The Peck Group, LC
  • Comprehensive Tax Law Representation Since 1995

    We handle every aspect of tax law: preparing tax returns, representing clients during audits, resolving IRS and state tax controversies, and creating tax planning strategies for the future.

  • Problems With The IRS Or State Tax

    Our attorneys are committed to providing efficient and effective tax solutions for individuals and businesses in Georgia and nationwide.

  • Planning For The Future

    Our lawyers help individuals and businesses with all aspects of estate and tax planning. We help our clients use proactive strategies to minimize tax implications in the future

  • Changing The Balance Of Power

    Does it feel like the government has all the power? Taxpayers have rights, too. We use our knowledge of tax law to shift the balance of power and ensure that your rights are protected.

  • Tax Solutions … And Peace Of Mind

How do I know which filing status to pick?

Preparing your tax return can be a complicated mix of math and tax-specific jargon that’s difficult to understand. One fundamental question that many tax payers struggle with is the difference between the various filing statuses—and the relative advantages of each. Some people qualify for more than one status, and it’s important to understand how to pick the best status for your circumstances.

Firstly, when considering the appropriate status from the previous tax year, you may be confused about what to do if your status changed over the course of the year—e.g., you got married or divorced. In the eyes of the IRS, the only thing that matters is your status on December 31. Below are the five options you have to choose from:

  • Single: On December 31 of the tax year in question, were you divorced, legally separated or single? If any of these descriptors match your case, you can usually select this option. However, if you’re unmarried and have dependent children, head of household may be a better option for you.
  • Married filing jointly: The majority of married couples tend choose this option because it’s usually easier. However, married couples can also choose:
  • Married filing separately: While filing two tax returns instead of one may be more effort, it can be financially worthwhile, depending on the couple’s circumstances.
  • Head of household: Single parents often qualify for this option. If you’re unmarried but pay more than 50 percent of the household expenses for a dependent—or other qualifying person—then you may qualify. Many special rules apply for this status, but qualified individuals can often save money by selecting this option.
  • Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child: If you have a dependent child, and your spouse passed away no more than two tax years ago, you may qualify for this option. Generally the amount you owe under this status will be lower than if you file as single.

Bear in mind that each filing status has its own set of eligibility rules—so you want to be sure that you pick a status that you qualify for and that gives you the most benefits. If you qualify for more than one, it’s good practice to have your tax attorney figure your taxes both ways and figure out which one results in the least tax.

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The Peck Group, LC
5855 Sandy Springs Circle N.E., Suite 190
Atlanta, GA 30328

Phone: 770-884-6914
Fax: 770-933-2369
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