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Should a couple who has been married less than six months file taxes separately or jointly if one of them is a student?

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January 18, 2007 4:37AM

Tax laws now treat deductions the same for married as single You can file either jointly or seperately. Certainly many things enter into if one election is better than the other, and not only just which has a lower tax result. However, the most certain way to determine which is better is to simply prepare a return each way...it's really not too difficult to do by hand, but especially with all the computer return software and sites, some of which are available for free, many of which automatically run the test, it isn't hard to do. Off the top, if one of you has a reasonable income, and the other (the student) has little or none, it would seem clearly better to file jointly. The small income person probably actually doesn't have enough income to use up all the personal exemption and deductions they have by themselves, essentially wasting a benefit that could otherwise be used to offset taxable income of the wage earner.