When filing your taxes, one of the first steps is determining your tax filing status. Your status is based on whether you are single, married, divorced, or widowed. You will need to fill in this box and then add other related information if necessary.
Your filing status depends on a number of financial relationships in your household. If your parents are dependent but still living in their own home or if you have children, you will need to note these things in your tax filing status on the tax form.
This information will help determine your amount of taxable income and the rate at which you will be taxed by the IRS. You will want to establish your tax filing status based on your marital status first and then your household status.
If you are married, living with your spouse for more than 6 months and not legally separated, you will select married filing jointly or (MFJ). If your husband or wife is deployed, you are still considered to be living together. Your marriage must be recognized by the state to claim this status. If you are legally separated from your spouse or you have not lived together for more than 6 months, you should select married filing separately (MFS).
If your spouse passes away during the year, you should still select married filing jointly. The next 2 years you can use the status (QW) Qualifying Widow(er), or you can file as a single, whichever gives you the lowest tax liability.