Recently married couples find themselves with a unique decision to make once tax-filing season rolls around. There are both advantages and disadvantages to filing joint tax returns that many newly married couples are unaware of. After doing everything on your own for so long, you now have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the tax breaks you can get from filing with your spouse. Marriage isn’t just about love and romance; it can also be about keeping more of the money you make.
Additional Credits And Deductions
There are several tax deductions that are only available to couples that file their taxes jointly. If you are married and choose to file separately, these deductions won’t be available to you. Some examples are:
Hope and Lifetime Learning credit
Qualified educational loan interest deduction
These are just two of the examples of deductions you can take advantage of if you choose to file jointly with your spouse.
Lower Tax Liability
Each of these items should be examined in depth on a case-by-case basis, but it is typical that couples that file jointly will have a lower tax liability than those who file separately. When you file together, most couples find that are required to pay a lower amount of taxes, which is essentially the same as putting your money back in your own pocket.
Save Time And Money
There are few people in the world who actually enjoy preparing and filing their taxes. If you are not one of those people, the thought of preparing two separate tax returns may just be too much. When you file jointly, you are only required to prepare and submit one return to the IRS. You will save time and money, depending on whether you prepare your taxes yourself or pay a professional accountant to do them. Everyone loves a little extra time and money.
Largest Standard Deduction Possible
The standard deduction for couples filing jointly is almost twice what it is for couples that file separately. When you file a joint tax return, you get the largest standard deduction that is possible in terms of dollars. This takes money off your total tax bill and increases the amount of your money you get to keep.
A recent marriage brings lots of exciting new changes into your life, and although it may not be the sexiest topic to discuss, the benefits of filing taxes jointly definitely qualifies as one of those changes. Examine your particular situation with your accountant or tax professional to determine if filing jointly is the best option for you and your new spouse.