DEFINITION of 'Qualified Widow Or Widower'
The least common of the five types of tax filing status each taxpayer must select from when preparing their personal tax return. A qualified widow or widower is entitled to use the "married filing jointly" tax rates on an individual return for up to two years following the death of the spouse.
BREAKING DOWN 'Qualified Widow Or Widower'
The qualified widow or widower status is provided as a measure of financial relief for those who have lost their spouse and may be struggling with medical or funeral bills. After two years, surviving spouses who have not remarried must file as either single or head of household.