tax help

Any tax experts out there? I have a question: when is it better to go with Married Filing Jointly vs Married Filing Separately? Here’s why I ask: I’m a student, and my wife has a high-paying job. When I first did our taxes as Married Filing Jointly on TurboTax, we ended up owing $5300 fed and $1700 state. This actually seems pretty reasonable, as I made about $25k during the year in internships and such, but this was taxed at a low rate. When I stack this $25k on my wife’s income, it should be taxed at 33%, instead of the 11% or so that it was actually taxed at. Hence we owe some dough. However, when I change the setting on TurboTax to Married Filing Separately, it shows a Fed REFUND of $500 and a state REFUND of $9800…not sure how this is possible. Nothing else changed in TurboTax…although I’m not positive if these refunds apply to both of us or just one of us. When you submit your taxes as Married Filing Separately, is it still one return, or does each person need to have a completely different set of returns? help please!

please find your way to the beancountersforum.com thx

For Married Filing Separately, each person has to submit a tax return. As for the refunds, I am pretty sure that those numbers are the net amount, which could mean that you will owe money with the wife’s tax return. Example: The wife owes $500 to Federal but the Husband would get a $1,000 refund for a net of $500 refund. Hope this helps

lol…you still working that PT tax gig ditch?

I sure am, until 4/15.

Yeah, married/joint is as good as you’re going to get. married/separate will get you a refund, but she’ll owe more than the difference in tax. married/joint has the approximate effect of two singles earning the average of your incomes, which would be a lower marginal bracket. You could qualify for food stamps going the separate route, but that still probably doesn’t make up the difference in tax.

Also, without knowing if you have kids or not, MFS will make child tax credit null among other tax credits.

also- I don’t know if you do but there are all sorts of deductions you cannot claim if you file separate… and I believe if you previously filed joint you cannot now file separate w/ out *i think* going back and amending previous year returns.

Give me $$$ and I will help you out. The worst advice is always free.