Determine Your Correct Filing Status
It’s important to use the correct filing status when filing your income tax return because it can impact the tax benefits you receive, the amount of your standard deduction, and the amount of taxes you pay. It may even impact whether you must file a federal income tax return.
There are five filing statuses on a federal tax return, the most common are “single,” “married filing jointly,” and “head of household.” Head of household status is the most often claimed in error.
So, to avoid any mistakes, consider the following to help you choose the correct filing status for you. If more than one filing status fits you, choose the one that allows you to pay the lowest taxes. An important thing to remember is that your marital status on Dec. 31 of the previous year is your marital status for the current year.
Single filing generally applies if you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated according to state law.
Married Filing Jointly (MFJ):
A married couple may file a return together with this status. If your spouse died during the tax year, you usually may still file a joint return for that year. Same-sex couples also may now file jointly.
Married Filing Separately (MFS):
You can choose this filing status if you and your partner are married but choose to file separately.
Head of Household (HOH):
This status generally applies if you are not married and paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and a qualifying person.
Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child:
This status may apply if your spouse died during the last two years, you have a dependent child, and you meet certain other conditions.
Need help with your tax return or another IRS matter? Get in touch by emailing Help@landmarktaxgroup.com.