What are the different types of filing status?

Modified on Tue, 20 Dec 2022 at 02:18 PM

An individual's tax liability depends upon two variables: the individual's filing status and the taxable income.

Single. Normally this status is for taxpayers who aren’t married, or who are divorced or legally separated under state law.

Married Filing Jointly. If taxpayers are married, they can file a joint tax return. If a spouse died in 2019, the widowed spouse can often file a joint return for that year.

Married Filing Separately. A married couple can choose to file two separate tax returns. This may benefit them if it results in less tax owed than if they file a joint tax return. Taxpayers may want to prepare their taxes both ways before they choose. They can also use this status if each wants to be responsible only for their own tax.

Head of Household. In most cases, this status 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 keeping up a home for themselves and a qualifying person. Don’t choose this status by mistake. Be sure to check all the rules.

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.  If you have a dependent child, this status allows you to retain the benefits of Married Filing Jointly for two years after a spouse's death.

 

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