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William Perez

Head of Household

By August 30, 2008

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Head of Household is one of five different filing status options available to taxpayers, and is often the most advantageous filing status for single parents.

The Head of Household status is available for taxpayers who are unmarried and who are caring for a child, parent, or other close family member living in the same household with them. That seems pretty easy to understand. What makes this filing status complicated is that both the unmarried and the qualifying person criteria can be complex.

For example, a taxpayer will be unmarried if he or she (1) has never been married, (2) is legally separated or divorced by the end of the year, or (3) has lived apart for his or her spouse for at least the last six months of the year.

The qualifying person rules are even more complex. For Head of Household, the taxpayer will need to have at least one "qualifying person" who lives in the same household as the taxpayer, and the taxpayer provides more than half the cost of maintaining the household. To many people, this sounds like the qualifying person would be a dependent. And in many cases, the same person who is a dependent will also qualify the taxpayer for head of household. But the criteria for a head of household qualifying person are different in two respects: (1) they must be a closely related family member, and (2) they must live with the taxpayer for more than half the year. Dependents, on the other hand, is a broader concept and can cover a wider variety of family relationships and living situations.

To make matters even more complicated, some divorced and separated couples will often split the child-related tax benefits. One person will claim the dependent, and the other will claim head of household. This is allowable under current tax laws. The caveat is that only the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child resides for more than half the year) can claim head of household. The custodial parent should also fill out Form 8332, Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents, to allow the non-custodial parent to claim the child as a dependent for a particular year. The noncustodial parent cannot claim head of household using that dependent because they won't meet the residency requirement.

For more information: see the article head of household filing status and Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. If you need help determining your filing status, check out the What is My Filing Status? application on the IRS Web site.

October 31, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(1) Rosallyn says:

Last year I started helping my mom and sister with filing their taxes. My mom has a dependent(my other sister) which is disabled. My sister has a dependent which is her son. I filed my mom as the head of household because she is the one that the house is rented by. Both of them claimed their own dependent. Could I have also claimed my sister as head of household since she pays rent to my mom and takes care of her son and everything to do with him?

November 2, 2008 at 9:21 pm
(2) taxes says:

Rosallyn, good question. Basically, for Head of Household, the person who provides more than half of the total support of a ‘qualifying person’ is eligible to take that filing status. And for HOH only, a qualifying person is a very closely related person who is also a dependent. If your sister does not have any income, then she could not claim her son as a dependent. On the other hand, if your sister did have income, then you mom probably could not have claimed her as a dependent nor used the HOH filing status. In either case, you cannot claim HOH using the same qualifying person (your sister) because she is either the dependent of your mother, or she is not eligible to be a dependent.

An accurate answer can be obtained by reviewing everyone’s income and determining (1) whether or not your sister could be claimed as a dependent; and if so, (2) whether you or your mom would be most eligible to claim her.

Hope this helps,

November 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm
(3) sandy says:

my daughter and i moved in with my boyfriend. He has no kids in the household. He makes more money then me. Can i claim head of household as my bills and his bills are seperate.

November 30, 2008 at 1:57 am
(4) Adrian says:

I recently purchased a home for myself and my mother. I pay basically all of the bills for the home as my mom ran into some hard times with student loans, however she makes over $3400. Would I be able to claim her as a dependent? Would I be able to file as head of household?

December 3, 2008 at 12:19 am
(5) Melinda says:

In September of 2008 I gave birth to my son. I am claiming him as a dependent and am trying to figure out if I can also claim head of household. I read that the exception to the rule of “the child must reside with you for at least half the year” is if the child was born that given year. Then it counts as if they’ve been there all year.
For the first 8 months of 2008.. I lived in an apartment where I paid my full portion of the rent. Then moved in temporarily with my mother and will be here until the end of the year.
So even though technically I did not have my son living with me during the 8 months where I paid my rent (more than 1/2 the year) because he was born in the 9th month.. does this exception to the rule (his birth in this year) make is plausible that I would technically be HoH for tax reasons?

December 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm
(6) brujohnson123 says:

I have a general question that I have been trying to research for the longest. I have been claiming my children for the past two years because the mother and I were living together even though at the time i was still paying child support. Til this very day she is not working and I pay child support and have never been late,I also pay healthcare while they also get wellcare. Not looking for an applause but I want to know if I can still claim them as my dependents on my income tax. the reason being I provide more than $850 plus a month, which takes care of her rent light bills, water, cell phone, etc.

December 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm
(7) corey123 says:

I am the noncustodial parent of my children, however my visitation rights allow me to 50% of the time with my children and i am resposible for 70% of all expenses…can i claim head of household? Can two people claim head of household for the same qualifying person?

December 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm
(8) taxes says:

Corey, to qualify for head of household, the child must live with you for more than half the year. So if you split the time exactly 50-50, then neither parent will qualify for HOH. Generally speaking, it’s best to negotiate which parent gets to claim the child-related tax benefits in advance to avoid any misunderstandings.

December 1, 2008 at 6:21 pm
(9) taxes says:

Adrian, if order to qualify for Head of Household with a parent, you will need to be able to claim your parent as a dependent under the qualifying relative rules. If your mom has gross income over her personal exemption amount for the year, she’s probably not going to qualify as your dependent.

December 16, 2008 at 6:30 pm
(10) taxes says:

brujohnson123, two people cannot both claim head of household using the same qualifying person. To qualify, the child must live with you for more than half the year, and you must pay for more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the entire year. If you meet those qualifications, then you are entitled to use the HOH filing status. You should also discuss this with the mother so that you can both agree in advance on how best to coordinate the tax benefits for the children, to prevent any problems when you file your returns.

December 4, 2008 at 6:33 pm
(11) taxes says:

Melinda, the worksheet in Publication 501 for determining the upkeep of a house references your expenses for the entire year. So it seems reasonable for you to look at your expenses for the whole year and not just the time after child birth.

December 28, 2008 at 6:08 pm
(12) Tommy Boy says:

I have had my son 8 months out of the year an I still payed Child support, before we had split custody an now I have full, the Judge said she can claim him but she has not had him half of the time an I have payed all his med dent an day care should I claim him anyway!! I dont pay support anymore due to the fact I have full custody!

December 29, 2008 at 12:53 am
(13) Mike says:

My wife suffered some strokes after giving birth to our daughter in late Jan. Since then I have been taking care of my son, 5, and my daughter while my wife has been in a rehab facility. Does this qualify? Also, what about if my wife never returns home and we remain married, do I still qualify for head of household???

December 29, 2008 at 10:37 am
(14) Amanda says:

My mother lived with me for 10 months during the year, at which time she was unemployed, and I covered the majority of the household expenses (more that 90%). Would this qualify me for a Head of Household exemption?

December 31, 2008 at 8:32 pm
(15) Linda says:

My college age daughter moved out of our home in August after graduating, getting a job, and renting a place. I have been custodial parent and maintained her home. I will not claim her as a dependent since she now has her own job but can I still claim HOH and will that affect her filing her own taxes?

January 1, 2009 at 3:20 pm
(16) Ad Astra says:

During this past year, my son’s last year of high school, he was able to attend community college part-time, for college credit. He graduated from high school in June 2008. Through the end of 2008, he continued taking community college classes (carrying 12 units, which I believe is below the 15 units required for “full-time” status). He turned 18 in July and, while continuing with college, also began working part-time, with standard deductions being taken from his paychecks. He lives with me, and I contribute to over half of his living expenses, including car purchase, car maintenance and repairs, car insurance, health insurance, food, clothing, textbooks (required for school but not falling within the “mandatory” category), and so on. In previous years I have filed as head of household, listing him as a dependent. From your answers to other people in this forum, it looks like I would still be considered head of household for 2008, listing my son as a dependent for all of 2008, although I am not clear as to how he files relative to his earnings or how I include that (his earnings and his own filing) in the picture when I file my own return, or even the best way to go about this (my first time dealing with this question). Can you please shed some light on this? I have prepared my own returns for many years and would like to continue doing so because it’s taken a while to build a good track to run on (to accommodate my own mix of employee and self-employed income, depreciation schedules, and so on). Could you give a kind of “broad strokes” list of all of the implementation steps I should undertake in proceeding through the tax booklet and forms? That is, in your experience, what form numbers am I going to need to “tree” my way through, and in what order, to make sure I don’t miss something important? All I need a correct and complete general map–I can figure out the details as long as I’m headed in the right direction. Thank you!

January 5, 2009 at 6:13 pm
(17) Craig says:

Can an unmarried couple living together with two children both claim HOH, with one parent claiming 1 child and the other claiming the other child?

January 7, 2009 at 11:13 am
(18) Melaney says:

I live with my boyfriend were not married. I would like to know if the both of us could file head of household? We do not have any kids together. I do have 3 kids from a previous marriage that I have custody of.

January 7, 2009 at 6:40 pm
(19) Joshua says:

Hello. Here is my scenario. Me and my fiance (we are both legally single) are trying to figure out the best way to file our taxes. We are considering filing both as Head of Household .. let me explain .

She has an 8-year old child (not mine) which she can claim, and lived in an apartment for the majority of the year.

We had our baby boy (mine) this past June and I’ve been living here taking care of my home all year and she only came to move in a few months ago. Our little boy has been living with me since birth while she was making the transition to make the move to where we live now.

That is a very special case scenario I know .. it seems that we can both file HOH for this year alone since we lived the majority of the year separately (and covered maintenance) and each have a dependent.

What are your thoughts?

January 7, 2009 at 6:43 pm
(20) Joshua says:

Please remove my last name from my last comment .. thanks,

January 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm
(21) Lori says:

My son is 18 but will not graduate high school until this June 2009. Should I change my withholding now at the beginning of the year for 2009 because I will not be able to claim head of household at the end of 2009 or can I even if he’s in school 1/2 the year and only has a part time job? thanks

January 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm
(22) taxes says:

Lori, it sounds like you’ll be losing him as a dependent and also the HOH filing status. I’d adjust your withholding now, just to be on the safe side.

January 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(23) taxes says:

Joshua, yes it does sounds to me like both of you would qualify as head of household for the year. You are both unmarried and both paid more than half the cost of maintaining your separate residences.

