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My question is not for estate planning, but to understand taxes (similar to question for Canada) but when taxes have been filed regularly (and pertaining to the U.S., not Canada).

Suppose a couple has been filing married jointly for many years and with time one of them dies in middle of the year. For that year will the surviving spouse will file as Married filling jointly? What about subsequent years (assuming that surviving spouse does not re-marry)?

  • 3
    It looks like the IRS has a tool to answer this. – yoozer8 Jul 23 '19 at 17:16
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    Note that the tool is a rather longwinded way to find out that yes, if your spouse dies during a tax year, you can still file as married jointly for that year. What counts is that you were married for any part of the tax year. – chepner Jul 23 '19 at 19:17
  • @chepner thanks, the IRS tool is longwinded. – Neil Jul 23 '19 at 20:34
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married jointly for that year

and subsequently as "head of household" if you still have children to take care of

but confirm from TAX professional.

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