Widows and widowers with one or more dependent children may be able to use the qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status.
Tax rates for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child and for married filing jointly are the same. They are the lowest tax rates and usually result in the lowest total tax.
Taxpayers can claim the qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all of the following conditions are met:
- The spouse died within two years before the tax year in which the taxpayer is claiming this filing status.
- The surviving spouse has not remarried.
- In the year of death, the taxpayers were eligible to use the married filing jointly filing status.
- A child (including foster child, adopted child, or step-child) qualifies as a dependent for the surviving spouse.
- The surviving spouse furnished over half the cost of keeping up a home that was the principal home of the child for the entire year. Amounts provided by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are not considered support paid by the surviving spouse.