Married Filing Separately

Married filing separately is one of the 5 filing statuses. Married taxpayers who choose this status will file two separate tax returns. Selecting this status will impact the tax rate a taxpayer pays and other tax calculations.

How do I know if married filing separately is an option for me?

If you're married as of the last day of the tax year (December 31), you're eligible to choose this filing status. You could also choose married filing jointly. When you file as married filing separately, you and your spouse each prepare and calculate your own separate tax returns.

Why would I choose to file separately?

It's not that common, but sometimes married couples who are both high earners find they can save on taxes if they file separately. But that’s usually not the case. Tax rates are higher for these tax returns. 

There are other reasons a married taxypayer might choose to file separately. For example,filing separately is a way to protect a  concerned spouse from any potential legal or tax issues.

Anything else I should keep in mind about this status?

If you choose to file separately, both spouses will need to take either the standard deduction or itemize their deductions-they can't each choose differently. Many credits and deductions, including a number of education credits and deductions, aren't available if you file separately. Taking all these things into account means that married filing jointly usually has bigger tax advantages for married couples.

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