The Importance of Filing Status: MFJ, MFS, or HOH

As a tax preparer one of your responsibilities is to ensure your client has the most advantageous filing status. Often, the client is not aware of all of the filing status options available to them. This is where your knowledge can help lead the client to a filing status that is both correct and is the most beneficial to the client and their family. This is particularly important when determining whether to file for MFJ, MFS, or HOH. Be sure to take the time to discuss these options and their consequences for the taxpayer. This can be a learning opportunity for the client. Even if the client may not be eligible for HOH for the year you are currently preparing, it could be something for the client to consider the following year or possibly an amended return for a previous year. You can find a decision point resource in this decision tree extracted from Pub 4012.

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