10. Melissa Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    married but live in separate residences since june i have my two children from previous marriage. we were married in april 2010 and it became a hardship for him to live here with my children and dogs and that lead to arguments so he rented his own place. he has never used this address for any correspondence and all our finances were kept separate, he pays his i pay mine type deal how do i file.

  11. Melissa: more details Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    more info: also need to mention he will not tell me where this residence is, how much he makes or his ssn for tax purposes. and the actual date he moved into his rented apartment was about mid may.

  12. need advice Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    My ex wife and i were seperated since ’08 going thru a long divorce. In 2009 the court ordered me to re file taxes claiming my ex wife and her daughter who did not live with me the entire year to make the highest possible rebate so that she could have the money. Is this legal. How can i claim someone who i did not live with, especially my step daughter not only my ex wife.

    I am guessing it is legal, and even though your spouse and the daughter didn’t live with you, you two have completed the divorce process yet. Refile the tax is easy; you can also call the IRS for any help with that.

  13. confused Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I was married the entire year of 2010, however we were separated. Our divorce was finalized this month. Do I file single or married filed separately?

  14. Jen Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I left my husband in 2009, however haven’t divorced him, can we still file a joint return and take advantage of the tax credit’s you get as a married couple filing jointly. We have no children and would be a standard file.

  15. Need free help Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    if we are married and dont live together can we still file joint? What if I filed head of house hold ?

  16. Separate With Child Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I have been separate for a couple years.Our child live with me.Why cant I get child tax credit if I file married filing separately?

  17. Sweetie Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I remarried and I have two kids of my own and my new husband has one kid. What is the best thing to do? Claim my own kids and he his?

  18. question Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    If my husband and I are married and only 20 and I’ve only made about 8 thousand during the year 2010 and he’s only made about 18 thousand are we better off filling together or seperately. And he was laid off in november.

  19. married filing separaely Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    If I’m in the military and I’m married but my wife only worked for 2 weeks in January of 2010, is it better if I file separately or should I file jointly?

  20. filing separate after filing joint for several years Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    If my husband and I filed jointly for our 2009 taxes, do we have to file together for the 2010 tax year or can we file separate?

  21. cloudy Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I got married november 2010 but my husband is illegal so do i file jointly separate…? I didnt make much on 2010 so i was hoping to get the EIC Like last year but I read somewhere that if I file seperately I wont get it? So should I file married, single, separete…help!

  22. Crazymomma Says:
    February 10th, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Me and my husband are legally married but had been seperated for about 5 yrs and had been filing taxes on our own as Head of Household. After reading all this info it’s got me worried we’ve been getting credits we aren’t entitled to. If we start filing jointly again will this put us in serious trouble with the IRS? Please HELP!!!!

  23. Comfuzzled Says:
    February 11th, 2011 at 2:38 am

    My wife and I seperated last year at the end of july, her lawyer told her that we could file taxes jointly still since we lived together for the bulk of the year. She also told her that since I was the only income provider that this is the best solution (the wife hasn’t worked in years). She also stated that she (the wife) is to recieve a percentage, however my wife was unclear about the percentage, is there a way to tell what that was for myself so I don’t have to take her lawyers word for it? We live in virginia if that helps

  24. Divingle? Says:
    February 20th, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Divorced 38 years. Do I file Divorced or Single?
    I get tired of saying divorced when I never married again.

  25. Are these questions answered elsewhere or directly ? Says:
    February 21st, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Asking this as I do not see any published and was wanting to know if they get answered confidentially.

    Hi, we do both way. But most of the time the questions are answered by us or other knowledgeable users here under the comment box. If we don’t answer your question for many days, please ask again with new information and added details.

  26. Wells Says:
    February 22nd, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Divingle, your filing status is Single.
    Comfuzzled, your filing status is not married filing jointly though since you two are separated.
    Crazymomma, you can continue to file jointly as long as you both live together or share some financial and kid responsibilities since you are only separated not divorced.

  27. can i refile my tax from married filing seperatly to married filing jointly Says:
    February 27th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Me and my wife filed taxs returns, married filing seperatly. my wife has worked only 6 months. we would have benefitted if we have filed jointly.

    my question is can we refile the taxes again as married jointly. and cancel the existing filing.

    look forword to your answers.

    please help me out


  28. Athena Says:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I just recently got married, but have not gone to the SS office to change anything. I have 2 children of my own and one with my husband. I also, have my own business, and he owes in back taxes as well as child support. What would be my best option. Filing Seperate?

  29. kitty Says:
    March 8th, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    If me and spouse file jointly can they take out his back child support?

  30. Misty33 Says:
    March 11th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    My husband and I bought a house in May of 2010. We made the deadline for the first time homebuyers tax credit. He moved out in July and hasn’t paid anything since. We are trying to do our taxes and we want to know who can claim the house. Both of our names our on the mortgage. Please help!

  31. newlyweds Says:
    March 11th, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    when filing jointly as a married couple, do you get to check both the 6a and the 6b boxes?

  32. S & A Says:
    March 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    # can i refile my tax from married filing seperatly to married filing jointly Says:
    February 27th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Me and my wife filed taxs returns, married filing seperatly. my wife has worked only 6 months. we would have benefitted if we have filed jointly.

    my question is can we refile the taxes again as married jointly. and cancel the existing filing.

    Hi, it is very simple and easy. You have to use amendment form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040EZ, Form 1040NR, or Form 1040NR-EZ. There is an area in the front asking why you want to change, please follow instructions from there on. Thanks.

    look forword to your answers.

    please help me out


  33. Tax know Says:
    March 12th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Well, today is March 12, I am marriage but I decide to change my status, Can I still change my status to marriage filling separated before 1 months to tax deadline? also what could affect in my future divorce that I am plan for, if I filling separated? I need this answer so bad

  34. Tax know Says:
    March 12th, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I am marriage but I decide to change my status, Can I still change my status to marriage filling separated before 1 months to tax deadline? also what could affect in my future divorce that I am plan for, if I filling separated? I need this answer so bad
    Also, Do I have to filling any Form to change my status? should my husband do that either? Can the account do that for me? is there any deadline for filling the form?

