When should we file ‘Married Filing Separately’?

Only about 1 in 50 taxpayers chooses to file tax returns as “Married Filing Separately” so it has not been a popular option. For most married couples this would raise the total amount of tax due. There are exceptions. Those who do file separately typically save money doing so, and that’s why these choose it. More married couples may choose this filing method for 2018 especially if one operates a ‘pass-trough’ type of business. This week The Wall Street Journal published an article on this topic so I won’t rehash the logic and details here.

There are really only two practical point to remember:

  1. Your tax adviser can easily compare the options and give the details so that you can make the choice on filing status as it relates to taxes. It’s not that he/she is brilliant but rather that our software makes this calculation available.
  2. If there are other legal issues involved affecting your decision to file separately, consult a lawyer.


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