Your filing status is used in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and the correct tax.
It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits.
The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er).
For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Pub. You are married for the whole year if you are separated but you have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not called a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not married for federal tax purposes. However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that isn’t considered a marriage under state law aren’t considered married for federal tax purposes. Under the health care law, you must have qualifying health care coverage, qualify for an exemption from qualifying health care coverage, or make a shared responsibility payment. Both you and your spouse may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return.Qualifying health care coverage (also called minimum essential coverage) includes: If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. This means that one spouse may be held liable for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse.If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. If you are divorced, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return for a tax year ending before your divorce.You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. This responsibility applies even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts.If both you and your spouse have income, you should usually figure your tax on both a joint return and separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately) to see which gives the two of you the lower combined tax. To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. This includes your spouse's federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support payments, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan.
If either of you was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, you can file a joint return only if you agree to treat the nonresident spouse as a resident of the United States. You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Married persons who live in community property states, but who did not file joint returns, may also qualify for relief from liability for tax attributable to an item of community income or for equitable relief. You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse.
This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. You are an injured spouse if you file a joint return and all or part of your share of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied against your spouse's past-due debts.
An injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount. If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return.
To be considered an injured spouse, you must: If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). You should receive your refund within 14 weeks from the date the paper return is filed or within 11 weeks from the date the return is filed electronically.
If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself.
When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund.