IRS Filing Status Options: Getting the Best Tax Deduction!


IRS Filing Status: How to Choose

irs filing statusThere are many important decisions involved in filing a tax return, but one that is often chosen casually is the IRS filing status. Choosing the wrong IRS filing status will negatively impact your tax bill. If you use an IRS filing status that you do not qualify for, this could be seen as tax fraud. This page will help you understand the benefits and requirements of each IRS filing status option.

The Single IRS Filing Status

If you were single on the last day of the tax year you are filing for, you can use the Single IRS filing status. If you are legally separated under a divorce or under a separate maintenance decree, you can also use this IRS filing status. The standard deduction for the 2011 Single IRS Filing Status is $5,800.

The Head of Household IRS Filing Status

If you qualify to use the Single IRS filing status but have a qualifying dependent, you can use the Head of Household IRS Filing Status. Just make sure that you paid more than half the costs necessary to maintain a home, and that the qualifying dependent lived with you for more than half of the year. The standard deduction for the 2011 Head of Household IRS filing status is $8,500.

The Married Filing Jointly IRS Filing Status

If you were married at the end of the year and both parties agree to file a joint tax return, you may use the Married Filing Jointly IRS filing status. You will both need to include your income, exemptions, and deductions. Each spouse must sign the tax return, barring certain special circumstances. You both must either use the Married Filing Jointly standard deduction, or you both must itemize your deductions. The standard deduction for the 2011 Married Filing Jointly IRS filing status is $11,600.

The Married Filing Separately IRS Filing Status

If you qualify to file jointly with your spouse, you also qualify to use the Separate IRS filing status. The standard deduction for the 2011 Married Separately Jointly IRS filing status is only $5,800. However, if you want to keep your tax issues separate from your spouse for any reason, this may be a more beneficial IRS filing status to use.

The Qualifying Widow(er) IRS Filing Status

If your spouse died during the tax year you are filing for and you have a qualifying dependent child, you can use the Qualifying Widow(er) IRS Filing Status. You will also be able to use this IRS filing status for the following two years, as long as you do not remarry. The one type of qualifying dependent child you cannot use for this IRS filing status is a foster child. The standard deduction for the 2011 Qualifying Widow(er) IRS filing status is $11,600.

If you need to file several IRS back tax returns, figuring out which IRS filing status to use is one of many choices you will need help with. Consult a professional. Call now or fill out the form below for a free tax debt consultation on what IRS filing status should be used among other important filing decisions! We'll only connect you with a tax debt relief company holding at least a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.


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