My Employer just now sent my 2019-W2-form, I have noticed, my form shows Taxable Martial Status "Single" instead of "Married" Is it possible to change the status during tax filling. If Yes then What kind of benefit I will get during status change. Please share your thought on this one.

  • PS: martial != marital. Describing your marriage as a 'war' is usually a bad idea. (Although it was one excellent movie, with Mike Douglas and Kathleen Turner.) Jan 24, 2020 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


The status of 'married' or 'single' on your W-2 has nothing to do with how you file your taxes, only with how taxes were withheld by your employer. Single status withholding is higher than married, which means you probably paid more taxes than you needed to. This is not a huge problem, and can get back the excess paid in a refund when you file as married. If you want to change your filing status or the number of withholdings that your employer uses to calculate taxes, you need to file a W-4 with your HR office. Even if you were only married at the tail end of the year (say, you got married on December 31st), you still get to file as married for the entirety of the year.

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    In some instances (e.g. additional income from investments) it is even advisable to have one's employer withhold taxes at the higher 'single' rate, to avoid underpayment of taxes during the year with a resulting whopping tax bill at filing time.
    – njuffa
    Jan 23, 2020 at 6:13
  • "Even if you were only married for one day last year (say, you got married on December 31st), you still get to file as married for the entirety of the year." Hmm, I thought it was status at the end of the year. If married for only one month, say July - one can still file as married? Jan 23, 2020 at 21:12
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    @chux-ReinstateMonica no, it should say something like "if you were only married the last day of the year." If you were married most of the year and got divorced in December, then you file as single.
    – Kat
    Jan 23, 2020 at 21:21
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    @chux-ReinstateMonica Good point, I modified the text slightly to clarify that idea. Jan 23, 2020 at 23:09
  • @njuffa: on the old W-4 you could request extra withholding directly, and on the redesigned 2020 form you can either do that or specify non-wage income to be counted in the standard formula. Either of these is more likely to get the correct result than arbitrarily using Single rates. Jan 24, 2020 at 7:06

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