No, the software is unable to do that. In order to determine which is better, you would have to complete both returns, but do not submit until you decide on the one to use. However, just to give some ideas on what to look for before you do. Remember, there are a few restriction when you choose to file married filing separately. Below are a few;
- If you file Married filing separately, you must both choose either to itemize or to use the standard deduction. One person cannot itemize and the other use the standard deduction for your filing status. You must both choose the same.
- You will not be able to get the Earned Income Credit.
- In most cases, you will not be able to get the child tax credit.
- You will not be able to get the education credit.
However, there are some benefits. To learn more please see the post below.
Well, this is a weird response given that TurboTax seems to state their software DOES in fact do this.
The best way to find out if you should file jointly or separately with your spouse is to prepare the tax return both ways. Double check your calculations and then look at the net refund or balance due from each method. If you use TurboTax to prepare your return, we’ll do the calculation for you, and recommend the filing status that gives you the biggest tax savings.
I wonder which it is, do they do the calculation or not?
That would be only in the Desktop CD/Download program. There is a What-If worksheet you can fill out. But not in the Online web versions.
To compare Joint to MFS. If you are using the Online version, do NOT change anything on your return. You would have to start with a new account and do a test return. You don't have to pay unless you want to print it out. So you might need 3 accounts, one for Joint and two MFS, one for each spouse.
How to Compare Joint to Married Filing Separately
How to start another return in the Online version
It would be better to use the Desktop CD/Download program. It can do unlimited returns and has a What If worksheet to compare them and many other advantages over the online version.
You can buy the Desktop CD/Download program here
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.