Knowing your correct tax filing status is essential because it determines the amount of tax you should pay, the credits you can claim, and your standard deduction amount, among other things.
Generally speaking, your status depends on whether you are married or single on December 31. That fact determines your status for the whole year.
In some cases, more than one filing status may apply (for example, married filing separately or jointly). In those cases, you can choose the status that allows you to pay the least amount of tax.
What Are the 5 Filing Statuses?
- Single: this is normally the correct status if you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree governed by state law.
- Married filing jointly: if you are married, you can file together with your spouse. When a spouse passes away, the other person can normally file a joint return for that year.
- Married filing separately: married couples may opt for filing separately. This option may result in a lower tax bill compared to filing jointly.
- Head of household: if you are unmarried you may also qualify for this status, although special rules apply. One of the most basic is that you must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for themselves and a qualifying person living in the home for half the year.
- Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: this status applies to taxpayers whose spouse died during one of the previous two years and they have a dependent child. There are other conditions that may apply as well.
If you have trouble figuring out our filing status, you can use the online assistant What Is My Filing Status? Answer some easy questions and you’ll get your correct filing status at the end.
More Tips About Taxes
Learning more about taxes is well worth the effort: It can save you time, money, and frustration! Check out these previous posts to learn more about deductions, deadlines, tax credits, and everything in between:
- These are some expenses educators can deduct from their taxes
- 3 Tools you need after filing your taxes
- Keep in mind these ideas when you file your taxes
- We debunk 4 common myths about tax returns
- Don’t forget this essential step if you are starting a new business
Contact the Experts at JT Tax Services
Looking for expert, dependable advice on taxes? At JT Tax Services we have the experience, the knowledge, and the drive to assist you. We give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are limiting your liability while staying compliant with all regulations.