One of the fundamental positions taken on an individual tax return is the filing status, which impacts not only the tax brackets, but also what deductions and credits the taxpayer can claim. Joint versus separate returns for married taxpayers will be reviewed in-depth, as well as the requirements for the head of household and surviving spouse/qualifying widower statuses.
Explain how an individual qualifies for the head of household filing status.
Explain how an individual qualifies for the qualifying widower filing status.
Compare and contrast the joint and separate filing statuses for married individuals and when each is preferable.
Describe the rules related to making a joint return election for married individuals.