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Tax filing status for the reporting year

For many people, taxes seem like a mystery.  I know that feeling since handyman work around the house gives me that same feeling.  Let's just say I'm not good with my hands as far as fixing things that break around the house.

One of the areas where clients ask quite a bit of questions is their filing status for the tax year.  Some are going through a divorce and expect it to be completed before the end of the year but for most of the year they remained legally married.  Some are single for most of the year and plan on getting married before the year end.  What's the answer to each scenario?

Well, the IRS states that your marital status is determined based on what you are on the last day of the year (presuming you are a calendar year filer).  So married for all but the last day of the year but divorced by year end?  Single.  Single for all but the last day?  Married.

 I know it's a bit confusing because you may think that most of the year was spent under a particular filing status but just remember filing status determination goes by your standing on the last day of the year.  There are exceptions (like married people and one dies during the year) and married people who live apart for the entire year but I'm trying to keep this blog fairly vanilla in this area today.  There are other situations like a single person with kids so I would probably give me a call for a consultation if today's blog does not adequately address your particular situation.

 I am a CPA in San Antonio and provide bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and more.  We offer a free initial visit and look forward to serving your business needs.

Richard J. Garcia | 08/09/2010