January 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(24) taxes says:

Melaney, it sounds like you might be head of household, but that your boyfriend might not be. To qualify for HOH, you’ll need a dependents and need to pay for more than half the cost of maintaining the residence. You certainly have the dependents. So the question will come down to who paid the most for rent, food, utilities, etc.

May 4, 2011 at 2:00 am
(25) Jenn says:

Can I claim head of household if my fiance and I both paid half of our household expenses and his minor child lived with us all year long. I see on the 1049a form that there is a place that says head of household with out qualifying dependent and my fiance claims him as a dependent and files married filing separately since his divorce isn’t filed yet. Ps we have been living together for 7 years now.

May 4, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(26) William Perez says:

Jenn, it sounds like there is one child in the household. The child can only be claimed once. So if your fiance is eligible to claim the child as a dependent, then you would not be able to claim the same child as a dependent nor for Head of Household purposes.

January 8, 2009 at 8:24 pm
(27) taxes says:

Mike, it may be more advantageous for you to file as married filing jointly, which would provide you with a higher standard deduction and an extra personal exemption, plus you’d be able to claim all the medical expenses for your wife. If your wife is unable to sign the return, you may be able to sign for her (after obtaining her verbal permission). See this section of Publication 501, especially the paragraphs about the spouse being unable to sign.

January 8, 2009 at 8:27 pm
(28) taxes says:

Linda and Amanda: you both have similar questions, which I will respond to here. In order to qualify for HOH, you’ll also need to be able to claim the dependent. So Linda won’t likely be HOH because she can no longer claim her daughter as a dependent. Amanda might be HOH, but only if she’ll be able to claim her mom as a dependent.

January 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm
(29) taxes says:

TommyBoy, if the court has awarded the dependent to the mom for tax purposes, then you’ll need to abide by that decision. However, as the custodial parent you are otherwise entitled to claim the dependent. I would talk this over with a tax accountant or an attorney, as you may want obtain the tax benefits for yourself.

October 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm
(30) ladyrider68 says:

This makes me curious because I was told, if the child lives with me and I do not sign an 8332 that I can claim the child because of the date our divorce decree/child custody was done. Is that true or false?

January 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm
(31) taxes says:

Ad Astra, great question! Basically, it might look something like this:

1. Is your son still a dependent?
1a. Is he under age 19 at the end of the year; if so, you don’t need to worry about his level of income nor about whether he was a full time student.
1b. Is he age 19 to under 24 at the end of the year; if so, was he a “full time” college student

2. Do you qualify for HOH?
2a. Are you unmarried (as of Dec 31st)
2b. Do you have a qualifying person live with you? (Note that absences for school don’t count against this criteria.)
2c. Did you pay for more than half the cost of maintaining your home.

3. Optional: what are the tax savings for you claiming the dependent and HOH vs. your child claiming himself. (This will require preparing the returns a couple of different ways. But generally speaking if the child isn’t making a lot of money, it’s better for the parent to take the tax breaks.) The relevant tax breaks to consider include:
a. the personal exemption
b. standard deduction
c. education credits or tuition deduction for the college
d. medical expenses

Your son’s income will be reported separately from yours. He’ll file his own return. If he’s your dependent, then he won’t be able to claim a personal exemption; he’ll have a lower standard deduction; he won’t be able to claim his own medical expenses or the education tax credits.

January 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm
(32) sherri says:

My son has lived with me for the whole year of 2008 but he turned 19 at the end of june 2008. can I claim him as a dependant on earned income credit? since he was living with me for the full year and I paid for 100 % of his care. I am a single parent.

January 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm
(33) taxes says:

You child might qualify as your dependent and for the earned income credit for 2008. At age 19, the question is whether (a) he’s in school full-time, or (b) disabled, or (c) if he earns less than $3,500. If either of these are true, then he’ll be your dependent, and thus also qualify you for the EIC. He won’t qualify you for EIC after he turns 24 (unless he’s permanently disabled).

January 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm
(34) Tanika says:

My boyfriend and I have lived together for 13 months now and seven months ago he was awarded full custody of his two kids. They live with us too. I make alot more money than his does and I pay the majority of the household bills like the rent and the utilities plus other monies for him and his kids. Can I claim them on my taxes. Oh he is still legally married to another woman not the childrens mother but in the process of a divorce.

January 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm
(35) Jessica says:

I have two sons by two seperate men. I know what to do about one on the taxes but, the other is complicated. We divorced in June and the papers say “Mother shall claim the minor child as a tax dependent for income tax purposes during ODD numbered years, and the FATHER shall claim said child as a tax dependent for income tax puposes during EVEN numbered years.” So, can I claim Head of Household? Does this just mean (if applicable) mean I don’t get the EIC on the said child the year he claims him?

January 15, 2009 at 4:06 pm
(36) Krystal says:

I am 20 years old living with my mom right now and I just had a baby in December. If my mom claims me and the baby for HOH, will that take away from me claiming myself and the baby as dependents? Also, do I still qualify for earned income credit if I had my baby in December?

January 17, 2009 at 11:11 am
(37) Josh says:

my girlfriend and i have lived together in ur own place for over a year and we had a baby in feb of 2008 i made more money than her but she was a student and still held down 2 jobs which would be the best way to file our taxes that we get the most money back?

January 18, 2009 at 11:42 pm
(38) Gordon says:

I have lived with my girlfriend since April. She has two kids and does not work. Is there any way I can claim HOH and also claim the EIC for her two children. Is there a loophole for unmarried couples?

January 19, 2009 at 11:43 am
(39) Nettie says:

I am married but my husband has been incarcerated for the past 15 months. Under these circumstances do I qualify to file as ‘Head of Household’?

January 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm
(40) taxes says:

Tanika, basically no. Your boyfriend is eligible to claim the kids, not you. There are two sets of rules for dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives. The qualifying children rules take priority over the qualifying relative rules. Since the kids are qualifying children of your boyfriend, then they are precluded from being your qualifying relatives.

January 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm
(41) taxes says:

Jessica, you’re right. You might be eligible for head of household and EIC based on the other kid, however.

January 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm
(42) taxes says:

Krystal, if your mom claims you and your child as dependents, then you would not be able to claim your child as a dependent nor would you be eligible for EIC. Also, you would not be able to claim your own personal exemption, and might have a lower standard deduction.

January 19, 2009 at 8:43 pm
(43) taxes says:

Josh, it’s impossible to say which way of filing will be best for you. For that we’d have to run the numbers and see what makes sense. However, according to the rules for dependents, the parent with the higher income would claim the kid provided the child lived with both parents for the same amount of time (which I presume is the case in your situation). Thus I would say, tentatively, that you should file as head of household, claim the kid, and possibly the child tax credit and earned income credit (if you qualify). Your girlfriend would then be single with no dependents.

January 19, 2009 at 8:46 pm
(44) taxes says:

Gordon, you are not eligible to claim the kids. The kids are your girlfriend’s dependents. You might be able to claim your girlfriend as a qualifying relative, but would mean that no body gets to claim the kids as dependents. In any event you do not qualify for Head of Household since your girlfriend and her kids are not among the “qualifying persons” that make you eligible for HOH.

January 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm
(45) taxes says:

Nettie, possibly. To be considered unmarried, you cannot have lived in the same residence as your spouse for at least the last six months of the year. However, temporary absences do not count towards this 6-month test. In Publication 501, the IRS writes,

“You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. You must continue to keep up the home during the absence.”

Whether the incarceration counts as a temporary absence or not is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

January 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm
(46) K says:

My ex and I share our child 50%. I pay for most things and I earn more.
Realisticly it’s more 55% in my favor.
Is it possible for me to claim HOH and her to get the earned income credit?

January 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm
(47) William Perez says:

K, the child must live with the taxpayer for more than half the year in order to qualify as a dependent, to qualify for HOH and to qualify for the earned income credit. So all three tax benefits are linked together by this residency requirement.

January 22, 2009 at 1:09 am
(48) Leilani says:

My sister lived with me all of 2008 until she got married in december 2008 I was her main provider. Can I claim her as a dependent? She is 21 and was a full time college student. She will be filing her taxes jointly with her husband.

Please let me know….thank you

January 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(49) William Perez says:

Leilani, it will probably be better for your sister not to be your dependent. That way she and her husband can claim the tax credits for higher education on their return. However, if the couple files only for a refund of their withholding and does not claim any other tax credits or deductions, then you could claim your sister as a dependent under the qualifying child rules. It would be good to compare the tax returns to see which way would yield the largest overall tax refunds for all three of you.

January 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm
(50) Val says:

Last year we still claimed our 19 year old as a dependant because he was a full time student. He also had a part time job. He didn’t receive the stimulus check, nor did we get anything extra for him.
Is it better to let him claim his self this year?

January 23, 2009 at 2:57 pm
(51) princess xena says:

My husband and I have been physically separated for almost 2 years. We have 3 children together, but they live with me. The separation is friendly, and we get along well. He does help support the kids. All of this is done out of court, we have no legal custody or support agreements. We would like to know if I can give him a release to claim 1 of the children on his taxes (only fair!). If this is legal, can we both file head of household? He does keep the kids at his place quite a bit. Thank you!!

January 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm
(52) ash says:

I live alone, independent, single. I rent and I pay all of my own bills. Do I qualify to file as head of household?

January 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm
(53) William Perez says:

Val, if you don’t claim your son as a dependent, and if he has at least $3,000 in qualifying income (e.g., wages), then he would get his own recovery rebate credit. Whether this is advantageous, I’m not sure. You’d have to compare it to claiming him as a dependent and taking any deductions or tax credits for his college education.

January 23, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(54) William Perez says:

Princess Xena, you can allow your husband to claim one of the kids even though they live with you. To do this, you’ll need to fill out Form 8332, and give one copy to the dad and keep one copy for yourself. The dad will need to attach this form to his tax return in order to properly claim the dependent.

This dependent would qualify the dad to claim the dependent’s personal exemption and the child tax credit, but it won’t qualify him for head of household. That filing status requires that the dependent actually reside in the same household as the taxpayer for more than half the year. So if you do allow him to take the dependent, then your filing status would be HOH but his filing status would be single.

January 23, 2009 at 9:02 pm
(55) William Perez says:

Ash, no. In order to be head of household, you need to provide for a closely related relative who lives with you in your household. Here’s a link to the criteria for head of household status.

