Getting married

USA Discussion in 'Individuals' started by ericmday, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. ericmday


    Aug 19, 2016
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    got married the other day. How should my new wife and I file for 2018? We have 30 days to file marriage liscence with the state and plan to do so after Jan 1. We both have massive student loans, the payments of which, once our incomes are combined, will surely rise. Can we file single head of household this year to avoid our student loans going up? If we have to file as married, how best to file, jointly or single?
    ericmday, Dec 24, 2018
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  2. ericmday

    kirby VIP Member

    May 12, 2011
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    Your tax status as married or single is based on whether you were married or single as of the last day of the year.
    Per draft 2018 1040 instructions, your filing choices are married filing jointly or separately. Neither one of you can file as head of household or single because you are married. To find best filing method as married filing jointly or separately you actually have to prepare the returns both ways as drafts and then compare results.
    Also I suggest you both make 1040 drafts of what would be owed if you both could have filed as single. Then compare those results to the best case married results. The difference may not be as bad as you are imagining.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
    kirby, Dec 24, 2018
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  3. ericmday


    Sep 20, 2014
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    Central, New York
    As Kirby mentioned - you have to file either Married filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately, you have no choice as you were married before Dec. 31 2018. I my opinion, if the both of you are that worried about your student loans increasing after filling jointly - I would recommend filing Married Filing Separate. Doing so will keep your earning separate and thus shouldn't affect each of your student loan payments unless your individual wages increase. But beware - if you file Married filing Separate, both of you will not be eligible to take certain Tax Credits (varies depending on your individual situation) which could make a difference between getting a refund or having to owe (again, depending on each individuals situation).

    I have a client that does file Married Filing Separate because of this exact reason, they refuse to file jointly because their student loan monthly payment would "skyrocket" and they'd rather not be eligible for some Tax Credits than have their monthly payment increase.

    Like Kirby mentioned - do drafts for both scenario's and see which way works best for both of you.
    ttreacy, Jan 10, 2019
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