DETERMINE YOUR FILING STATUS
BOX 1. Filing Status 1 (Single) Check this box if you are SINGLE or UNMARRIED and DO NOT qualify as HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD. (Read the instructions for BOX 3 to determine if you qualify for HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD.)
BOX 2. Filing Status 2 (Married Filing Joint) Check this box if you were MARRIED and are filing jointly. IF YOU ARE FILING A JOINT RETURN, YOU MUST ADD BOTH SPOUSES’ INCOME TOGETHER. Enter the total amount in column A on Lines 8 through 23 under “Your/Joint Income”.
MARRIED COUPLES CHOOSING THE BEST FILING STATUS
If you and your spouse had separate incomes, you might save money by figuring your tax separately using one of the following two methods. Use the method that suits you best.
METHOD A. List your income separately under Column A (“Your Income”). List your spouse’s income separately under Column B (“Spouse’s Income”). Figure your tax separately and then add your taxes together. See instructions for Married Filing Separately on the Same Return, Box 4.
If you use Method A, your result will be either a COMBINED REFUND or a COMBINED TAX DUE.
You must file separate individual tax returns. See instructions for Married Filing Separately on Different Returns, Box 5.
If you use Method B, one of you may owe tax and the other may get a refund. The tax due must be paid with the proper tax return and the refund will be due on the other return. YOU MAY NOT OFFSET ONE AGAINST THE OTHER.
BOX 3. Filing Status 3 (Head of Household) To file as Head of Household you must have been unmarried or legally separated on December 31, 2019 and meet either 1 or 2 below. The term “Unmarried” includes certain married persons who lived apart, as discussed at the end of this section.
1. You paid over half the cost of keeping a home for the entire year that was the main home of your parent whom you can claim as a dependent. Your parent did not have to live with you in your home. OR
2. You paid over half the cost of keeping a home in which you lived, and in which one of the following also lived, for more than six (6) months of the year (temporary absences, such as vacation or school, are counted as time lived in the home):
a. Your unmarried child, grandchild, greatgrandchild, adopted child or stepchild. This child did not have to be your dependent, but your foster child must have been your dependent.
b. Your married child, grandchild, adopted child or stepchild. This child must have been your dependent.
c. Any other person whom you could claim as a dependent.
MARRIED PERSONS WHO LIVED APART
Even if you were not divorced or legally separated in 2019, you may be considered unmarried and file as Head of Household. See Internal Revenue Service instructions for Head of Household to determine if you qualify.
BOX 4. Filing Status 4 (Married Filing Separately on the Same Return)
Check this box if you were married and are filing SEPARATELY ON THE SAME TAX RETURN. This method of tax computation may reduce your tax liability if both spouses had income. The result will be either a combined refund or a combined tax due.
IF ONE SPOUSE HAD A TOTAL NEGATIVE INCOME, YOU MUST FILE MARRIED FILING JOINTLY.
BOX 5. Filing Status 5 (Married Filing Separately on Different Returns) Check this box if you were married and are filing separate tax returns.
BOX 6. Filing Status 6 [Qualifying Widow(er)] Check this box if you are a QUALIFYING WIDOW(ER).
You are eligible to file as a QUALIFYING WIDOW(ER) if your spouse died in 2017 or 2018 and you meet each of the following tests:
1. You were entitled to file MARRIED FILING JOINTLY or MARRIED FILING SEPARATELY ON THE SAME RETURN with your spouse for the year your spouse died. It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return.
2. You did not remarry before the end of 2019.
3. You had a child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child who qualified as your dependent for the year. 4. You paid more than half the cost of keeping a home, which was the main home of that child for the entire year except for temporary absences.