Choosing your status has a big impact on the types of standard deductions you'll receive on your tax return. While the process is often straightforward, a couple of areas can cause some confusion. First, make sure to check only one status. If you're married, for instance, make sure to choose between filing separately and filing jointly. For many people, their status changes during the year. If you get married or divorced over the course of the year, make sure to reference your status as of Dec. 31 of that year.
Checking head of household can be particularly tricky. While filing as the head will get you a larger standard deduction than filing as single, you should make certain that you qualify for that status. Again, the IRS has multiple resources available to answer any questions you might have about filing status, so take advantage of them.
Although choosing the right status on your returns is important, avoiding our next mistake is even more so.