January 24, 2009 at 9:47 am
(56) Anita says:

My daughter and grandson moved in with my husband and I August 2008. She has been separated since Nov 2007. Her divorce was final Nov 2008. She supported her self and my grandson for 8 months until she moved home this las August. We split the bills 50/50. My Husband and I file long form. Can my daughter also file HOH?

January 24, 2009 at 4:12 pm
(57) d says:

I am filing married jointly. My daughter who is 22 and my grandaughter live with me. Can I claim them as dependents? She is separated from her husband and I am providing her living costs. Her husband is not claiming my grandaughter.

January 24, 2009 at 6:29 pm
(58) William Perez says:

Anita, it does sound like your daughter will qualify as HOH for 2008. That’s because she provided more than half of the cost of maintaining her residence for herself and her child.

January 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm
(59) William Perez says:

D, Unless your daughter is in college, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to claim her as your dependent. If your daughter has earned more than $3,500 and if she isn’t a full-time student, then you won’t be able to claim her as a dependent under either of the two sets of rules for dependents: qualifying child and qualifying relatives. The granddaughter should be claimed by her mom if the mom has some income. If the daughter has no income, then you might be able to claim both your daughter and your granddaughter as dependents.

January 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(60) Betty says:

my daughter is over 21, been divorced for 3 yrs.. She has no money coming in at all and I claim head of household, but can I also claim her as a dependent?

January 25, 2009 at 6:16 am
(61) Deirdre says:

I do not have custody of my 3 children but they come over every weekend. Can I claim head of household?

January 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm
(62) Ash2 says:

My situation is as follows: My boyfriend and I have three children and all live together. Is it possible for us both to claim head of household, me claim two of my children, and him claim one?

January 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm
(63) Terry says:

I am divorced and my daughter, my son-in-law, and my granddaughter have lived with me for the past year. They both work but pay no rent. Can I claim head of household because my granddaughter is living there but let them claim her as a dependent. Thanks for your help because this seems to be a gray area to me.

January 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm
(64) amber says:

My two children and I moved in with my boyfriend May of 08. I pay my own bills and food costs, but he pays the housing bills for the most part. Can I still claim head of household on my taxes?

January 26, 2009 at 8:59 pm
(65) Mary says:

I’ve divorced and have custody of my two kids (one of which I am allowed to claim as a dependent per our divorce). Me and my children have lived with my boyfriend in his house for the past four years. I financially support myself and my children. I pay rent to my boyfriend, however, he pays a lot more of the mortgage and utilities than I do. He does not have any dependents. Do I qualify to file as HOH?

January 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm
(66) star says:

This would be my first year filing taxes with as a married woman. my husband was incarcerated the beginning of last year, i send him money every week or every other week. since i support him would i be able to claim him? and if i cant what would i file as? I recently had a son in june 08 and he’s lived with me from day 1 would it be possible to claim him also?

January 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm
(67) SP says:

my boyfriend has a child with another women. She doesnt work and only goes to school and from my understanding is a dependent of her mother, and wants to claim the kid- is that possible? if my boyfriend is the one who supports the child with everything can he claim the the kid?

January 27, 2009 at 12:41 am
(68) Julie says:

My boyfriend and I lived together for all of 2008 (actually for the past 6 years) I never worked during 2008. He paid for all of our living expenses. He supported me 100% financially. Is he able to file as HOH and claim me as a dependant?

January 28, 2009 at 6:16 pm
(69) Klaudia says:

I am not married, but live in the same house with my children and their dad. We split the cost of living. Since there are 2 kids..can each of us claim head of household and one dependant?

January 29, 2009 at 10:04 am
(70) Heather says:

I have a question. My husband and I are divorced. The divorce agreement allows each of us to claim one child (we have 2). We have shared custody, and have them pretty much 50/50. He lives with his girlfriend, whe has her own kids. He contributes to her household, as well as pays child support to me.

I know I can claim Head of Household, but and trying to determine if he can also. As we would not be claiming the same qualifying child.

My only concern is that his girlfriend may be claiming HOH as well.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks, Heather

January 29, 2009 at 11:33 am
(71) John says:


My fiance and her daughter moved in with me the middle of last year. Neither is claimed by any other filer and neither have any income, and the child has autism. I claim both as dependants, Can I claim Head of Household? I am not sure I pass the “relationship” test but have seen other sites which say “yes” and some that say “no.” Thanks!

January 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm
(72) Tom says:

Can two people at the same address claim head of household

January 30, 2009 at 8:09 pm
(73) Samantha says:

My son is a full time student. Last year he made $5700. Does he need to file a return? And will this affect my return for filing him as my dependent. He is now 21.

January 31, 2009 at 10:05 am
(74) J says:

I am divorced. I still provide a home for my ex-wife and my 2 step children, ages 9 and 12. She works but I pay 100% of the rent, electricity, ect. ect.

Do I qualify for HOH?

January 31, 2009 at 10:53 am
(75) stephanie says:

There are two families living in one home. Both mothers are single and both have a dependent. Both provide all support of their own child, and they both pay all bills half and half. Can each of the families claim head of household?

January 31, 2009 at 11:56 am
(76) Amber Amadori says:

I am a 24 single mom to one child. I work full time- and go to school full-time. pay all the bills with regard to my son and I. I pay for our food and our own expenses however, I do not pay rent to live at home and all my bills are separate. Am I able to file as HOH seeing that I provide more than half the expenses for me and my son? Will my parents be able to file as HOH since they are providing for my younger siblings as well as my grandparents? Thanks for the help.

January 31, 2009 at 12:34 pm
(77) JoAnne says:

Hi can I claim my daughter(30) who doesn’t work and my 3 yr old grandson who live with me. My daughter filed since she received some unemployment but not as HOH.

February 2, 2009 at 10:12 am
(78) Jim says:

Hello. Can I claim HOH? I have a two-year old daughter, I was never married to her mother, I am the custodial parent, my daughter lived with me over half the year, I do pay child support, and the courts have given me the right to claim her every year for tax purposes. Thanks!

February 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(79) don says:

My daughter lives with her grandparents for half the time and lives with me( her dad) half the time. Her grandparents are claiming her as a dependent. I was wondering if I qualify to claim head of household as well thank you

February 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm
(80) russ says:

Ok i have a Question that i have not found the answer to. I have two children from two different woman. I pay child support for both and provide health care for both. The agreement that I made with the mothers is to let them claim the children every year.One lives close To me and the other lives several states away.The one that lives close the visitation is set up so that I have 40% of visitation. the other child I get all summer and every holiday. Here is the question. If you add the calander days that I have at least one child with me (NOT counting an extra day if I have both on same day)it comes out to 58%. would this quailify me For head of Household?

February 3, 2009 at 8:34 pm
(81) Tim says:

I have a tricky tax question. I am filing as head of household with my 60-year-old mother as a qualifying relative and dependent with no earned income. However, she did buy and sell a number of assets during the year, and received a 1099-B showing loss of over $2,000 in sales of short-term assets. Can I claim the losses on my taxes, since she is my legal dependent?

February 3, 2009 at 9:39 pm
(82) William Perez says:

Tim, You mom will need to report the sales on her own tax return. The only difference is she will be a dependent and so will have a lower standard deduction and no personal exemption.

February 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm
(83) William Perez says:

Betty, you might be able to claim your daughter as a dependent under the qualifying relative rules if she has no income.

February 3, 2009 at 9:44 pm
(84) William Perez says:

Deirdre, no you cannot claim HOH. That’s because your children would need to qualify as your dependents and would need to live with you for more than half the year and you would need to provide more than half of their financial support. Having custody only on the weekends won’t get you over “more than half the year” test.

February 3, 2009 at 9:47 pm
(85) William Perez says:

Russ, the tests for Head of Household are on a per-child basis. Since neither child lives with you for more than half the year, you won’t qualify for HOH.

February 3, 2009 at 9:51 pm
(86) William Perez says:

Don, let’s back up a second. In cases where the child lives exactly half the time with one taxpayer and half the time with another, then the tie-breaker tests award the dependent to the parent. So you should be claiming the dependent, not the grandparents.

HOH is another story. To qualify the dependent must live with you for more than half the year. Since this isn’t true either for you or for the grandparents, then neither party would qualify for HOH based on this child.

February 3, 2009 at 10:01 pm
(87) William Perez says:

Amber, In Publication 501, the IRS writes, “To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year.” The key phrase here is “a home,” which I take to mean a single residence. So if you pay more than half of the household expenses, then you would qualify for HOH. If you pay exactly half (or less), then you won’t qualify.

February 3, 2009 at 10:05 pm
(88) William Perez says:

Ash2, your situation is similar to Amber’s above (see #83). Only the person who actually pays for more than half the upkeep for the household will qualify for HOH. If you both pay exactly half, neither neither person would qualify for HOH.

February 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm
(89) William Perez says:

Terry, great question. Basically, no. One of test for HOH is that, “You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child….” (from Publication 501). What this means is that the custodial parent could be HOH even if they allow the noncustodial parent to claim the dependent. This splitting of the tax benefits doesn’t extend to grandparents, unfortunately. So the only two options available to you are (1) claim the dependent and HOH, or (2) don’t claim the dependent and no HOH.

February 4, 2009 at 8:41 am
(90) Danielle says:

For 2008 my boyfriend and I lived together and we share a child together. He has recently moved out in 2009. Can we both file head of household now that he has a different address?

February 4, 2009 at 8:56 am
(91) Julie says:

please see comment 64……………still waiting for a response.

February 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm
(92) William Perez says:

Julie, sorry for overlooking your comment. Basically, your boyfriend could claim you as a dependent, but he would still be single instead of head of household. That’s because HOH has a very narrow range of permitted relationships for qualifying (son, daughter, parent, sibling). Even though you have a close relationship, the tax code isn’t allowing HOH in this circumstance. Sorry.

February 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm
(93) William Perez says:

Danielle, if you are sharing custody of one child, then no. Only the custodial parent with whom the child lives for more than half the year can claim HOH.

February 4, 2009 at 11:40 pm
(94) SL says:

My mother & I live together in her house. I pay the monthly bills & pay her rent, but she owns the house & pays for repairs when needed. Both of us have full time jobs and I purchase everything that I need for myself & my daughter. Also, my 20 yr old daughter lived with us since April, 2008-Jan, 2009. She is now enrolled in college out of town & am paying all college/living/travel expenses. My questions are: 1) who can claim HOH, my mother or me? or can neither of us claim HOH? 2) can I claim my daughter as a qualifying child or dependent relative?

