There’s a lot more to your tax filing status than whether you are single or married at the end of a calendar year—and your status will affect how you file your return. For instance, the standard deduction changes based on your status, which can in turn affect your total tax liability. There are five filing status options on federal tax returns:
- Single: you are divorced, legally separated, or not married
- Married Filing Jointly: you choose to file one tax return together with your spouse
- Married Filing Separately: both spouses file individual tax returns
- Head of Household: you are not married, but have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and a qualifying person
- Qualifying Widow(er): your spouse passed away within the past two years, and you have at least one dependent
If you’re single, you don’t have much to consider as far as filing status. However, married couples should investigate the pros and cons of filing jointly versus separately. The Head of Household status, meanwhile, is the status most often claimed incorrectly, and you’ll want a knowledgeable tax professional on your side as you determine your eligibility. Other things to consider include whether you’re continuing to receive income from a deceased spouse and how long you’ve been legally separated from a spouse.
If it sounds complicated, fear not: Taxation Solutions, Inc. is standing by to guide you through the process. We’re Cincinnati’s best choice for tax help!