Newly married—losing 1k when filing jointly. Why?


Hi there,

My wife and I are newly married and going through the tricky situation of doing taxes. We had originally planned to file separately for ease before I found out that my (maxed out) Roth IRA contributions for the last year wouldn’t be allowed if we did (which is wild to me).

We then tried putting in our information jointly and found out we’d receive 1k less that way. What the heck? For reference: we have approximately the same taxable income at 80k. When filing separately, I’d get 100 back (plus have to figure out how to move 6,500 out of my Roth) and she’d get 3k back. But together we’d only get 2k back. I think this is still better than navigating the Roth situation and losing that lifetime interest, but what gives? Where’d the other 1k go?



  • Taxlady06
    Taxlady06 FreeTaxUSA Agent

    This often happens when you have more than one income reporting on your tax return. When you combine two incomes, the income amount is higher and as such more taxes are due. Without access to your return, I cannot say for sure. But this is commonly the issue. Taxes are withheld at a lower rate if your W-4 worksheet is not updated to include both income amounts.

    However, if you file separately, as you have seen, there are some credits and/or deductions that are limited.

    You are welcome to create two accounts in our software to compare your joint and separate returns to determine which option is best for you.