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TaxMomNJ, Senior Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
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Experience:  7 years experience with tax preparation company, over 500 hours of tax courses taken
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Hello, I am currently engaged and living with a lovely woman

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I am currently engaged and living with a lovely woman who is currently unemployed (has been all year) with four dependents. I myself have one dependent I can claim on my taxes. I will probably clear about 50,000 dollars this year and we live in Missouri

What is the best scenario for us Tax Refund wise(getting the most money) for us at the end of the year, and possibly maximize the earned income refund?

BTW we were planning to get married in Jan or Feb, but if we can get a bigger refund we can speed things up a bit ?

A.     Get Married and file jointly claim all the dependents together?

B.     She gets a Job till the end of the year, we don’t get married and we file separately she claims hers I claim mine?

C.     Get Married and she gets a job till the end of the year and file jointly, claim all the dependents together?

D.     Or is there another better option?


Ken H.



Technically, if you and your lovely woman are not married, you are not supposed to claim her dependents. The reason for this is: they could be treated as "qualifying relatives" for you, not qualifying children. However, in order to be qualifying relatives, the children cannot be qualifying children for another taxpayer. The children are qualifying children of their mother.


Second, if their mother attains a job now, in the beginning of December, she will probably not make enough to receive a worthwhile tax return at tax time.


I will give you an approximate breakdown for what will happen if you get married in 2008, which is probably the most advantageous idea for you two:


Income (approx) - $50,000

Standard Deduction (married filing joint) - $10,900

Exemptions (7 exemptions, you, your wife, 5 dependents) - $24,500

Taxable Income ($50k - $10,900 - $24,500) - $14,600

Tax Liability (approx) - $1,463


For example, if you have had $5,000 federal taxes withheld from your pay, you will receive a refund of $3,537 ($5,000 - $1,463).


Keep in mind, your tax liability is less for a married couple filing joint.

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