What Tax Filing Status Should I Choose If My Same-Sex Partner Passes Away?

Your options for choosing a filing status as a widow will depend on a few factors. In general, it’s about where you were married and not where you currently reside. According to the IRS, if you were married in a state or foreign country that legally authorizes same-sex marriage, you will have the same options as opposite-sex married couples. 

If you were married in one of the places described above, you’ll be able to use the married filing jointly status in the year that your spouse passed away. In the two years after the death of your spouse, you can use the qualifying widow(er) tax filing status. Learn more about the options for tax filing for qualifying widowers. 

What if your legal status doesn’t fit the description outlined above? If you were in a civil union or registered domestic partnership and your same-sex partner passes away, you should file your taxes as single. 

Tax Status and Tax Brackets

The tax filing status you use as a same-sex couple affects the ranges of taxable income as they apply to various tax rates. Review the tax brackets and background information for additional context. 

Not sure which tax status applies to you? Our knowledgeable tax pros can help you understand the filing statuses you might be eligible for, and which one is the best for your situation. Visit your local H&R Block tax office to make an appointment.

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