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tatumlinens1998
New Member

Can someone explain how I receiving a lower refund this year? I filed last year as single and this year as Married-Joint and somehow our refund is significantly lower.

 
3 Replies
Critter
Level 15

Can someone explain how I receiving a lower refund this year? I filed last year as single and this year as Married-Joint and somehow our refund is significantly lower.

You will need to review the income to withholding ratios but my educated guess is you both went from Single and1 or  zero allowances on your W-4  to both Married and 1 or 2 allowances  AND you both have a decent income.  If you did not complete the W-4 worksheets correctly you would have had less withheld than desired thus your refund is less.  

 

Another factor is if you have kids ... the combined income could have been too much to get some credits. 

VolvoGirl
Level 15

Can someone explain how I receiving a lower refund this year? I filed last year as single and this year as Married-Joint and somehow our refund is significantly lower.

If you both have income you could have a lower refund than filing 2 Single returns.  You have a higher combined income and higher tax bracket, but each job only took out enough for that one job.

 

But Filing Joint should be better than filing as Married filing Separate.

 

Unless you have a specific reason to file separate returns,

It is usually better to file Joint. Joint has the lowest tax rates and the highest Standard Deduction.   And if you are in a Community Property state MFS gets tricky to figure out.  Here's some things to consider about filing separately……

 

In the first place you each have to file a separate return, so that's two returns.  And if you are using the Online version that means using 2 accounts and paying the fees twice.  

 

Many people think they come out better when filing Married Filing Separate but they are probably doing it wrong.  If one person itemizes deductions then the other one must itemize too, even if it's less than the standard deduction, even if it is ZERO!  

 

And there are several credits you can't take when filing separately, like the

EITC Earned Income Tax Credit

Child Care Credit

Educational Deductions and Credits

 

And contributions to IRA and ROTH IRA are limited when you file MFS.

 

Also if you file Married Filing Separately up to 85`% of your Social Security becomes taxable right away even with zero other income.

 

See …….

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/married/help/is-it-better-for-a-married-couple-to-file-jointly-or-...

 

VolvoGirl
Level 15

Can someone explain how I receiving a lower refund this year? I filed last year as single and this year as Married-Joint and somehow our refund is significantly lower.

Here's some general info on getting married.  Did you both use Turbo Tax last year?

 

You can not transfer from or combine 2 returns or accounts.  Just pick the return for the spouse that has the most complicated return to enter or has any depreciation or business or  more investments.  Or use the account for whoever you want to be listed first going forward (by the way you can not change the order of the names).  Then add the other spouse's name, ssn and info to it.

 

You should usually  file a Joint return which is only 1 return combined for the both of you.  Make sure to stick with this one account for the future.  Just ignore the other spouse's account.

 

And info on Getting Married…..

http://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/tax-tips/Family/Getting-Married/INF12006.html

 

Is it better to file Joint or Separately?

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

 

Compare Joint to Married Filing Separately

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/2895312-how-can-we-compare-married-filing-jointly-with-married-fil...

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