The IRS gives 8 important facts about filing statuses. These will help you choose the best status option for your particular situation.
#1: Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your marital status for the entire year, for tax purposes.
#2: If more than 1 filing status applies to you, you may choose the one that gives you the lowest amount of tax due.
#3: The “Single” filing status generally applies to anyone who is unmarried, divorced, or legally separated according to state law.
#4: A married couple may file a joint tax return together. The couple’s filing status would be “Married Filing Jointly.”
#5: If your spouse passed away and you did not remarry during that year, usually you may still file a joint tax return with that spouse for the year of death.
#6: A married couple may elect to file their tax returns separately. Each person’s filing status would generally be “Married Filing Separately.”
#7: The “Head of Household” status generally applies to taxpayers who are unmarried. You must also have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person to be able to use this filing status.
#8: You may be able to choose “Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child” as your filing status if your spouse died within the past two years, you have a dependent child, and you meet certain other conditions.