Do You File Jointly if Your Spouse Did Not Have Reportable Income?

If you are married, you can file a roast tax return with your spouse even if entirely one of you had income. There is nothing in the tax rules requiring that a conserve and wife both have income in order to file jointly.


While your personal position may warrant the file of separate tax returns, and whether or not to do therefore is ultimately up to you, most marital couples with merely one income will be better off filing federal tax with marry filing jointly status.

Married Filing Jointly with One Income

One good reason for filing a joint retort, even though lone one of you had income, is a lower tax beak. federal tax tables at show that filing jointly can reduce your tax bill well when your spouse had no income, since tax brackets are importantly higher for couples filing jointly than one individual earner filing individually. If you don ’ t itemize your deductions, you will double your standard deduction amount by filing jointly. standard deductions are increasing from the 2017 to 2018 tax years, but in either class, by filing a joint return, your standard deduction efficaciously doubles over filing for the spouse with income entirely. far, if you file a articulation return, you get an exemption for your non-earning spouse angstrom well as yourself, which for the 2017 tax year reduces your taxable income by $ 4,050. however, as of 2018, new tax law reforms have done away with personal exemptions. There are besides retirement plan benefits to filing jointly. The non-earning, joint-filing spouse can open an IRA in her own name and make contributions to it even though she had no income, which can represent extra tax savings. IRS rules dictate that a married couple filing individually loses access to tax credits available to couples who are married filing jointly, including the earned income credit, child and dependent worry credit, adoption expense credit and the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits.

Drawbacks to Filing Jointly

Although there can be some disadvantages to filing jointly, most of them affect marry couples where conserve and wife both have taxable income. One drawback that affects all joint-filing couples, however, is articulation duty. Both of you share the responsibility for any errors or omissions on the tax return and for any extra tax, penalties and interest that result. If you are concerned about that situation for some reason, you may want to consider filing individually.

2018 Tax Law Effects on Deductions and Exemptions

As of tax year 2018, the standard deduction is $ 12,000 for single people and marital people filing individually but $ 24,000 for married couples filing jointly. This means that if only one spouse has income, you are effectively doubling the criterion deduction sum by filing jointly, since there ‘s no advantage to the no-income spouse taking the $ 12,000 subtraction for filing individually on $ 0 income.

personal exemptions no longer exist in tax year 2018.

2017 Tax Law Situation

As of 2017, the standard tax write-off is $ 6,350 for single people and married people filing individually, versus $ 12,700 for marry couples filing jointly. As in 2018, this means that you can efficaciously take doubly the standard deduction by filing jointly if lone one spouse has income. additionally, the marry couple can take two personal exemptions, each at $ 4,050, for a sum in $ 8,100 in extra deductions. If each spouse files individually, you ‘ll basically merely see the profit of one, for the spouse with income.

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Category : Finance