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Married Filing Jointly

If two people are legally married, then their filing status can be married filing jointly. A married filing jointly tax filing status can only be used if both spouses agree to file a joint tax return. Below are some examples of married filing jointly as well as common problems about married filling jointly tax filing status.

What does it mean to file married filing jointly?

If you and your spouse file a joint tax return, then you combine your income with your spouse's and deduce combined expenses. When a joint tax return is filed, both spouses may be held responsible either jointly or individually for the:

  • tax and
  • any interest and
  • penalty due to the IRS.
Can I file married filing jointly if my spouse has no income?

Yes, you can file married filing jointly even if your spouse has no income.

Why should I file married filing jointly?

Filling married filing jointly usually result in lower income taxes owed to the IRS.

We are married by my spouse files separately, can I file married filing jointly?

No. Both spouses must file together for a married filing jointly tax status.

My spouse dies during the year, can I file married filing jointly?

If your spouse dies during the year and you have not remarried by the end of the year, you can file married filing jointly with your deceased spouse the year he or she dies.

My spouse dies, I remarry in the same year, what tax filing status should I use?

If you remarries the same year your spouse dies, then you can file married jointly with your new spouse but the deceased spouse must be filed his final tax return as a married filing separately tax filing status.

I did not earn any income, can I be held responsible for my spouse's action if I file married filing jointly?

Yes. However, you can be considered an injured spouse and not be liable for your spouse's action.