Define: Joint Return

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Joint Return



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Full Definition of Joint Return


A joint return is an IRS tax return that is filed by both members of a married couple. In a joint return, income and deductions are combined, and the standard deduction is twice that of an individual. With a joint return, only one return is filed. To be eligible to file a joint return, the couple must have the status of “married filing jointly.” In most cases, filing a joint return results in the couple paying less tax than they would if they filed separately. One common disadvantage (called the “marriage penalty”) of filing a joint return is that the couple may actually pay more tax collectively than they would if they were not married at all and filed separately.


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Joint Return. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved April 07, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/joint-return/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Joint Return are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 9th February, 2020