Ask An Accountant-Can Spouses File Separate Returns?

It’s tax time! My “Ask An Accountant” series should help with many questions that may arise. Remember, if you have a tax question, email my husband who is an experienced accountant at

Can my spouse & I file our tax returns separately?


If you are married and file separately, you generally report your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits. You are responsible only for the tax on “your” income. Keep in mind, you typically pay more tax, and you cannot take the student loan interest deduction, tuition & fees deduction, education credits, or earned income credit. You also cannot take the standard deduction of your spouse itemized.


Please keep in mind this post is for informational purposes only and answers given are very general. Do not rely on this column for definite tax answers as many things depend on individual circumstances. Please contact your personal accountant or financial advisor for your particular situation.

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IRS Circular 230 Notice: Any U.S. tax advice in this written or electronic communication was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or applicable state or local tax law provisions


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