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Chapter 6. Income Taxes > Marital Status

Marital Status

When it comes to filing an income tax return, everyone is status conscious. Your filing status is an important factor in determining the income tax you must pay. The availability of some tax deductions and tax credits is based upon your filing status. The filing status for most seniors falls into one of four categories: single; married, filing jointly; married, filing separately; and head of household.

“Single” Category

The first category is “Single.” As the name implies, a single person is a person who is unmarried. The date for determination as to whether you are single for the entire tax year is the last day of the year, December 31st. Some clever taxpayers trying to avoid the marriage penalty in past years planned Caribbean vacations around Christmas time, getting a quickie divorce in the Dominican Republic or some other country that provided easy divorces and then remarrying after the first of the next year. The IRS disapproved of this practice and was successful in court in having these divorces declared to be shams, thereby subjecting the participants to adverse tax consequences.


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