Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Married Filing Jointly, or Separate? How to Decide

Fox Business News recently reached out to me for my input on filing statuses for married couples. The finished article has a lot of great tips for married couples unsure on how to select the best filing status. You can find a section of the article below, but be sure to check out the full text at FOX Business.

For married couples, one crucial decision regarding taxes that can keep you out of -- or get you into -- trouble with the IRS comes before you even start dealing with forms and paperwork. Make sure to choose the correct filing status, whether that be married filing separately or jointly.

“Just like good dental hygiene will keep you out of the dentist chair, choosing the right status on your taxes will keep you out of the audit seat," said tax expert Roni Deutch.

While many experts agree that married filing jointly is usually the most advantageous, they also point out certain circumstances where filing separately is more beneficial.

“If you are married, the IRS has created it so that it is more beneficial for you to file jointly,” said Buz Aaron, director of tax services for Braver Wealth Management. “There aren’t many positive reasons to file separately, you should only do it when the numbers work out for you and it saves money — but you really have to do your research.”

Some couples, such as John and Cindy McCain, for example, choose to file separately for private reasons, according to Deutch, author of “The Tax Lady's Guide to Beating the IRS.” “They do it for privacy reasons, so the income [Cindy McCain] makes and the money she distributes to her children remain confidential.”

Continue reading at FOX Business.com…

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