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New Member

filing 2022 married and jointly, or as single parent

hello experts,


regrets, i am in the midst of a 25+ year marriage dissolution - have not yet filed for official separation per se.


for filing my 2022 return, i still have two children ( of four) that are dependents and 13 and 15 yrs of age respectively.  


is it best to still file marriage and jointly, so as to maximize benefits?


please advise best strategy and related information, to allow me to make an informed decision.


// rC

2 Replies
Level 15

filing 2022 married and jointly, or as single parent

Are you asking about the 2021 tax return that you need to prepare and file in 2022?    Or are you asking about a 2022 tax return that you will prepare and file in 2023?   That's important--it will affect whether you can file as married or single, or maybe Head of Household.


If you were legally married at the end of 2021 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 $25,100 (+$1350 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.




Am I Head of Household?


If you qualify as Head of Household, when you enter your marital status (single or married filing separately) into MyInfo, and then enter your qualifying dependent, TurboTax will offer HOH as your filing status.

**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.**
Level 15

filing 2022 married and jointly, or as single parent

If you are not divorced by Dec 31 you can still file Joint.  Joint is usually the best way to file if you both agree.  You can lose several benefits by filing as Married filing Separate.  You can't file Single until you are divorced.  

Or one of you can file as Head of Household if you lived apart for the last 6 months of the year and have a qualifying child.  Then the other spouse has to file MFS.


See FAQ on Head of Household



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