Tax Questions
 

Qualifying Widow or Widower

 
What does qualifying widow or qualifying widower mean?

Qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent child is the last of the tax filing status allowed by the IRS. The qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent child tax filing status gives the tax payer more tax deductions and credit than the married filing separately tax filing status.

 

Definition of qualifying widow or qualifying widower

You might be eligible to file as a qualifying widow or qualifying widower with a dependent child for the 2 years following the year of your spouse's death if:

  1. you have a dependent child and
  2. you haven't remarried during that time.

You can still file as married filing jointly (MFJ) in the year of your spouse's death if you otherwise qualify for the married filing jointly filing status.

However, the year your spouse died is the last year you can file as married filing jointly with your deceased spouse.

 

Rules for filing as a qualifying widow or qualifying widower with dependent child

The qualifying widow or qualifying widower filing status entitles you to the married filing jointly tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount if you do not itemize your deductions. You're eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child for the 2 years following the year of your spouse's death if:

  • You were eligible to file MFJ with your spouse in the year your spouse died.
  • You did not remarry during that time period.
  • You have a son, daughter, stepchild, or adopted child for whom you can claim an exemption.
  • You paid more than half of the cost of maintaining the home of your dependent child.
  • Your dependent lived with you for the entire year.