Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

Picking a tax filing status seems easy enough, and it can be. But in some situations you have a choice that could make a difference in what you owe the IRS.

I’m Kay Bell with the Bankrate.com personal finance minute.

There are five filing status options. Each affects your standard deduction amount, tax breaks you can claim and even whether you need to file at all.

Unmarried taxpayers can choose single or, if they have dependents, can file as head of household.

Married taxpayers also have two choices, filing jointly or separately. for most couples, a joint return is usually the better choice.

Remember couples, your marital status on december thirty-first usually determines your filing status. So if Kim Kardashian’s divorce is final by the end of the year, she’s a single taxpayer for all of two thousand eleven.

And taxpayers who’ve lost spouses get some special filing status considerations.

Of course, every person’s tax situation is unique. so check out filing status details before picking yours.

You can find that information, as well as more on taxes and other personal finance issues, at Bankrate.com. I’m Kay Bell.