    Yes, you can still change your filing status. And it shouldn’t affect your future divorcee; only thing is that once you are divorced, you won’t be able to file jointly or marriage filing filing separately, your filing status will change to single. Your husband can do that as well as the tax accountant. The last date to file tax is April 15.

  35. kimmy Says:
    March 14th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    i have been married for several years but dont live together with my husband now. we live separately for over five years and currently working on getting a divorce or a legal seperation and i dont.he is starting to sell off some of our big money items in order to get some of his debt paid off and he is not willing to give me anything or even give me some money to live on.i am on social security disability and will never be able to work if he sells these items now does he have to give me at least half of the money he will be making.i was working at a small job before we got married and all the way in our marriage before i became can i stop him from selling these household items so he can keep the money for himself,he made a comment to someone that knows both of us he said he would kill himself before he gave me anything at all.can someone help me soon before he takes everything away from me.i have to live at my dads house and then my son has to live with my brother i pay rent and also food but i dont want to live here forever cause my dad is very old and he still takes care of me financially because if he was not here i would not have a place to stay. the disability check i get from government barely pays the bills i have and i need spousal support so i can live and take care of myself and one last thing can i really get support even before he files for legal seperation or divorce.

    Hi, I am not a legal expert. But if I were you, i would seek a free legal counseling from one of a local county office. Also I think it is good idea to keep track of things that your husband is selling so that you can bring them up if the divorce and legal battle happens later on.

  36. greg Says:
    March 17th, 2011 at 6:28 am

    Hi, thanks for the article, very informative. However, my situation is a little different and did see anyone addressing bankruptcy:

    I had a bankruptcy in 2006 and got married to my wife in 2008. We have been filing separate since we got married. If we file jointly now will that bankruptcy affect her credit rating?
    Conversely, she has a lot of school debt. Will that school debt affect my credit into the future (once my bankruptcy is off my record) if we file jointly?

    Thanks for your help

  37. ashley Says:
    March 18th, 2011 at 12:52 am

    My husband and I getting divorce, but it is not finalized yet. He moved out and we haven’t even filed for divorce yet. He said we have to file joint return since we are still married legally and he said we will equally share the refund. But he paid me only 1/4 of the total federal tax refund. He didn’t give a reason or an explanation regarding how he came up with the amount he paid me. But I assume that it’s because I have lower income so that I paid lower taxes during the year.
    But the thing is, when we first got married, he kept filing as a single and he used to get a very small amount of refund. After we started to file jointly, the amount increased like from $500 to $8000 even though he paid same amount of tax during the year. I made the conclusion that he got that we received that amount just because we are married therefore we should have equal rights. However he is not listening to me.

    What should I do in this situation? Does anybody know how I can get the rest of the money that he didn’t give me? Any regulation regarding that?

    Thanks for the answers in advance…

  38. Marrioed filing separately Says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I am about to prepare my taxes – We have been waitng for Child Services to straightn out erroneous payment information on my husband’s 19 year old child support payments. Eventhough he has always paid, they are still investigating because they think he owes. Anyway, they have done nothing to progress the case and last year confiscated our return (but never gave it to his ex – WHAT?) Anyway, I don’t want to be in the middle of this and decided to file Married FIling Separate so that I can get my return. My question is where do I claim our 7 year old daughter? Do we claim her on both returns? Else, I want to claim her on mine to maximize my return in case they steal his again this year. We are scheduled to resolve this in June and am confident they will release the monies they’ve taken from us, but in the mean time I want to minimize the damage their innaction has caused to this point. So, again my question is, can I claim our 7 year old on my return and not my husband’s, or do I enter her on both returns?
    Thank you for your help on this.

  39. what should l do? ninh Says:
    April 8th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    My husband earn 4x of my salary. But I pay most of the tax as single without allowance. I know he pays very less amount of tax. We have a son live with us. We used to file tax together. As before I gave my husband my tax files 2 weeks ago. But today, he returned these files to me and said he want to file tax seperatedly. It’s only a week left and I never file tax before. How should I protect my benefit? Please give some suggestions.

  40. Living Apart Says:
    April 10th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    My husband and I split in 2004 and have not lived together since, but as I have no kids and we’d had separate bank accounts anyway, we did no legal paperwork except sign off rights to each others property & 401Ks. He does not pay me any support and now lives in another state. I’ve been filing tax as single in California since 2005 but now my new tax man says this was wrong as I’m not “legally” separated.
    My last tax man said if we never were together all year, then I could file single. Who’s right? Do I have to go back and pay all those extra taxes?

  41. question Says:
    April 10th, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    My husband moved out in Feb 2010. We have not filed divorce papers. He works. I stay home with kids. From what I understand we can still file married filing jointly. But I am confused about our kids. To qualify they must live with you for over half the year. They only lived with me. So can we still file jointly? Thnx so much!

  42. don't have ex-spouse ss# Says:
    April 12th, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    hi, my s-i-l was married in 2010 and is now trying to file her tax return as married filing separate. However, she is not in contact with her ex as this is an acrimonious divorce. She does not have his social security number. Is there a penalty for filing a married/separate return and leaving the spouse ss# blank?

    You don’t have much time left to finish your tax returns. Otherwise, I would have tried filing married separate and leaving the social security number empty, and see what IRS says. If you are not too much in a hurry, you may want to do that and if IRS denies your tax return then file with the forms that is either used for tax return amendment or correction of errors.

  43. really single Says:
    April 12th, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I have been separated from my husband since Sept. 08. I don’t even use his last name. Is there anyway around filing married but single? He has not and supported me in any way. I am missing out on a tax credit because I can’t afford to divorce him. He has had trouble with the I.R.S. since way before we got married. We only filed one tax return as we were together less then a year.I am disabled and worked 3 1/2 Months last year and My mom has to help me financially. It would be a waste of time to try to get him to pay any expenses as he was still paying back child support for his grown children. If I got this tax break I could get this divorce!!!! We reside in different states. I have a temporary order of protection from before we split up and we had a domestic abuse court appearance that states that he is ordered to stay away from me untill I move out of state. Would that be proof that we are not together? Just doesn’t seem fair that I just keep losing. We do not talk and I have no idea how he files and if he claims me. Thank you for your help.

