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Jacy, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 568
Experience:  Nine years individual income tax preparation and consulting
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My girlfriend and I are considering marriage but only if we

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My girlfriend and I are considering marriage but only if we pay no more in taxes than we have been filing as singles (we would have no problem getting married but not having a civil marriage license).

She itemizes her deductions because of her business. I use the standard deduction because there is little (besides the state tax) that I could itemize. It appears to me that if we marry legally and file jointly that our total tax will exceed what we currently pay as singles (since I will have to itemize deductions also). Our incomes are fairly equal (25-30000).

Does this sound right?



For 2010, the tax law has eliminated the marriage penalty meaning that you will not pay more tax if you are married than if you file Single. This may not be the case going forward. Congress has not yet decided on next years tax rates.


Regarding itemized deductions, if you file single, you get the 5700 standard, and your girlfriend itemizes, which must be somewhat more than 5700. You are right in that if you are married, you can either take the 11,400 standard or itemize. If her deductions are less than this you will be getting less in deductions overall being married.


Hope this is helpful,








Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Her deductions were $13600. But since my standard deduction was $5700, it seems like our total itemized deductions would have to meet or exceed 13600+5700=19300 for us to break even. Is that right?



You are correct. Keep in mind that you may have deductions to add to her 13,600 if you are married, like state income taxes and charitable contributions.


Thanks again,



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