I'm newly married and have a question about filing return(s). If I got married in 2017, should I file a joint return or separate return year married?
There are filing advantages and disadvantages to both married filing jointly and married filing separately.
If you file married filing separately, you’ll probably lose some tax benefits. Many tax benefits are available only to couples who file married filing jointly, like:
- Tuition and fees deduction
- Student loan interest deduction
- Tax-free exclusion of U.S. Bond interest
- Tax-free exclusion of Social Security benefits
- Credit for the elderly and disabled
- Child and dependent care credit
- Earned Income Credit (EIC)
- American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning credits
However, if choose to file a joint return, both you and your spouse have “joint and several liability.” This means:
- Both of you are responsible for the taxes and interest or penalties due on the return.
- You’re both responsible for any underpayment of tax that might be due later.
- If one spouse doesn’t pay the tax due, the other might have to.
If you’re unsure of how you want to file taxes on the tax deadline day, you can file a joint extension with your spouse. Then, you can decide how you want to go about filing taxes later on.
Learn more about filing head of household from the tax experts at H&R Block.
Do you need to file a tax return for someone who is deceased? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.
As end-of-year approaches, taxes owed can become a major headache. Plan ahead by considering 529 Tax Deductions and other end-of-year savings options.
Do you know what your tax filing status is? Learn how to determine and check your tax filing status with H&R Block.