Filing Status

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DEFINITION of 'Filing Status'

A category that defines the type of tax return form an individual will use. Filing status is closely tied to marital status.

The five filing statuses are:

1. Single filer
2. Married person filing jointly or surviving spouse
3. Married person filing separately
4. Head of household
5. Qualifying window(er) with dependent child

BREAKING DOWN 'Filing Status'

The filing status is important because a person's tax bracket (and therefore the amount he or she must pay) is determined by marital status, number of children, occupation and several other factors. You must file your status honestly, or it will be considered fraudulent and penalties will be assessed.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the requirements to file a tax return as a qualifying widow?

    The requirements to file a tax return using the qualifying widow filing status include not remarrying, having a dependent ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Everyone must make applicable Social Security contributions on income, even those working past the full retirement age. Working ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Which is better for tax deductions, itemization or a standard deduction?

    Each deduction that you claim may result in a decrease in the amount of taxes that you owe. However, whether you receive ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

    You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does everyone have to file a federal tax return?

    This may come as a surprise to many individuals, but not everyone needs to file a federal tax return. According to the IRS, ... Read Full Answer >>
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