More than one filing status may apply to you. Choose the one that will give you the lowest tax.
Usually, you will file using the same status on your DC return as you used on your federal return. However, if you filed married filing jointly on your federal return, you may choose to use married filing separately on your DC returns. If both spouses have income, there may be a tax savings in filing separately. You should figure your tax both ways to see which status is better for you.
Married Filing Jointly
You may use Married Filing Jointly status if you were married and both spouses were DC residents as of December 31, or your spouse died in the tax year and you did not remarry. If you are legally separated, you cannot file jointly.
Married Filing Separately on separate returns
If you are married and both spouses had income, and you choose to file Married Filing Separately, you will each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions and credits. You will each report one half of the income from securities, bank accounts, real estate, etc., that are registered or titled in joint names.
You must file using this status if:
- You and your spouse were part-year residents of DC during different periods of the taxyear
- You were a DC resident and your spouse was one of the following:
- A member of the armed forces and not considered a DC resident;
- A member of the U.S. Congress or an employee on the personal staff of a member of Congress who is considered a resident of the members state of residency;
- An officer of the U.S. Executive Branch whose primary residence was not in DC, who is appointed by the President, and who is confirmed by the U.S. Senate and serves at the pleasure of the President; or
- A justice of the U.S. Supreme Court whose primary residence was not in DC
Married Filing Separately on the same return
If you claim this status, you and your spouse must combine your separate amounts using Calculation J on Schedule S so that you will either receive one refund or make one tax payment. You can also claim credit for child and dependent care expenses, which is not allowed if you file separately on separate returns. (Claiming this filing status may reduce the amount of tax that you pay by allowing each spouse to take advantage of lower tax brackets).
Before filling out Calculation J and Form D-40, you will need to figure the following amounts for you and your spouse. OnLine Taxes will compute the above for you based on the information you provide.
- Each persons federal adjusted gross income;
- Each persons additions to federal income;
- Each persons subtractions from federal income;
- Each persons deductions;
- Each persons exemptions; and
- Your combined amounts.
If you and your spouse were part-year residents of DC during different periods of the taxyear, you cannot use this status. You must file separate returns.
Head of Household
You may claim this status if you were unmarried or legally separated as of December 31, 2018, and paid over half of the costs of maintaining a home for a qualifying person, such as a child or parent.