This Daily Tax Tip Spotify Podcast and/or WordPress Blog Post is in response to several requests for general information about claiming Head of Household Filing Status on your federal income tax return.
If you qualify to file as Head of Household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately.
You may be able to file as Head of Household only if:
(1) you are unmarried or “Considered Unmarried” on the last day of the year,
(2) you paid more than Half the Cost of keeping up a household for the year, and
As noted, you must be either Unmarried or Considered Unmarried on the last day of the year. For this purpose, you are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if:
(1) you file a Separate Return,
(2) you paid more than Half the Cost of keeping up your home for the tax year,
(3) your Spouse did not live in Your Home during the last six months of the tax year,
(4) your home was the Main Home of your Child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year, and
(5) you can Claim an Exemption for the Child. (You can meet this test even if you cannot claim an exemption for the child, if the only reason you cannot claim it is because the parent without custody of the child can claim it as a result of satisfying certain requirements).
You are also considered unmarried for Head of Household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien.
For head of household filing status, you are considered as maintaining a household only if you pay more than half the cost of keeping up the household for the tax year. The Expenses of Maintaining a Household include:
- Property Taxes,
- Mortgage Interest,
- Rent Expense,
- Utility Charges,
- Upkeep and Repairs,
- Property Insurance, and
- Food Consumed on the Premises.
Expenses of Maintaining a Household do not include expenses such as:
- Clothing Expenses,
- Education Expenses,
- Medical Treatments,
- Vacation Costs,
- Life Insurance,
- Transportation Expenses.
Also, to be considered as maintaining a household, the household Must Actually Constitute your Home for the tax year.
Generally, the qualifying person must Live with you for more than Half of the Year. A qualifying person includes:
(a) your Child, Stepchild, Foster Child, or a descendant of any of them,
(b) your Brother, Sister, Half Brother, Half Sister, Stepbrother, or Stepsister,
(c) your Father, Mother, Grandparent, or other direct ancestor, but not foster parent,
(e) a son or daughter of your brother or sister,
(d) your Stepfather or Stepmother,
(f) a Brother or Sister of your Father or Mother, or
(g) your Son-in-Law, Daughter-in-Law, Brother-in-Law, or Sister-in-Law.
Please call me at your convenience so that we can take a closer look at your eligibility to claim Head of Household Filing Status.
Please contact the office of Don Fitch Accountancy at (760)567-3110 or Email Don.Fitch@CPA.com if you have any questions or would like additional information.
DON FITCH, CPA
74478 Highway 111 #3
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Toll Free: (877)CPA-Help or (877)272-4357
P.S. My firm is based upon referrals. Please feel free to refer my firm to anyone you know that is looking for a new CPA and/or tax preparer. Thank you in advance.
(Updated 05012021-01 320-885)