What’s my status?

filing status is determined on december 31

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!

recite-filing status

Tweet it!  Your filing status for the tax year is determined by your status on December 31. @Bettehochberger

Still confused? The IRS has a handy little app to help you determine your status.

IRS-What is my filing status?

More Americans View Their Taxes as Unfair

Well if you filed your taxes and you feel like the tax bill you were handed was an unfair amount, you are not alone.  According to a recent gallup poll only 55% of Americans think their income taxes are fair.  Turns out that there isn’t a big difference in this perception based on income or demographics, but rather political affiliation- democrats thinking it more fair, republicans less.  Not shockingly, more people this year compared to last think that their taxes are going to go up.

There is some interesting information and graphs in the poll.  Check it out.

Taxpayers Claiming Education Credits Wait Until February To File

With all of the changes to the tax code that were signed earlier this year the IRS is scrambling to catch up.  If you are a taxpayer that claims one of the education tax credits- the American Opportunities Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit- using Form 8863 you will need to wait until mid February to file your return.  This is because the IRS needs time to test their systems and ensure proper computations.  Read more about it here.