Latest Posts
Home > Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts > My Husband Passed Away. Can I File My Taxes as Single Now? – June

My Husband Passed Away. Can I File My Taxes as Single Now? – June

“Dear Jim,

my husband passed away

we always filed jointly..can I file as being single this year? will I have to file his income tax…what is the best root to pursue?


Don’t miss our free Get Out of Debt – “How To” Guide Series on a number of topics, for loads of practical advice, tips, and help to beat back debt. – Click Here

The Answer


Thanks for your question.

First of all, I am sorry for your loss.

Your first question: Can I file jointly with my deceased husband for 2011 (i.e. the year he died)? The answer is yes. If your spouse died during the year and you did not remarry during 2011, you may still file a joint return with that spouse for the year of death.

Your second question: Is it more advantageous to file jointly or separately for 2011 (i.e. the year of your husband’s death)? In most circumstances, it is more advantageous to file jointly as the tax rates are lower for joint filers. If you do decide to file separately for 2011, your deceased husband’s return would be filed also using the “married filing separately” filing status. For 2012 returns, you may file qualifying widow with dependent child if you qualify or head of household or single, depending on your circumstances.

The best bet for the lowest overall tax bill is filing jointly.

I hope this helps.


My Husband Passed Away. Can I File My Taxes as Single Now?   JuneJim Buttonow is one of the resident debt experts here at that helps people for free. Jim is a licensed CPA who spent 19 years with the IRS coordinating large compliance teams of IRS agents and specialized personnel. In the last 5 years, Jim has invented consumer and practitioner software and treatises on how to address many different tax issues. He has also represented many people before the IRS examination, collection, filing, and appeals functions. He currently assists taxpayers on an active pro bono tax practice aimed at serving people in need. He can be reached at

If you have a tax question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

My Husband Passed Away. Can I File My Taxes as Single Now? - June by

Share This and Spread the Word

About Jim Buttonnow

Jim Buttonnow
Jim Buttonow, CPA/CITP, is cofounder of Beyond415. He has more than 26 years of experience in IRS practice and procedure. Reach Jim at [email protected].
  • Gail Beckwith

    Jim, My husband passed away in october 2012. what do I have to do different to file new york state and income taxes?

Get My FREE Get Out of Debt Guy Newsletter

It is the smart thing to do.

I promise to keep your email safe and secure.


I want to keep you posted each weekday with just one email about the latest get out of debt news, scam alerts and information to beat back debt.

You can unsubscribe at any time with just one click.

After you subscribe, check your email to confirm your subscription. If the confirmation email does not appear in your inbox in a few minutes, check your spam folder for it. Sometimes it likes to annoyingly hide there.

  • It will keep you posted on the latest scams.
  • You will be alerted to the latest articles.
  • You will wind up smarter than everyone else dealing with debt.