Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your status for the entire year.
There are five filing statuses:
If you are unmarried, divorced, or legally separated according to your state law from your spouse
under a separate maintenance decree and you do not qualify for another filing status, your filing status
Generally, to qualify for head of household status, you must be unmarried and have provided more
than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for yourself and a qualifying relative
for more than one half of the year. You may also qualify if you are married, but have not lived with
your spouse at any time during the last six months of the tax year and provided more than half the cost
of keeping up a home for you and your dependent child for more than one half of the year.
If you are married, you and your spouse may file a joint return or separate returns.
If your spouse died in 2000 and you have not re-married, you may still file a joint return.
This is the last year for which you may file a joint return with that spouse.
If your spouse died during 1998 or 1999, you may be able to file as a qualifying widow or widower.
To do this, you must meet all four of the following tests:
- You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse in the year he or she died.
It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return,
- You did not remarry before the end of 2000,
- You have a child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child who qualified as your dependent for the year; and
- You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home, which was the main home of that child, for the whole year.
If you are separated and live in a community property state, see
Community Property. More detailed information on each filing status can
be found in
Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information or connect to the
interactive tax trails site on
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or ordered by calling 1-800-829-3676.
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