Hello everyone as tax season rolls around I usually get many questions about being married but filing separately. This of course means that if you are married you and your wife can file separate tax returns as opposed to married and filing jointly where you only file one tax return together.
Married But Filing Separately Has The Least Benefits
The truth about being married but filing separately is that it is the least beneficial of the filing statuses due to not being able to claim tuition fees deduction, student loan fees, earned income credits, hope and lifetime education credits, child and dependent care, tax free bond interest and social security benefits, credits for elderly and disabled, and lower IRA phaseouts.
When a couple decides to file separately they either both must claim the standard deduction or they must both choose to itemize. One spouse is not able to choose the standard deduction and the other spouse decides to itemize, it must be both one way or the other.
Advantages Of Married But Filing Separately
So why would anyone decide to be married but filing separately? Well that’s easy, separate tax liabilities for each spouse. This means that whatever taxes you owe are separate for your husband or wife. This makes sense if one partner doesn’t like the way the other partner files their taxes, and in that case is smart to file separately.
If a couple does decide to file separately and decides to itemize then first check to see if the state you are living in is a communal property state. Community property states require spouses to follow special rules for the couple to follow for communal property, usually and communal property income or deductions is divided in half.
A couple must decide if they want to file separately before the tax deadline of April 15. However, if a couple decides to switch from married but filing separately to a joint return they can do so for up to 3 years from the original due date.