If you are legally separated from a spouse but married to that person, then you can change the way that you file your taxes. In fact, you can file as a single person if you have a legal separation that is documented by the courts and you have no dependent children that you need to claim on your forms. You do not have to file as a married person if you are not sharing anything with your spouse at the time. If you have a qualifying dependent but you are separated, then you can file as the head of your household. In fact, you can file as the head of a household even if you are not legally separated from a spouse. You will just need to prove that you have paid over half of the cost of maintaining a home for a qualifying dependent and yourself.
If you do not make over half the money for a household and are not legally separated, then you may need to file jointly with your spouse as married. Filing jointly as a married couple will probably save you money in the long run so it may be worth looking into. If you want to file married separately then you will not get all the tax credits and deductions that you could obtain with a joint filing. Yet if your spouse is estranged but you are not legally separated, this may be the best way to do this. It will require less mutual cooperation, and you may want to forego the money in order to avoid having to converse and work with your spouse. As you can see, separation can have a direct effect on how you file your taxes for the year. Talk to a family lawyer if you want to make your separation legal in order to change the way that you file for taxes or for some other monetary or legal issue. At the Hopper Law Office, we are here to give you the sound and solid separation that you want! Contact us today to get started!