The MFJ status typically provides more tax benefits than filing a separate return,

On a joint return, spouses report all of their combined income, spouses can file  a joint return even if only one had income.

This filing status is an election, NOT the default.

Both spouses must agree to sign a joint return, and both are responsible for any tax owed. 


Taxpayers can file joint if they are married as of December 31 and;

Live together as married spouses, or

Live together in a common-law marriage recognized in the state where they now reside or in the state where the common law marriage began, or

Live apart but are not legally separated or divorced.



Robert and Carmen physically separated on May 10, 2022. Neither Robert and Carmen filed for divorce, and they are not legally separated.

They do not have any children or dependents. Since their divorce was final before the end of the year, they are considered "Married" for tax purposes.

They must either file jointly or separately. 

E- Taxes Pro