Married Filing a Joint Return
The second step in the interview tips is to determine if married taxpayers wish to file a joint return. If so, they will use one return to report their combined income and to deduct combined allowable expenses. Click here to view the Interview Tips for Filing Status.
Married taxpayers can select this status even if one of the spouses did not have any income or any deductions. Taxpayers may use the Married Filing Jointly status if one of the following applies on the last day of the tax year:
A marriage means only a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife. The IRS recognizes a common law marriage if it is recognized by the state where the taxpayers now live or where the common law marriage began. Legal advice may be required to determine if a common law marriage exists.
Question: Does it matter if one spouse does not have any income?
Answer: No. Taxpayers can choose either the Married Filing Jointly status or the Married Filing Separately status even if only one spouse has income.