Your filing status on the Iowa return is the same filing status as on your federal return.
Status 1. Single
Check filing status 1 if you used the single filing status on your federal return. All single filers must answer the question, "Were you claimed as a dependent on another person's Iowa return?"
If this question is not answered, you will be taxed as a dependent.
Status 2. Married Filing Jointly
Check filing status 2 if you used the married filing jointly status on your federal return. Use the same filing status as your federal return, even if only one spouse had income from Iowa sources. Both spouses must sign the return.
Joint and several liability
Both spouses are jointly and severally liable for the total tax due on the return, except when one spouse is eligible for relief from joint and several liability under criteria established pursuant to section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code.
Spouse with debts
If a spouse has outstanding debt that may be automatically paid (setoff) with your refund, be sure to read our Refunds May Be Used to Pay Debt information.
Status 3. Married Filing Separately
Check filing status 3 if you and your spouse filed separate federal tax returns. Use the same filing status as your federal return, even if only one spouse had income from Iowa sources. Write your spouse's name and Social Security Number in the spaces provided at the top of the return in Step 1, and net income, (as determined on line 1g of the Alternate Tax Worksheet, 41-145) in the space provided at the top of the return in Step 2. The processing of refunds, alternate tax calculations, and low-income exemptions will be delayed without this information or supporting schedules.
Taxpayers using filing status 3 may have to prorate (divide) certain items between them on the return. This information is included with instructions for each line of the return.
Married taxpayers using filing status 3 must use the combined income of both spouses in determining eligibility for exemption from tax.
If either spouse has a net operating loss that is carried back or forward, then the other spouse cannot use the low-income exemption. If the spouse with the net operating loss chooses not to carry the loss back or forward, then the other can claim the low-income exemption. A statement must be attached to the return saying that the spouse with the net operating loss will not carry it back or forward.
Status 4. Head of Household
Check filing status 4 if you are filing as head of household for federal income tax purposes. If you have a qualifying person (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service) living with you who you did not claim as a dependent on this return, enter the person's name and Social Security Number in Step 3.
Status 5. Qualifying Surviving Spouse
Check filing status 5 if you meet the federal filing requirements for qualifying surviving spouse. Enter the dependent’s information in Step 3.