    Unless your husband and you are divorced, you can’t state yourself as Single in the tax forms. All those proofs need to be brought out in the divorce court, IRS will only look at whether you are divorced or not to qualify you as single. On the other hand, married filing separate can work out really well in your situation.

  44. Hope Says:
    April 12th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hello, my husband did a bankruptcy. He makes less money than me. $10,000 less approx. We are in the process or getting divorced. Still leavinig in the same house and have not filled for divorce yet. We have one child. What is best for me, to file as a house hold, MFS, or jointly? Please answer soon…not too much time left. Thanks

    Married Filing Separately is best for you, in my opinion. This is safe as you will be getting divorced soon and will prevent confusion about tax returns, if anything comes up, in the future. Good luck.

  45. married filing joint Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 12:05 am

    when filing married filing joint-what if the other spouse does not file? what happens? right now I make the money and am supporting him full time so i am doing my own return. he on the other hand has a rather complex situation. he works for his dad and
    i believe he is being claimed for certain things. whether it be as a dependent, an employee etc. or what have you by his dad. i am trying to complete my tax return. thank you for your helps! i meant filing separate! sorry for the confusion!

    OK, so married filing separate is pretty easy in your case. You just have to file yours and done. And if your spouse is being claimed by someone, you can’t claim your spouse.

  46. married filing separate Says:
    April 17th, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Stressed by this every yr. Married 4 tax seasons. Husbands sis Is aaccountant. He trusts her with his money info and ssn. I’m awhole lot more private. I think she would gossip to other relatives. He thinks no bigdeal. I don’t want her to see what I make or to have any dealings in my Money Matters. I don’t like that my ssn is on his return for her to see. Ive always done my own taxes. want family UNity but privacy in money Matters also important. husband gets angry when I express my concerns each year. its my money my ssn- I should be the one to protect it.

    No doubt about it. You have a right to privacy. Besides, if you know how to file your tax properly as you have been doing it for years, why seek help from others.

  47. tiezo Says:
    April 22nd, 2011 at 8:46 am

    My parents filed separately, but in my college I was told they needed to file jointly so that they can process my file.

  48. gloria solivan Says:
    May 23rd, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    will ssi take my taxes is i file joint with my husband

  49. Terry Says:
    June 8th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    I am married seperated for 4 yrs nothing legal. I have been filing jointly with my husbands tax accountant. We have always had to pay and never got money back in these years.

    This year my husband owes 8.700. He made 100,000 I made 20,000. I am going through bankcrupcy have not a penny to do it. Late on my rent.

    We already filed what can I do anything and if I did file married seperate would I get any money back on earning 20,000. I have 2 girls that live with me & do not see him very much.

    Help Desperate!!! I need money for a bankcrupcy attorney and a divorice lawyer. This is the pitts!!! Not sure what to do first out of these 3 things either? Help!!

  50. ASJR Says:
    July 13th, 2011 at 7:43 am

    help! big question, my girlfriend filed taxes on 2010 with her ex boyfriend and now not that long ago she was adv that she was considered married and she is having my child. Is she truly considered married? would this cause any trouble with my child? taxes were filed on texas.

  51. butterflies Green Says:
    July 24th, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Hello, I’m married with a child. I make more money than my husband, plus he owes the irs. I need to know should i be filing married but withholding a single rate? and who should claim our child?

  52. god blessings Says:
    July 26th, 2011 at 7:20 am

    me and my spouse owes irs payments and now we are seperated can we get the bill split in half.

    Why not talk between the two and decide? IRS won’t really care as long as you two agree.

  53. Marlie Says:
    August 6th, 2011 at 1:38 am

    What an awesome way to explain this-now I know eveyrtinhg!

  54. Married - Not Disclosing All Income to Spouse - ? Says:
    August 14th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I am married and a stay-at-home mother of three – one of whom has special need and requires a lot of extra care. This year, I was able to secure an income that my husband does not (yet) know about. He is always so uptight about anything I spend, and tends to say “no” to purchasing things that do not benefit him personally. Therefore, it has been wonderful to have some financial breathing room this year. I have assumed that for tax purposes, I will need to tell my husband about this extra income before filing our taxes. Now I am wondering if I really do have to tell him about it. Is there any way that we can file Jointly in February (our usual pattern) and then for me to file Separately and privately (as an amendment?) before April 15 that deals just with my income for the year… WITHOUT involving my husband or telling him about it?

    Yes. Tax amendment is the best option in your case, as long as your husband won’t find about it later. On a side note, you can amend your tax even after the regular tax filing due date of April 15. But it is better if you can do that before since IRS may find out about that extra income and reject the one you two filed initially. Good luck.

    PS. Tax Amendment Deadlines – Filing Deadlines for Amended Tax Returns are as follows: 3 years from date of original return OR 2 years from date tax was paid, whichever is later, to claim tax refund.

  55. Crazy in Debt Says:
    August 16th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I am married but want to file seperate because I have this astronomical student loan and my payment are base on our tax return. However, if I do this then I’m not eligible for student loan interest credit, daycare credit, earned income credit etc… I dont understand you try to do things “by the book, the right way” but get screwed. We are better off financially getting a divorce at this point. Does anyone have any suggestions.

    I wonder why you won’t be eligible for student loan interest and other credits if you file separately.

  56. Katie Says:
    August 18th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    I am getting married next month to someone in the Military, I am a little confused on whether we should file together separate. I was told it could be better to file jointly, but at the same time, he will be deployed during tax season. WE also both have significant student loans ( I am in my grace period now, while he is paying back) What would be better for our situation?

    Jointly sounds better like others are saying.

  57. married by common law Says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I am married by common law. I have been living with my husband for 10 years and have two children. We refer to each other as husband and wife and I use his last name. My husband is self employed and I work part time. I am trying to go back to college and apply for financial aid/pell grant. What is the best way to file taxes?

