Married, Sort of

Today TaxMama hears from Rachel who appeals for help “Please help me figure out my status for next year’s taxes! My boyfriend and I plan to be married for commitment purposes.

But I want to file as single because I don’t want my parents to find out my marriage status for the next 2 years.

Can a married person be treated as single when filing for taxes, if she is… living apart (but not necessarily legally separated) from the spouse and not sharing income?

Hey Rachel, Congratulations on finding Mr. Right!

But, do what you plan – and you’re going to lose him. And No, you may not file as single. Sorry, not legally. Not that I know.

Once you’re married, you have two choices for filing status,   married, filing jointly, or
married, filing separately

You could get away with doing it your way, but, I never like lying to IRS. It’s not a good thing.

Besides, why would your parents even see your tax returns? Your filing status is none of their business. (Heavens, my parents NEVER saw my tax returns.)

I’m not sure what your reason is for not letting your parents know. Or why they don’t want you to be married for two more years? Are you counting on financial aid from them to complete your education?

Even so, are you really sure that you want to start your married life with deception?

If you and your partner honestly want to be married and spend the rest of your lives together, let me give you a little tip – wait.

If it’s meant to be, he’ll still love you and be with you two years from now. If he doesn’t, you’ve just spared yourself the nastiness of a divorce.

If you start out your marriage with a lie to your parents, well, that signals that it’s also all right to lie to each other.

This ‘placeholder’ business is just plain cowardly.

Please pause and reconsider your options. Getting engaged can be healthy, and not harmful to your tax or financial status. Then you can celebrate your relationship, instead of hiding it. As to taxes…sorry, I can’t give you any joy in that area.

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of relationship and other tax information, free. Where? At

  • Ask TaxMama :: Where taxes are fun and answers are free

File Download (2:26 min / 1.1 MB)

Leave a Reply