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Ask Robin D. Your Own Question
Robin D.
Robin D., Senior Tax Advisor 4
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 13639
Experience:  15years with H & R Block. Divisional leader, Instructor
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I just got married this year, my husband and I will make at

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I just got married this year, my husband and I will make at least 200k by the end of the year..is it better to file jointly or separately once crossing this bracket? What would be the best way to avoid paying an arm and a leg!

Robin D. :

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you today. I am a tax adviser with over 15 years of experience.
If you file as joint with standard deduction your tax liability would be $37,866. You would need to subtract each of your withholding from the $37,866 to see if you would receive a refund or have a balance due.
Generally joint is better but I would need a break down of your wages separately to fully advise.

Robin D. :

Each spouse is held jointly and severally liable for the tax on a jointly filed tax return. For this reason some prefer to file separate.

Customer:

Lets say I make 200k and he makes 120k for example

Customer:

we run our own company

Robin D. :

Ok one sec please..............

Robin D. :

You would have a tax liability of $52561, and he would have $24533, jointly your liability would be $76355, you would save a little more than $700 if you file joint

Customer:

hmm

Customer:

and what are some possible deductions that can be made

Robin D. :

That is all standard deduction and not itemizing. If you own your own home you woudl want to look to itemizing your deductions with , mortgage interest, taxes, charitable gifts, state taxes

Robin D. :

Filing a separate return provides relief from joint liability for taxes. However, married taxpayers who file separately are not eligible for many tax deductions and credits, and have higher tax rates. In general, it is more advantageous to file a joint return.

Customer:

what about college

Robin D. :

Yes, for either the cost or interest on any loans.

Customer:

or cars

Customer:

ok if not loans

Customer:

say you buy it outright

Customer:

is it still deductible in some way

Robin D. :

Not for personal use no.

Customer:

so only if its on a loan

Robin D. :

No only if it is used for business or work

Customer:

and what if you buy college outright

Customer:

say if its $2000

Customer:

would any of that be deductible

Robin D. :

I see, it normally would but at your income you would not be allowed the full credit. The full credit is available to individuals whose modified adjusted gross income is $80,000 or less, or $160,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with incomes above these levels. These income limits are higher than under the existing Hope and lifetime learning credits.
You would see very little if any of the education costs as a credit at the income level you stated.

Customer:

ok if its 160k im reporting jointly

Customer:

what percentage of it would be deductible

Robin D. :

All the $2000 if that were the case.

Customer:

interesting,

Customer:

thanks

Robin D. :

You are most welcome

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