How Tax Filing Status Relates to Deductions in 2021 and 2022

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Tax filing season is right around the corner, and as you prepare, it’s important to know your correct tax filing status. Filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, the amount of your standard deduction, available credits and the tax rate applied to your taxable income. Your filing status will determine what you owe in taxes and whether or not you have to file a return at all.

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There are five tax filing statuses. These include:

Single

This status applies to taxpayers who are unmarried, divorced or legally separated. If your divorce was finalized before the last day of the year, you can file as single or head of household for the year the divorce was finalized.

Standard deduction: Single taxpayers are eligible for a $12,550 deduction for the 2021 tax year and a $12,950 deduction for the 2022 tax year.

Married Filing Jointly

Married taxpayers can file a tax return jointly if they were married before Dec. 31 of that year. If a spouse passes away, the living spouse can file a joint return for that year. Marriage can give taxpayers access to certain tax credits, a larger standard deduction and a larger capital loss deduction. Combined incomes can also potentially bring a higher earner into a lower tax bracket.

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Standard deduction: Married taxpayers filing jointly are eligible for a $25,100 deduction for the 2021 tax year and a $25,900 deduction for the 2022 tax year.

Married Filing Separately

Married taxpayers may also choose to file taxes separately. In this situation, a spouse would only report their own income, deductions and credits. While this may sound like a single filer, there are differences. For example, if one spouse itemizes deductions, then the other spouse must do this, as well.

According to the IRS, you may generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return. For instance, a married filing separately taxpayer may not have access to earned income credit, dependent care credit, education credits and the student-loan interest deduction.

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Standard deduction: This is the same as it is for a single filer. Married taxpayers filing separately are eligible for a $12,550 deduction for the 2021 tax year and a $12,950 deduction for the 2022 tax year.

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Head of Household

Unmarried taxpayers may use this filing status if they meet specific IRS guidelines. They must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a household for themselves and a qualifying person living in the home for half the year.

Standard deduction: Head of household taxpayers are eligible for a $18,800 deduction for the 2021 tax year and a $19,400 deduction for the 2022 tax year.

Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

This may apply if a spouse has passed away within the last two years and they have a dependent child, stepchild or adopted child and have not remarried.

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Standard deduction: This is the same deduction as marred filing jointly. A qualifying widow(er) is eligible for a $25,100 deduction for the 2021 tax year and a $25,900 deduction for the 2022 tax year.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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