Question

My spouse and I have used married filing jointly for years, but are considering changing filing status on this year’s return. Can we use married filing separately this year?

Answer

Yes, and you won’t pay a penalty for changing filing status. However, when choosing filing status, you might want to figure your federal and state returns using each filing status. Then, you can see which return results in the larger refund or the smaller balance due.

You’ll usually pay more tax on a separate return than a joint return since:

  • Many of the following items are reduced or disallowed when married filing separately:
    • Credits
    • Deductions
    • Exclusions

Related Topics

Related Resources

My husband isn’t a U.S. citizen, but he has an SSN and permit to work in the United States. Do we use married to non res

Discover your tax filing status if married to a non-resident alien with help from the tax experts from H&R Block.

W-4 Tax Withholding Allowances

Learn about your w-4 and the tax withholding allowances with our articles from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Who can claim head of household status?

Learn more about the IRS requirements for filing head of household with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Changing Jobs This Year? Here Are Some Tax Implications

Changing jobs comes with tax benefits and consequences. Find out what type of job search expenses and benefits you can expect from the H&R Block Tax Institute.