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zenmster
Level 3

Can married couples change from filing joint to filing separately year to year?

Can married couples change from filing joint to filing separately year to year?

3 Replies
DoninGA
Level 15

Can married couples change from filing joint to filing separately year to year?

Yes, they can.  There is no requirement for you to keep the same fling status each year that you file when you are married.  So you can change for joint to separately year to year.

rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Can married couples change from filing joint to filing separately year to year?

Yes, a married couple can choose to file jointly or separately each year. It doesn't matter which filing status you chose in previous years.

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Can married couples change from filing joint to filing separately year to year?

You can change from one year to the next if you want to.  But it would be best to understand the differences between the two ways you can file:

 

If you were legally married at the end of 2019 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.

Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $24,400 (+$1300 for each spouse 65 or older)  You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit.

 

If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return. Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states:  AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)

If  you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-married-filing-jointly-vs-married-filing-separately

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901162-married-filing-separately-in-community-property-states

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1894449-is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-separ...

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

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