    If looked solely from financial aid for college point of view, filing separate is better. Whereas, overall generally speaking, filing together with your husband will be the best way for him/family if he brings him more than you.

  58. Looking for best option Says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    I’m married but live separte from my spouse because I need to care for my Mother. She’s not in good health and since my father passed away her SS check no longer covers her living expenses therefore in addition to caring for her personally I also need to cover a majority of her expenses. I am 53 and just lost my job so I will need to take a early withdrawal from my 401K to pay off a large amount of debt (none of which belongs to my husband)because unemployment benefits will not cover much of anything. I understand that I will have fines for taking an early withdrawal however I have no other option at this point. What is the best way for me to file and what happens if I don’t have enough money to cover the taxes come April 15th.

    I suggest trying to file both ways first and see which one seems more beneficial before submitting to IRS. If you and your husband have a good financial give and take sharing relationship including him helping paying off your debt, then it might be more beneficial to file jointly because you didn’t make enough income due to unemployment and thus it will compensate when you and you and your husband file the tax together. On the other hand, if you two keep financial matters separate (and it’s not a bad thing to do) and he doesn’t contribute to caring for your mother, you might be better off filing separately.

  59. Married - Not Disclosing All Income to Spouse - ? Says:
    August 20th, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you very much for the reply to my question (#55)!

  60. Kelly B Says:
    August 23rd, 2011 at 10:41 am

    My fiance owes back taxes to the IRS and is doing nothing about fixing this problem. If I marry him and file married filing separately, can the IRS come after 1) my refund 2) my 401K 3) will this make it easier for them to come after him since I will have to put his SSN on my return?

    My wedding day is supposed to be 10/19/11 so I would really appreciate a quick response if possible.


    I believe married but filing separately status is a very safe route for you. Although law and tax rules change, but it is very unlikely they will take go after you for your husband’s back taxes unless you financially benefited from it.

  61. lisa Says:
    August 23rd, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I have went to the same tax prpare r many years he told me and my husband we have to file our taxes seprated because we made to much know we owns the irs can some one send us into the right tax people tohelpus

  62. Need FACTS... Says:
    August 29th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I’m married. I have the only income in the household. I have 2 dependents I claim on my taxes. I had a tax preparer do my taxes for me and I filed HOH. I’m told my dependents won’t qualify for student loans unless I complete a 1040X and file MJ or MS. I don’t know what to do. I guess I will file MS since my spouse owes back child support and student loans, but I’m concerend that it will put me in serious debt or I will get penalized for using the wrong filing status. When I filed, we were not maintianing the same household. What should I do?

  63. Marie Chantal Says:
    August 30th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Please reply to my e-mail

    My husband and I we used to file our taxes as head of house hold each for the past three years, if we decided to filed jointly next year are we going to pay back this money back to the government?

  64. Mama Shan Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    It has just come to my attention my husband of 18 years for the last four or five years has filed head of household. Not only did he file head of household but he did not claim me. I am a housewife. Can he claim head of household without putting me on the tax return. He has done that and kept the refund since my name was not on it. Please advise.

  65. Recently married with spouse on Social Security Disability Says:
    September 7th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I am recently married and my spouse is on Social Secutrity Disability. She only makes $12,000\year. Do I file jointly? Do I put her disability income on the return? Can I claim her as a dependent as I pay more than half the living expenses?

    Yes dependent claim may be a better option for you two if you make far more than her.

  66. Separated after 5 months Says:
    September 12th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Married in Feb 2011, Got separated in July 2011. We have no children. My wife was on H-4 visa, she did not work. She has returned to India. We dont have a divorce yet. Do I file next year using the status “married filing separate” or “head of household”? My wife does not have a SSN or Tax Payer Identification Number. Please advise.

    I think the head of household filing status might be better because (if everything goes well) you will get higher refund. If you efile it might not let you finish the tax filing thru the end because your wife doesn’t have a social security number; so maybe filing taxes the old ways with paper and pen might work better although there is no guarantee.

  67. getting married while behind on child support Says:
    September 12th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    My fiance & I were wondering how do we get married without her having to deal with my child support issues? She & I have a son together who is now 21yrs of age, but I still owe backpay. Is there any way that she can be exempt from having money deducted from here paychecks & income tax returns?

  68. Soon to be married and fiancee owes back child support Says:
    September 13th, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Me and my fiancée will be getting married before the end of the year. He owes back child support and I don’t want them taking any of my tax money to give to his kids mother. How should I file so they do not take my money or is it unavoidable?

    File it separately. Your tax papers will be simple whereas his will be bit complicated until the child support thing is completed.

  69. Tania Says:
    September 15th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    please help me out with this question. my husband did not work in 2010, so he has nothing to file, he does however owe child support from a prior marriage. he was in the rear on child support for alot of years due to incarceration and no job. he still owes a substantial amount. i want to make sure they dont take my return when i file for what he owes the state. if i file married filing seperately will they take my return because we are married? what should i do????

  70. married or sepreats? Says:
    September 15th, 2011 at 10:47 am

    hello my fiancee and i are getting married this year 2011 we have no children and we both make around 38,000 we have our home t claim but i dont know if i would have to pay since we have no dependents except for our home? should i file seperate or together please help!!!

  71. patricia Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 6:32 am

    i recently married for the second time. i understand there are benefits to filing together. however i am a full time student this time and i am not sure which will be better as far as getting any help for student loans or grants. after reading this i wonder if when i do finish college if we file together are will we be unable to deduct interest from loans if we file jointly? maybe you could give me a little more insite with the education in mind? thank you for your time, i appreciate it.

  72. Mark Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    We are legal married and still living together,my wife filed income tax head of household and got EIC ,either I filed single,do I have penalty?

