Joint Return

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Definition of 'Joint Return'

A joint return is a tax return filed by two people who are married to each other. It is the most common type of tax return filed in the United States. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse are jointly and severally liable for all taxes owed on the return. This means that you are both responsible for paying the full amount of taxes due, even if one of you does not have the money to pay.

There are a few advantages to filing a joint return. First, you can usually claim a higher standard deduction and itemized deductions than you would if you filed separately. Second, you may be able to claim more credits and deductions, such as the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. Third, you may be able to lower your tax rate by splitting your income between two taxpayers.

However, there are also some disadvantages to filing a joint return. If one of you has a lot of income, it can push you into a higher tax bracket. You may also lose some of the benefits that you would be eligible for if you filed separately, such as the head of household filing status.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to file a joint return is a personal one. You should weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. If you are not sure which filing status is right for you, you should consult with a tax professional.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind when filing a joint return:

* You must be married to your spouse on the date that you file your tax return. If you get divorced or legally separated during the year, you cannot file a joint return for that year.
* You must both be U.S. citizens or residents.
* You must both have a Social Security number.
* If you have any children, you must claim them on your joint return.
* You must both sign the tax return.

If you are not sure whether you qualify to file a joint return, you should consult with a tax professional.

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