What---if you were legally married as of December 31, 2019, your filing choices were to file married filing jointly or married filing separately. Why did you file HOH? Does your spouse not have a Social Security number or some such issue?
Otherwise, why would you not file a joint return and get all the tax advantages of a joint return--including a higher standard deduction?
If you were legally married at the end of 2019 your filing choices are married filing jointly or married filing separately.
Married Filing Jointly is usually better, even if one spouse had little or no income. When you file a joint return, you and your spouse will get the married filing jointly standard deduction of $24,400 (+$1300 for each spouse 65 or older) You are eligible for more credits including education credits, earned income credit, child and dependent care credit, and a larger income limit to receive the child tax credit.
If you choose to file married filing separately, both spouses have to file the same way—either you both itemize or you both use standard deduction. Your tax rate will be higher than on a joint return. Some of the special rules for filing separately include: you cannot get earned income credit, education credits, adoption credits, or deductions for student loan interest. A higher percent of your Social Security benefits may be taxable. Your limit for SALT (state and local taxes and sales tax) will be only $5000 per spouse. In many cases you will not be able to take the child and dependent care credit. The amount you can contribute to a retirement account will be affected. If you live in a community property state, you will be required to provide additional information regarding your spouse’s income. ( Community property states: AZ, CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA, WI)
If you are using online TurboTax to prepare your returns, you will need to prepare two separate returns and pay twice.
When your return has been fully processed, you can amend it to a joint return--but do not try to amend until after it has been processed.
@xmasbaby0 I suppose the predictive selection of my previously completed return for 2018 through TurboTax with filing status as Head of Household auto populated- being that I started and stopped several different times over the course of a few days collecting all required data left me confused on whether or not including my recent nuptials on the last day of the 2019 year would warrant combing for the status & income requirements accounted for towards the entire year of 2019.
I did not wish to include him on my filing for 2019 as our marital status nor income was ever jointly recognized or officially legalized until December 30, 2019 when we obtained our marriage license and wed the following evening.
Yes, my husband has a valid social security number and is a legal U.S. citizen. has been all his life.
My reasoning behind why I did not enter any of his information on my return was because it did not prompt me to do so. And in my mind, I didn’t feel it was right for me to file a status acknowledging our Marriage because I would then have to include the entire year of 2019 as if we had been married, to which we were not. Therefore, I believed that to answer as if we’d shared income and tax related obligations for the entire year as a married couple would be inaccurate & dishonest. I want to say I entered our marriage information in an optional section for Additional Information towards the end, however, I cannot recall exactly.
Does this help explain my situation better?
In order to file correctly in regard to the tax laws, your new spouse is now left with only the choice of filing as married filing separately unless the two of you agree to amend your return to a joint return. You were in fact legally married as of the end of 2019--which means your filing choices were MFJ or MFS unless one of you qualified to file HOH. Even if you file HOH, your spouse cannot file Single. He is stuck with MFS.
Am I Head of Household?
If you qualify as Head of Household, when you enter your filing status (single or married filing separately) into MyInfo, and then enter your qualifying dependent, TurboTax will offer HOH as your filing status.
@xmasbaby0 That is SO insightful & extremely helpful! I never in my wildest thoughts would have imagined that getting married even on the last day of the year would consider us married for all of said year in the eyes of the government. I truly appreciate you dulling it down for me as this is terribly complicated & the urgent pressure of meticulous accuracy is at its heaviest for fearing the end result of an all inclusively damnation, if you will, for a misunderstood qualification & information recorded!!
I clicked on the link you shared that explained the qualifying measures to meet HOH status. Upon further review of each of the 5 qualifying examples & that I would have to meet ALL 5, it is my understanding that I still qualify to accurately file as HOH status. Being that my husband did not move in until after we married, I have one biological child that is my listed dependent, whom has lived/currently lives in my home for more than half of the 2019 year, my income provided the maintenance, upkeep & financial obligations of the home for the entire 2019 year, and my husband does not plan to file with any of the following statuses of Single/Married Filing Jointly/HOH.
What do you suggest my next course of action be and what steps will help me get there?
Your options to comply with the tax laws are still--leave your HOH return alone. Or amend it with your spouse and file a joint return. Your spouse's only legit choice is married filing separately unless you amend to joint.