  73. kerri Says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I have been fileing jointly for the past few years
    and have issues with my husband every tax time with the returns, I contribute 60 to 75 % of the household finances,three kids, (6,13,&20( in college)and a grand child,and I am also in school full time. most of the money disappears before The children can benifit and we argue every single year about using the money constructively. I want to buy a house next year and truely feel that filing separately with one of the children and my grandson I can put the money to better use. Am I allowed to do that and what are the pros and cons? very desparate.

    This is a very unique situation because both of you are not divorce nor are you two living separately but wondering if you two could claim one or two kids individually. I really think this one would work as long as both you and your husband don’t claim the same kids during the same tax year. Make sure to keep good records of expenses for the kids. Good luck.

  74. Beth Says:
    September 25th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    When is it too late to start filing separately. I’ve been married since 2006 and my husband is 1099 and I’m sick of paying taxes every year. So not only do I pay my regular taxes from my job but stuck paying monthly payments to pay off taxes. I want to file separately this year so he can start handling his tax issues.

  75. Angela Says:
    September 28th, 2011 at 6:53 am

    I have 2 children from a previous relationship and I just got married and had a baby with my new husband. Should we file separate or joint? I have always claimed my 2 from the previous relationship. Can my new husband file married filing separate claiming our new baby and i file married filing separate claiming my 2 from the previous? I need an answer please email me… THANK YOU

  76. tax Says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    My husband has not worked at all this year should I file my tax separate or joint. Can I claim him as a dependant he does not receive any government allowance

  77. Perplexed Says:
    October 5th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    My husband and I are trying to get custody of his daughter from a previous marriage. In doing so, their custody agreement needs to be amended. TN mandates he give a copy of his tax return to her. We currently file jointly since it benefits us significantly (I bought a house prior to our marriage which we claim as a loss since the rental income is lower than my mortgage and his income is close to 80k.). She does not work and claims his daughter every year so her tax return is pretty straight forward. My concern is that my SSN, income, and assets are on our return. If i refuse, his ex can take him to court. Should I consider filing married but separate, even though it will hurt my husband?

  78. Tax Confused Says:
    October 7th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I am married and only worked a few times this year. I also started receiving unemployment in Feb. I was not aware until now that no taxes were being taken out of my unemployment checks. Can I file Married filing seperate? I have never filed with my husband and I dont want him to be charged for the income I have been receiving, if I need to pay back. If we file together, would he get any tax credit for me or it would be based on our incomes even with unemployment. We do have a daughter that we will be claiming this year also. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

  79. Margaret Says:
    October 9th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    My husband and I got married last year, but we haven’t resolved our permanent residence,yet. Can we still file jointly living at two separate residences? If not how should we file?

    You and your husband do not have to have the same primary residence – you may live separately based on your specific circumstances. Residency for Married Filing Jointly couple is based on the residency of the person who is listed first on the tax return. Most tax preparation software allow to compare MFJ vs MFS options. For federal purposes, it won’t matter where you or your wife live, you can file married filing jointly. For state purposes, you can do the same, however, one of you will be a resident of that state and the other a non-resident. Your income will need to be allocated to the state of residence.

  80. Curious Says:
    October 13th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I am married for over year now, My son has been put in state custody and is in treatment center out of state 9 hours away. With the traveling to reunify the family i have not been able to pay child support or student loans, I have no income, awaiting disablity. My question is how would be the best way to file so they do not take my husbands refund (if he gets one) Do i even have to file. Can he file married filing single, or does my ssn have to go on there? Please let me know

  81. Pros vs Cons Says:
    October 18th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    To me it is still confusing to weigh the difference and pros versus cons of filing tax joint or separate. Yeah, jointly usually results in a lower tax than filing separately but there are times when significant disparity in income can make file separately better due to more benefits.

  82. SGBME Says:
    October 19th, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I’ve been filing Single but I am married. But forms asks for spouse SSN. She’s incarcerated and we have no talk whatsoever. Is there a law that would allow me to continue to file single or how would I go about getting her SSN without having to talk to her? I’m planning on divorcing her but I need her information now or another way to get around it.

  83. freakinout Says:
    October 24th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am 39 disabled and one child. I have been on SSdisability for 10 years, do not need to file taxes. My childs father and I are getting married next month. So, tax time we will be trying to figure taxes out. My soon to be husband owes back taxes to IRS. DO WE FILE SEPARATELY? Do I even have to start filing just because I’m married? Help please.

    Since your social security disability is not taxable, and thus you don’t need to file. This situation doesn’t change even if your status change to married. But it might be worth looking into if your husband can claim you as dependent when doing his 2011 tax return. Also, since you won’t be filing taxes, filing jointly sounds like a good idea. It doesn’t make good sense to file separately in your case.

  84. confusedinms Says:
    November 11th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    i will be getting married in 2012.He owns his home in one state and he works on the pipelines in another state and comes home on the weekends. i just got a promotion, moved two hours away, rent a apartment and go home on the weekends im off. can we both file married but seperate and both head of household for the two different households?? i have a child that lives with me also. soooo confused

  85. mommyof2 Says:
    November 16th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I keep seeing so many divorce stories :( sorry to all! My question is, I have a child from a previous relationship and got married in 2011 and had a child. I gross about $11k more than my husband (but the take home is aweful after insurance and taxes!!) My question is, would it be better for us to file married seperate, and me claim the kiddos, or us file married joint. neither owe, I have always gotten the majority of my return back as a single parent, and just want to make sure we maximize the potential of our return. Thanks :)

  86. how do i file Says:
    November 30th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I am married to a marine but we live in two different states and i have two kids should i file married separate married joint or am i able to file head of house hold being that i wirk pay bills and have kids with me? On another note will i get in trouble uf i file single? I need to get as much back as i can. Thanks hope to hear an answer soon

  87. how do i file Says:
    November 30th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Oh and another thing i make way less than he does and scared i wont receive the most back on earned income and child tax credit by my self but if we claim together we might make too muxh to gwt eic

  88. ToJointOrNotToJoint Says:
    December 21st, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    My wife and I have been married for 5 years and have always filed ‘MFJ’. We purchased our first house in 2010 and took the $8,000 mortgage tax credit. Can we file ‘MFS’ for 2011 if we took the credit in 2010?

