income tax 4097292 1280

Are there Tax Advantages When You Get Married in Texas?

Marriage helps in reducing the tax burden for husbands and wives who jointly file their taxes. Depending on their incomes, there is a way to avoid the known marriage “penalties.” If there is a substantial difference in the salaries of the spouses who are both taxpayers, the spouse paying for the lower tax can pull the spouse paying higher tax down into a much lower bracket than if the latter were to file taxes separately. This reduces the spouses’ overall taxes. Below are some tax advantages of married couples in Texas.

1. The spouses might be the tax shelter of each other

The spouse who uses money can’t take advantage of some deductions. These deductions include those with regard to the house. However, the spouse who makes money can use the loss and consider it as a tax write-off. 

2. The nonpaying spouse can have an Individual Retirement Account

A spouse who is not working may contribute to an individual retirement account (IRA). The limit at which the benefits of the IRA are phased out, on the basis of income, is higher for married couples than for single people. Someone who could not pay into an IRA when they were single can utilize the joint income to fund an IRA and possibly save thousands of dollars for retirement while receiving tax benefits that are substantial.

3. Couples may “benefit-shop”

If benefit packages are given to both spouses from their respective jobs, they can choose from the two plans the one that has the most valuable benefits. The right combination of benefits from the plans can increase the tax savings of couples in a lot of ways. For example, if the couple has children who are dependent, then both of them can find the use of the benefit plans like dependent care plans beneficial to them.

4. Being married Can Have a Larger Deductions on Charitable Contributions

Charitable contributions may be deducted, but there is a limitation on how much will be deducted for the year. This is based on income. Being married can raise the amount of this limitation because if one of the spouses makes huge charitable contributions, but that spouse does not have income that is at least double the amount of the contribution made, the contributions that are in excess to the amount of the income are carried over to the next year. 

5. Marriage Protects the Estate

Under the law, a person can leave any amount of money to his or her spouse without having to pay estate tax. This exemption is a protection of the estate of the deceased until such time that the spouse dies.

6. Filing costs less and takes less time

If the couple is just filing a single tax return, it will consume less time to prepare the paperwork for the non-filing spouse, and of course, they will be able to save possible costs if they had the return prepared by another person.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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