Filing separately vs jointly (for student loan debt)

jrsanturri Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

I'm not sure if my wife and I should file separately or not. I've been doing some research but it's tough to figure out.

Me: no student debt, about 80k income

Her: student debt (going through PSFL), about 60k income

Last year we filed jointly (didn't realize her loans would be based off both of our incomes). I believe it makes more sense for us to file separately (her payments would be about $500 cheaper a month). We don't have any children yet so we wouldn't be missing out on any of those credits/deductions.

Is there a way for me to compare filing separately vs. filing jointly with this tax software?


  • RBorch
    RBorch FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 22
    edited February 12

    The IRS has a great Interactive tool to help you decide which filing status will be best for you! Click on the link I have provided to the IRS website scroll down and click BEGIN.

  • kiarab
    kiarab FreeTaxUSA Agent Posts: 58


    Usually, filing jointly is the better way to go (lower tax rate, higher standard deduction, qualifies for certain credits). But there are times when filing separately makes more sense.

    As you said, you do not have any children, so most of the credits that filing jointly provides do not apply here. Really, the best way to do it is to prepare it both ways. While you cannot prepare two returns on the same account, what you can do is create another account that you can use for testing. As long as you do not submit anything, nothing will be sent to the IRS.