Married Filing Separately Law and Legal Definition
Married taxpayers can either file their tax returns jointly or separately. "Married filing separately" is a tax filing status for married taxpayers who choose to file their returns separately. Married couples filing separately get the least benefits of all the filing statuses. When a married couple files a separate tax return, each spouse is taxed like a single individual which results in a higher combined tax liability. But in certain cases married filing separately makes sense. This status is beneficial if one spouse has substantially higher deductible expenses or miscellaneous deductions than the other.
Married couples who file separately are not eligible for the following:
- Deductions for Interest paid on a student loan.
- Bond Interest benefits.
- Social Security benefits.
- Credit for elderly or disabled.
- Credit for child and dependent care expenses.
- Credit for Earned income.
- Hope and Lifetime Learning Educational credits.
If husband and wife are separated, they will be considered married for the entire year until no final decree of divorce has been entered by the last day of the tax year.