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The Truth About Personal Finance (Collection) by Kay S. Bell, Steve Weisman

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Truth 2. Figuring out your filing status

Every taxpayer’s situation is unique. But the Internal Revenue Service gives us just five categories, or filing statuses, to choose from when we prepare our returns. They are single, married filling jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow or widower with a dependent child.

Given such limited choices, you would think picking the appropriate one would be a snap. It can be. But some of us need to take a little more time to ensure that we select the appropriate, and most tax-advantageous, status.

Your filing status is based on your marital status on the last day of the tax year. But, as is often the case when it comes to taxes, it’s not that cut and dried. ...

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