Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A joint tax return is one tax return filed by a married couple on which the couple’s income and deductions are reported together (neither spouse files his/her own tax return in the case of a joint tax return). A joint tax return is the type filed when a couple is filing under the status married filing jointly, which is the opposite of married filing separately. Filing a joint tax return usually results in the lowest tax liability for married couples, though in some cases it makes more sense to file under the married filing separately status. Couples filing a joint tax return must add together their incomes for reporting on the joint tax return, resulting in a higher adjusted gross income. But the couple’s standard deductions will also be higher on a joint tax return. Filing a joint tax return also allows couples to claim credits they would not otherwise be able to claim.
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This glossary post was last updated: 9th February, 2020