Qualifying Widow or Widower with Dependent Child

What does Qualifying Widow or Widower with Dependent Child mean?

Qualifying Widow or Widower with Dependent Child is one of the five filing statuses the IRS and state taxing authorities use in calculating a taxpayer's tax liability.

If a taxpayer's spouse dies during a given tax year, the taxpayer would still qualify to file using the Married Filing Jointly filing status in that tax year. The taxpayer can then use the Qualifying Widow or Widower with Dependent Child filing status in the following two tax years.

For example, if a taxpayer's spouse died during 2013, the taxpayer could use this filing status in the 2014 and 2015 tax years.

For a taxpayer to use this filing status, the taxpayer must meet all of the following qualifications. First, the taxpayer must have qualified to use the Married Filing Jointly filing status in the year of the taxpayer's spouse's death. Second, the taxpayer has a child or a stepchild the taxpayer can claim as an exemption. Third, the taxpayer's child lived in the taxpayer's home for the entire tax year. Fourth, the taxpayer paid more than half of the expenses associated with maintaining a home during the tax year.

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