Filing Taxes as a Married Couple: What Newlyweds Need to Know [2024]

Getting married changes so many aspects of your life – even some you may not have thought too much about, like filing taxes! Finances are one of the many parts of your lives that will intertwine, which usually will affect how you file your taxes. 

One important task that newlyweds often face is navigating the realm of taxes as a married couple. Figuring out how to file taxes as a married couple may seem daunting but with careful consideration and planning, you can make informed decisions that benefit both you and your spouse. 

It is essential to understand the ins and outs of tax filing as a married couple, so we will bust some common myths about filing taxes as a married couple, cover some considerations in the “jointly or separately” filing debate, and provide some helpful tax filing tips.

Let’s debunk some myths and explore key considerations to help you confidently make informed tax decisions!


Common Tax Myths About Married Couples 


Myth #1: Getting married increases your tax payment

Contrary to popular belief, getting married doesn’t always lead to higher tax payments. In fact, marriage can often result in tax benefits, especially if both partners have similar incomes. By filing jointly, you may qualify for certain deductions and credits that can lower your overall tax liability.


Myth #2: Married couples must file their tax return jointly

While filing jointly is a common approach for married couples, it is not mandatory. You have the option to file jointly or separately, depending on your individual circumstances. It is essential to weigh the pros and cons of each filing status to determine which one is most beneficial for you as a couple. We will cover more about this in the next section.


Myth #3: It is always easier to file separately rather than jointly

While filing separately may seem simpler in some cases, it is important to consider the potential implications. Married filing separately status often disqualifies couples from certain tax benefits, such as the earned income tax credit and education-related deductions. Additionally, filing separately can result in higher tax rates for both partners. However, there are situations where filing separately may be advantageous, such as if one spouse has significant medical expenses or if there are concerns about liability for unpaid taxes.

Now that we’ve addressed some common misconceptions, let’s explore the decision of whether to file jointly or separately in more detail.


Filing Jointly vs. Separately: What to Consider



When deciding how to file your taxes as a married couple, there are some factors to take into account:

  • Tax Deductions and Credits: Filing jointly allows you to combine your incomes and may make you eligible for certain tax deductions and credits that aren’t available when filing separately. Be sure to explore all available deductions and credits to maximize your tax savings.


  • State Tax Considerations: Keep in mind that state tax laws may differ from federal laws when it comes to filing status for married couples. Be sure to research the specific requirements in your state to make an informed decision.


  • Student Loans: If you or your spouse have student loans, consider how your filing status will impact income-based repayment plans or eligibility for student loan interest deductions. In some cases, filing separately may allow you to reduce your adjusted gross income and qualify for lower monthly payments or larger deductions.


  • Healthcare Subsidies: If you or your spouse receive healthcare subsidies through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, filing separately could affect your eligibility for these subsidies. Be sure to research how your filing status may impact your healthcare coverage and associated costs.


  • Asset Protection: If one spouse has significant debts or liabilities, filing separately may offer some protection for the other spouse’s assets. However, keep in mind that this approach may limit certain tax benefits and could result in higher overall tax payments.


  • Retirement Contributions: Consider how your filing status will affect your ability to contribute to retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401(k)s. Filing jointly may allow you to maximize contributions and take advantage of tax-deferred growth, while filing separately could limit your contribution limits and eligibility for certain deductions.


Tips for Filing Taxes as a Married Couple

Regardless of whether you choose to file jointly or separately, here are some tips to help streamline the tax filing process:

  • Gather all necessary documents: Make sure you have all relevant documents, including W-2 forms, 1099s, and any other income or deduction-related documents.


  • Communicate openly: Discuss your tax situation with your spouse and make decisions together to ensure that you are both on the same page.


  • Consider tax-saving strategies: Explore opportunities to minimize your tax liability, such as contributing to retirement accounts or taking advantage of tax credits for education expenses or home ownership.


  • File electronically: Filing your taxes electronically can help expedite the process and reduce the likelihood of errors.


  • Seek professional advice if needed: If you are unsure about how to proceed or have complex tax situations, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a qualified tax professional.


By HitchSwitch

About US

HitchSwitch was born of an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to make life easier. HitchSwitch founder Jake Wolff was in his first year at Fordham Law School, where he toyed with the idea of starting a business and hoped to experience his “Eureka!” moment.
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