One of the first things you do when filing your federal income tax return is tick the box at the top indicating your filing status.
There are five options: single, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.
For the most part, it’s a pretty straightforward question. That’s because, for federal income tax status, marital status is determined by state law as of the last day of the calendar year (Dec. 31). There’s no math, no crazy formulas: just one date to consider.
If you aren’t ...