CPA Matt Bryant of the New York State Society of CPAs discussed choosing the proper filing status for your tax return Monday on News 8 at Sunrise.
Bryant began by discussing the filing options for a single person. “There’s three options to the IRS,” he said. “There’s single, there’s head of household, and there’s qualifying widower. An unmarried person who files single, if that unmarried person supports their own children, they may qualify as head of household, and if someone had a spouse that recently passed away, they could qualify as qualifying widower.”
Bryant said filing as a married couple is determined by the date of your marriage. “If the couple got married in December, or 50 years ago, as long as they’re married on December 31, they can qualify to file married,” he said. “There is a married filing jointly, where both parties put their income together on one form, or you can do married filing separately, where each person files their own tax return.”
Filing as a head of household can produce a potentially bigger refund according to Bryant. “So if a single person has a child that lives with them, and provides more than half of the support for that child, and provides more than half of the support for the household, and if they are able to claim the child as a dependent, they can qualify to file as head of household status,” he said. “You can have a qualifying relative as a dependent, and be given an exemption on your tax return. For each dependent, you get an exemption of four thousand and fifty dollars. That reduces your gross income out of your taxable income.”
Bryant also noted the 1040 is the standard form for filing, but if you have income under $100,000, you may be able to file form 1040ez, or a 1040a form. If you have questions about your filing status, consult a trusted CPA.
For more information, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.