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Tax Filing Status Help

Below is a summary of different tax filing status. You can use this tax filing status help as a cheat sheet.

  • unmarried as of December 31
  • legally separated under a separation maintenance decree
  • do not qualify for another tax filing status
Married filing jointly
  • married as of December 31
  • include both incomes
  • both must sign
  • both responsible for payment of tax
Married filing separately
  • married as of December 31
  • report only own income
  • provide name and social security number of spouse
  • if one itemizes, the other must also itemize
Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child
  • must have a dependent
  • paid over half of household expenses
  • did not remarry
  • may use this status for 2 years after year of death of spouse
Head of Household / Single
  • paid more than half of household expenses
  • maintained a home for more than 6 months for:
    • unmarried child need not be a dependent
    • married child must be a dependent (see exceptions)
    • qualifying relative must be your dependent
    • parent must be a dependent but does not have to live with taxpayer
Head of Household and Married
  • lived apart from spouse last 6 months of the year
  • paid more than half household costs for dependent child that lives with your more than 6 months (except for divorced or separated parents with court decree or other documentation)



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