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Filing Federal Taxes, Married-style!


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#1 ACDCDCAC

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:08 PM

any married gals who have done this please chime in!

we are filing our taxes for the first time as a married couple today. we dont own a house, and would otherwise be filing very simple 1040-ez forms.

does anyone know if its really true that you get more money back just for being married? or is it that you only get 1 lump of all your return added together so it "looks" like more than it would if you filed seperately?

thanks!

#2 DallasAshli

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    Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:18 PM

    You dont automatically get more for being married. But you do get to combine income to determine your tax bracket.

    Example (not accurate tax rates): if one of you makes $200k a year, they would be in the highest tax bracket (say 35%). The other only makes $10k (so lowest tax bracket - 15%). Together, you make $210k - which for a couple puts you in the middle tax bracket - 25%. So essentially, the $10k worker helps drop the $200k worker out of the highest tax bracket, hence "more money back for being married".

    This is only true if you have really different incomes. If you make $60k and he makes $70k, you wont see any difference from filing together vs. filing single.

    If you did have a house and deductibles and kids, that would all make a difference. Hope that helped some!

    Disclaimer: Im not a tax accountant, guru or anything :) This is just what I know from a tax class years ago.

    #3 *Heather*

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      Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:21 PM

      Do you guys get tax credits there? I know in Canada we get spousal credits, and certain things will automatically go to one spouse over the other depending on income, which can help. Nothing major though.

      #4 ACDCDCAC

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      Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:22 PM

      ok so i make 1/2 what he makes, like almost exactly half. so i guess it would help us, because with your example i would be much closer to the 15% bracket, and he is much closer to about 25%.

      he does also claim one child, so we know that adds a big chunk into his return.

      i wonder if we can amend our filing to get more back after the stimulus package goes into effect (assuming it will pass both congress and senate.) anyone know?

      #5 DallasAshli

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        Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:28 PM

        Oh - I dont know about amending or the specifics on the stimulus package. I am going to research!

        #6 *Heather*

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          Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:46 PM

          Ugh, your taxes are so much lower than ours! Our highest tax bracket is more like around 50%, and it starts pretty low, i.e. I think I hit the highest bracket within the first year of working after school! Boo Canada. I guess we have our healthcare system to thank for that one!

          #7 boscobel

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            Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:19 PM

            Good questions, Ab!

            One more - neither of us changed our tax status to married, does that matter? If it doesn't, how would we file a combined tax return? Just take them both to a place together? We own a duplex and rent out a floor, so I know that he has deductibles and shilz, but I usually just did mine over the phone real quick. So not sure what really changes.

            #8 Yari

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              Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:08 AM

              Our accountant recommended that we not filed married until next year. I am not sure why though. Sorry I am not much help.

              #9 Alyssa

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                Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:36 AM

                great question Abbie! I have also just begun thinking about this!

                #10 -Kate-

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                  Posted 22 January 2009 - 01:33 AM

                  We got hosed last year because we got married. Totally sucked ass.




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