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Instructions for Form 1040-EZ
taxmap/instr/i1040ez-010.htm#TXMP7f0783dc

What Filing Status Can You Use?(p6)

rule
taxmap/instr/i1040ez-010.htm#TXMP77dfd14d
Single.(p6)
rule
Use this filing status if any of the following was true on December 31, 2011.
taxmap/instr/i1040ez-010.htm#TXMP14181f33
Married filing jointly.(p6)
rule
Use this filing status if any of the following apply.
For federal tax purposes, a marriage means only a legal union between a man and a woman as husband and wife, and the word spouse means a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. A husband and wife filing jointly report their combined income and deduct their combined allowable expenses on one return. A husband and wife can file a joint return even if only one had income or if they did not live together all year. However, both persons must sign the return. Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return.
taxmap/instr/i1040ez-010.htm#TXMP1849ee95
Joint and several tax liability.(p6)
rule
If you file a joint return, both you and your spouse are generally responsible for the tax and interest or penalties due on the return. This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. You may want to file separately if:
If you want to file separately, you must use Form 1040 or 1040A. You cannot use Form 1040EZ. See Innocent Spouse Relief in Section 5, later.