Happy Holidays

That you are now reading this letter means that you have opened our package and have noticed our Annual Tax Organizer.  While you may have a tremendous urge to complete it immediately, we suggest you concentrate initially on the first question posed to you – What is your filing status?  Our heroes in Congress and the IRS have given you five choices:

  • Single
  • Married Filing Jointly
  • Married Filing Separately
  • Head of Household
  • Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child

Sounds like a simple multiple-choice question, but the answer is buried in six pages of IRS instructions.

First, you need to refer to your calendar and determine whether you were married or not on December 31st.  If you recollect being married, you can choose 2), 3), or possibly 4) if your spouse abandoned you during the last six months of the year.  If you were unmarried, you can file as 1), 2) if your spouse died during the year, 4) if you maintained a household for a dependent or possibly 5) if you have maintained a household for a dependent child during the two years following the death of your spouse.  After this two-year period, you may be able to choose 1), 2), 3) or 4) depending on your marital and dependency status and the relationship of the stars to the moon.

While the above rules seem fairly simple, situations sometimes arise which cause concern.  For example, if your spouse died during the year and you remarry before the end of the year, you should notify your deceased spouse that he (she) needs to choose 3).  However, if your spouse is a nonresident alien from another planet, it is not as clear cut.  Also, if you chose 3), you can amend your return within three years to choose 2), but if you chose 2), you cannot amend to choose 3), unless you are dead.

Seriously, we hope the booklet is of help to you in organizing your tax data for 2015.  Please complete the Organizer and return it to us as soon as possible.  If you wish to meet with us to discuss the information, please call to make an appointment early so that we have enough time to properly analyze your tax situation and prepare your return.

If you have any questions regarding the gathering of your tax data or the completion of the Organizer, please do not hesitate to call one of our professionals.


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About Tom O'Brien

Thomas S. O'Brien, CPA, Of Counsel and now retired, is a co-founder of the Firm and served as Managing Partner for the first ten years of its existence. He specialized in the areas of retirement, estate planning, accounting, and tax areas of client service.

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