Married Filing Jointly


DEFINITION of 'Married Filing Jointly'

A filing status for married couples that have wed before the end of the tax year. When filing under the married filing jointly status, couples can record their respective incomes, exemptions and deductions on the same tax return. Married filing jointly is best if only one spouse has a significant income. However, if both spouses work and the income and itemized deductions are large and very unequal, it may be more advantageous to file separately.

BREAKING DOWN 'Married Filing Jointly'

When filing jointly, both you and your spouse are equally responsible for the return and the taxes. If either one of the spouses understates the tax due, both are equally liable for the penalties unless the other spouse claims he or she was not aware of the mistake and did not benefit from it. Taxes can get pretty technical and tricky so if you or your spouse is having trouble determining tax liability, talk to an experienced tax preparer.

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  2. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

    You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I tell if I'm eligible for an EITC?

    According to the IRS, over 22 million taxpayers received $41.4 billion dollars in earned income tax credit (EITC) for tax ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why is Andorra considered a tax haven?

    Andorra is one of many locations around the globe considered a tax haven because of its relatively lenient tax laws. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are Social Security spousal benefits?

    Social Security spousal benefits are partial retirement or disability benefits granted to the spouses of qualifying taxpayers.  Qualifying ... Read Full Answer >>
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