March 17, 2010
When you file your tax return it is important you choose the correct filing status as it determines your standard deduction and the amount of tax you will owe on your income.
Here are eight facts about the five filing status options the IRS wants you to know in order to choose the correct filing status for your situation.
- Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your marital status for the entire year.
- If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.
- Single filing status generally applies to anyone who is unmarried.
- A married couple may file a joint return together. The filing status would be Married Filing Jointly.
- If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during that tax year, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.
- A married couple may elect to file their returns separately. Each person's filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.
- 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.
- You may be able to file as Qualifying Widow(er) status if your spouse died during the prior two years and you have a dependent child.
(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).