  89. Joint or separate Says:
    December 25th, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Im married for about 3 years now, my wife doesnt work but cash, she pays taxes every 3 months and im the only one that have a steady job we have two kids i was thinking if we can file taxes separate? Even that we live separate now from each other and can i change my w2 form address if i want ?

    you can file separately and ask your employer to change address or any information on w2 forms.

  90. oweadebt Says:
    January 2nd, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Last 2 years My Husband and I have filed married jointly . I have outstanding medical bills prior to our marriage. Last year I was told that the company I owe can and will keep all of our state return until the bill is paid. They will not honor/ accept the legal tax document that allows my husband his portion of our state return refund ( Oklahoma) We dont owe federal or state taxes. My question . Can this company really do this? should we file married seperately. I am disable and received SS. My husband income is our main income and we have guardianship over 2 grandchildren who are our dependents. I dont understand how a married person can file head of the household as it is mentioned in the above article?

    you can file as head of the household if your income supports more than half of the family members (dependents or independent needs). by definition head of household can be married or unmarried indivdual, just has to be responsible for most of thr financial needs of the othe individuals in the family. regarding, what is best filing status for you, i still think filing jointly is best. but then if taken into consideration what they told you about refund garnishments, if it is true, maybe you and your spouse should consider file taxes separately. it seem to depend upon state laws.

  91. jenitza Says:
    January 3rd, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    ive been separated from my husband for a year and 4 months. we have a 3 yr old who lives with me and my parents. can he legally file taxes for my daughter when he doesnt support her at all?

  92. mightyloulou Says:
    January 4th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I made around 5200 last year, my husband made 240,000. He does not want to pay me taxes. I had no taxes taken out since I didn’t make enough. He says I must pay the taxes which amount to around 900 because he makes so much. Can I file seperately and pay nothing. Will he still pay more???? Thanks

  93. Needing to know.. Says:
    January 7th, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    My question is I am leaving my husband in one week. I lived with him all of 2010 and we have 2 children. He is going to be 1099 and I will have a w-2 from my job which I have only worked at since September. Since I will not be living with him and our children will be living with me can I file MFS and get earned income for the kids since we wont be living together even though we wont be divorced yet? Need help on how to file this year…Dont want no trouble.

  94. confusedkchtwd Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    i just got married a month ago. my husband gets ssi benefits. we have not reported it to social security yet. we have been living together for 2 yrs. i know that it will affect his ssi benefits because we are married now. i work and when i file taxes, will we get in trouble for not reporting to social security? can i claim him as a dependent?

  95. dependant claim Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    my commonlaw husband and i have been living together for 15 years.i’ve been disabled for the last six years and he has never claimed me on his taxes. he definately pays more than 50% of the living costs. can he claim me as a dependant or can he claim married. if so do we have to file jointly? also can he do anything about the last5 years of not claiming me?

  96. No longer single mom in NJ Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I was married in March of 2011. My employer did not change my filing status or my name on my pay stubs until recently. My status has always been head of household with 1 dependent child. Since I am now married and we both work full time jobs, I make 50,000 a year and he makes 48,000 how should we file to maximize return? My child is 17 and not his, nor have I ever been married previously. Any help would be appreciated, thank you in advance. Good luck to all and my the audits be few and far between!!

  97. Just married and My husband owes money to school Says:
    January 19th, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Can they take our tax money and if so how much what should we do File separate or together?

  98. dependant claim Says:
    January 19th, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    i had some questions i needed answered. they can be seen at number 95 written on jan 9th. i would really appreciate it if i could have some answers soon as we want to file our taxes. i realize you have many others to answer and i will wait for as long as possible. thank you so much.

  99. filing hoh when married Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 4:37 am

    i just got married 2 years ago and to find out recently my wife owes in child support. i wanted to know is there any way i would get audited if i claim my child and my wifes child with a different last name while filing head of houshold? i dont want them to take her child support out of my tax return and i cant claim dependants filing seperate.

    i think it will depend on whether child support owed by your spouse and your claim of head of household falls in the same tax year or not.

  100. Married filing seperately Says:
    January 26th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Ive been married 6yrs my husband is in military and we have been filing jointly. i want to know if I can file married filing seperately if I only made $6200 last year? He owes the Irs $750. Could I file for head of household? Hes been getting the tax return check and spending it for his own benefit. Will i get anything back we have 2 kids.

    You can file for married filing separately and claim your kids if you took care of most of their expenses. However, I am sorry to say that I don’t think you qualify to file tax as Head of Household because IRS requires the tax filer to meet all the following three requirements to claim one as head of their household: 1. unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the tax year you are filing for. 2. You paid for more than half the cost of keeping the home running for that year. 3. a “qualifying person” such as your kids lived with you in the home for more than half of the year. If that qualifying person is your parent who is now dependent on you, he or she however doesn’t have to live with you. In you case, it seems you meet the second and third criteria but miss the first criteria; you have to meet all the criteria unfortunately.

    For those who are just new or curious, one great benefit of being able to file as head of household is that your tax rate will be lower than if you would have filed as single or filing status was married filing separately.

  101. jor Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I made my tax return wlth my wife filing joint,and we are going to recive money,we put my wife bank account for the deposit,now she dont want to give nothing of the money,what can i do in order she pays me????

  102. ron Says:
    February 5th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    i would like to know i work for a whole year and i pay child support and iam single head of my house .would i claim my self and my two kids as dependent and get money beck

  103. Spouse filed Married but separate Says:
    February 6th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    My ex husband and I were married for 23 years, and separated on November 26, 2010. We both worked. He went and filed immediately in January of 2011 married but filing separate and claimed both of our children. Because of this, I obviously also had to file married but separate, and that filing status did not allow me to claim the educational credits for myself or my daughter. Now I owe more than 3300 dollars in taxes, and I did not file because I can not pay the tax bill. Can I force him to file an amended return?

