Choosing to file taxes separately comes with many disadvantages for you and your husband. There are exceptions, however, where filing taxes separately may work in your favor. Try filling out the tax paperwork jointly and separately to see which method saves the two of you the most money.
Unfortunately, because you are filing your own tax return and have separate income, the Internal Revenue Service will not allow your husband to claim you on his tax return. On the other hand, if you have no income of your own, your husband can claim you on his tax return as long as no one else is claiming you as a dependent.
Head of Household
If you qualify as a "Head of Household," this is a better status to use than "Married, Filing Separately," when filing your individual tax return. You can take advantage of the higher standard deduction and more tax credits available to you. You may qualify even if you're not divorced or legally separated. To qualify, you must file taxes separately from your husband, and pay more than half the costs for your home in the tax year. Additionally, you'll have to prove any kids you claim as dependents lived with you for more than half the tax year, and your husband wasn't in the house for the last six months of the year.
Married, Filing Separately
File your taxes as “Married, Filing Separately” if you want to be responsible for your taxes or you and your spouse have not agreed to file a joint tax return. You will need to include on your tax return your spouse's social security number or his individual taxpayer identification number.
According to the IRS, there are limitations to using the filing status, “Married, Filing Separately.” Your tax rate will be higher than if you file jointly. Deductions and exemptions applicable to child care, dependent care, education, retirement savings, capital loss, real estate and medical are all either reduced by half or more or eliminated. It's not all bad news. If your adjusted gross income is less than it would have been on a joint return, some of the deductions will be larger than they would have otherwise been.
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- Is Filing Federal Income Tax as Married Better Than Filing as a Single?