10 Tax Tips for Married Couples

Married Filing Jointly
Meet with your accountant or a tax professional to decide if filing jointly is the best plan for you. © LDProd/iStockphoto.com

As a married couple, you have two options for filing your taxes: married filing jointly and married filing separately. Most couples file jointly, because it usually results in fewer taxes. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • When both spouses work and one makes considerably more money than the other, filing jointly can bring the higher earnings into a lower tax bracket.
  • Some tax credits are only available when filing jointly.

On the negative side of the filing jointly equation, once the return is signed, you and your spouse are both responsible for everything on it, no matter who fills it out and makes the decisions. If your spouse took some deductions you aren't sure about or bent the truth just a little and the IRS catches up with the mistake, you are equally liable for it. If you have some concerns, file separately.