February 5, 2009 at 4:56 am
(95) Daniel_2_Apartments says:

I’m single and never married nor lived with my girlfriend; however, I stretch $45K to fully financially support her, our baby, and myself for year 2008 in 2 separate apartments. The mother earned $0 last year. The 14 month old baby stays 50/50 with either me or the mother. We dont have a formal agreement so I’m not sure if a non/custodial parent has been established.

* Does my ability to qualify for HOH change if my baby is considered “qualifying relative” instead of “qualifying child”?

* Can I file for HOH since I pay rent & household expenses for both apartments in which my baby resides?

February 5, 2009 at 10:45 am
(96) Mike says:

Thank you for all the advice that you give!
I am filing taxes for a friend who is married. He has two girls of his own from a previous marriage, and his wife has a son from a previous marriage. I completed (but have not filed) his return as married filing separately. He claimed his two girls and did not itemize. I began inquiring about his wife and he said she would file head of household and claim her son. They have been married and living together all year. I am sure that she can not file HOH, but he assures me that she can and they have done it like that for years. Am I missing something? She does not meet the unmarried or considered unmarried criteria.

He also said she is taking the mortgage interest and property taxes, so now I am afraid if I file his with the standard deduction, she will file and itemize. Her name is on the mortgage (under her maiden name). I can see how she could say that she provided housing for a dependent (her son), but she can not claim HOH if her husband lived there. I have to provide his spouse’s social on his return and I assume the IRS will get involved. I think they should file joint, claim the three dependents and itemize their deductions. I may just have to tell him I am not comfortable doing only his return and he should have the same person do both returns. I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything before I talked to him.

February 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm
(97) Jim says:

Missed me, too… please see comment #74… thanks!

February 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm
(98) Bab says:

hello.. I came to the US in Jan 2007 and I filed my 2007 tax returns with a status of Single since I was not married then. I got married on Sept 2008 and my wife joined me in the US in Nov 2008. Can I use the Marreied Filing Jointly for the 2008 tax filing? Since my wife was in the US only for 2 months in the 2008 tax year, will it allow me to file jointly? If so, is there any other form that needs to be attached to my return?

Thanks for the help

February 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm
(99) Shany says:

I just want to know if it’s possible for two different people to claim head of household in one address. I live with my parents, me and my spouse has not been together or lived together since last year March 2008. Although we are not legally separated, we have come to an agreement that we didn’t want to be together anymore. I do pay for half of the bills in my parents home, as well as supporting my child by myself (since my spouse has not supported her in any way). However, I do know that my parents will be filing head of household as well. So, will this be a problem later???

February 7, 2009 at 11:05 am
(100) Donna says:

My daughter is 20 yrs. old. She filed her own tax return this year. I cannot claim her as a dependent since she is no longer a student. Since I provide a home for her, she pays no rent, buys no food, keeps her entire paycheck but lives in my home, am I allowed to still claim Head of Household even though she filed her own return and I can no longer claim her as a dependent? The IRS instructions for head of household are vague and difficult to understand…particularly Table 4 of publication 501.

February 8, 2009 at 6:17 pm
(101) Samantha says:

Please comment on #69….Missed me too

February 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm
(102) Jamie Wichtendahl says:

HI. I have a unique situation and need help. I am the custodial parent in our case. I have my daughter 51% the father has her 49%. In our court papers it is stated that I can claim head of household, since he is married anyway. It states that in 2008 her father can claim her as an exemption. I filed my taxes on Saturday (turbo tax e-filed)and answered all of the questions. I filed for head of household BUT after looking back through the paperwork it clearly gives me exemption credit for my daughter. Can you please tell me if I should file an amended return? I don’t want to be in trouble with the court. But how exactlly am I supposed to claim Head of Household without claiming her? Thank you. Jamie

February 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(103) Udaman69 says:

i call BS! i pay more than $30K a year child support and cuz my oldest daugheter chooses to stay at her moms house i cant claim HoH!

Men alwayz get the bat shoved up their A$$

February 10, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(104) TERRY says:

I am preparing my brother’s tax return. His wife left a year and a half ago. She has not lived with him since Aug 2007. They have a son that stays with him 4 days a week one week and 3 days a week the next week. He pays to maintain his home. On Dec 31, 2008 there was no Divorce of Seperation papers signed. He is claiming their son as a dependent. Can he file as Head of Household?

February 10, 2009 at 10:15 pm
(105) Tom says:

Can a couple never married but living together split dependent benefits for their child so that one gets the dependency and child tax credit and the other gets eic and dependent care credit? Because of the differences in income this would be advantageous. Do we need to file an 8332 or is that not necessary since we are not divorced and were never married?

February 12, 2009 at 12:02 am
(106) Cathy says:

We have been debating this exact scenario and can’t wait to hear the answer to #101, Tom says.

February 12, 2009 at 9:20 am
(107) Jackie says:

Do you have to reside in one location for the whole tax year to claim HOH? I resided at my new home for seven months of the year in 2008 and want to know if i can claim HOH. I did pay 100% of the bills and carry one dependent who lives with 100% of the time.

February 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm
(108) june says:

Head of Household question. My husband and I seperated in March of 2008. We recently mended our relationship and as of January 2009 are living together again. I had both of the girls living with me during this time and he had our son. So technically we both qualify for HOH, except that both of our returns will have the same address on them since we live together again. Is this going to be a problem? a Red flag perhaps?

February 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm
(109) chris says:

my question is for my sister in law. She and her 9 year old son live with my mother in law. She is going to claim head of household for last year and although she is unmarried and has a qualifying child, she does not pay for more than 50% of the household expenses. She says it’s the only way for her to get the EIC credit for her son but that doesn’t sound right. So I guess my question is can she claim HoH? and if not can she still get EIC for her son?

February 15, 2009 at 10:03 pm
(110) Tom says:

Chris, She should file single. She will still recieve EIC. HOH is not a requirement for EIC.

February 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm
(111) TristaM says:

My husband and I have been separated and lived in separate households the entire year of 2008. We have two children and split them 50-50 during the year. Can we both file HOH since we each each maintained our own separate place of residence? Can he claim one child and I claim the other? We’re not sure what’s the best way to file to get the most (if any!) money back.

February 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(112) JoAnne says:

I think you missed me too #73.

February 17, 2009 at 10:40 am
(113) Angie says:

My husband already filled separately as head of household. We have no children and have leaved apart for 1 year now, but not legally separated yet. I attended college last year and would like to add it to my tax return. I have no dependents. What options do I have to file? Can I file single?

February 18, 2009 at 4:53 am
(114) Alexis says:

I recently filled out my W4 for my new job. I claimed myself, my daughter and my child tax credit. My fiance is planning on filling HOH and not claiming our daughter. Is this a legal way for us to both obtain a tax credit for our daughter since I don’t live with him but we both share the costs for raising our child?

February 18, 2009 at 6:33 am
(115) Michelle says:

I was married in March of 2008 in the US to a UK citizen. I moved to the UK in May of 2008, with my 2 children under the age of 18. I have US income from 2008, no UK income, and did support my kids 100% until the move…and used my savings for the next 2-3 months to support them fully in the UK. Can I claim HOH? Some have said yes, some say no….help please!

February 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm
(116) gerardo says:

I live with my girlfriend and her 12-year-old daughter.
My girlfriend does not work and I provide all the support for the household for the entire year.
Can I claim the EIC status?
If not, can I claim her daughter as a dependent?

February 20, 2009 at 11:47 am
(117) Stacey Chance says:

I am a single business owner, but my grown son and his girlfriend lived with me all of last year. I know I can’t claim them as dependents, but can I get the head of household deduction rather than a single status?

February 21, 2009 at 9:01 pm
(118) Traci says:

Has anyone hear of the House of Household being done away with for the hear 2009

February 22, 2009 at 12:23 am
(119) Shelly says:

here’s my situation and my tax accountant refuses to file my taxes HofH. I am a married woman, separated from my husband for 4 1/2 years, with a very good, very platonic relationship with him and only a verbal agreement. He pays me “x” in child support as per NYS Standards and he pays me “x” in maintenance- an agreed upon amount. I live with our 13 year old daughter and up until our 18 year turned that in November, her as well. I pay the mortgage and all routine living expenses in the house (which amounts to $2k monthly) and I pay for my own expenses – gas, groceries. We split property maintenance, property insurance and taxes 50%. I buy all the kids clothes, school necessities, trips, extra curricular expenses, vacations, etc. etc. My tax accountant says I qualify for HofH up to the “do I pay more than 50% of their living expenses”. Because our agreement is verbal only- my husband is actually “giving” me $29k a year that can’t qualify as child support or maintenance. He’s afraid if he files me HofH, he’ll/I’ll be audited. Whats the real story.

February 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm
(120) Rosemary Aguirre says:

My boyfriend lived with me and did not work for the year. He did not get unemployment payments. I do claim him as a dependent. Could I claim head of household. We have lived together for about 3 years.

February 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm
(121) Melanie says:

My boyfriend owns the house we live in. I have a son and I pay for all the utilities and food. Can I be head of household?

February 25, 2009 at 10:48 am
(122) Thom says:

a situation where divorced parents split the child benefits: if the HOH files before the parent who is claiming the dependent, the 2nd tax return is regected saying that the child’s ssn has already been attached to a prior return. i was using taxact to file when this occurred. any suggestions?

February 26, 2009 at 12:14 am
(123) Brenda Niedererr says:

My daughter is 22 and graduated from college yet living at home full-time with me (her mother). She only works part-time and I would like to file my tax return as head of household? Can that be done since she is no longer a full-time student. I pay for all of the expenses to upkeep the house including food and all utilities. Please advise what the criteria is for filing head of household in this type of situation. Thank you.

February 26, 2009 at 12:19 am
(124) Veronica says:

I have been divorced since 2006 and I was living on my own during that time. Due to financial hardship, I moved in with my parents with my child in Aug 2007 and lived there until I moved out in October 2008. While I was living with my parents, I paid all of my bills, including child care and contributed money for groceries. I didn’t pay for rent or utilities. Since I moved out in October 2008, I have been paying for all of my expenses. I was able to file HOH for 2007 and claimed my child as a dependent. Would I still be able to file HOH for 2008? My parents are not claiming my child or myself as a dependent on their taxes for 2008.

