What does Marital Status mean?
Marital status is the primary factor used in determining the filing statuses available to a taxpayer. The Internal Revenue Service defines a marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. A person's spouse has to be someone of the opposite sex.
Marital status is determined for the entire tax year on the final day of the tax year, December 31. A person is considered unmarried for the entire tax year if the person is unmarried or divorced on the final day of the tax year. If a couple receives a divorce for the purpose of filing their tax returns as unmarried individuals and with the intention of remarrying in the next tax year, the couple is considered married for both tax years.
In the case of an annulment, which has the effect of rendering a marriage as never having actually existed, a person who has previously filed joint tax returns must file amended returns for up to each of the three previous tax years to use the single or head of household filing status.