Category: Personal Information
The Five Filing Status Options
Everyone who files a federal tax return must determine which filing status applies to them. Your filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits, and your correct tax.
Here are the five filing status options: Choose the option that applied to you on the last day of the tax year you are filing for.
1. Single. This will generally apply to anyone who is unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to your state law.
2. Married Filing Jointly. A married couple may file a joint return together. If your spouse died during the year, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.
3. Married Filing Separately. A married couple may elect to file their returns separately.
4. Head of Household. This 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 qualify for this filing status.
5. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. You may be able to choose this filing status if your spouse died during 2011 or 2012, you have a dependent child and you meet certain other conditions.
There’s much more information about determining your filing status in Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Publication 501 is available on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Link — Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information (PDF 196K)