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The Hows of Taxes

Module 5: Filing Status


Photo of a husband and wife working at a computer
A taxpayer's filing status determines the rate at which his or her income is taxed. There are five filing statuses:
  • Single
  • Married filing jointly
  • Married filing separately
  • Head of household
  • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child
Taxpayers who are eligible to use more than one filing status usually choose the filing status with the lowest tax rates.


skill check:
Check your understanding of the five filing statuses and how they affect taxable income. Indicate whether each of the statements below is true or false by clicking on the correct answer. To assess your answers, click the Check My Answers button at the bottom of the page.
  1. The filing status determines the number of dependents.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. A taxpayer can be eligible for more than one filing status.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. Married taxpayers must use the married filing jointly filing status.
  • A.
  • B.
  1. A widower can claim the qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status for five years after the spouse's death.
  • A.
  • B.

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