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Married Filing Jointly vs. Separately Explained by Your Denver Tax Specialist

February 15, 2017

As April 15th approaches, many questions about filing taxes arise especially if you are newly married. During tax season, one of the go-to ways married couples file their taxes is jointly. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes there are circumstances where filing separately may be the preferred option by the couple for reasons outlined below. Learn more about filing jointly or filing separately, the circumstances that surround filing taxes separately and the pros and cons from your local Denver tax specialist.

Can Married Couples File Separately?

Of course, married couples can file their taxes separately. They have the option to file jointly or separately when filing their taxes. Filing together allows couples the opportunity to get the biggest tax return. Couples may also qualify for multiple tax credits  But, in certain circumstances, filing a tax return separately is a preferred option by some couples. When doing this, you will still have to note on your taxes that you are married. However, you will note in your return that you are filing separately.

Circumstances When Filing Your Taxes

One of the main reasons a married couple decides to file separately is so they are not responsible for each other’s tax returns. If one individual in the couple has circumstances occur that the other does not want to be associated or affiliated with these circumstances, the option to file separately is an option. For others, if one part of the couple in the relationship will owe money to the government, they can file separately so the other person does not lose their tax return and owe money to the government. This could include situations such as government loans that have gone unpaid. Another reason a couple may want to file separately is due to divorce. According to Investopedia’s married filing separately article, if two taxpayers divorce within the year, according to law they have to file separately.

Pros and Cons

When a married couple files a tax return separately or jointly, there are a few items you will not be able to claim. First, only one spouse can itemize deductions, while the other will not be able to because you can’t count a deduction twice. However, if one of the two in the marriage makes a significantly larger amount of money than the other person, there is a pro of filing a tax return separately. In most cases, filing together provides the best tax benefits, especially if the couple is in two different income ranges.  

With tax season in full swing, be sure that you are preparing to file your 2017 Denver tax return. If you are in need of any help along the way, especially if you have questions about filing jointly or separately, Bloch, Rothman and Associates can help! As your top tax specialist, we provide quality service and will help you file your return the way that works out best for your family. Contact Bloch, Rothman and Associates to get started filing your tax return by filling out a free consultation form today!