What’s My Tax Status?

Posted by Anna Traugh on August 8, 2023

When you file your income tax return, your filing status depends on your marital status at midnight on December 31st of the year. So if your divorce is finalized at any time in 2023, whether it’s on January 1st or December 31st, you will file as either Single or Head of Household. (If you are not divorced you will choose Married Filing Separately or Married Filing Jointly.)

Your filing status is important because it determines your standard deduction. Most taxpayers use the standard deduction because they don’t have enough itemized deductions to exceed this threshold. In 2023, the standard deduction for a single taxpayer is $13,850 and for Head of Household it is $20,800. That’s a big difference and can save you a lot of money! Therefore, if you have minor children or other dependents living in your household you want to consider your parenting plan carefully. Only the parent who houses the child for the greatest number of days during the year will be able to file as Head of Household. Since there are an odd number of days in a year, even if you have shared custody a child will spend 1 day more at one of the parents’ house.

Couples can get creative by arranging a parenting plan for multiple children so that each parent houses one of the children more, allowing both parents to claim Head of Household.

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