Taxes can be a confusing and intimidating topic, but understanding the difference between married and single tax rates is essential for making the right financial decisions. In general, married couples who file their taxes together will have less of their paychecks withheld than single couples. This is because the tax brackets and rates are different for each marital status, and withholding is largely based on the anticipated taxes in those brackets. The main difference between filing as single and declaring you married for tax purposes is how your income is treated as individual or combined, and how this figure is evaluated for deductions, credits and thresholds in the tax code.
Married couples can choose to file a joint return on the same tax return or separately on different tax returns, whichever is more advantageous in their situation. This difference in brackets and rates can be particularly beneficial when one spouse is self-employed and has business losses. The net effect of withholding money at the highest single rate will be to lower your potential tax bill or increase your refund. Taxpayers can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to determine if they are overpaying or underpaying taxes.
If you have an unusual tax scenario, such as a year of high medical bills or massive charitable donations, you may want to evaluate your options to determine how different tax statements will affect the amount of taxes you owe. If you meet these criteria, it's best to use the head of household as your marital status to file your tax return, since these people receive preferential tax treatment. How Dependents Fit In · Other Considerations. Tax forms are often confusing, so if you find yourself stuck, don't be ashamed to ask your employer or a tax professional for help.
We recommend that your tax agent provide you with detailed tax advice before you decide to make the right financial decision based on your circumstances.