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esal1999
New Member

If two people take the standard deduction, that's $6,350 x 2 = $12,700. So how is filing jointly as a married couple better?

As a benefit of filing jointly, Turbo Tax website states "In 2017, married filing separately taxpayers only receive a standard deduction of $6,350 compared to the $12,700 offered to those who filed jointly." Isn't it the same thing, though? If two people take the standard deduction, that's $6,350 x 2 = $12,700. Same thing. I don't get it. (Source: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/marriage/should-you-and-your-spouse-file-taxes-jointly-or-separ...)

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
kerriP
Level 1

If two people take the standard deduction, that's $6,350 x 2 = $12,700. So how is filing jointly as a married couple better?

It is not the standard deduction that causes MFS to be disadvantageous.  When you file Married Filling Separate (MFS) there are several disadvantages

Lost Credits- By Law-MFS- No Earned Income Credit

                                   No Credit for elderly and disabled

                                    No Dependent care credit

                                    No adoption credit

                                   No Education Credits or Education deductions

                                  If one spouse itemizes, so must the other spouse.

                                  A greater percentage of Social Security Benefits taxable

                                 IRA deductions, Passive Activity Losses. and others.

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2 Replies
kerriP
Level 1

If two people take the standard deduction, that's $6,350 x 2 = $12,700. So how is filing jointly as a married couple better?

It is not the standard deduction that causes MFS to be disadvantageous.  When you file Married Filling Separate (MFS) there are several disadvantages

Lost Credits- By Law-MFS- No Earned Income Credit

                                   No Credit for elderly and disabled

                                    No Dependent care credit

                                    No adoption credit

                                   No Education Credits or Education deductions

                                  If one spouse itemizes, so must the other spouse.

                                  A greater percentage of Social Security Benefits taxable

                                 IRA deductions, Passive Activity Losses. and others.

esal1999
New Member

If two people take the standard deduction, that's $6,350 x 2 = $12,700. So how is filing jointly as a married couple better?

That was very clear. Turbo Tax should try to be just as clear with the info on its website. Thank you!
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