Posted by : Daniel Stoica in (Blog, Federal Income Tax, Federal Taxes, Income Tax Return, Income Taxes, Tax Filing, Tax Forms, Tax Help, Tax Tips, Tax Topic) On: January 16th, 2012
Tagged Under : filing requirements, irs publication 501, Tax Filing Status, tax professional
Do you know your tax filing status? Your tax filing status is used in order to determine your filing requirements as well as your standard deductions, your correct tax and your eligibility for certain deductions and credits. Since there are five filing statuses, and since some people may qualify for more than one filing status, it can be confusing to determine which one is the best option for your particular situation. The five filing statuses are Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.
The following are eight facts about filing status that can help you choose the best option.
1. Your marital status for the entire year is determined by your marital status on the last day of the tax year. So, even if you got married on December 31, 2011, you would still be eligible to file as Married for 2011.
2. If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.
3. Single filing status generally applies to anyone who is unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to state law.
4. A married couple may file a joint return together. The couple’s filing status would be Married Filing Jointly.
5. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during 2011, usually you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.
6. A married couple may elect to file their returns separately. Each person’s filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.
7. Head of Household generally applies to taxpayers who are unmarried. You must also have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person to qualify for this filing status.
8. You may be able to choose Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child as your filing status if your spouse died during 2009 or 2010, you have a dependent child, have not remarried and you meet certain other conditions.
You can find out more information about determining your filing status in IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Publication 501 is available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
You may also want to speak with a tax professional about determining your tax filing status.