Around the Water Cooler

Today TaxMama hears from Pam in Florida. She says, “My husband asked me if we would be better filing separately, I told him he is crazy. Someone at work told him since I am disabled, drawing my Social Security Disability, that he would be better off filing separately. And if he wouldn’t have to put my Social Security Disability down on his W-2 that he would get more back with his taxes, is this true?”

Hey Pamela,

Yes, I always get the best advice around water coolers, roach coaches and in grocery lines, too. Yup. You can find all the smartest people there.

Good thing you understand just how much nonsense this is.

Generally, married filing separately is much more expensive. In fact, when it comes to Social Security income (of any sort), you get certain benefits filing jointly that you instantly lose by filing separately.

If your husband wants to see the difference between a joint and a separate return, try out all three tax returns here:

It won’t cost a dime to try each alternative. You’ll only pay for the one tax return you do file.

Better yet, get yourselves a real tax pro that you can meet with each year and do some planning. You can probably reduce your taxes.
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about filing status and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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