Meghan
Master October 2019

First Married Tax Season

Meghan, on January 23, 2020 at 11:19 AM Posted in Married Life 1 11
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We just got married in October 2019, so this will be our first year filing taxes as a married couple. Are any of you ladies tax professionals, or married couples who have done this, that can advise on the difference between filing married and filing separate? We were only married for 2 full months of 2019, so I’m not really sure what we should do at this point...

11 Comments

Latest activity by Kari, on January 30, 2020 at 3:32 PM
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag

    This is a great question! I used a couple of tax refund estimators and put in our info both ways and it seemed that married filing jointly was always a higher refund, but I'm not sure why or if that's universal.

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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Not a tax pro, but have been doing our "married, filing jointly" taxes for more than 30 years. Unless there are some particular circumstances, the vast majority will pay significantly less if filing jointly. Also, I believe you just have to be married by 12/31 to be counted as married for the entire year. (Same with having a child -- if they are born before midnight on 12/31, you get to claim the full-year deduction.) Most basic tax software will do a good job of running the options for you (e.g., TurboTax) and should provide the help you need, unless either or both of you have a lot of complicated tax issues. Good luck! Smiley heart

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  • Mrs. S
    Master November 2019
    Mrs. S ·
    • Flag
    I’m not a pro but I read 99% of the time it benefits you to file jointly. I’m actually dreading this part because my husband is the worst procrastinator. Normally I have my refund by early February while he is waiting until the last minute 🤦‍♀️
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    “Married, filing separately” is rarely beneficial for couples, except in a few specific circumstances. But for the average couple, jointly is the way to go. Filing separately effects the tax breaks you can take and usually means you’ll pay more than filing separately, but there are some extenuating circumstances that make it make sense for some couples. For most couples, jointly is the better bet. When you’re married, you always have to file as married, either jointly or separately — but married, filing separately is not the same as “single”, so it’s a status change either way. Both parties in a couple even if filing separately have to take their deduction in the same way— either standard deduction or itemized deduction.
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    I guess the better/most simplified point is: do what is the most cost effective for you. For most people, that is filing jointly.
    • Reply
  • R
    Super September 2018
    Rachel ·
    • Flag
    We had our accountant run the numbers both ways, if we filed separately and if we filed together. The estimated refund was about the same either way, strangely enough. The difference was that we pay the accountant per filing, so one filing if we did married, jointly and two filings if we wanted to separate it out. 😂 And yes, as others have said for most cases it makes sense to file together but there are certain cases where it makes sense to file separate or for one of you to claim the other as dependent. Talk to a tax pro or accountant for the best, customized advice. Even if you only use them for this years filing it’ll help out.
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  • OldSchoolKindaLove
    Devoted September 2018
    OldSchoolKindaLove ·
    • Flag

    Do either you or your husband have student loans? That's what happened in my case. We married September 2018, so last year was our first year to file together.

    Luckily my husband and I used the same accountant to file our taxes before we got married. She actually worked them out both ways for us to see what our return would be filing married, jointly and married, filing separately. Due to my student loans, filing separately worked out better for us. The difference was only a few hundred dollars in return, which would be gone in a matter of a month, maybe two, due to the increase on my student loan repayment plan.

    Best advice I have is to talk to someone, an accountant, CPA, or any tax professional to see what your options are and if they would consider showing you the difference in filing joint vs. separate.

    • Reply
  • Tanyia
    Expert February 2020
    Tanyia ·
    • Flag

    If you and your spouse have a high AGI, file married separately. Combined earnings puts you into a higher tax bracket.

    • Reply
  • K
    Dedicated October 2019
    KAREN ·
    • Flag

    As long as you were married within the calendar year, you can file jointly.


    We also got married in October, and I work in finance so I'm going to try separate and together for both, but I know that most likely joing will yield a much higher return than not.

    • Reply
  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag

    Another thing you can try are hr block or turbotax estimators! they are typically pretty spot on. so you guys can enter your info as married filing joint. and then do yours only as married filing separately, just so you see the differences.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    You can use tax calculators online to estimate what your returns will be. Generally most couples get the largest refund when they file jointly, and most couple also get more back filing together than they did as single, separate people.

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