February 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(125) Valerie says:

My ex and I are legally divorced. I claim our daughter as a dependent. But! We live in the same house (separately – he lives in the upstairs apt & I live downstairs.) Our daughter lives between both. He pays for most of the living expenses for her. Can he file as Head of Household?

March 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm
(126) kimberly says:

I am really confused. I am a single mother to a newborn. He was born in the later part of 2008. so i should claim single not head of household even if i am the only support for my child?

March 12, 2009 at 10:10 am
(127) Emily says:

Here’s where I’m confused… I claimed “head of household” after we separated because I have the mortgage, stayed in the home, and claim my son as my dependant. I also itemized. My ex (although not yet legally divorced) is mad because he says now he has to file as “married filing separately” and also has to itemize because I itemized and he doesn’t have enough itemizations so he is going to end up paying. Is this right? What status should he file under and does he really have to itemize just because I did?

March 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm
(128) karen says:

my grandson 12yrs old stays with me at my home appox three months every year can he be considered a qualifying person,but not a dependent? also I am divorced.

March 15, 2009 at 1:23 pm
(129) RC says:

2 questions: In 2007 I filed HOH, my son, age 18, lived with me until the end of July and then went into the military and did not return home unitl January 2008. For 7 months of 2007 I paid 100% of rent, utilities, etc. The IRS rejected my return stating I claimed an exemption I was not entiled to. I did not claim him as a dependent only used him for HOH status.
For 2008 – I have joint legal custody, ex-wife has primary physical placement and I was given the right to claim 1 child as a dependent for income tax purposes and she was given 1 child for income tax purposes. Can I file HOH? Both children spend 50% time with me and 50% time with their mother.

March 21, 2009 at 6:28 pm
(130) shawn says:

Me and my girlfriend are going to be buying our first home. Right now we are living in seperate places. Can we both claim head of household if our purchuse is made past the 6 month mark? We also both have dependents.

March 23, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(131) CAROL JEAN says:

Can I claim “Head of Household”? My 40 yr. old son lives with me and is going to college. I am supporting him and the household. He does not have any income except for a very small amount of interest from a savings account. Please let me know if I can file my taxes based on “Head of Household”.
Thank you.

March 25, 2009 at 3:21 pm
(132) Cheryl says:

My 37 yr old daughter lives with me and I provide 100% of the household expenses. She earns $30,000 a year. Can I file as HOH?

March 29, 2009 at 2:03 am
(133) JM says:

If someone is unmarried, has two children that live in Mexico with the mom, can he claim HoH?
What if he sends 12,000 a year to support them?
He doesn’t live with them but he pays for more than half of the cost of maintaining their home. (he has documentation that prove this)
Can he claim “common-law” married filling jointly?
I don’t have my hopes too high on this.

March 29, 2009 at 1:32 pm
(134) Dana says:

Hi…my husband and i are divorcing. He moved out June 10th 2008. He continued to pay the house note which included taxes and insurance. I paid all other expenses. We are filing seperately. He is claiming the real estate deduction and i am taking the deduction for the children. I am trying to determine if i can file HOH. I was wondering exactly what qualified as utilities, upkeep etc for the home. IE…does the cable bill, yard maintenance and cell phone bill qualify. I am trying to get an idea of what i can include/exclude to determine if i have paid over 1/2 of the expenses of the home since he moved out. I assume that since he lived in the house thru June 10th that it is a wash for that time period.
thanks for your help!

April 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm
(135) J says:

I have a few questions about Head of Household if you wouldnt mind answering them:

1- If my sister claims my mother as a qualifying dependent so she can be listed as head of Household, can I claim my father as my qualifying dependent for Head of Household, too? You see, my mother, sister and I all live in the same house but my father doesn’t. He lives out of state, but I support more than the half required. I just wasn’t dure if there could be more than one Head of Household in the same house?

Also, as far as the citizenship qualification part, if my father is not a resident, but was born in Mexico and resides in America does he qualify?

2- I know the personal exemption this yr is $3,500 but can my mother still file her taxes if she is a qualifying dependent? Or can she not file because she is a dependent?

3- Does the money contributed to an HSA account by your EMPLOYER count as a deduction? I have an HSA and I do not contribute to it, only my employer does.

This will help me out a lot. I am on the last week before taxes and these are the only questions keeping me from filing. Thanks again!

April 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(136) Janet Jenkins says:

I have claimed head of household for years. My daughter who is 50, but lives with me for years allowed me to make this deduction even though do not claim her as a dependent. What are the requirements to meet head of household when I have her living with me and not claiming her.

April 11, 2009 at 6:28 am
(137) Vickie says:

Can I file head of household if I am unmarried and my married son lived with me for half the year of 2008?
Thank you,

April 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm
(138) tara says:


My father is a widower since 1990 and my 27 year old sister still lives with him. She is not considered a dependent. Can my father claim Head of Household?


April 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm
(139) Victoria says:

My son was 24 at the end of 2008, living at home and a full time student. He had a part time job but earned less than 5500.00. Can I still file HOH and claim him as a dependant?


April 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm
(140) Kim Dame says:

I claimed head of household for both my children who reside with me. Their father, who pays minimal child support, couldn’t benefit because he owes back child support from another marriage and all of his refund would go toward back payments. Now he wants part of my refund. I was laid off in January of 07 and collected unemployment for the remainder of the year. Therefore, my refund was minimal. If I were to put a dollar amount on the claim of one child, assuming I agreed that he should get something from my refund, what might that figure be?

April 15, 2009 at 9:29 am
(141) JO says:


April 15, 2009 at 10:28 am
(142) Jackie says:

My niece has been living with me all of 2008, but my sister (her mom) claimed her as a dependant. Can i still file as HOH since I pay all the bills? If anyone can answer this for me that would be great. Thx!!

April 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm
(143) Jason says:

I purchased a home 2 years ago where my parents are living with me. I also purchased another home this year where my sister will be living with me. I pay for majority of the mortgage. I do not claim my parents or sister as dependent. They file their own taxes. Do I qualify for HOH?

July 8, 2009 at 5:49 pm
(144) bk says:

I appreciate the info here but it doesn’t make sense to me. If one parent claims the dependent on their taxes, then it’s only fair that the other should get HOH, especially if they are splitting 50/50. Otherwise the non-custodial parent gets screwed every year they can’t claim the dependent even though everything is 50/50! It’s pretty much like you are being punished for being cooperative with the other parent. I have been told by people that they have filed HOH in the same circumstance as mine and it was ok.

July 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm
(145) 'chelle says:

My divorce decree states that each person can claim dependent exemption on one child if they are current on support. I am custodial parent and signed the 8332 on one child over to my ex. He thought that to mean that he can claim head of house hold as well as the tax credit even when he has them less than 25% of the time. My accountant thinks that even if I don’t get the exemption (credit), I can still claim head of household on both children every year because I have them most of the time. Is that right? I thought the head of household is automatically given to the parent with the children most of the time. Oh… and he takes care of the health care premiums on the children. I don’t know if that makes a difference of not but I better throw that in too. smile.

July 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm
(146) William Perez says:

‘Chelle, yes you can both split the child-related tax benefits, something we sometimes call sharing the dependent. He can take the dependent’s personal exemption and child tax credit. You can take Head of Household, the child care credit, dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit based on that same child. The health care insurance coverage is allowed to be split as well, so that won’t complicate matters.

July 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm
(147) Lesa says:

I am starting a new job and my divorce will be final about one week after I start the job. I will qualify to file head of household on my 2009 tax. Can I claim that status on the W4 form now?

July 24, 2009 at 9:24 pm
(148) Dynasty says:

I have recently married. My spouse is incarcerated. Normally I would file HOH. We have a child together which qualifies me for EITC. He has 2 more years before his release. How should I file? My income supports the 3 of us. Can he be claimed as a dependent also?

July 25, 2009 at 5:46 pm
(149) William Perez says:

Dynasty, you would qualify for Head of Household status if you and your spouse lived apart for at least the last six months of the year. Incarceration may be considered a temporary absence and so the IRS may look at the situation as if you were not living apart. You cannot claim your spouse as a dependent. However you could file jointly with your spouse, and this may provide more favorable tax treatment than head of household. I would recommend that you consult with a tax professional to review your situation and plan out your taxes.

August 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm
(150) Rob says:

Can I claim “Head of Household” if my dependent son lives in my second home, that I pay 100% to maintain, while he attends college?

August 20, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(151) Kim says:

Question: I pay 100% of my home expenses, have a 7-year old daughter that lives with me. I made the mistake of just getting married (rather than living together) and am feeling the hit from that the first time we filed married/joint. I also cover all family medical, taxes, insurance…is there anyway that I can file head of household while married?

August 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(152) Shelly says:

I have been married 3 years and my husband and I have always done our taxes seperate. I have two children, one is biologically his and the other is not. I claim my son who is not his and he claims the other. We both file head of household. Two years ago we asked a tax person at a small place if this was okay, the guy said it shouldn’t be a problem. Now I’m concerned because I’m reading this is not legal and we could get into trouble. Please help! I want to make sure we do it right this coming year!!!

August 24, 2009 at 8:34 pm
(153) elvis says:

can the childrens father claim hoh including myself if he does not live with us, but helps equally with the children and provides diapers and wipes and other necessary products for the kids needs, is he then considered my spouse and would I have to use his income as my income. He does stay with the kids at my place peroidically when I need him, but we don’t have a legal agreement, we just handle our business w/out the courts. The address we would use on the tax returns would be at my address. How would that work, I hope I am clear on this question, I know it is a hairy one, but hopefully I can get some help, to avoid getting into trouble!!!

August 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm
(154) elvis says:

P. S. If the childrens father and I filed married filing jointly, and he works full time and I don’t work, is his income considered mine as well? This was the question I was trying to ask, thank you for your help again!!!

September 9, 2009 at 3:27 am
(155) elvis says:

please answer my comment, I am having trouble understanding this situation and afraid I will get the wrong answer from someone else, thank you!

