Landmark Tax Group

Determining Your Correct Filing Status

It’s important to use the correct filing status when filing your income tax return. It can impact the tax benefits you receive, the amount of your standard deduction and the amount of taxes you pay. It may even impact whether you must file a federal income tax return.

Are you single, married or the head of your household? There are five filing statuses on a federal tax return. The most common are “Single,” “Married Filing Jointly” and “Head of Household.” The Head of Household status may be the one most often claimed in error.

These seven facts may help you choose the best filing status for you.

1. Marital Status.  Your marital status on the last day of the year (December 31st) is your marital status for the entire year. (See tax tips for newlyweds)

2. If You Have a Choice.  If more than one filing status fits you, choose the one that allows you to pay the lowest taxes.

3. Single Filing Status.  Single filing status generally applies if you are not married, divorced or legally separated according to state law.

4. Married Filing Jointly (MFJ).  A married couple may file a return together using the Married Filing Jointly status. If your spouse died during the tax year, you usually may still file a joint return for that year. Same-sex couples may now file jointly – see here.

5. Married Filing Separately (MFS).  If a married couple decides to file their returns separately, each person’s filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.

6. Head of Household (HOH).  The Head of Household status generally applies if you are not married and have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and a qualifying person.

7. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child.  This status may apply if your spouse died during the last two years, you have a dependent child and you meet certain other conditions.

See: IRS Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage for Federal Tax Purposes

See: Filing Your Tax Return – What You Need to Know

“I could not have been more pleased with the results I achieved as a result of Landmark Tax Group’s efforts. I honestly felt LTG listened to me and understood my frustrations.” – Pat N.
(More Client Testimonials)

For immediate assistance with choosing a filing status, or another tax matter, contact us today at 1-714-382-6780 for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL consultation with our CPAs and former IRS Agents.  


We look forward to serving you. 

More IRS News and Information

As Featured In