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This is a question about filing status for 2011 taxes. I lived

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This is a question about filing status for 2011 taxes. I lived as a single woman in TN for most of the year, until 1 Aug 2011, with 2 children and have been claiming Head of Household as my filing status. On 1 Aug 2011, I moved to AZ where I began working on the 8th of August and maintained my own household and 2 children. In the beginnging of November 2011, my ex-husband and I reconciled, moved in together and remarried on the 22nd of November. Until then he also lived alone in AZ with one child and had also been claiming Head of Household as his filing status. Although we are currently married and can file "Married filing Jointly", do we have option of filing separately as Head of Household? We spent more than half of the year apart, maintained separate households for more than half of the year and also had our own dependants. We are both 32 years old and work full time jobs.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  CGCPA replied 5 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer. I am here to help you resolve your tax and finance concerns. Please feel free to ask anytime you need extra help.


Since you were married and living together at the end of the year, you can only file as married joint or married separate. Head of Household status is not available. Filing status is always determined by end of year marital state.Here is a short statement from the IRS to help you understand this:


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Eight Facts to Help Determine Your Correct Filing Status

IRS TAX TIP 2012-09, January 13, 2012


Determining your filing status is one of the first steps to filing your federal income tax return. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. Your filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits and deductions, and your correct tax.

Some people may qualify for more than one filing status. Here are eight facts about filing status that the IRS wants you to know so you can choose the best option for your situation.

  1. Your marital status on the last day of the year determines your marital status for the entire year.

  2. If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that gives you the lowest tax obligation.

  3. Single filing status generally applies to anyone who is unmarried, divorced or legally separated according to state law.

  4. A married couple may file a joint return together. The couple's filing status would be Married Filing Jointly.

  5. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during 2011, usually you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.

  6. A married couple may elect to file their returns separately. Each person's filing status would generally be Married Filing Separately.

  7. Head of Household generally applies to taxpayers who are unmarried. You must also have paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for you and a qualifying person to qualify for this filing status.

  8. You may be able to choose Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child as your filing status if your spouse died during 2009 or 2010, you have a dependent child, have not remarried and you meet certain other conditions.

There's much more information about determining your filing status in IRS Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Publication 501 is available at or by calling 800-TAX-FORM(NNN) NNN-NNNN. You can also use the Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website to determine your filing status. The ITA tool is a tax law resource on the IRS website that takes you through a series of questions and provides you with responses to tax law questions.


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