Submitted By: someone
Answered: March 17, 2022 2:49 am

My spouse died in January 2022. How does this affect my 2021 return?

The death of a spouse after the end of a tax year does not directly impact tax reporting. The surviving spouse may file a joint return. The decedent’s personal representative must consent to this, but because the surviving spouse usually fills this role, consent is automatic. The surviving spouse may choose the filing status of “married filing separately” and, if so, the personal representative may need to file a separate return on behalf of the decedent. If filing a paper return for joint filing status, sign on behalf of the deceased spouse with the notation after the spouse’s name “deceased.”

Tax Glossary

Adjusted basis

A statutory term describing the cost used to determine your profit or loss from a sale or exchange of property. It is generally your original cost, increased by capital improvements, and decreased by depreciation, depletion, and other capital write-offs.

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