The term Qualifying Widow(er) refers to a tax status that allows someone whose spouse has passed to keep the tax benefits of the Married Filing Jointly tax status.
This particular tax status comes with its own unique definitions, requirements, and benefits to consider.
If you are someone whose spouse has passed, learn more about this filing status, whether you qualify, and what benefits it might have for you.
This term refers to a person whose spouse has passed away. The word "widow" is used to describe women who have a deceased spouse. Add an extra "er" to the end of this word to describe men who have a deceased spouse.
This term is a tax filing status, in the same way that the terms head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately, and single filing are all tax filing statuses that people can use as they file tax returns each year.
Technically, its full name is the Qualifying Widow(er) with a Dependent Child Tax Status.
This tax status can be used by someone whose spouse has passed for up to 2 years after the year their spouse died.
There are a few other requirements a tax filer must meet first to qualify for this status.
You can use this status up to 2 years after the year your spouse died. But after those 2 years are over, you will no longer qualify to use this status.
But that's not all!
You also have to have a dependent child, stepchild, adopted child, or foster child living with you to qualify.
This child needs to have lived with you the entire tax year, not including temporary absences.
You will also need to have paid more than half of the cost of the household for that tax year.
You May Qualify If:
It is also important to know the reasons you may not qualify for this status anymore.
You Will No Longer Qualify If:
This status is used so that someone whose spouse has died can still have the tax benefits of the married filing jointly status for 2 years after their spouse died.
These benefits include the tax benefits of the married filing jointly status like the married filing tax rates and the married filing standard deductions.
For example, the standard deduction for the 2022 tax filing year for tax filers using the married filing jointly status is $25,900.
The standard deduction for the 2022 tax filing year for tax filers using the qualifying widow(er) status is also $25,900.
If you itemize your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, these numbers could be different.
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