Before you take any decisions you must study the pros and cons of the two choices carefully and decide what is best for you and never follow advice because a financial whiz recommends it.
The IRS considers an individual as married if you are legally married on the last day of the year. So, read through all the rules and discuss the issue with your spouse. A joint return means you and your spouse need to sign the joint return and club all your finances and savings together. According to the IRS, the tax payable on a joint return may be lower than the tax payable on two individual returns.
In a joint return filed by married couples:
The IRS publication 501 Married Filing Jointly gives details.
In a joint return, both spouses include all the income clubbed together and all the applicable deductions and credits. In a joint tax return both spouses must sign the return and accept full responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the tax return details. In case of joint returns both individuals must jointly accept responsibility for payment of taxes, interest, or penalties irrespective of who earned the money. The only exceptions are: innocent spouse relief, separation of liability, or equitable relief.
To file a joint return you must be legally married as of December 31st of the tax year and incase one partner in the marriage died during the year you can still file a joint tax return except if you divorced or remarried during the year under consideration for tax return.
Filing federal tax returns just means that you need to be systematic, know which forms to fill, get all the documents and forms you need in order and use readily available quick tax facts to ensure that you are not missing any important items. See http://taxes.about.com/od/2007taxes/qt/quicktaxfacts07.htm and http://taxes.about.com/od/2006taxes/qt/quicktaxfacts06.htm .
The deadline for filing tax returns for 2006 is Tuesday April 17, 2007 because april 15th is a Sunday and April 16th is a holiday “Emancipation Day.” Keep in mind that after the IRS printed and distributed forms for 2006 the Congress in the US passed the “Tax Relief and Health Care Act” which extended several tax breaks that expired in 2005. So, check the IRS website for eligibilities and details before filing your tax forms.
Barry Allen is a freelance writer for Online Tax Firm, the premier website to find tax, return tax, tax software, free tax filing, sales tax, services tax,income tax, property tax and many more.