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taxes--married filing joint?? or seperate?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by blake1012, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM
    #1
    blake1012

    blake1012 [OP] Go Braves!

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    So i got married in Sept.

    Not sure which is the best method? joint or seperate?

    what do y'all do? and which gives back more money?
     
  2. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:22 PM
    #2
    Brunes

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    Sub'ed-I want to see what folks say about this.
     
  3. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:37 PM
    #3
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    I've heard (READ: heard... haven't done any research on it) that for tax year 2008, it doesn't matter anymore. In the past, you would be better off filing separately.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:44 PM
    #4
    TacomaHarry

    TacomaHarry Well-Known Member

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    Don't you have "PEOPLE" ??


    I think h&r block has a hot line or just call a local guy.

    THIS IS NOT SPAM I use them and would reccommed them, THAT'S ALL
     
  5. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:49 PM
    #5
    LonghornTaco

    LonghornTaco Can you pass the bailout please?

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    When I was married, we were always better off fileing jointly. That might be because I made most of the money, but we always came out way ahead.

    Now, I'm scared to see what I'm gonna face filing single for the first time in a long time...

    :pout:
     
  6. Feb 2, 2009 at 12:54 PM
    #6
    tdm156

    tdm156 Well-Known Member

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    Depends on if you own a home or not, what deductions you have etc. I am self employed and we file jointly but I would ask your CPA which would benefit you the most.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:02 PM
    #7
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    I may be wrong, because tax laws are changing all of the time, I think you have to be married at least 6 months in the given tax year to file jointly.
     
  8. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:10 PM
    #8
    blake1012

    blake1012 [OP] Go Braves!

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    thanks for all the input guys
     
  9. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:21 PM
    #9
    Ticketdoctor

    Ticketdoctor Senior Lettuce Washer

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    Congratulations on the wedding!!!!

    For 2006 you did not need to be married for 6 months. I was married on Dec 30 and I was able to file a joint return for that year.

    If I have pretty simple financial questions I usually start with www.clarkhoward.com.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:32 PM
    #10
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    Thanks for the correction. I've been married 20 years this year, I forgot the rules on filing single. :)
     
  11. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:43 PM
    #11
    Racinkid13

    Racinkid13 Problem Child

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    I got married in Oct, but we filed married/seperate.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2009 at 1:51 PM
    #12
    TacoCo

    TacoCo Aspiring wrench monkey

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    Already started on mine, and I got married last year... I think in most cases you want to file jointly. If we had filed separately, we'd be paying nearly $5k more in taxes.

    Edit, actually it's closer to $2k, just based on approximating things and looking at the tax tables (around page 70): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf
     
  13. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:09 PM
    #13
    TacoCo

    TacoCo Aspiring wrench monkey

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    Another thing to note: If you file separately, and itemize for one of you, the other cannot claim the standard deduction... I think that's the only way it would make sense in my situation to file separately.

    Also, you only have to be married at the end of 2008 in order to file jointly.
     
  14. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:11 PM
    #14
    Pster

    Pster Well-Known Member

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    My wife does my taxes. I have no idea what my income, expenses, or taxes are. I am stupidly happy and content.
     
  15. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:13 PM
    #15
    TacoCo

    TacoCo Aspiring wrench monkey

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    She probably spends your return for you too then :D
     
  16. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:21 PM
    #16
    blake1012

    blake1012 [OP] Go Braves!

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    lol...as long as he is happy.
     
  17. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:33 PM
    #17
    mws4ua

    mws4ua I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

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    It almost certainly makes more sense to file your taxes jointly. Also, as somebody already mentioned, even if you're married on December 31 the IRS considers you married for the year.

    Here's an informative summary of times that it could make sense to file seperately. (I found it using a quick Google search... there's nothing necessarily special about this particular article.) If you fall into any of these categories you should probably look into the issue a little more. If you're just a normal guy w/ a normal income, and you're wife is the same way (except for the 'guy' part), there's probably no reason not to file a joint return.

    I am a CPA. I don't to taxes as my full-time gig (I work for the power company), but I do a few returns on the side this time of year. None of my clients file seperately.

    Yes... I've already filed my taxes this year!
     
  18. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:44 PM
    #18
    Pster

    Pster Well-Known Member

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    She does. I don't care. I stopped caring about that years ago. Like I could have ever controlled her anyways. She spends it wisely and I just watch with a good single malt scotch. My needs are basic.
     
  19. Feb 2, 2009 at 2:50 PM
    #19
    mws4ua

    mws4ua I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.

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    I'm not sure you're reading the tables correctly. Say you and your wife make $100k taxable income combined. We'll also assume that you each make $50k.

    If you filed jointly, you'd owe $17,681 (as noted in the table on page 79 of the document you linked).

    If you filed married/separate, you wouldn't use the number in the next column over. You would go back in the table and find the section with $50k (because we assumed you each made $50) and look at the married/separate. At the top of page 74 it says that married/separate for $50k is $8,850. Because you each earned that, your total tax would be $17,700, which is only $19 more than married/joint.

    If, however, you made $75k of the money and she made $25k, the table indicates that you would pay a total of $18,732 by filing married/separate ($15,379 paid by you and $3,353 paid by her).

    ---If you were reading them correctly, then I apologize for the long-winded explanation, and in no way was it meant to be patronizing.

    I've never had to deal w/ it, but I also believe this is correct... if married/separate and one is itemizing, then the other must claim a standard deduction of zero. The two CAN split up the itemized deductions, though.
     
  20. Feb 2, 2009 at 3:06 PM
    #20
    81shark

    81shark Well-Known Member

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    generally, it's works out that it's better to file jointly, but if you want, you can always prepare them jointly and individually to see which would be more advantagous.
     
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