One of the first things to do when preparing your tax return is determine your filing status. The IRS has five available filing statuses. Which status you select can impact your eligibility for some credits and deductions as well as your other filing requirements, so it’s important to make sure you select the correct one. If more than one filing status applies to you, you may choose the status that results in a lower amount of tax owed.
The following filing statuses are currently available:
- Single: This status applies to unmarried, divorced, or legally separated individuals.
- Married Filing Jointly: This status enables married couples to file a joint return. Additionally, if your spouse passes away during the tax year and you do not remarry by the end of the year, you can file a joint tax return with your deceased spouse.
- Married Filing Separately: Married couples may also choose to file separate tax returns if they wish.
- Head of Household: This status is for unmarried individuals who paid more than half of the cost of maintaining a household for a dependent during the year.
- Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child: If your spouse died during one of the previous two years, you may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er). To do so, you must have a dependent child, not have remarried, and meet other eligibility requirements.
Be aware that Head of Household is an often incorrectly claimed filing status, so make sure that you qualify before using it on your tax return. If you have any questions about this, or any other, filing status, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Pro Tax Resolution team. We are here to help you avoid and resolve tax problems!