Filing Your Taxes as a Married Couple in a Community Property State

In community property states, such as, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, divorcing couples generally divide shared property equally.

Examples of Community Property

Community property may include, but is not limited to:

  • Properties acquired during the marriage.
  • Properties agreed to be converted from separate to community property.
  • Income from community property assets.
  • Salaries, wages, or pay for the services of either spouse.

Couples who have community property may file their federal income taxes jointly or separate.  Filing together has several advantages including reduced costs for filing. However, it come with disadvantages as well, such as unique tax brackets, deductions, and credits.

The main criteria for consideration would be the tax bracket a couple will fall into when filing jointly, compared to each spouse filing individually.

Benefits of Filing Jointly

Factors couples should consider include, what credits and deductions they will be eligible for. For example, couples with dependents can be eligible for more credits and deductions, if they file jointly. Furthermore, they may also receive higher income thresholds for tax breakups, such as the one for IRA contributions.

Filing jointly may allow couples to  claim educational credits and student loan considerations. Additionally, joint filing may make partners eligible for larger standard deductions and higher tax benefits.

Benefits of Filing Separately

Filing separately has many benefits, as well. If one spouse is  on a student loan repayment plan or have a significant e medical expenses, avoiding sharing liabilities will protect the other partner from being forced to help cover expenses in the case of divorce or separation.


Couples looking to discuss all possible options should consult the Chugh, LLP  attorneys and tax advisors, to help them learn the best option for your unique situation.


Works Cited

Expert, a TurboTax. “Five Tax Tips for Community Property States - TurboTax Tax Tips and Videos.” Five Tax Tips for Community Property States - TurboTax Tax Tips & Videos,

“Taxes: Single Vs. Married | How to File - SmartAsset.” SmartAsset, 10 Mar. 2023,

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