How Being Married Affects Your Taxes
While you do not have to file a joint return if you are married, there are a few differences between a joint married return and separate married returns. Here are a few ways that filing a tax return jointly can affect your refund or payment.
Your Tax May be Lower
In some cases, filing a joint tax return may result in a lower tax than if you had filed separately. This will depend on your circumstances, so you should check with an accountant to see if filing jointly will result in a lower tax or if you will pay less filing separately.
Your Standardized Deduction May be Higher
If you do not itemize your deductions, you get what is called a standard deduction, which is determined based on a variety of factors like your filing status and age. For instance, taxpayers who are over the age of 65 and individuals who are legally blind receive an additional amount in their standard deduction. Typically, those who are married and file jointly receive a higher deduction.
You are Both Responsible for the Taxes
There are some risks when filing a joint return. If there are errors on the return, both spouses are held responsible for paying any due tax. For many married couples with a joint bank account, this can be handled. You can also avoid errors on your tax return by making sure all of your income is reported accurately and that you file your return with the help of an experienced accountant.
Should You File Jointly? The decision to file jointly or not comes down to you and your spouse. It helps to speak with an accountant to see if you will benefit from filing one way or the other. When it is time to file your personal tax return in Long Island, NY, turn to the experienced accountants at Michael J. Berger and Co.