September 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm
(156) William Perez says:

Elvis, whether the father files as Head of Household depends on several factors. You and he will need to review all of them to figure out if he qualifies. In particular to qualify as head of household, the taxpayer would need to be able to claim a dependent who is closely related (such as a child), the dependent would need to live with the taxpayer for more than half the year, and the taxpayer would have to be unmarried. If any of those criteria aren’t met, the taxpayer won’t qualify as head of household. You and he would not be able to file a joint return as married couples unless you are in fact married.

September 12, 2009 at 12:08 am
(157) Ken says:

Can two people living in the same household claim HOH if they keep their finances completely separate, one pays rent to the other, and the man has a qualifying relative (mom in nursing home) and the woman has a qualifying child (not related to the man)? Both work and have income (74,380 for the man and 26,850 for the woman)

October 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm
(158) Eric says:

My wife and I lived together for a few years without getting married because we didn’t want to pay the “Marriage Penalty Tax”. In 2008, when they passed the legislation to get rid of the Penalty, we decided to get married. Now we have a child and I find out that neither of us can file as “Head of Household”. My question is this: If we get divorced, but still live together, can we then claim “Head of Household”

October 6, 2009 at 1:00 am
(159) Mrs.P says:

William, my situation is pretty tangled up and I keep getting conflicting information from supposedly reliable sources (CPAs, major tax preparation companies, the IRS). I’m hoping you can help me sort through it.

2009 has been a big year for me. I got divorced in May. Prior to that, my ex, my son, and myself had been living together with me being the only one with an income.

In June, my son and I moved in with my mother. I also got re-married in July. My husband is not a US citizen or national and has never been to the US. Obviously, we won’t live together for the last six months of the year, so while I am technically married, I will be considered unmarried for tax purposes. Correct?

Living with my mother, I still provide for all of my son’s needs. I buy the food he eats, the clothes he wears, the toys he plays with — everything except for the rent and utilities on the house.

My son is my biological child. He has lived with me for more than half of the year. He is only 3, is a US citizen, and did not provide more than half of his own support. He meets the test of a qualifying child. He is my dependent.

I am not a dependent of my mother because I provide more than half of my own support. I am not a qualifying relative of my mother because my gross income is more than $3,500.

So I am no one’s dependent and my son is my dependent.

But living with my mother since June, I don’t know if I’ve provided more than half of the cost of maintaining a household for my son for the year. I don’t pay for any rent, taxes, insurance, repairs, or utilities on the home.

So how can I file if Head of Household is out of the question? Can I file single and still claim my son (who is without a doubt a qualifying child of mine) for his exemption and any other credits?

I’ve talked to so many people and received so many different answers. I just want to do the right thing and file the right way. It’s important not only on its own merits but also because when requesting a visa for my husband to come be with his family, I have to provide my past 3 years’ tax returns. If there is something wrong, I’ll have trouble with both the IRS (for the tax issue) and the Department of Homeland Security (for the visa issue).

I don’t mind paying more than has been withheld from my paycheck or getting less of a refund. I just want everything to be right.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my case. I hope to receive a response.

October 20, 2009 at 8:19 pm
(160) Don says:

I am a US Citizen living in Germany and have a son with a German Citizen. His mother and I are no longer together and I have to pay support and he lives with me more than 50% of the time. My son was born in 2002 and is a resident of Germany. I did provide half of the expense of the household during that time period that we lived together. My questions if a Citizen maintained a residence and half the house outside the us, has a son that lived with him and is supporting him, does that qualify as Head of Household? I do understand that in order to clam dependents on taxes, my son will need a Social Security Number or Tax Id number. What if the mother , who is German, would not allow it? I know these are very complicated questions and I have read Pub 501 and it really seems to not answer my questions.

October 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm
(161) Delores says:

I am a single mother in Texas my son is 20 years old and lived with me all year and did not have a job this year. I have supported him all year. Can I claim HOH? I thought HOH was only if your child was under 19 years old. He did not have any income this year.

November 10, 2009 at 1:19 am
(162) brizzle says:

ok heres my problem. i am still legally married but separated. the state i live in does not recognize separation. i have a child with another man and have been living with him for over a year. can my boyfriend claim me and our child? oh i have not worked at all this year.

November 16, 2009 at 11:52 am
(163) brebre3245 says:

my boyfriend and i moved in together on april 1 2009. we are not married or engaged nor do we have any children. can we both file for hoh?

November 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(164) William Perez says:

No, in order to qualify as Head of Household, the taxpayer must have at least one dependent (or be considered as having a dependent under the special rules for separated parents). Since neither you nor your boyfriend have any dependents, you cannot file as Head of Household.

November 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(165) Ven20 says:

I got married last year in Oct but I did not live with my husband till early 2009. He is military and I did not want to move across the U.S. by myself intill he finsh some work out of his state. I file head of household because I have a son but now I am eing told that I have to amend my taxes.Why do I have to amend I did not live with my husband at all in 2008 and I have a son?

November 24, 2009 at 5:12 pm
(166) Mike says:

So if I’m reading the definition of head of household correctly I’m not sure if I can claim it or not. In my case I have a 6 year old boy from a marriage that the divorce became official in January 2009. The way the parenting plan sits is the ex-wife is the custodial parent and is entitled to claim him for 2009. We have him 50/50. However since I will have him the majority of the over nights this calendar year (2009), can I still claim head of household.

November 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm
(167) William Perez says:

Mike, You’ll want to review the details I provide about splitting the dependent-related tax benefits.

November 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm
(168) Elaina says:

I have lived with my boyfriend for over a year; I pay most of the expenses (everything but electricity). We do not have any children. His parents continue claim him as a dependent even though he doesn’t live with him, though his mother is on the title of our house, though does not reside in it. Can I claim HOH?

November 29, 2009 at 12:16 am
(169) taxman says:

Elaina# 163, No, a live in boyfriend is not a qualifier for HOH, regardless of the expenses you incurred

November 29, 2009 at 11:00 pm
(170) Juston says:

ven20, the reason is because you were probably trying to file under the married persons living apart (abandoned spouse rule). This filing status is designed for taxpayers whom are still legally married, but have been completely abandoned by their spouse, and are supporting a child in their home. Your husband, being in the military, is considered to be temporarily absent from home, and you are still considered married. If you proved that the reason for your husbands absense is because he abandoned you, you could qualify for HOH in that regard.

December 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm
(171) Christina says:

My boyfriend and I reside together in the same household with our 3 qualifying children and both worked in 2008 can we both claim the EITC credit? one claim a dependent the other claim 2 dependents of course one filing HOH and the other filing single?

December 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm
(172) Leon says:

Question is can my wife and I file 2 seperate head of households status given following conditions. I am employee of a wind turbine manufacturer. We work 3 weeks then get off 1 week. My wife and children live in our home in Louisiana and I also rent and maintain an apartment for my housing needs while I have worked all year long out of state. 5 months in Oregon, 3 months in Wyoming and 4 months in Arizona.

December 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm
(173) Juston says:

Leon, HOH status is for unmarried taxpayers. While there is one exception, married persons living apart for abandoned spouses, unless you or your wife can prove that that either one of you abandoned the other, HOH status will not apply to your situation. Furthermore, your absence from your tax home in Louisiana (I assume that’s your tax home) is temporary. You are transitory in Oregon, Wyoming and Arizona.

December 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm
(174) Nicole says:

My friend was wondering if she could claim head of household because she lives with one of her kids’ dad and he doesn’t help take care of her other 3 kids. They both share all the cost of the house but she buys all the food and diapers and pretty much anything needed for the house. Can she and her boyfriend both claim head of household since she has her own seperate family to take care of?

December 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm
(175) William Perez says:

Nicole, in Publication 501, the IRS writes, “To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year.” The key phrase here is “a home,” which I take to mean a single residence. Other tax professionals might take a different interpretation of this phrase. But be aware that the IRS runs a computer algorithm to find two or more HOH filers with the same exact address. That’s not to say that is good or bad, but only that you should be aware. Basically, if your friend pays more than half of the total household expenses, then she would qualify for HOH. If she pays exactly half (or less), then she won’t qualify.

December 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm
(176) Kevin says:

My girlfriend and I live together. She has a son. I make a couple thousand dollars more than her and we have a joint checking account that both paychecks are direct deposited into. Would she be able to claim HOH even though she makes a little less than me?

December 22, 2009 at 5:34 pm
(177) carolyn says:

Divorced for a year and half. Claim Head of Household (HOH) on W2 and and on tax return and have 4 children. My ex would like to claim one child this year for tax purposes, stating he made little income, and he would qualify for HOH and EIC then. Since he is so far behind in child support, I get his tax return no matter what. I am thinking $2,000+ is better than $300, even if I have to wait for 6 months to get it from the state. I need to run some numbers on my end to see how it affects my tax return, but as far as I can tell, since I have other children, I can also still claim HOH and get the various deductions for them. Am I missing something?

December 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm
(178) Juston says:

Carolyn, the only thing I would tell you if you came to me to prepare your return is that currently the IRS has HOH and EIC filers under a very big magnifying glass these days. At face value, from the info you have provided, you appear to meet the qualifications for HOH so long as the qualifying children have lived with you during the past six months. As far as your ex planning to file both HOH and the EITC, his return will more than likely require further substantiation by the IRS, simply due to widespread false claims by taxpayers. The IRS is attempting to prevent this problem by increased reviews of returns claiming HOH and EIC. I mention this because at face value of what you’ve stated, it appears ok. Run your numbers and decide what is more financially feasible.

December 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm
(179) Juston says:

Nicole, I agree with William Perez. It would depend on who exactly incurrs most of the costs in maintaining the residence. The IRS will catch that both filed HOH from the same residence, and that is surely going to trigger a request for further substantiation by the IRS. The costs to bear in mind in deciding which person qualifies would be: rent/mortgage, basic utilities, maintenance, etc. Paying for food, clothing, diapers, medical bills, etc. are factors in determining qualifying dependants, not necessarily to qualify for HOH.

December 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm
(180) Carlos says:

Hello all,
I have a 2 year old son that lives with his mom (my fiance) in my country of origin in South America, I support then financially every month. We are not married yet.

For the last 3 years I have filed my taxes as single, and taxes are deducted from my salary every month. And on top of that it turns out that every single year I owe money to the IRS. On the 1040 form the filing status is either single or married and I think I can not include my son and future wife as my dependent because they live out of the country, as far as the IRS is concerned they just don’t exist, but this does not really reflect my personal situation.

