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Individual Income Tax Guide

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Filing Status

Line 1 – Single

Line 2 – Married Filing Jointly

Line 3 – Married Filing Separately

Line 4 – Head of Household

Line 5 – Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child

Exemptions

Line 6a – Yourself

Line 6b – Spouse

Line 6c – Dependents


Filing Status

Check the box to indicate your filing status. The filing status categories are:

 NOTE: More than one filing status can apply to you. You can choose the one  that will give you the lowest tax.

Line 1 – Single:  You can file as single if on the last day of the year:

Line 2 – Married Filing Jointly: You can file married filing jointly if:

Joint Filing: Spouses filing jointly report their combined income and deductions on a single return. You and your spouse can file a joint return even if only one of you had income or if you did not live together for the entire year. However, both you and your spouse must sign the joint return. Once you and your spouse file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return has passed.

Joint and several tax liability: If you and your spouse file a jointly, both of you are generally separately responsible for the entire amount of the tax and interest or penalties due on the return. This means that if one of you does not pay the tax due, the other may have to pay the full amount due. In addition,  if you or your spouse does not report the correct amount of tax on the joint return, both of you may be separately responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. Therefore, you may want to file separately if:

See the instructions for line 3 for more about filing married filing separately. Also see the  Innocent Spouse Relief page.

Nonresident aliens and dual-status aliens: Generally, you and your spouse cannot file a joint return if either of you is a nonresident alien at any time during the year. However, a nonresident alien or a dual-status alien that is married to a U.S. citizen or resident alien at the end of the year can elect to be treated as a resident alien and file a joint return with his or her spouse. Go here for more details.


Chapter 1 – Filing Status & Exemptions