Getting Married Now or Later

Today TaxMama hears from Robyn in the TaxQuips Forum, who needs to make a decision. Essentially, it boils down to should my boyfriend and I get married this year or not, in order to get the best tax advantage. They have a child together – and one that is just hers. Read the details here.

Dear Robyn,

 Yes, it’s probably time to get married  – at least for your child’s sake.   

As of right now, since you are not married, you can each file as head of household, if your child’s father claims the child you have together – and you only claim your daughter. Since he will have only worked full time for a few months, the Earned Income Credit might just be substantial – along with one of the Education Credits or expenses.  Pray that Congress extends the American Opportunity Credit so he can get a refundable credit for his tuition in 2010.

If you get married this year, your combined income might eliminate some of this benefit.  But it’s hard to give you good advice without numbers.

 So…see if you can invest in a two hour consultation with a tax professional to run some of the alternatives to see which works out best for you.  If you can’t afford it, do it yourself.  Run the various scenarios yourself using TurboTax’s TaxCaster or H&R Block’s 2010 Tax Estimator.

Test for:

Him Single – You Head of Household.

Him Head of Household – You Head of Household.

Married Filing Jointly

 That will help you decide about this year.  If it turns out that you are better off being single for 2010,  then go ahead and get married in 2011.  Good luck!

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about getting married and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.

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