Today, Optima Tax Relief’s Lead Tax Attorney, Phil Hwang, discusses marriage and taxes, including filing status options.
Married couples have two different options for filing their taxes: married filing jointly and married filing separately. If you choose to file jointly with your spouse, you will both be jointly and severally liable for the full tax liability. In other words, if you rack up a tax bill, both your incomes are up for grabs in order to satisfy your tax debt.
Filing separately keeps your tax liabilities separated from your spouse’s tax liability and vice versa. While this may seem to be a major positive point to consider in filing separately, filing jointly can offer more tax benefits at times. These can include a higher standard deduction, more advantageous tax brackets, and more access to tax credits. However, there are some scenarios in which it may be better to file separately if you are married. Be sure to consult a knowledgeable tax professional about your options to see what is best for your specific situation.
Tune in next Friday for another episode of “Ask Phil.” Next week’s topic: the tax extension deadline!
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