Washington, D.C. – Should you file as Single? Married? Does Head of Household status apply to you?
It’s important to use the correct filing status. It can affect which tax benefits you’ll get, how much your standard deduction and correct tax will be, and could even affect whether or not you have to file a return.
Of the five filing statuses, the Head of Household status may be the one most often claimed in error. Make sure you qualify before choosing that one.
The IRS offers these eight facts about filing status to help you choose the best option for you.
- Your marital status on the last day of the year is your marital status for the entire year.
- If more than one filing status fits you, choose the one that gives you the lowest taxes.
- Single filing status generally applies if you are not married, divorced or legally separated according to state law.
- A married couple may file a return together using the Married Filing Jointly status.
- If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during 2012, usually you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.
- If a married couple decides to file their returns separately, each person’s filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.
- Head of Household status generally applies only if you are not married and have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person.
- The Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child status may apply if your spouse died during 2010 or 2011, you have a dependent child, you have not remarried and you meet certain other conditions.
You can use the Interactive Tax Assistant at www.IRS.gov to help you choose your filing status, or you can find more information in IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information.
Publication 501 is available at www.irs.gov or by calling 1.800.TAX.FORM.