- Days left
Almost all married taxpayers will get the best results if they file their tax return jointly. There are very few situations in which filing separately makes sense, and it almost always costs the taxpayers more money to do so. The two most common situations in which it makes sense to file separately:

  • You and your spouse are in the process of divorcing, and are legally separated. If you don't trust one another, it may make sense to file separately, limiting your tax liability to only the items for which each of you are legally responsible. If you can't seem to cooperate long enough to prepare and file a joint tax return, it probably also makes sense to file separately. If one party is completely non-compliant when it comes to filing tax returns, the other spouse is better off filing a separate return in order to meet her or his obligations regardless of what the other spouse does.
  • It may make sense to file separately if both spouses are itemizing deductions and one has high medical expenses compared to her or his income. Medical deductions are only deductible if they exceed 7.5% of income, and a spouse with low income and high medical expense may therefore benefit from filing separately.
Couples who are married and file separately almost always pay more tax than if they would have filed jointly, so keep that in mind when deciding whether to file jointly or separately.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

How to Avoid Financial Scams

Avoid getting duped by financial scams.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption? Find out more about who qualifies for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act tax penalty, how to claim an exemption on your tax return and how the Affordable Care Act may affect your taxes with this video from TurboTax.

Video: How to Claim the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit is a new refundable tax credit that can lower your monthly health insurance premiums. If you qualify for the tax credit, you can claim the Premium Tax Credit throughout the year to lower your monthly health insurance premiums, or claim the credit with your tax return to either lower your overall tax bill or increase your tax refund.

Deducting Summer Camps and Daycare with the Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you paid a daycare center, babysitter, summer camp, or other care provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

What Is Schedule H: Household Employment Taxes

If you hire people to do work around your house on a regular basis, they might be considered household employees. Being an employer comes with some responsibilities for paying and reporting employment taxes, which includes filing a Schedule H with your federal tax return. But even if you have household employees, filing Schedule H is required only if the total wages you pay them is more than certain threshold amounts specified by federal tax law.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum