How to Decide Your Filing Status
If there is one thing to make sure you get right on your taxes, it’s your filing status. It can determine how much you pay (or save) in taxes. Plus, it’s one of the things that, if you get it wrong, will definitely land you in a dreaded audit.
(Find out what else will get you audited.)
Your filing status basically expresses how you wish to be treated by the IRS, and can determine which deductions and credits you are allowed to take, which forms you should fill out and more.
We don’t want you to stay up at night fretting over this issue, so we’ve compiled everything you need to know into a handy flow chart. Once you find out your filing status, you can read more about it below.
Two notes before you get started:
- In the interest of keeping the chart simple and easy-to-use, this does not account for people who are not United States citizens. (If you are a resident alien, you might find this useful.)
- Also, the IRS does not recognize same-sex marriages, even if they are legal under state law, so if you are in a same-sex marriage, you should file as a single on your federal return.