According to the District of Columbia Instructions for Form D-40, “you must use the same filing status on your DC tax return as you did on your federal tax return.”
You must file a DC Individual Income tax return if:
You were a resident of the District of Columbia and you were required to file a federal tax return.
Your permanent residence was in the District of Columbia for either part of or the full taxable year.
You lived in the District of Columbia for 183 days or more during the taxable year, even if your permanent residence was outside the District of Columbia.
You were a member of the armed forces and your home of record was the District of Columbia for either part of or the full taxable year.
You are the spouse of an exempt military person or of any other exempt person such as a nonresident presidential appointee or an elected official.
Note: If you are the spouse/registered domestic partner of someone not required to file, such as a non-resident Congressional appointee, and you meet any of the above requirements, you yourself must file.
District of Columbia Standard Deduction per filing status:
Head of Household, $7,800
Married Filing Jointly/RDP, $10,275
Married Filing Separately/RDP, $5,650
Married Filing Separately/RDP on same return, $10,275
Dependent claimed by someone else, $5,650
Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent children, $10,275
You do not need to file a DC Individual Income tax return if:
You were not required to file a 2017 federal income tax return
You were not considered a resident of DC during 2017
You were an elected member of the US government who was not domiciled in DC
You were an employee on the personal staff of an elected member of the US Congress and you and the elected member were bona fide residents of the same state
You were a member of the US Executive Branch appointed by the President, subject to US Senate confirmation, whose tenure of office is at the pleasure of the President and you were not domiciled in DC during any part of 2017
You were a justice of the US Supreme Court and were not domiciled in DC during any part of 2017.
Domestic partners or other similar relationship registered in other jurisdictions:
If you have registered your relationship in another jurisdiction, you may file a joint return, or file separately on the same return, or file a separate return using the single status.
Single (D-40 and D-40EZ):
You were unmarried, divorced or legally separated as of December 31, 2017, or were widowed prior to January 1, 2017, and did not remarry before January 1, 2018.
Head of Household (D-40):
You may claim this status if you were unmarried or legally separated as of December 31, 2017, and paid over half of the costs of maintaining a home for a qualifying person, such as a child or parent.
Certain individuals who lived apart from the spouse/domestic partner for the last six (6) months of 2017 may also be able to use this filing status.
Filing Jointly (D-40 and D-40EZ):
You were married or have a registered domestic partner and both spouses/registered domestic partners were DC residents as of December 31, 2017, or your spouse/registered domestic partner died in 2017 and you did not remarry/register in 2017.
If legally separated, do not file jointly. If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes
If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse.
Registered domestic partners (D-40 and D-40EZ):
To be considered as a registered domestic partner for DC tax purposes, the parties must be registered with the Vital Record Division of the DC Department of Health.
Married filing separately or RDP filing separately on separate returns (D-40):
You will each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits. You will each report one-half of the income from any securities, bank accounts, real estate, etc., that are registered or titled in both names.
You are not allowed to claim credit for child and dependent care or DC Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if married filing separately or registered domestic partner filing separately on separate returns.
Registered domestic partners who choose to file as married and married individuals must use this filing status if:
You and/or your spouse/RDP were part- year residents of DC during different periods of 2017.
You were a DC resident and your spouse/registered domestic partner was one of the following:
– A member of the US armed forces and not considered a DC resident, but you are required to report income in DC;
– A member of the US Congress or an employee on the personal staff of a member of Congress who is considered a resident of the member's state of residency
– An officer of the US Executive Branch whose primary residence was not in DC, who is appointed by the President, confirmed by the US Senate and serves at the plea- sure of the President
– A justice of the US Supreme Court whose primary residence was not in DC.
Married or RDP filing separately on the same return (D-40):
If you claim either status, you and your spouse/registered domestic partner must combine your separate amounts using Calculation J on Schedule S so that you will either receive one refund or make one tax payment.
You may also claim a credit for child and dependent care expenses.
Using this filing status may reduce the amount of tax you owe by allowing each spouse/registered domestic partner to take advantage of lower tax brackets.
Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child:
If your spouse/registered domestic partner died in 2017, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2017 if you otherwise qualify to use this status. The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse.
You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse/registered domestic partner died.
This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions) but it does not entitle you to file a joint return.
You are eligible to file as Qualifying Widow(er) if you meet all of the following:
You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse/registered domestic partner for the year your spouse/registered domestic partner died. It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return.
Your spouse/registered domestic partner died in 2015 or 2016 and you did not remarry by the end of 2017.
You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. This does not include a foster child.
Your child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. There are exceptions for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child.
You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the year.
If you and your spouse/registered domestic partner were part year residents of DC during different periods of 2017, you cannot file separately on the same return. You must file separate returns.
For more information, see:
Same-Sex Couples State Filing Information
Washington D.C. Active Duty Resident / Nonresident Military Filing Information
Washington DC Military Spouse Relief Act (District of Columbia)