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Should I file tax as married or single.? Now single but was married from January 1st to December 7 of the year.

Newport, KY |

I got divorce decree december 7 2012. I claimed married on my federal and state tax form with 2 kids. I have changed the forms with my employer, now that I want to file tax, will I file single or married since I was married throughout the whole 2012 mostly, and if I file single, Will I owe any money? Thanks for your explanation and help ahead.

Attorney Answers 3


For federal income tax purposes you should file as single. Under federal tax law you determine whether you're married or single on the last day of the year, and that determination applies for the entire year. The IRS has a publication that discusses many of these issues - Publication 17 - the relevant part of which you can review online here:

So, even though you were married for all but 24 days of 2012, because you were divorced on December 31, 2012, the IRS considers you to have been single for all of 2012.

I do not know if you would have a different filing status for the purposes of Kentucky state law, so you should check with the relevant state tax publications, or contact the Kentucky tax agency directly if it's not clear from their publications or the instructions on their tax forms.

My answer does not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon by anyone for any purpose and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship or an offer to form such a relationship. This disclaimer is intended to be fully compliant with the requirements of Treasury Department Circular 230 and the terms thereof are fully incorporated by reference. If you wish to consult with me please contact me at dwatchley@newyorktaxcounsel or visit my website at

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You will have to file according to your marital status at the end of the year (12/31/2012). Accordingly, if you were not married on that date, your filing status will be single.

This response is for general informational purposes only. It does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship between the reader or any other person and Lapekas Law, P.A.. This response may not be relied upon to avoid civil penalties that may be imposed by the IRS regarding any matter discussed herein.

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1 comment

Howard M Lewis

Howard M Lewis


great counsel


the date to focus on is 12.31.2012, if you were single then, you must file single. take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

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