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Filing Status

Determining your filing status impacts the rest of your tax return. Tips for choosing your correct filing status.

States That Allow Same-Sex Couples to File Joint Returns
Nine states and one city allow same-sex couples to file their tax returns jointly. See if your state is on the list.

Choosing Your Filing Status
When preparing a tax return, a taxpayer chooses one filing status from among five options. The filing status is determined by whether a person is married or unmarried, and by whether a person has a dependent. Filing status determines which standard deduction and which tax rates apply.

Single Filing Status
Your filing status is single if you are unmarried, or considered unmarried, on the last day of the year.

Head of Household Filing Status
Persons who are unmarried and have supported a close relative for over half the year might qualify for head of household. Taxpayers claiming the Head of Household filing status benefit from a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates compared to single taxpayers. The definition of head of household is quite specific, so read over the...

Married Filing Jointly
Married taxpayers can choose between filing a joint tax return or a separate tax return. The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves which is the best filing status.

Married Filing Separately
Married taxpayers can choose between filing a joint tax return or a separate tax return. The Married Filing Separately filing status provides fewer tax benefits than filing joint returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves which is the best filing status.

Is Head of Household Status Possible for Two People at the Same Address
Can two people, who both live at the same address, each qualify for the head of household filing status when they prepare their tax returns? The answer is not clear-cut. The IRS looks at a variety of factors in determining the answer.

Qualifying Widow/Widower with Dependent Child Filing Status
For those who have suffered the loss of a spouse, there is a special filing status designed to ease the financial burden of the grieving family. Surviving spouses may be able to use the Qualifying Widow/Widower With Dependent Child filing status if they are maintaining a household for a son or daughter.

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