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.

  1. Single Filer

    The filing status used by a taxpayer who is unmarried and does ...
  2. IRS Publication 501

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  3. Joint Return

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  4. Qualified Widow Or Widower

    The least common of the five types of tax filing status each ...
  5. IRS Publication 557: Tax-Exempt ...

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  6. IRS Form 4868

    An IRS form that must be submitted by individuals who wish to ...
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