Married Filing Jointly vs Head of Household

Taxpayers can file their federal income tax returns as married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, single, or qualifying widow(er). Most taxpayers who have a dependent living with them and single can file their taxes as a head of household. The taxpayers who are married, on the other hand, can file their federal income tax returns jointly. While both have their advantages, it’s hard to point out one is better than another.

Both heads of households and married couples filing a joint return get an increased standard deduction and their own tax brackets. The tax bracket amounts are higher with reduced tax rates.

However, the tax brackets for married couples are pretty much identical to the single bracket, with the amounts doubled and the tax rates remaining the same. The heads of households get the same rates, starting from 10 percent and goes up to 37 percent. But, the amounts are higher than single filers and joint filers, but individually.

Can I file taxes as head of household while I’m married?

For a taxpayer to file taxes as head of household, the taxpayer needs to live separately from their spouse for at least more than half of the tax year with a qualifying dependent. The taxpayer also must’ve covered more than half of the expenses. So you can file your federal income tax return as a head of household as long as you met the above conditions.

Is it better to file taxes as head of household when my spouse is away?

It could be better to file taxes separately when your spouse is out of town. The head of household tax advantages can give you a boost in your tax return, but it’s better to calculate the outcome of taxes both ways. This should clear out any worries when figuring out whether it’s better to file taxes separately than your spouse and as a head of household or not.

I don’t have a dependent. Can I file taxes as head of household?

Filing taxes as a head of household when you don’t have a dependent isn’t possible. It’s one of the requirements to file federal income taxes as head of household. If you don’t meet that requirement, you’ll have to file your taxes as single or jointly or as a single filer.

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