Married Filing Jointly

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Definition of 'Married Filing Jointly'

Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) is an IRS filing status for married couples. When you file jointly, you and your spouse combine your incomes, deductions, and credits on one tax return. This can often result in a lower tax bill than if you filed separately.

There are a few things to keep in mind when filing jointly. First, you must be legally married on the last day of the tax year. Second, you must both agree to file jointly. If one spouse wants to file separately, you will have to file separate returns.

Third, you must both sign the joint return. If one spouse does not sign, the return will be considered invalid.

Fourth, you must both meet the residency requirements. To file jointly, you must both have lived in the United States for at least 183 days during the tax year.

Fifth, you must both be citizens or resident aliens of the United States.

There are some advantages to filing jointly. First, you can usually claim a larger standard deduction than if you filed separately. Second, you can claim more dependents. Third, you can split your income between you and your spouse in a way that minimizes your taxes.

There are also some disadvantages to filing jointly. First, you are both liable for the entire tax bill, even if one spouse earned all of the income. Second, you may not be able to claim certain deductions or credits that you would be eligible for if you filed separately.

Overall, whether or not you should file jointly is a decision that you should make based on your individual circumstances. If you have any questions, you should consult with a tax professional.

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