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Head of Household Qualifying Dependent

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Head of Household Qualifying Dependent

Answer
Head of Household
This filing status is for unmarried individuals who provide a home for certain other persons. (Some married persons who live apart may also qualify, and some persons married to a nonresident alien may also qualify. See below.) You may file head of household only if as of December 31, you were unmarried or legally separated (according to your state law) under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance and either Test below apply to you.
Test 1. You paid over half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for all of the year or of your parent whom you can claim as a dependent, except under a multiple support agreement. Your parent did not have to live with you; or
Test 2. You paid over half the cost of keeping up a home in which you lived and in which one of the following also lived for more than half of the year (if half or less, see Exception to time lived with you below).
1.  Any person whom you can claim as a dependent.  But do not include:
  • Your qualifying child whom you claim as your dependent based on the rule for Children of divorced or separated parents,
  • Any person who is your dependent only because he or she lived with you for all of the year, or
  • Any person you claimed as a dependent under a multiple support agreement.
2.  Your unmarried qualifying child who is not your dependent.
3.  Your married qualifying child who is not your dependent only because you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.
4.  Your child who is neither your dependent nor your qualifying child because of the rule for Children of divorced or separated parents.
Keeping Up a Home 
To find out what is included in the cost of keeping up a home, you should visit the IRS web site (Pub. 501). If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half of the cost.
Dependent 
To find out if someone is your dependent, please look under the dependent section in the knowledge base.
Exception 
Temporary absences by you or the other person for special circumstances, such as for school, vacation, business, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility, as time lived in the home. If the person for whom you kept up a home was born or died in the tax year, you may still file as head of household as long as the home was that person's main home for the part of the year he or she was alive.
Married Persons Who Live Apart
Even if you were not divorced or legally separated at the end of the year, you are considered unmarried if all of the following apply:
  • You lived apart from your spouse for the last 6 months of the year.  Temporary absences from special circumstances (listed above) count as time lived in the home
  • You file separate return from your spouse
  • You paid over half the cost of keeping up your home for the year
  • Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half of the year
  • You can claim this child as your dependent or could claim the child except that the child's other parent can claim him or her under the rule for Children of divorced or separated parents.
For more information see IRS publication 501.

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Views: 1773 Created on: Jun 15, 2013
Date updated: Dec 10, 2018

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