This question is too vague to give an absolute answer. How long has your husband been in prison? Did he have any taxable income in 2012? Does he owe the IRS back taxes? You may want to contact a CPA or tax lawyer in your area, in order to better determine what filing status is in your best interests.
The general answer is that it is always better to file MFJ rather than MFS as you get more deductions that way.
THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Ms. Smith is licensed to practice law throughout the state of Florida with offices in Duval County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. Her phone number is 888-741-0272 and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The brackets are better for married filing jointly. But there are other facts that might argue against that. You should retain a tax return preparer to run the numbers on your particular facts.
Jointly is generally the better way to file. However, there are reasons you might not want to file jointly with another person, such as they have a lot of income and no withholding. By filing jointly, you can not only get a larger refund, you can also get stuck with another person's tax bill.
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