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Single Filing Status

The easiest tax filing status to understand is the Single tax filing status. Below is information on when to use the Single filing status.

When to use the Single tax filing status?

To use Single as your filing status, one of the following must be true on the last day of the tax year.

Single tax filing status does not qualify for as many tax benefits as Head of Household, Married filing joint, or Qualifying Widow(er) with qualifying child.

Single Filing Status


  • you were never married
  • you were legally separated from your spouse under:
    • a divorce decree or
    • a separate maintenance decree
  • you were widowed before January 1 of the tax year and did not remarry in the tax year.
I am not married all year, am I considered unmarried for tax purposes?

If you were married but got a divorce or a legal separation, then you are considered unmarried for the whole year if on the last day of the tax year you are unmarried or legally separated.

What if I am not qualified for any other tax filing status?

If a taxpayer is not qualified for any other tax filing status, then his or her tax filing status is Single by default.


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