Filing status

Your filing status helps you determine:

In nearly all cases, you must use the same filing status that you used on your federal return. If you did not have to file a federal return, use the same filing status that you would have used if you had filed. Same-sex married couples see Personal income tax information for same-sex married couples.

The only exceptions to this rule apply to married individuals who file a joint federal return and:

  • one spouse is a New York State resident and the other is a nonresident or part-year resident. In this case you must either:
    • file separate New York State returns using filing status 3; or
    • file jointly, as if you both were New York State residents, using filing status 2.
       
  • you are unable to file a joint New York return because the address or whereabouts of your spouse is unknown, you can demonstrate that reasonable efforts have been made to locate your spouse, and good cause exists for the failure to file a joint New York return. In this case, you may file a separate New York return using filing status 3.
     
  • your spouse refuses to sign a joint New York return, reasonable efforts have been made to have your spouse sign a joint return, there exists objective evidence of alienation from your spouse such as a judicial order of protection, legal separation under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, or living apart for the twelve months immediately preceding application to file a separate return or commencement of an action for divorce or commencement of certain court proceedings, and good cause exists for the failure to file a joint New York return. In this case, you may file a separate New York return using filing status 3.
Updated: December 05, 2011