It’s important to use the correct status when filing income tax returns. It affects the amount of tax paid, the standard deduction and amount of income taxes returned.
There are five filing statuses on the federal tax return. They are “Single," "Married Filing Jointly," “Married Filing Separately,” "Head of Household," and “Qualified Widow(er) with Dependent Child.”
These seven facts can help you choose the best filing status for your situation.
Your marital status on December 31 is your marital status for the entire year.
If more than one filing status fits your situation, then choose the one that allows you to pay the lowest taxes.
Filing single generally applies if you are not married, legally separated, or divorced.
4. Married Filing Jointly
A married couple may file a return together using the Married Filing Jointly status. If your spouse died during 2012, you usually may still file a joint return for that year.
5. Married Filing Separately
If a married couple decides to file their returns separately, each person’s filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.
6. Head of Household
The Head of Household status generally applies if you are not married and have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and a qualifying person.
7. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child
This status may apply if your spouse died during 2010 or 2011, you have a dependent child, and you meet certain other conditions.
IRS e-file is the easiest way to file and will help you determine the correct filing status. If you file a paper return, the Interactive Tax Assistant at IRS.gov is a tool that will help you choose your filing status.
You can also find more information in IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. This publication is available at www.IRS.gov or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676). You can also seek the advice and assistance of a qualified tax professional such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA) in your area. If you have any questions or concerns about this general information, or about selecting a qualified tax professional, then write a comment below or send an E-Mail message to my office.
Chris Bryant, MBA, RFC® is founder & CEO of Bryant Wealth Management, Inc. – an institutional investor and state-registered investment adviser. Bryant provides independent, fee-only, financial planning services for individual investors. Since 1999, Chris has devoted himself to helping people make money, save money, protect money, have convenience and peace of mind. Connect with Chris by E-mail or call 1-800-980-3048 toll free.
Chris Bryant is an American financial advisor.