Choosing a Filing Status

When filing your taxes you have the choice of one of five filing status. Each filing status has a different requirement and certain deductions can only be claimed with some filing statuses, you need to inspect each one to decide which will work best for you.

Single: If you can filing with this status if you are not married or are lawfully separated through a divorce or separation decree as of the 31st of December.

Married Filing Jointly: If on December 31st you are legally married you and your spouse have the option to filing with this status. This joint return will include all incomes deduction and credits from both spouses in one single return.

Married Filing Separately: If you are married or legally separated on the final day of the tax year you and your spouse can file a separate returns. You may want to know that each separate return holds each spouse accountable for their part of income, exemptions, deductions and credits. You and your spouse are required to use the same deduction method, either standard or itemized. If one spouse decides to file a Schedule A and itemizes their deductions the other must also regardless of which method has the better benefit. If you and your spouse decide to file separate returns you are unable to claim certain deductions including education, childcare, and earned income credits as well as student loan interest deductions.

Head of Household: You may file with this status if you are unmarried as of December 31st and have paid more than half of the expenses to maintaining a home through the year for yourself and a qualifying dependent.

Qualifying Widow(er): If your spouse passed away and you have a qualify dependent you can file using this status for your tax return for up to 2 years after your spouse has passed. There are some other requirements you need to meet so that you can use this status. The year your spouse passed you used the Married Filing Jointly on your tax returns. You were not remarried by the end of 2014 if you spouse passed in 2012 or later. You have qualifying dependent(s) and afford you an exemption. You are responsible for more than 50% of the costs to maintain a home throughout