Solved: When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?
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When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?

If I file as married in the year after my spouse died, how do I handle the signature of my spouse on the form?

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Level 5
Level 5

When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?

Qualifying Widow (or Qualifying Widower) is a filing status that allows you to retain the benefits of the Married Filing Jointly status for two years after the year of your spouse's death.

You must have a dependent child in order to file as a Qualifying Widow or Widower. In fact, the full name of this filing status is actually "Qualifying Widow(er) with a Dependent Child". If you do not meet the requirements for qualifying widower and you have not remarried then you must file as single.

For the two years after the year of your spouse's death, you can use the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status if all 5 of the following statements are true:

  1. For the year in which your spouse died, you filed (or could have filed) a joint return with your spouse.
  2. You did not remarry (during the two years after the year of your spouse's death). For example, your spouse died in 2017 and you do not remarry before January 1, 2020.
  3. You have a child or stepchild (not a foster child) whom you are able claim as a dependent.
  4. The child lived with you in your home all year, except for temporary absences. There are exceptions for birth, death, or kidnapping (see below).
  5. You paid more than half the total cost of keeping up the home in which you and the child lived for the year. The total cost of keeping up a home includes food expenses, rent, mortgage interest, home insurance, real estate taxes, utilities, repairs, maintenance, and other household expenses.
When CAN'T I File as Qualifying Widow or Widower?

If you remarried during the year, you cannot file as Qualifying Widow or Widower. Neither can you file as Qualifying Widow or Widower if you do not have a dependent child for whom you kept up a home.

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Level 5
Level 5

When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?

Qualifying Widow (or Qualifying Widower) is a filing status that allows you to retain the benefits of the Married Filing Jointly status for two years after the year of your spouse's death.

You must have a dependent child in order to file as a Qualifying Widow or Widower. In fact, the full name of this filing status is actually "Qualifying Widow(er) with a Dependent Child". If you do not meet the requirements for qualifying widower and you have not remarried then you must file as single.

For the two years after the year of your spouse's death, you can use the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status if all 5 of the following statements are true:

  1. For the year in which your spouse died, you filed (or could have filed) a joint return with your spouse.
  2. You did not remarry (during the two years after the year of your spouse's death). For example, your spouse died in 2017 and you do not remarry before January 1, 2020.
  3. You have a child or stepchild (not a foster child) whom you are able claim as a dependent.
  4. The child lived with you in your home all year, except for temporary absences. There are exceptions for birth, death, or kidnapping (see below).
  5. You paid more than half the total cost of keeping up the home in which you and the child lived for the year. The total cost of keeping up a home includes food expenses, rent, mortgage interest, home insurance, real estate taxes, utilities, repairs, maintenance, and other household expenses.
When CAN'T I File as Qualifying Widow or Widower?

If you remarried during the year, you cannot file as Qualifying Widow or Widower. Neither can you file as Qualifying Widow or Widower if you do not have a dependent child for whom you kept up a home.

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New Member

When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?

what if you met all of the above except on( you can't claim your child as dependent because he is over 18

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Level 15

When a spouse dies, does the survivor file as single in the year following death?

@jackard 

 

" you can't claim your child as dependent because he is over 18"

 

Being over 18 does not necessarily mean you cannot claim your child as a dependent.  18 is not a magic number.

 

 

IRS interview to help determine who can be claimed:

https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/who-can-i-claim-as-a-dependent

 

 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
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