What Does My Relationship Status Mean for My Taxes?

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Tax season is already well underway, and your relationship status is something to keep in mind when preparing to file your taxes.

Whether you’re a single filer doing the job on your own or working together with your significant other, our TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents — who, on average, have 15 years of experience — are here to share some words of wisdom to help you understand how your relationship status plays a role in your taxes.

Tax Tips for Single Taxpayers


Miguel Burgos, CPA for 6 years

There’s a myth that single people have to pay more taxes. That’s not necessarily true! My advice is to look for any opportunity to contribute to an employer retirement plan. That will reduce your taxable income, save and grow money for your future.

Ernie Sadashige, CPA for 13 years

“You don’t have to be married to get tax breaks. Most tax breaks, such as deducting student loan interest or receiving credit for tuition and books, are available to both married and single filers. There’s even an Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income single filers without dependent children.” 

“If you’re single and being claimed as a dependent, don’t forget to show that on your tax return. Otherwise, the IRS will reject your return if someone else (like Mom and Dad) is also claiming you. And Mom and Dad will not be happy if you file ahead of them and claim yourself when they are eligible to claim you, because the IRS will not release their refund until you amend your return.”

“The new tax law almost doubled the standard deduction for singles to $12,000. Some singles who itemized last year may see a bigger benefit by claiming the new standard deduction versus claiming itemized deductions like mortgage interest, taxes, and donations. Plus, out of pocket employee expenses are no longer deductible.”

Tax Tips for Newlyweds


Ernie Sadashige, CPA for 13 years

My number one tip is to check your withholding. In IRS math, 1 + 1 does not always equal 2. When newlyweds file together for the first time, their joint tax refund can be bigger or smaller than last year’s combined single refunds. Joint income may push you into a higher tax bracket and/or limit some credits and deductions. On the flip side, you may want to change your withholding to married from single to get more money during the year.”

Claudell Bradby, CPA for 19 years

Start tax planning early because it can help you reduce the amount you owe and increase your savings later.

Married couples often can lower their tax liability when they file a joint return. It is always a good idea for couples to review their tax return together on an annual basis to determine strategies for future tax planning and goals.”

Miguel Burgos, CPA for 6 years

Many newlyweds think you need to file separately in order to save. However, married filing separately isn’t the way to save. In fact, as long as you can, file jointly! There’s a wider tax bracket, lower tax rates, plus there are more credits and benefits.”

First of all, congratulations! When you do change your name, make sure you contact social security administration or else your return might be rejected.

Don’t worry about knowing all of these tax rules. TurboTax will ask you simple questions and give you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or enrolled agent with an average of 15 years of experience to get your tax questions answered. A TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent can review, sign, and file your tax return.

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