May 28, 2019 - Douglas Myser

Tax tips for married couples. Married couples have three filing choices they can make. They may file married filing jointly, which is the most popular, due to the fact it lowers couples tax bracket the most in most situations, married filing separately, and head of household. The standard deduction depends on which filing status you use.  For married filing jointly, the deduction is $24,000 in 2018, and the amount is $12,000 if you are married filing separately. Choosing the married filing jointly status might be a good choice even if one spouse is not working because the IRS extends some tax benefits for married couples to joint filers that aren't available to those who file individually. This results in a marriage tax break.

Tax tips for married couples. Even if filing jointly has been your best choice in the past, don't assume it will always be that way. Do the calculations each year to determine whether filing separately or jointly will give you the best tax result. Changes in your personal circumstances or new tax laws might make a new filing status more desirable. What was once a marriage tax break might turn into a reason to file separately or vice versa. You can file jointly if you want to deduct education expenses. Married students can deduct education expenses, but you'll need to file jointly to qualify. The credits you might qualify for are the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. The AOTC is worth up to $2500 of your qualifying education expenses, and because it's refundable, you can get money back if your credit is more than your total tax liability.

You can also deduct qualifying medical expenses from your taxes. You can claim expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. You will need to keep copies of your receipts, and make sure you only claim qualifying expenses. If your deductions and credits are not enough to keep you from having a large tax debt, you can contact this Tax Resolution Services firm for Tax Relief options, including the options in the IRS Fresh Start Program. Make sure you ask for every option, not just those in that program.