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Recently married in 2020 and need to understand if I need to buy 2 Turbo Taxes if I decide to file separately

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Expert Alumni

Recently married in 2020 and need to understand if I need to buy 2 Turbo Taxes if I decide to file separately

It depends--TurboTax Online, yes, two purchases; TurboTax CD/Download, just one purchase. Either way, married filing separate requires filing two "sets" of returns (federal and state) for two separate filers. TurboTax CD/Download allows up to five filers per purchase.


Click on the link to learn more about What is my filing status?

Is it better for a married couple to file jointly or separately?


There are typically more advantages to filing jointly. The only time it may be useful to file separately would be for injured or innocent spouse reasons.

Level 15

Recently married in 2020 and need to understand if I need to buy 2 Turbo Taxes if I decide to file separately


JOINT vs. SEPARATE RETURNS 2018 and beyond


If you were legally married at the end of 2020 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 $24,800 (+$1300 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.

**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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