Qualifying Widow/Widower

Definition of 'Qualifying Widow/Widower'


A federal tax filing status available to widows and widowers for two years after their spouse's death. In the year the spouse dies, the widow or widower can (but is not required to) still file as married filing jointly; he or she could then file as qualifying widow/widower for the two years after that unless he or she remarries during that period. While the surviving spouse cannot continue to claim an exemption for the deceased spouse, he or she can take the same standard deduction as a married couple filing jointly. This filing status can ease the financial sting of losing a spouse.

Investopedia explains 'Qualifying Widow/Widower'


To claim this status, the IRS also requires that the taxpayer have a child who will be claimed as a dependent, that the child live in the home with the widow/widower all year, that the widow/widower will pay over half the cost of keeping up his or her home, and that the widow/widower was eligible to file a joint return in the year the spouse died.


Filed Under: ,

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Effective Annual Interest Rate

    An investment's annual rate of interest when compounding occurs more often than once a year. Calculated as the following:
  2. Debit Spread

    Two options with different market prices that an investor trades on the same underlying security. The higher priced option is purchased and the lower premium option is sold - both at the same time. The higher the debit spread, the greater the initial cash outflow the investor will incur on the transaction.
  3. Odious Debt

    Money borrowed by one country from another country and then misappropriated by national rulers. A nation's debt becomes odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that don't benefit or even oppress citizens. Some legal scholars argue that successor governments should not be held accountable for odious debt incurred by earlier regimes, but there is no consensus on how odious debt should actually be treated.
  4. Takeover

    A corporate action where an acquiring company makes a bid for an acquiree. If the target company is publicly traded, the acquiring company will make an offer for the outstanding shares.
  5. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  6. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
Trading Center