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:

Related Topics

Related Resources

Charitable Giving Around the Holidays

Learn more about the potential tax benefits of charitable holiday giving. Your holiday donations may boost your refund, depending on the organization.

What Is an Enrolled Agent or EA?

What does it mean to be an enrolled agent? Learn more about the roles and requirements of enrolled agent (EA) tax preparers at H&R Block.

Is Your Engagement Ring Purchase Tax Deductible?

Unfortunately, the cost of your engagement ring can't be deducted as a write-off on your personal income taxes. H&R Block tax pros explain why.

Student Loan Interest Deduction

Learn how to deduct student loan interest with H&R Block. Get information about qualified education expenses and see if a student loan tax deduction applies to you.