Filing Status Definitions 2020 Income Tax Preparation 2022 – 2023

Filing taxes can be a complicated process, and understanding the different filing statuses is an important step in the process. In general, the filing statuses can be broken down into two categories: those who are married and those who are not. If you are not married, you typically have the option to choose between single, head of household, and qualified widow(er) or surviving spouse. If you are married, you can choose between filing jointly or separately. However, there are some gray areas that can complicate the determination of the filing status.

For example, if someone is currently married but is separated or going through a divorce, it can be unclear which filing status to choose. Additionally, issues related to child custody can also impact the filing status determination. It is generally beneficial to move up to head of household status if possible because it can result in lower tax rates and a higher standard deduction.

To determine if someone is a qualifying child for the purposes of head of household status, the IRS has specific requirements related to time lived with the taxpayer. There are exceptions to this rule, such as temporary absences due to school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility. Additionally, if the person for whom the taxpayer kept up a home was born or died in the tax year, there may be exceptions to the time lived with you requirement.

When determining if someone is a qualifying child, it is important to keep in mind that the child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the part of the year that the child was alive. This rule applies to the period that the child was alive, not the entire year, to avoid skewing the calculation.

Understanding the different filing statuses and the requirements associated with each can be challenging, but it is an important step in tax preparation and wealth preservation. It is recommended to seek the guidance of a tax professional if you have any questions or concerns regarding your filing status or other tax-related issues.


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