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What filing status do I choose ?

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What filing status do I choose ?


IRS link for filing status interactive interview

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. See separate FAQ for this)

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 below apply to you.

  1. You paid over half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for all of the tax year of your parent whom you can claim as a dependent. Your parent did not have to live with you in your home; or
  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 below).

Note: You cannot file as Head of Household if your child, parent, or relative described earlier is your dependent under the rules for Person Supported by Two or More Taxpayers.


Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child 

You can use this filing status and get joint return tax rates if all of the following apply.
- Your spouse died in one of the previous 2 years and you did not remarry before the end of the tax year.
- You have a child or stepchild whom you claim as a dependent. This does not include a foster child.
- This child lived in your home for all of the tax year. If the child did not live with you for the required time, see Exception to time lived with you on this page.
- You paid over half the cost of keeping up your home.
- You could have filed a joint return with your spouse the year he or she died, even if you did not actually do so.

If your spouse died during this tax year, you cannot file as qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Instead, you can file as married filing jointly if this is how you previously filed.

Keeping Up a Home. To find out what is included in the cost of keeping up a home, you could 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. You can count temporary absences, such as for school, vacation, or medical care, 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.


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Views: 646 Created on: Jun 15, 2013
Date updated: Aug 27, 2015

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