When 'Married Filing Separately' Makes Sense
For most, filing jointly is the best option, but in rare instances filing apart from your spouse could lower your tax bill.
Question: Every year when I do my taxes I notice the "married filing separately" option under filing status. In what circumstance would I be better off choosing this over "married filing jointly"?
Answer: For the vast majority of married taxpayers, "married filing jointly" is the way to go. In fact, just 4.5% of married couples filed separately for the 2009 tax year, the most recent annual data available. That represented 1.8% of all returns filed that year.
Adam Zoll does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.