Choosing the Correct Filing Status on your 2016 Tax Return

Here is the list of the five filing statuses:

Single

Normally this status is for taxpayers who aren’t married, or who are divorced or legally separated under state law.

Married Filing Jointly

If taxpayers are married, they can file a joint tax return. If a spouse died in 2016, the widowed spouse can often file a joint return for that year.

No one goes into a marriage thinking they will eventually file for a divorce. Dismally in our society, divorces have become more common and accepting than generations before. Either way, the whole family is hurt by a divorce. Emotions and strengths of character are tested during the roller coaster ride of a divorce. By having emotions and feelings being hit so hard, a person going through a divorce should not have to deal with the legal issues pertaining to their case. This era in one’s life should not be thought lightly and a divorce attorney should be hired to ease the burden. Even if you are contemplating hiring a divorce attorney, it should be considered that even lawyers will hire and delegate their own divorces to other attorneys.

Married Filing Separately

A married couple can choose to file two separate tax returns. This may benefit them if it results in less tax owed than if they file a joint tax return. Taxpayers may want to prepare their taxes both ways before they choose. They can also use this status if each wants to be responsible only for their own tax.

Many people going through a divorce, do not have the slightest clue of the legal proceedings. A divorce attorney on the other hand will know exactly what and when to proceed with filings. Having a legal professional that has expertise in family law will be an advantage to your side. They will be able to educate and inform their clients on the particulars of divorce laws that are unique to your locality. Family law specialists will be able to offer their insight on what the outcome of the divorce will yield. There is no perfect divorce equation, but having the experience, a divorce lawyer can have a good guess on what is going to happen.

Head of Household

In most cases, this status applies to a taxpayer who is not married, but there are some special rules before the tax return preparation. For example, the taxpayer must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for themselves and a qualifying person. Don’t choose this status by mistake. Be sure to check all the rules.

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

This status may apply to a taxpayer if their spouse died during 2014 or 2015 and they have a dependent child. Other conditions also apply.

 

For more information, you can see the IRS website, or contact our office.