Tips for Filing Taxes When Married

The IRS does n’t require that married couples file joint income tax returns merely because they ‘ve tied the knot. Spouses have the choice of filing separate married returns, which some do, for a variety of reasons .

Filing jointly normally provides more in the room of tax respite, but it can come with some negative results equally well. Considering respective factors can help you determine which option is proper for you and your spouse .

Key Takeaways

  • If you are married on December 31, you can file a joint tax return for the entire year.
  • Both spouses are liable for all taxes due and any errors in a joint return.
  • The standard deduction is lower and other breaks aren’t available if you file separate returns.
  • A widow or widower can file a joint return in the year their spouse dies.

Married Filing jointly

You and your spouse are eligible to file a roast tax return if you ‘re considered to be legally married on December 31, the last day of the tax year. You can file a joint 2021 render in 2022 if you were legally married on Dec. 31, 2021 .

You ‘ll be entitled to a larger standard deduction if you file jointly with your spouse, and the tax brackets for this condition are besides more generous. marry taxpayers who file separate returns are barred from claiming certain tax breaks. even, they ‘re only liable for the accuracy of the information on their own returns and for paying any tax due on their own break returns .

Rules for Filing a joint return

” legally married ” is the authoritative phrase hera, and it ‘s open to some rendition. According to the IRS, you ‘re married if you do n’t have a divorce rule or judgment issued by a court on or before December 31, even if you filed for divorce earlier in the year. Your disassociate must be final by the last sidereal day of the year .

You ca n’t file jointly if you are legally separated by court order, although it ‘s not mandatary that you and your spouse actually bouncy together. You can live apart ampere long as a court has n’t issued an holy order governing the terms of your separation .

A separation agreement entered into between spouses is considered to be a narrow, not a court order, like a legal separation. You can placid file jointly if you ‘ve entered into a separation agreement. Both you and your spouse must besides agree to file a joint reelect and you must both sign it .

Married Filing Jointly Affects Your criterion deduction

Taxpayers have a choice between itemizing their deductions or claiming the criterion tax write-off, but they ca n’t do both. This rule applies to all taxpayers .

The standard subtraction for the marry filing jointly condition is the largest available. As of tax year 2021, the refund you ‘d file in 2022, the standard deductions are as follows :

  • $25,100 for married taxpayers filing jointly
  • $25,100 for qualifying widow(er)s
  • $18,800 for heads of household
  • $12,550 for married taxpayers filing separate returns
  • $12,550 for single taxpayers

standard subtraction figures are indexed for ostentation, so they tend to increase slightly from class to year .

tax Rates for Single vs. Married Filing jointly

A taxpayer ‘s filing condition besides determines tax brackets and which schedule of tax share rates are used. These brackets for taxpayers who are married and filing jointly for 2021 are applicable to the render you ‘d file in 2022 :