When people get married or divorced or a spouse dies during a year, it can be confusing to determine what the filing status of that year should be. The IRS determines your filing status based on what you are on December 31 of that tax year. This means that whether you got married on January 1 or December 31 of 2013, you are considered married by the IRS for the whole year. Sometimes more than one status applies. If that is the case, you can choose the one that leaves you with the least amount of tax. The IRS doesn’t often give you that luxury!
Still confused? The IRS has a handy little app to help you determine your status.