My wife is quitting her job and will stay-at-home. I'm considering changing my tax withholding from married at single rate to simply married to reduce withholdings.

Does it make sense to change my tax withholding to married since we'll have less income?

  • There's probably a good chance that if you filed married, you would end up in a lower tax bracket.
    – Corey P
    May 2, 2019 at 14:57
  • 2
    @BetterBudget Withholding isn't the same as filing status. You can have an employer withhold as if you are single when you are married, it's common among dual income families.
    – Hart CO
    May 2, 2019 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


In a word, yes. Else, your withholdings are looking at a completely different tax table. Your tax return in 2019 doesn't care who made how much, only the total (for federal tax purposes). A couple making $100K pays far less in tax than a single person making the same $100K. In your case, the "single rate" withholding is far higher than the true situation calls for.

On a final note, I'd suggest using the 2018 tax software, and running an estimated return for 2019. It won't be exact, but close enough to help you not have a surprise next April.

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