  104. CONFUESD Says:
    February 6th, 2012 at 8:00 pm


  105. Mickey Says:
    February 9th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years, we have 2 small children under 8 years old. I have been a stay at home mom and homemaker for the last 5 years, before that I worked and payed taxes. My husband recently went and filed his taxes and filed married filing joint. I was not present when the filing took place. My question is do I have any rights to any of the refund monies? He withdrew all monies from our account in which we were refunded. I know for a fact that the refund was issued to both of us? Please help me out with a good answer…Thanks

  106. Married filing seperate or jointly Says:
    February 9th, 2012 at 7:41 pm


    My husband and I were married July 2011. He is divorced with two children. He pays child support. In June 2011, he was contacted by attorney general and he owes 30,000 back child support. He or his ex wife realized this back in 2007(temp order). So he is paying it. But it’s back child support.
    I also bought a house December 30,2011.

    We wanted to file married filing separate due to the money owed. I have nothing to do with the support of his kids or the debt he had before me, right?

    How should we file???

    Any information or advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

  107. lisa Says:
    February 13th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    my husband and i would like to file a joint return but we where told that his child support his ex could ask for a modification for an increase because of our joint tax return. so instead of his child support being base on 50,000 it would be based on 120,000. is this true?

  108. Married but wife has never been in the states Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    My wife and I got married in 2011 outside the country, and I know the marriage is recognized in the states. She has never been here, so she does not have a SSN or Tax ID. How should I file my tax? Separately or Jointly? There are obvious benefits for filing jointly, but is it legal or possible? Thank you in advance.

    If the US law gives recognition to that marriage, then you have options to file either married filing jointly or married filing separately. Since joint filing may provide better tax benefits for you considering your income of your spouse is lower, I think you should go for it if you two are willing to put some effort:

    - Because your wife doesn’t have a social security number, she will need to apply for ITIN – individual taxpayer identification number. Address is: Internal Revenue Service, ITIN Operation, P.O. Box 149342, Austin, TX 78714-9342.
    - Fill out W7 form. Form W-7 will need to be sent along with proof of ID.
    - If your spouse worked in her native country and paid taxes there, you can fill Form 1116 and attach it to your tax return to get credit for taxes paid in a foreign country. This one seems to make things bit complicated. So it would be nice if she didn’t work or there is no prove that she worked in her country at all.

  109. picklo Says:
    February 19th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    my bf for 7 yrs has child support from previous relationships.. we have a kid together if he files his taxes and claims our son and me as a non realated dependant.. will domestics take his return from taxes..

  110. I am married, separated and disabled Says:
    February 20th, 2012 at 5:20 am

    I have been separated from my husband for 11 months and have been receiving SS disability and food stamps since May. My husband pays my rent, insurance and electricity.I pay my other expenses from my monthly disabilty check and barely get by after I pay 220.00 for my medicines (that’s the deductible for 11 meds) My husband lives with his mother. How do we file our taxes this year? I’m sorry if I am confusing you but, I am really clueless at this point. Thank you for any advise you can give me.

    I think Married filing separately is a better option. Good luck and take care.

  111. Married late 2010 husband hasn't filed 2010 taxes Says:
    February 23rd, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I was married 12-15-2010. Filed married separate because husband had not filed 2010 taxes yet. Now he has not worked at all for 2011 and I’m not sure he really filed 2010 taxes yet. Can I file married joint and if he hasn’t filed 2010 taxes apply for innocent spouse relief at a later date if the IRS comes after me? Our divorce will be final before April this year.

    If you are going to get divorce, it may make it easier to file separately right now. But yes, you can certainly file joint; and if IRS audit you guys for some reason or you find an error, you can amend your taxes at later time.

  112. toy Says:
    February 24th, 2012 at 5:57 am

    If me n my boyfriend was to get married n he owe in student loans will they take my taxes?… N how should I file?

    You have an option to file separately if you want.

  113. bambi Says:
    March 1st, 2012 at 11:34 am

    My fiance and I are planning on getting married later this year. I just recently found out that my refund was taken because of student loan debt. How will this affect us in the future? Will he be penalized as well on taxes? How should will file? Please help never expected this to happen. If we get married is he responsible for this debt?

    It all depends on whether you and your fiance were married during that tax year. You can certainly file separately until both of you have paid off all the debts so that the other person doesn’t get tangled into a debt that the other person was responsible for.

  114. Ohio Says:
    March 10th, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Married Filing separate
    In Ohio there is only a single column in the tax table. The higher up the column the higher the percentage. Example: Ohio AGI of 20,000 = 348 in tax. 2 people with 20,000 pay 2x 348= 696 in tax. Versus 40,000 AGI being 1050 in tax. This is simplified and there is a credit that is lost but for me it has been a few hundred dollars difference taking into account federal and state together married joint and married separate. For many years now.

  115. Married filing separate California Says:
    March 14th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Wife did our married filing separate on turbo tax for years. Now she was incarcerated in fall of 2011 and wants to continue to file married filing separate. How do we file given I have one w2, she has unemployment income, we each have half of the state refund, I have two 1099Rs and she has one 1099R, I have one 1099SSA. Do we consider our income as community property while we were living together as a couple and separate property while she is in prison? What do we do with our deductions and withholdings for Federal and State taxes on our income?

  116. confused Says:
    March 20th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    i got married in oct 2011 but did not recieve my social security and my husband wanted to go ahead and do his taxes in january. the thing is he claimed someone cousin and their child as his dependents and now he dont want to amend since he is being feared of being audited by federal. what should i do? we need to get this done since my appointment for the interview to get my greencard is soon.

    I am not sure how the immigration and the greencard interview works, so it is hard to answer your question. However, gerenally speaking tax amend in itself doesn’t cause redflag at the IRS office to cause an audit. As long as the child is claimed dependent because he fits under the definition of the dependent and is not claimed by anyone else, I don’t see why amending the taxes won’t work. Also, since you didn’t receive your ssn yet, and if you don’t know when it would be for sure, why not just go ahead and let it be the way your husband wants. At the interview, you can explain taxes were filed before the social security card arrived. Good luck.

