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Income Tax Filing Statuses

2. What are all the possible filing statuses? What characteristics distinguish each of the filing statuses?

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There are four possible filing statuses. These are:

Single: An individual is considered single if he or she is unmarried on the last day of the tax year and does not otherwise qualify for any other filing status. Persons who were not married at any time during the year; widowed, but without a qualifying dependent; legally separated from their spouses under a divorce or separate maintenance decree on the last day of the year; or divorced under a final decree on the last day of the year are considered unmarried and therefore file as "single."

Married, filing a joint tax return: To be considered married, the person meet one of these tests on the last day of his or her tax year; (1) he or she and the other person are legally married and living together as husband and wife, (2) he or she and his or her spouse are in a common law marriage which is recognized in the state in which they now live or lived when the common law marriage originated, (3) the spouses are living apart but are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, or (4) the spouses are separated under an interlocutory decree of divorce. (If one spouse died during the year, the couple are considered married for the full ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a relatively in-depth discussion of the individual income tax filing statuses and how they are distinguished.