Choose the Right Tax Filing Status to avoid Big Trouble with the IRS

One Day Left: you might think it's too late to file on time by now. It's not, you have until midnight, April 15th. So if you haven't filed yet, do it now! Now back to my regularly scheduled programming...


Two Ways to Determine Filing Status

What is my Tax Filing Status? I'm getting this question a lot lately. Determining your Filing status is pretty simple. Your martial status on the last day of the year determines your status.

1. If you were unmarried the entire year, you do not qualify for another filing status. Your status is Single.

2. If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.


The five filing status options:

1. Single. For those are are unmarried or divorced according to your state law.

2. Married Filing Jointly. Married couples have the option to file jointly. This can save money in some cases. If your spouse died during the year, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death. Just make sure you have all of the appropriate paperwork.

3. Married Filing Separately. If you wish to keep your finances separate or are working on getting a divorce, it's perfectly acceptable to file your returns separately.

4. Head of Household. There are some misconceptions about Head of Household. This usually applies to unmarried taxpayers, or taxpayers filing single. You need to have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying dependent living with your for at least half the year to qualify for this filing status.

5. Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. According to the IRS, you may be able to choose this filing status if your spouse died during the previous two years, you have a dependent child and you meet certain other conditions.

Unclear if you still are unclear about any of the Tax Filing Status possibilities, consider consulting with a professional for a second opinion. Filing with the wrong status can cause delays for your return.