Taxes may be a pain, but learning how to do them properly could save you tons of money, particularly if you’re married.
While in the vast majority of cases you’ll save more money filing jointly with your spouse, there are circumstances where you could save money — or perhaps feel more comfortable — filing separately.
In any case, if you have doubt, you should run a comparison report with your CPA or financial adviser to make sure you’re saving the most money possible.
Check out some of the various filing scenarios in the flow chart below.
Keep in mind, if you and your spouse work or live in different states, your state may require you to file separately in your state and jointly for your federal returns — except if you live in a community property state where all marital assets are considered joint property — to ensure you won’t be taxed twice (in your state and your spouse’s state) on the same income.