From the IRS: Seven facts to help you choose the right filing status.

The filing status you choose when you file your 2012 tax return will affect the tax breaks you’ll qualify for, your standard deduction amount, and ultimately the amount of tax you’ll pay. Are you single, head of household, married filing jointly, or married filing separately?

Here are seven facts that will help you choose the right status.

1. Your marital status as of the last day of the year is your marital status for the entire year.

2. If you qualify for more than one status, choose the one that results in the lowest tax liability for you.

3. Single filing status is likely to be your filing choice if you are not married or you are divorced or legally separated.

4. Married individuals can file a joint return. If your spouse died during 2012, you generally may still file a joint return for 2012.

5. Married couples may file “married, filing separately” if they choose.

6. “Head of household” status is available to you if you are not married and you paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and a child.

7. The status “qualifying widow(er) with dependent child” is available if your spouse died during 2010 or 2011 and you have a dependent child. Other conditions may apply.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today's small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it. Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission. Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations. She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.
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