Filing status describes the classification used by a taxpayer when preparing an income tax return. The filing status chosen can impact the amount of tax benefits received and taxes paid. The classifications for filing status are:
- Married filing jointly
- Married filing separately
- Head of household
- Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
The status chosen is based on the taxpayer's marital status and family situation. When more than one filing status could be used, the taxpayer selects the status that results in the lowest possible tax liability.