  117. Says:
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    My son received scholarship prior to getting married. I also owed taxes to the IRS. In order to qualify for scholarship, would it be wise to file married filing separated. Will his income be included in making a decision to grant my son a scholarship?

  118. Filing Status Says:
    April 4th, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Hi, I am on H1B Status throughout 2011 and stayed alone in USA. Myw ife wasn’t with me throughout 2011. Shall I file as MFJ or Single ?

  119. SSI Benefits taxed? Says:
    April 6th, 2012 at 7:48 am

    My wife is on SSI Disability and I filed Married Filing Seperate. Now the IRS has sent me a change notice claiming that I did not enter her SSI and I owe more than $3,000 . It was my understanding that SSI is not taxable, and by me filing MFS that I would not be responseable for her income while on SSI.

    Hi, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not taxable because people get this benefits have very low income, if any, to start with. I wonder if you are getting taxed because you filed for SSI but in reality you were eligible to file only the Social Security Disablity benefits. Sometimes the social security benefits are taxed when you are making a good income and falls into the following categories:
    If you file a federal tax return as an “individual” and your income is more than $25,000, you have to pay taxes.
    If you file a joint return, you may have to pay taxes if you and your spouse have a combined income that is more than $32,000.
    If you are married and file a separate return, you will probably pay taxes on your benefits.

  120. Allocation to Spouse Amount Says:
    April 6th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    My husband and I got married in March 2011 and we are filing separately due to the student loan IBR plan. We live in California. I’m very confused about the calculation of community income and how to allocate income to each spouse. Should we include the amount of salary we earned during the first 3 months in 2011 as community income? In IRS publication 555 there is a Table 2. Allocation Worksheet. For example, if our total income for the year is $120,000 (we make $80,000 and $40,000 each for the year), is allocation to spouse #1 & #2 $60,000 or $45,000 each? Thanks for any response!

  121. how to file....debbie Says:
    April 14th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I have been separated for over 1 1/2 years and have had my daughter live with me in a apt, we are not legally separated, but in texas you do not file for separation, or so i am informed. I have lived in my home for the first 4 month then in an apt, living off what i make and supporting my daughter, and my son has lived with both me and my estrange spouse. I am needing to know if I should file separate, my spouse has paid for house taxes and has in larger income with extra income from stocks that he takes from it as he needs, and repays taxes on this at the end of the year. I am concerned on how to file and would it save me or hinder me to file separately, as he usually has to pay each year on taxes. I make around 40,000, he makes about 65+. Would i be able to claim one child as a dependent? I am now in my home and responsible for all debts, taxes for this year, but was just partially in the home alone from 11-2010 to 3-2011, with both children and no child support but we filed jointly, probably should of filed separate then. Please let me know how is best, asap as the deadline is soon and he wants to file jointly…thanks

    I am by no means a tax expert, and especially your case is bit complicated for me as you didn’t really live at the house for more than half of the financial year and not legally separated yet. However, as you said you had your daughter throughout that year (and son too) living with you, filing separate sounds tempting to me since you didn’t receive child support from ex husband either.

  122. Technoqueen, wife retired, husband still working Says:
    April 15th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    For 2011, I retired in June and started getting a teacher pension, and then in Sept. started getting SS. My husband is still working. When I figured my taxes first, with our deductions, I was due about $3,000, but when I added his income, we now owe about $4,000. It seems we might be better off filing separately. If you file separately, how do you split the deductions for real estate taxes, interest, etc. ? Thanks for any help you can provide.

  123. confused Says:
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I have been living with my fiancee for 3 years. I have two children from a previous marriage (17, 19) and my fiancee has a 15 year old daughter. One of my sons lives on campus and the younger lives with his mother.

    My fiancee, her daughter and I live in my house (title in my name) and we file taxes separately. I have been self-employed or ‘underemployed’ for a year and just got a new job. Our combined gross incomes will be about $100k for 2012 and about $183k ($115k for me and hers $68k projected) for 2013. Is it better to get married and file jointly or separately?


  124. anika Says:
    September 24th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    My Husband and I got married just in April; however 2 yrs. ago (when we weren’t married) he filed as “married” unknown to me until the IRS took some of my return for that year b/c I of course being honest filed “unmarried/single”.
    Also; he has been unemployed for 99% of 2012 w/some unemployment checks – he also hasn’t filed taxes prior to the year (or multiple years I’m not sure) he incorrectly stated we were married, so I would assume he owes taxes.
    What I’m getting at is should I file “separtely” for 2012? Or Married? Sad to say my income is only going to be about $19-$21K for the year – (we have one child as well); which way would we get more money back? I really don’t want to be involved with having his back taxes taken out of my return or be intertwined with his issues either. Thanks in advance for any advice and/or suggestions. :)

  125. SUSAN Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Hi my husband has his own business this year
    well from march, so how do we file as a married couple . i have my own taxes to
    and can claim an education amount for my
    son who is at university
    we live in canada .alberta

  126. need to know Says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    how can i confirm if my tax expert truely use my two kids as my dependent for my filing

  127. seyi isola Says:
    February 1st, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    how can i confirm or know or confirm if my tax prepareer or expert or professional truely
    use my two kids as my dependent for my

  128. need direction Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I’ve been filing single, but I am married. I would like to change statist to married filing separate. What can I do to correct this and will I have to pay back taxes from previous years?

  129. not a real tax expert Says:
    July 16th, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t think it matters if you are talking about filing with a different status for a different tax season. However, if you are talking about amending the past tax files, then know that married couples can change their mind and switch from two separate returns to a single joint return within three years from the due date of the original tax return, without extensions. But if they want to switch from a joint return to two separate returns for each couple, then they should do so by the April 15th deadline promptly.

  130. Jennifer Says:
    April 1st, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    My husband and I were married in Sept of 2013. He went a filed his taxes as married filing seperate. We then found out that we should have filed a joint return. Do I need to file my own seperate taxes and then have both ammended? Or, can I simply file a 1040X to include my information with his?

Any Comments, Solutions, Questions, Reviews or Feedbacks You Have