IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, advises, "If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses
. Also, your standard deduction (if you don't itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that don't apply to other filing statuses
For 2016, the AOTC phase-out ranges from $160,000 to $180,000 for married filing jointly and from $80,000 to $90,000 for other filing statuses
. The LLC phases out from $110,000 to $130,000 for married filing jointly and from $55,000 to $65,000 for other filing status.
When faced with the necessity of using different filing statuses
at the federal and state level, taxpayers must also reconcile situations in which a deduction or credit allowed on a single return is different than that allowed on a married return.
Next we review the different filing statuses that are available to taxpayers.
They also all mimic the federal filing statuses of single, head of household, married filing separately, and married filing jointly--piggybacking on the federal definition of each status.
* Reformed income tax--This would simplify the individual income tax by repealing the alternative minimum tax (AMT), consolidating and simplifying savings incentives, eliminating phase-ins and phase-outs and retaining only two filing statuses
and rate schedules.
The exhibit on page 63, summarizes the federal income tax reductions, for all filing statuses
, for taxpayers in the 28% and 15% marginal brackets.
The brackets are based on three filing statuses
: MFJ, single or MFS (same rate), and head of household.
With respect to this condition, the instructions state that you should "[e]nter this code if you are required to use a married filing status on your New York return and you could not file your federal return using a married filing status." (133) Further, the instructions to the Form IT-201 warn that "[a]ny reference in these instructions (and in any supporting credit forms and other attachments to your New York return) to your federal return, federal amount, federal credit claimed, etc., refers to your federal as-if-married return." (134) The instructions, however, do not explain any of the many adjustments to federal income that are necessitated by virtue of the differing filing statuses for federal and New York purposes.
(166) The Filing Status page is devoted to all filing statuses by all taxpayers, so what it says about civil unions is even briefer than what is said about civil unions in the instructions to the New Jersey income tax returns.
One such simplification proposal would eliminate the many complicated phase-outs in the tax law (see Exhibits I and II on pages 726 and 727) and adjust the tax rates or, if that is not possible or considered unfair, would at least create consistency in the Measure of income, and in the range (including between filing statuses
) and method of all phase-outs.
At present, filing statuses
reserved for married couples may continue to be unavailable to same-sex couples living in states where those statuses are not legal options, because the IRS may not recognize those marriages unrecognized by the couples' states of residence.