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  1. #1
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 06:29 PM
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    Default Tax question: Married filing jointly vs. seperately

    What is the rule of thumb of knowing when to use "Married filing sepeartely" in lieu of "Married filing jointly" on your tax return? My wife has come of the opinion that there is some advantage and that her parents use to file that way (her father died in '98 - maybe there was an advantage back then), so she wants me to plug the numbers in that way to see. (I'm of the opinion that any difference would be minimal, if there is one) What should I be looking for? How do you know who to put the kids under, the deductions under, the interest under?

  2. #2
    Good Enough Rocket's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 08:48 AM
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    Default

    Best advice I can give is to get yourself a really good CPA for $250 and let him/her do your returns for you. You will get back much more than you could ever do for yourself and it will be well worth it.

    My friend had used TurboTax for a few years and ended up refiling after his accountant found a few grand he had over-paid.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    06.03.17 @ 06:59 PM
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    Default

    Can't you plug in the numbers one way and then compare it to plugging the numbers the other way? My father-in-law does our taxes and I thought he did that for us last year. There wasn't much of a difference in our case, however.
    2-time Fantasy Baseball Champion.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 10:37 AM
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    Default

    There are only a few instances in which MFS would give you a smaller tax bill than filing MFJ. Most tax software will compute the comparison for you automatically, but when it does the computation it just splits everything down the middle deduction wise. The only time it can be of real advantage is in specific cases and then you would put all of the deductions, credits, etc. on one of the returns, not splitting them evenly.

    As mentioned earlier however, you do not qualify for the Tuition and Fees deduction, Student Loan Interest Deduction, Hope Scholarship, and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Also, you will hit the higher income tax brackets much quicker.

    I'm a CPA in Virginia, if you think there is some reason you may qualify send me a PM and I can go over with you on the phone.

    But for most married couples there isn't any benefit to doing it.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 05:41 PM
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    How bout if I file..Divorced gave all my money to my X and the lawyers now its Uncle Sams turn?

 

 

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