Information to help taxpayers understand the different tax filing statuses to file your taxes
Taxpayers usually do not think about their marital status until they file their taxes. However, the marital status of a taxpayer could change during the year, so it is always a good time for a taxpayer to know the different tax marital status and which should be used (in English).
It is important that a taxpayer use the correct filing status because it can affect the amount of tax you owe for the year. You can even determine whether to file a tax return (in English). Taxpayers should be aware that their marital status as of December 31 is the state for the entire year.
Sometimes, you can apply more than one marital status to taxpayers. When that happens, taxpayers must choose which allow them to pay the least amount of taxes.
Below is a list of the five tax marital status and a description of who claims:
- Single. Normally, this state is for taxpayers who are not married or who are divorced or legally separated by state law.
- Married filing jointly. If taxpayers are married, they can file a joint tax return. When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse can usually file a joint return for that year.
- Married filing separately. A married couple may elect to file two tax returns separately. This can benefit if it results in less taxes due to file a joint tax return. Taxpayers can prepare your taxes both ways before choosing. You can also use this state if everyone wants to be individually responsible for their own taxes.
- Head of household. In most cases, this condition applies to a taxpayer who is not married, but there are some special rules. For example, the taxpayer must have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for himself and a qualified person. Taxpayers should verify all the rules and make sure they qualify for this status.
- Widow (er) with dependent child eligible. This state may apply to a taxpayer if your spouse died during one of the previous two years and have a dependent child. Other conditions also apply.
- Tax Filing
- Interactive Tax Assistant
- Publication 501 (English)
- IRS Tax Map: filing status (in English)
- IRS Tax Map: Tax, Individual Marital status (in English)
Other USA IRS News