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dnell081o
New Member

My wife made under $4000 in 2015, do we have to claim this in federal or state taxes. She did receive a W2. Were filling married jointly.

We got married on December 31. We get more back filling single. Will it be a problem to file single.
2 Replies
DianeW
Expert Alumni

My wife made under $4000 in 2015, do we have to claim this in federal or state taxes. She did receive a W2. Were filling married jointly.

Yes, all income is required to be reported on a married filing joint return (MFJ).  Because you were married on December 31st, you have only two options in filing status which is married filing jointly or married filing separately (MFS).  You no longer have the option to file single.

In most cases you would want to file as MFJ even if one spouse has little or no income.  You receive the highest standard deduction of $12,600 and you each receive a personal exemption of $4,000.


Your marital status on December 31, 2015 is the critical date for determining your filing status for tax year 2015.



xmasbaby0
Level 15

My wife made under $4000 in 2015, do we have to claim this in federal or state taxes. She did receive a W2. Were filling married jointly.

You CANNOT file as "single" for 2015.

If you were married at the end of 2015 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 each receive the $4000 personal exemption, plus the married filing jointly standard deduction of $12,600 (add $1250 for each spouse over the age of 65).  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, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable.  In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit.  If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income.  If you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.

**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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