| What is a filing status and which filing status to choose?||Top|
| A taxpayer's filing status determines the rate at which his or her income is taxed. There are five filing statuses:|
- Married filing a joint return
- Married filing a separate return
- Head of household
- Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
|Your status at the end of tax year normally determines which filing status to use. If you are eligible to use more than one filing status, then you can choose the filing status with the lowest tax rates. |
| If I change my last name due to getting married or divorced, which last name should I use when filing my tax return? ||Top|
| You will need to file your tax return using the name that appears on your Social Security Card. The IRS checks your SSN against the first 4 letters of your last name and they have to match the IRS database.|
|Is there a limit to the number of years you can choose the filing status Qualifying Widower? ||Top|
| Yes. The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for two years following the year your spouse died if you are eligible. The eligibility rules are as follows:|
- You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return.
- Your spouse died in one of the two years prior to the current year, and you did not remarry before the end of the current tax year.
- You have a child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child for whom you can claim an exemption.
- You paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for you and that child for the entire year, except for temporary absences. Temporary absences include illness, education, business, vacation, or military service.
|You may also be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, even if the child who qualifies you for this filing status has been kidnapped. You can claim qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all the following statements are true:|
- The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the childís family.
- In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping.
- You would have qualified for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if the child had not been kidnapped.
|I am a single mother and my child lived with me during the tax year. Can I file with filing status head of household?||Top|
|Yes, you can file as head of household if your child was born during the tax year. It will benefit you to file as head of household, because the standard deduction is greater. You do not necessarily have to claim what youíve claimed on your paycheck. What you claim on your paycheck affects the amount of taxes withheld from each check.|
| I just got married in June, so I need to know how to file as a married couple, and if I just enter my maiden name or my married name? ||Top|
| When you file, if you choose to file together, you will choose the filing status married filing jointly. This will combine the income that both of you make into one return. As far as your name, if you have changed your name on your Social Security card, then enter your married name. If you have not yet changed your name legally, then you should enter your maiden name. Either way, you should enter your name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. |
|Is it possible to change my filing status after Iíve already filed my return?||Top|
| Yes, you can amend your return by filing Form 1040X if you have reported your filing status incorrectly. This is generally simple, however there are a few requirements if you are married, and your original filing status is married filing jointly or married filing separate.|
|You can change your filing status by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. |
|If you or your spouse (or both of you) file a separate return, you generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. This does not include any extensions. A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. |
|Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return.|