If you’re married, you have two different status options for filing your taxes. You can file Married, Filing Separately, or Married, Filing Jointly. Whether or not you share a bank account, or have separate financial accounts doesn’t actually matter. What does matter is your marital status.
Filing your tax return separately from your spouse’s is perfectly acceptable, though you may not qualify for certain benefits that are afforded to couples who file together. Joint filers are subject to a larger standard deduction, as well as two exemptions. There are also multiple credits that are only available to couples who file jointly, such as:
- The Earned Income Tax Credit
- American Opportunity Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
- Adoption Expenses
- Child and Dependent Care Credit
Additionally, your threshold for allowable retirement savings may be lowered if you file a separate return from your spouse.
However, there are some circumstances where filing separately may actually benefit you. If you want to deduct medical costs, which can amount to a large deduction, filing jointly may cause your total income to be too high to claim the total deduction. If you have a simple financial situation, you can use our online tax filing software to determine whether you should file jointly or separately.
Remember, if you file jointly, you become responsible for your partner’s taxes and debt as well. That means you can be held accountable for any false information or outstanding payments. If this isn’t ideal for you, you may want to consider filing separately.