Tax Filing Status

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Annulled Marriages

If you obtain an annulment that declares your marriage never existed, you are considered unmarried for this and any previous tax years. You must amend your tax returns for all the tax years not affected by the statute of limitations for filing a return (usually three years) to show this change in marital status.

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End of Year

Your filing status depends on whether you are married or unmarried on December 31 of a tax year. If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests you may be considered unmarried for the entire year. If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of he year, you are considered unmarried for the entire year.

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Head of Household

The Head of Household filing status is for individuals that are the main providers of the household for themselves and a qualifying individual. This filing status allows you to take a higher standard deduction, possibly be eligible for a lower tax bracket, and perhaps qualify for the Earned Income Credit. If you are single or separated, check to see if you qualify for the Head of Household filing status.

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Married Filed Jointly

If you are married, you may choose to file a Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately return. On a joint return, you report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable deductions. You may file a joint return even if only you (or your spouse) had income.

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Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately

If you are married, you have a choice of filing statuses: Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. To be sure that you pay the lowest tax, calculate your return both ways. It is usually advantageous for a married couple to file jointly. However, if both of your incomes are about the same, you may pay more in taxes by filing jointly depending on the rest of your return.

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Married Filing Separately

If you are married, you may choose to file separate returns. This may be advantageous if this results in less tax liability or if either of you prefers to be responsible only for your own tax liability. You may not claim your spouse as a dependent when you file with this status. If you were separated during the entire last half of the tax year, one of you may qualify as Head of Household if certain conditions are met.

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