I am under the impression that I can only list dependents as long as they have a SSN (field 6c on the 1040 form). But in my case, my son and fiance live abroad and have no SSN, but they depend on me financially.

If I marry my fiance (in my country of origin), can I change my filing status to:

Married filing jointly (even if only one had income) or
Head of household

Would the foreign marriage certificate be enough to allow this change ?


December 28, 2009 at 7:02 pm
(181) William Perez says:

Carlos, only citizens or residents of the United States, Canada or Mexico can be claimed as dependents on a US tax return. I know that sounds unfair, but that’s the way the law is written.

December 27, 2009 at 1:39 pm
(182) Juston says:

Carlos, your dependents must be a U.S. Citizen, resident alien, or national. Furthermore, they must reside in Canada or Mexico, if not in the U.S. As far as not having an SSN, you may also apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). I would recommend reading publications 501 and at http://www.irs.gov to see how your situation applies. As far as a foreign marriage certificate, so long as it is a valid legal marriage certificate, it should be sufficient for U.S. puposes once you meet the residency requirements.

December 28, 2009 at 6:14 pm
(183) luanne says:

My daughter and her 2 boys moved in with me 2 years ago, at that time i lived in an apartment and I paid all of the bills for the entire year. This past year I bought a house for us all. We have been living here since May 01. My daughter has lupus and is sick off and on, so does not make a great deal of money, but she pays the utilities and I pay the house payment and various other things such as yard care, etc. I am sure she claims HOH on her taxes, but I have never asked her. Since I have bought this house and they all live with me, can I claim HOH or no?

December 29, 2009 at 10:01 am
(184) KM says:

I have only my SS as income. My 43 year old son moved in with me November 8,2009. He worked some, but only made about three thousand dollars. I have had the full responsibility of keeping expenses paid and roof over our head. I do not get any help from the state.

Question: Can I file income tax and claim myself as head of household, even though I have not worked and paid taxes?

December 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm
(185) William Perez says:

KM, since your only income is from Social Security, you have no income tax liability. As a result, claiming head of household and a dependent will not produce any tax savings for you.

December 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm
(186) Kris says:

What would be the appropriate filing status for my boyfriend and I. His 2 kids and him moved in with me and my 2 kids in August. Can we both file head of household?

December 30, 2009 at 11:43 am
(187) Juston says:

Luanne, being that your daugher’s children (your grandchildren) are living in a home with you that you are providing, you would appear to qualify for HOH. However, given the fact that you believe your daughter claims HOH, you will want to make certain which one of you is truely qualified for this status, as in who bears most of the costs for maintaining that home. If both of you claim HOH, the IRS has a system in place to catch more than one HOH filer from the same residence. You should read publication 501 at http://www.irs.gov to learn more and also discuss your situation with your tax advisor to find the best solution.

January 1, 2010 at 11:30 am
(188) Taneka says:

Can more than one person claim head of household from one address???

January 2, 2010 at 2:25 am
(189) Reina says:

Me and my boy friend resided at different adresses for a majority of the last year. We have a 5 yr old together of whom I claim every year. But we now have a new baby that was born in May and he would like to claim HOH with the new baby. I have always provided more bthan 50% for the five year old but with the new baby I have been in colloge and was out of work for 6 weeks so he provided the support during that time, will this be an issue.

January 2, 2010 at 2:56 pm
(190) shirley ford says:

My husbund & I have a thirty year old daughter that
lives with us & we support her & her 6 month old baby
she is not married & recieves no income at all Can we claim her & her baby on our taxes

January 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm
(191) tiffany says:

my ex husband and i divorced june 09, i moved out first of may 09, we have 2 children, whom i get to claim this yr according to divorce decree. recently in dec. 09 i have moved back in with kids.. we have joint custody. can him and i BOTH file head of household? Or does just him?

January 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm
(192) Mike says:

me and my girlfriend live together and have a son together. she is still legally married but going through divorce now and has a son from the marriage that also lives with us. she qualifies as “considered unmarried” from what ive read about it online, she hasnt lived with her husband in over a year now and he lives in another state. so my question is can we both claim head of household since i pay over half of expenses for my son and she pays over half expenses for her son?

January 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm
(193) marilyn wilkes says:

How does it make sense that a single person that owns a house , pays all thier own bills, taxes etc. cannot claim head of household on thier taxes. Who is the head of household in thier house?

January 13, 2010 at 1:44 pm
(194) William Perez says:

Marilyn, tax terminology and phrases do not always correspond to the ordinary meaning of a word or phrase. ‘Head of household’ is a great example of this. In ordinary speech, ‘head of household’ means the person who is the leader of a family. In the world of taxes, however, ‘head of household’ has a rather technical definition that means, roughly, an unmarried person who is financially supporting a closely related relative. Thus, to answer your question, a single person could claim head of household as their filing status, as long as they have a closely related dependent whom they are supporting.

January 14, 2010 at 11:05 am
(195) Kris says:

I left a previous comment re: what would be the appropriate filing status for my boyfriend and I. I own a house in which he moved into in August of 2009 with his 2 children. I have 2 children of my own. I imagine this year we could both file head of houshold due to the fact we each paid over half for seperate living quarters before he moved in. Is that correct and for next year…what would be the case? If I itemize, can he file head of household?

January 16, 2010 at 5:13 pm
(196) les says:

My wife claimed head of household without me knowing it. (We are emotionally estranged but live in the same household.) As a result she received a refund and spent it before i even knew she had filed. she claimed both our minor children as dependents. she did not even have an income. she pays no bills, and does is not even paritally responsible for household expenses. When it came time for me to file, i was advised to not rock the boat or risk an audit. My wife has informed me she intends to do the same thing this year since it worked out so well for her last year. What can i do?

January 17, 2010 at 6:52 am
(197) Tina says:

Here’s the situation, My husband an i married in May, each have a child from a previous marriage.. can we both file haed of household or what is the best route to go?

January 17, 2010 at 10:54 am
(198) Shaniqua says:

could both parents living in the same household and claiming one child each, could they both claim head of household and if they did what can happen

January 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm
(199) crystal says:

if i had a baby dec. 28 2009 can i file him on my taxes for 2009

January 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(200) William Perez says:

Crystal: yes. A child born during the year is considered a dependent for the full year.

January 19, 2010 at 4:35 am
(201) Jay says:

I hope you can answer a few of my questions!

*I rented from 09/01/08-09/30-09 and my 3 year old daughter lived with me. My bf (my daughter’s father) did not live with us.
*I recently (November-09) had moved into the home where he lives (a relative’s home) after my lease was up.
*I was only employed the months of Jan/2009-May/2009 (5 months) and remained unemployed for the rest of the year.
*He’s laid off and collecting unemployment since October 2009.

*Although I provided for my daughter and lived/rented and maintained to keep my apartment for more than 1/2 the year and did not live together with him until past 3 months. Can I still claim her as my dependent and head of household?

January 19, 2010 at 4:38 pm
(202) Jay says:

I have a question I hope someone can help me with. I live with my fiance and I have no income. Can my fiance claim me as a dependent and file head of household? If he can, will the IRS keep his refund if I have defaulted student loans? I have lived with him for several years but this will be the first year that I do not have an income. Can anyone please help me. Not sure what filing status he should use and if the IRS can keep his refund for my defaulted loans. We are not married.


January 20, 2010 at 10:18 am
(203) Demario Holman says:

I recently moved out of my apartment October 2009 and now I live back with my mom…am I still able to claim head of household for my apartment? Seeing that I stayed there 10 months out of the year

January 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(204) Stephanie says:

I have three children that have lived with me for the entire year of 2009. But we have lived in a home of a family friend for all of 2009 (they are of blood/marriage relation) who has a 28 and 25 year old children who also live in this home. Her children claim themselves on their own taxes and I lost my job in May 2009. I am wondering do I file single or HOH?

January 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm
(205) Jaime says:

Here is my tax situation: My boyfriend and I live together and we are not married. We have four children together. We both worked last year. Can I claim one child as a dependent and receive the EIC while claiming a single filing status? He will claim the other three children and claim HOH. Is this possible??

January 21, 2010 at 10:09 am
(206) monietta jackson says:

Am i able to file head of house hold for an address that i do not currently live in. I now have a room mate that will claim head of house hold but will i be able to claim the address that i lived in before i moved if it was more than half of last year. i moved in JULY 2009 with someone

January 21, 2010 at 10:43 am
(207) monietta jackson says:

can two people file head of house hold claiming different dependents, but the same address

January 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(208) nps says:

Me and my husband been separated for a year we dont lived together i filled head of household claimed my daughter, so my questions is how should he filled is return with my son, married filling separately or head of household and my son lived with him all year?

January 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm
(209) Josh says:

I have been seperated for over a year now and filed today as head of household. Now my wife informes me that she has to use my address when she files. She plans to file married fileing seperately but is that going to do anything as far as her using my address? She did not live here any in 2009 and by me claiming head of household that means that she did not live with me the last 6 months of the year. I just dont want to find out later that I am being audited cause I filed the way I should of. Not really my fault she chose to live with others all year and can not really claim her own place.

January 25, 2010 at 8:42 am
(210) Aaliyah says:

My boyfriend and I have lived together since June of 2008. He goes to school and pays for half of the rent with his student loan money, does not work and will not be filing taxes this year. I work full time, went to school part time, and pay half the rent plus all of the utilities. Do I qualify as head of household?

January 25, 2010 at 11:20 am
(211) karen says:

Hello. I have been living separately from my husband for the whole tax year. I was solely responsible for our 3 year old daughter, she lived with me at all times and i did not recieve any money from my husband. I want to file for head of household, but the only thing is that i lived in military housing for the whole tax year (without my husband), so NOBODY paid rent. I don’t even know how much the military estimates the rent’s worth to be so I wonder how to calculate whether i qualify for hoh?

January 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm
(212) calisqueen says:

Hi william. I would like to know how to handle my situation. My boyfriend and I live together and we have a child together. I also have a child from a previous relationship and I am claiming both of them. Now my boyfriend has 2 children from a previous relationship and he is claiming them. But can we both file head of household since we are basically caring for seperate families? Please help me out because I already filed my taxes and claimed head of household and he said he’s going to claim head of household also but I don’t want neither of us to get in trouble

January 26, 2010 at 8:51 am
(213) Kathleen says:

Good morning William. I have a quick question re: HOH. My boyfriend and I lived together the entire year last year. We have no children. I paid more than half the cost of maintaining the home. I’m not sure if he qualities as a “qualifying person” though, since we aren’t related. Please help. Thanks.

