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Filing Federal Taxes, Married-style!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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