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Qualifying Widow and Widower

If your spouse died in the tax year and you are not remarried, you can still file married filing jointly with your deceased spouse for the tax year. However, the following year, you cannot file married filing jointly. Instead, you can file as a qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent child for the two years after the year of death of your spouse if you qualify for that tax filing status.

What are the tax rates for qualifying widow or widower?

Filing as a qualifying widow or qualifying widower allows the taxpayer ti use the joint return tax rates and higher standard tax deduction amount if the tax payer does not itemize his or her deductions.

What IRS tax form to use to file as a qualifying widow or widower?

If you are filing as a qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent child, you can use either the IRS tax form 1040A or the IRS tax form 1040.

Who are eligible as qualifying widow or qualifying widower according to the IRS?

Below is the eligibility rules for qualifying widow or widower

  • The taxpayer was entitled to file a joint return with the spouse for the year the spouse died within the last two years. You will qualify as a widow or widower even if the joint return was not actually filed and that you filed married filing separately return instead.

  • the taxpayer did not remarry before the end of the year

  • the taxpayer has a child or stepchild for whom the exemption can be claimed. This does not include a foster child.

  • the taxpayer paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home that is the main home for himself or herself and the home of the child for the entire year

  • the child lived in the home for all of the tax year.