Filing status

A filing status is a category that identifies how someone wants to file. The filing status someone chooses will determine their tax rate and impact other tax calculations. Everyone has to choose a filing status to complete their tax return.

What are the different filing statuses?

Taxpayers can choose from the following statuses, depending on their personal situation:

  • Married filing jointly  
  • Married filing separately
  • Qualifying widower
  • Head of household
  • Single

How can someone decide which filing status to choose?

A taxpayer's personal situation will help narrow the list. They'll want to consider several criteria, including their marital status and whether they have dependents (usually children).

How important is choosing the right filing status?

It's very important. The filing status someone chooses will have a big impact on their tax calculations. If they choose the wrong status, they may be paying too much or too little tax for their specific situation.