Question

I have a question about changing tax filing status. If my W-4 states I’m married, can I file taxes as single?

Answer

Regarding changing tax filing status, yes, if you’re really single, you can file taxes as single. Your W-4 only gives your employer information so it knows how much to withhold from your paycheck. So, no matter what you claim on your W-4, it doesn’t affect your filing status.

You can file taxes as single if both of these apply on Dec. 31:

  • You have a divorce decree or a separate maintenance decree under which you’re either:
    • Unmarried
    • Legally separated from your spouse
  • You don’t qualify for another filing status.

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