“I am getting married in June, but my fiance and I were throwing around the idea about going to town hall to get a marriage license before the end of the year (12/31/12), but still having the ceremony in June. We were not sure if it would benefit us when we do our taxes if we file a joint return for 2012 taxes.”------->Asyou can see, you, as married taxpayer, can choose between filing aMFJ/ MFS tax return. The MFJ filing status provides more tax benefits than filing MFS return, but you will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourselves which is the best filing status.As you are married, then you and your spouse can file a joint tax return. You are considered married if you are legally married on the last day of the year of 2012. In order to file jointly, both you and your spouse must agree to file a joint tax return, and both must sign the return. MFJ provides more tax benefits than filing a separate return. If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions on Sch A) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. By filing a joint tax return, both you and your spouse report all your income, deductions, and credits. Both spouses must sign the return, and both spouses accept full responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information reported on the tax return. Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. HOWEVER, the IRS may grant relief from joint liability for taxes through innocent spouse relief, separation of liability, or equitable relief.
“ I made $41,000 and she made $32,000 in 2012. I own a 2 family house and get rent and am paying off a student loan for grad school for myself. Would is be smart to get married for the tax credit, or would it make a difference if we file separately this year?”------> As said previously, as long as you file your return as MFJ, then you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. Filing a separate return provides relief from joint liability for taxes. However, married taxpayers who file separately are not eligible for many tax deductions and credits, and have higher tax rates. In general, it is more advantageous to file a joint return. The MFS filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns, butas said you will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourselves which is the best filing status. If you are married, then you and your spouse can file separate tax returns. The MFS filing status is generally perceived as the least beneficial of all the filing statuses. That's because MFS taxpayers are not eligible to claim the following tax benefits:tuition and fees deduction ;student loan interest deduction ; Earned Income Credit; Tax-free exclusion of US bond interest ; AOC or Lifetime Learning Educational Credits. MFS taxpayers also have lower income phase-out ranges for the IRA deduction. Additionally, MFS taxpayers must both claim the standard deduction or must both itemize their deductions. In other words, one MFS taxpayer cannot claim the standard deduction if the other spouse is itemizing.BUT there is one clear benefit of filing separately. By filing a separate return, you are solely responsible for the accuracy and payment of tax related to that separate return. By contrast, on a jointly filed return, both spouses are jointly responsible for the accuracy of the return and the payment of tax. A spouse who is unwilling to assume legal and financial responsibility for the other spouse's tax obligations should strongly consider filing separately.