How to File Jointly as a Disabled Married Veteran

Determining which portion of your income is taxable can be a stressful task.

Determining which portion of your income is taxable can be a stressful task.

For a married disabled veteran, filing a joint income tax return differs significantly from filing separately. If your only source of income is veterans' benefits, your income is not taxable, and you are not required to file an income tax return. If you have additional income and your spouse also receives income, you must determine which portion of your income is taxable and file your income taxes accordingly.

Without Social Security Disability

Gather your tax forms, which can include Form SSA-1099, Form W-2, or any other 1099s.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service website at irs.gov and obtain Form 1040A or Form 1040 and the corresponding instructions. If you are uncertain of which tax form you should use, refer to Tax Topic 352, which explains each form's purpose and requirements.

Begin preparing your taxes. Enter your personal information and that of your spouse in the top portion of the tax form. Select “Married Filing Jointly” from the list of filing statuses and enter the information about your dependents, if applicable.

Complete the “Income” and “Adjusted Gross Income” sections on Form 1040 or 1040A.

Verify whether you qualify for additional credits or deductions in the “Taxes and Credits” section of the form. Generally, low-to-moderate income families qualify for credits, such as the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. You might also qualify for the "credit for the elderly or disabled." For more information on credits, refer to the “Other Credits” section on the form's instructions.

Complete the remainder of Form 1040 or 1040A to determine how much tax you owe or the amount of your refund.

Sign and date your income tax return. Your spouse must also sign the return. Mail the return to the processing center designated for your area. The IRS lists each state's address in the form's instructions.

With Social Security Disability

Gather your tax forms, which can include Form SSA-1099, Form W-2, or any other 1099s.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service website at irs.gov and obtain Form 1040 or Form 1040A, and the corresponding instructions. If you are uncertain of which tax form you should use, refer to Tax Topic 352, which explains each form's purpose and requirements.

Begin preparing your taxes. Enter your personal information and that of your spouse in the top portion of the tax form. Select “Married Filing Jointly” from the list of filing statuses and enter the information about your dependents, if applicable.

Complete the “Income” section of Form 1040 or 1040A, but stop once you reach the line labeled “Social Security benefits.”

Open the instructions and locate the “Social Security Benefits Worksheet.” As of the 2011 tax year, this worksheet was located on page 26 of the Form 1040 instructions and page 25 of the Form 1040A instructions.

Use the amounts listed on Form SSA-1099 and complete the worksheet to determine how much of your Social Security benefits are taxable. Enter the entire amount of your Social Security benefits in the field labeled “A” in the “Social Security Benefits” line on Form 1040 or 1040A, and the taxable amount in the field labeled “B.”

Verify whether you qualify for additional credits or deductions.

Complete the remainder of Form 1040 or 1040A to determine how much tax you owe or the amount of your refund.

Sign and date your income tax return. Your spouse must also sign the return. Mail the return to the processing center designated for your area. The IRS lists each state's address in the form's instructions.

Tips

  • Veterans benefits are not taxable, regardless of alternate income, and should not be reported on your income taxes.
  • The Social Security Administration distributes Form SSA-1099 to report all Social Security payments.
  • As of the date of publication, if the sum of your Social Security benefits and other income exceed $32,000, a portion of your Social Security benefits are taxable.
  • Social Security Disability is taxed by the IRS in the same manner as Social Security payments.
 

About the Author

Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.

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