Surviving spouses receive the same standard deduction and tax rates as taxpayers who are filing Married Filing Jointly. In the year of your spouse’s death, if you do not remarry, you can file a joint return with your deceased spouse. For the following two years, you can use the Qualifying Widow/Widower with Dependent Child filing status, if you have a dependent child living with you. After two years, if you have not remarried, you must change your filing status to either Single or Head of Household, depending on your circumstances.
You can consider the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status if you are a widow(er) and:
• You could have filed a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died.
• Your spouse died in either of the two tax years preceding this current year. Read more