When filing taxes jointly as a married couple, which of the following is accurate (or are none accurate)?

  • Husband's total salary will be added to wife's salary
  • Wife's total salary will be added to husband's salary
  • Lowest salary is added to the maximum salary

Thank you in advance

  • 3
    What do you think would be difference between these options? All of them are adding the same two numbers together, giving the same result. – BrenBarn May 17 '16 at 2:23

Based on your question, it sounds like you're wondering which salary would be the "primary" on a joint tax return. The answer is neither. It doesn't matter which salary is entered first or second. When I file our taxes, I put my info first because I get it before my wife's comes in. It used to be that her info arrived first, so I entered hers onto the tax forms first. It's a joint filing, not a primary with secondary.

You're not adding salaries together. You're filing 2 separate salaries on the same form. For each salary (assuming not self-employed), you should each have a W-2 at the end of the year to enter.

However, there is a general recommendation to keep it consistent year-over-year: Significance of first name on joint tax return

  • Thank you but final question why to file two W-2 as we are filing jointly tax – teja May 16 '16 at 22:06
  • 3
    W-2's are not things you file. That is the form your employer sends you with information about your pay for the year. You use the W-2 to fill in the information on your 1040. You should have a W-2 for every employer you (or your spouse) work for, but only one 1040 form. For instance, last year I had 2 W-2's because I changed jobs in the middle of the year. My wife had a W-2 as well, so we put the info from 3 W-2's onto our 1040, which was filed jointly. – BobbyScon May 16 '16 at 22:55
  • The advice for married couples when completing the W-4 form is to enter 0 exemptions on the W-4 for the smaller salary. This makes is more likely that the withholding will be most accurate, thus reducing the likelihood of owing a large amount at the en of the year. The W-4 form as a worksheet for two income situations. – mhoran_psprep May 17 '16 at 10:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.