Different Tax Filing Status for Individuals in USA

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In the USA, the taxation system allows various types of filing status based on the individual’s background. The status are based on whether or not the person is married or has a past of being married. This is important for determining how much do you have to pay to the IRS or the amount of refund the IRS will provide.

Mainly 5 tax filing status are acknowledged in the USA. These statuses are:

  • Single
  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Married Filing Separately
  • Head of Household
  • Qualifying Widow(er)

Let’s know about these tax filing statuses in detail:


The single status applies to the individuals who were unmarried as per the last day of the year. This means that either the individual has never had any marital history or-

  • Spouse has passed away
  • Divorced legally
  • Separated on Orders from Court

However, the individual must not have any ‘dependants’. Also, this certifies that you are not eligible for Qualifying Widow(er) or Head of Household status

Married Filing Jointly

 Married individuals can opt for filing their taxes jointly as they are legally accepted as a couple. But, both the partners must agree to be categorized in the Married Filing Jointly status. Under this status, the spouses are asked to put forward their combined income after deducting the allowable expenses of both partners. Spouses can select this option even if one person has no deductions or income. MFJ status is known to render more benefits on tax filing than the Married Filing Separately, which will be discussed below. However, when selecting this status, both sides will have to see through that no tax payment or returns are due.

Married Filing Separately

Another tax filing status option for the married individuals is filing it separately. This is an advantageous option if you receive less tax as compared to the joint return. It is also a great option for individuals who wish to oversee their own tax and deductions. This option is open for all the people if their spouses deny the joint file status. You should select this option only if you are not eligible for the Head of Household status. However one will have to maintain the transparency, about their tax-paying, with their partners. This will help in deciding which partner will get the claim on the children when they become dependants.

Head of household

 This Tax filing status can be claimed if you satisfy all the below mentioned conditions

  1. You are unmarried or considered unmarried as on the last day of the calendar year.
  2. You have paid more than half of the cost of keeping home for the year.

A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year. The condition of staying with you is not applicable in case the qualifying person is your dependant parent.

Qualifying Widower

This Tax filing status can be claimed if you satisfy all the below mentioned conditions

  1. You were eligible to file a Joint return with your spouse for the year in which spouse died
  2. Your spouse expired in 2017 or 2018 and you didn’t remarry till the end of 2019
  3. You have a child or step child whom you can or could claim as dependant provided that the child
    1. Doesn’t has gross income of more than USD 4200
    2. The child filed a Joint return
  4. You could be claimed as dependant on someone’s else return
  5. The child lived in your home for whole year except for temporary absenses
  6. You paid more than half of the cost of keeping a home

These were the 5 status recognized or permitted by the International Revenue Service . Determining and deciding the Tax status which you are eligible for is of utmost importance as it determines the Income on which you are not required to pay tax and effects your tax outflow or tax refund .