January 26, 2010 at 5:33 pm
(214) esowles says:

i was divorced july of 2009 i obtained 100% full custody of my 3 children who are all under 6 and i was a full time student for 10 months out of the 2009 year. i did not work but since i have children and am head of houshold can i file taxes. also i was wondering if i could file for the american hope credit?

January 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm
(215) Becca says:

Hi I lived with my childs father while I was pregnant. My child was born on dec 30th of 2009. We left the hospital on Jan 2 with him. It isn’t the end of January and we are no longer together. My w2 is in and I would like to file for the child tax credit. I am very confused and would like to know how to file. Any suggestions? If it helps I did work up until the 7 month marker. I waitress and my income only showed around 6000. Thank u!!!

January 26, 2010 at 7:43 pm
(216) hugh hall says:

my father lives with me in my home all year. I pay all the expenses. Can I claim head of household ? He receives social security 800.00 month.

January 26, 2010 at 11:30 pm
(217) David and Shelly says:

My wife and I have been married since Sept 26 09. We have been living in seperate homes in TX the whole time because I work out of town. All three of her kids live with her and I owe back support for my two kids in FL. We combined our money but the home she stays in is more expensive. Can she file head of household and what do I file as?

January 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm
(218) jose says:

can i claim my girlfriend as a dependent, still if we live with his father and i give him money for the bills?

January 28, 2010 at 9:40 pm
(219) nancy says:

My husband and I and two children live with my parents. My father is the head of household. How should we file can we also file HOH.

January 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm
(220) ann ellis says:

live with my boyfriend were not married. I would like to know if the both of us could file head of household? We do not have any kids together. I do have 3 kids from a previous marriage that I have custody of.

January 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm
(221) marie says:

I live with myfriendwere not married. I would like to know if the both of us could file head of household? We do not have any kids together.I have a child and he has a child. we both have our own household expenses.

January 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm
(222) Cindy says:

I have lived in a house I have purchased and maintained for over a year. My spouse lives in another state. We have three children. A 21 year old college student (with no job) lives with me and a 10 year old lives with me. I receive no child support. My 24 year old daughter resides in a college dorm for more than half a year but otherwise lives with her father. She pays for her college expenses. I believe I should be able to clain Head of Household. Can I? But can my spouse?

February 1, 2010 at 2:33 pm
(223) Robin Howe says:

Last year, my boyfriend lived with me throughout the entire year. He did have income, but it was low and I paid all of the bills, including rent, utilitites, etc. We will both be filing seperatly this year, and I was wondering if I could file as head of household.

February 2, 2010 at 9:53 am
(224) karina says:

My boyfriend and I own a house together, but we have no kids together. He has 2 kids that live with us and I have 1 child of my own all of which are under age. We both pay equally in the house so would he and i be able to claim as head of household.

February 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm
(225) Tia says:

My mom and I live together and both have children that we claim. We do share rent and utilities but all other expenses are separate (groceries, auto expenses…) Can we both file head of household? We are like 2 separate families sharing one address. Thanks

February 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm
(226) shelly says:

my unemployed boyfriend and his daughter lived with me all year. i supported both of them for the entire year. can i claim HOH and he claim her as a dependent or vice versa?

February 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(227) Ann says:

Can I claim HOH if my husband was incarcerated only 5 1/2 months out ouf the year-I also have been totally supporting my grown daughter and her 9year old ! Help!

February 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm
(228) Debbie says:

My daughter is a single mother in the military. The father isn’t in the picture and pays no child support. She 100% supports herself and her son who was born August 1st of 2009. I am unclear on the “6 month” portion of the HOH rule. Can she claim head of household? (If the baby was born in August he was technically only supported outside the womb for 4 months…). Please advise!!!

February 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm
(229) Jessica says:

Hi, I was wondering if my parents were legally allowed to claim my son as a dependent on their taxes.

I live in their home with my son and either i or my fiance (my sons father) pays for his food and take care of him ourselves. my parents want to claim him so they can get the money from it and not because they say theyve taken care of him. they rarely even babysit. we dont pay rent nor bills but i did pay for my parents cell phone for 2 years as rent also last year i only lived there for 7 mths.

so are they allowed to claim him even though they dont pay money for him?

February 12, 2010 at 10:14 am
(230) ANA says:

My son lived with me until July 2009, after finishing school he moved out and now has his own place and a fulltime job. Since I supported him more than half the year, would i be able to claim him as a dependent? I believe that he is interested in claiming himself as a dependent since he has been working since mid July and made a substantial amount of income.

February 16, 2010 at 11:53 pm
(231) Brenda says:

I just had my taxes done and the preparer said I couldn’t claim head of household because my ex husband will be claiming my daughter as a dependent this year; however, she lived with me all year and I provided 100% of the household expenses. The preparer filed me as “single” and needless to say, my refund dropped drastically. Is this correct?

February 24, 2010 at 11:02 am
(232) mike s says:

My son lives with me full time he is 23 and a full time student. He claimed himself this year on taxes. Does this automatically exclude me from filling head of household?

February 24, 2010 at 11:22 am
(233) DEG says:

I am divorced and have custody of our son. My ex and I alternate years claiming him as a dependent. We’ve been apart for 5 years. I have been filing as HoH and also qualify for the EIC, even when it’s not my year to claim him.

We may reconcile (no remarriage though) and I’m wondering how this would change things with taxes. We would split household bills about 50/50 and keep separate finances. Figuring after what he pays (and I get from him) in child support, he makes about 25% more than I so I assume he would be the legal HoH since he would likely end up contributing more than 50% towards groceries and home upkeep. Is that correct?

Would I still be able to claim EIC (assuming I qualify income wise) using our son as my qualifying child as I do now whether or not I claim him as a dependent as per our divorce agreement and special rules for divorced parents? My ex would not use our son or claim EIC, though son would be considered a qualifying child for both of us if we lived together again. Thank you.

March 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm
(234) VickieF says:

I have for years filed HOH, because I have met the requirements. In July 08, my youngest who was 18 left for military service. I filed HOH on my 08 taxes because I supported him for more than 1/2 the year. Now for 09, my question is, I still own my home which is his permanant residence. Do I still file HOH or do I file ‘single’?

March 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm
(235) Ira says:

Ms. K and Ms. J live together and are the adoptive parents of a baby born in 2009. Can either Ms. K or Ms. J file as HOH?

March 16, 2010 at 9:57 am
(236) steve says:

My wife moved out of our house in February and our two children reside in each house. We agreed that we would claim one child as a dependent, but I want to know if we can each claim Head of Household.

March 22, 2010 at 1:28 pm
(237) delia Garcia says:

I am preparting my nephews returns for years 2008 and 2009. He was stationed in IRAQ in 2008 and at the same time supported his wife and kids while they were living in the barracks in Killen, tx. It has been 2 years, but he has not been able to file his returns because he was in IRAQ. His wife did not work. Now, in 2010, they are separated. Can he still file as head of household for 2008, where she does not have to sign the refund check or can he file married filing separately and she does not have to sign the refund check? They are not legally separated.

April 19, 2010 at 1:57 am
(238) Mary says:

My husband and I were living in Europe for the past 3 years. He worked, while I stayed home to raise our 3 year-old child. I moved back to the states with the child, while my husband continued to work and live in Europe. I am unemployed and do not receive any income or child support from my husband for the last 4 months. We are not legally divorced or seperated, but I will need to file income tax returns because i receive public assistance from the state and will be starting a part-time job soon. Do i qualify for head of household? Should i file jointly or single, considering we are still married? Please help!

April 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm
(239) stephanie says:

my husband and i married on aug 27. we are filing separately can i file head of household? we have been married less than 6months and i pay the majority of our bills.more than half.we have no children.

April 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(240) William Perez says:

Stephanie, you are not eligible for the head of household status. First because you would need a closely related person as your dependent; and second because married couples are eligible for HOH status only if they have a closely related dependent AND have lived apart from each other for at least the last six months of the year. Your only options are to file jointly or separately as married.

May 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm
(241) Anonymous says:

I work with a woman who I believe is involved in tax fraud for the following reasons:

She and her boyfriend (unmarried) live together and have for years. They have 2 children and both claim head of household. He doesn’t work much and she pays most of the bills. They each claim one child and head of household so they get HUGE tax returns (like 8k plus) and have no tax liability. Is this fraud? I would think so… and would this be something the IRS would like to know about?

Thanks :)

August 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm
(242) jazza says:

Would you really want to snitch and poke your nose in other folks business like that… who named you GOD or the IRS?

May 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm
(243) tracy b says:

My husband and I have been living apart for 9 mos now. He has 1 child and I have 1 as well. Can we both claim HOH since we each meet the qualifications for this, or only one? Is there any forms the IRS needs to verify living apart?

July 15, 2010 at 6:13 pm
(244) Jimmy says:

Is it legal for a married couple to each file individually as head of household, with one spouse using the home address and the other using their business address? I was under the assumption that business addresses could not be used as a home address. I can also only assume that the reason this is being done is so that each can file as HOH. To me, this would constitute fraud. Is this correct?

July 29, 2010 at 10:32 am
(245) Kris says:

My boyfriend moved in with his 2 children last August. I have two children of my own. I know both of us can not claim HOH status, however, can I still itemize and get my EIC and he would file HOH and get his EIC?

August 10, 2010 at 8:55 am
(246) gabrielle89 says:

I am 21 years old and live with my parents. I am renting out their basement. I was wondering if it is possible to claim HOH (seeing as how I am both paying rent and providing for both myself and my daughter). They have claimed myself and my daughter on their tax return (before I began paying rent), and I was wondering if that all changes now that I am paying rent for more than half the year.

September 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm
(247) ady says:

my brother owns the house I live in with my kids. Everything is in his name. we have no rapport- don’t get along- I just live there- I felt I was head of my own separate househole because we don’t eat together or even talk. There’s no rent agreement but I pay for all my kids expenses especially food. Are we both head of our own household?

November 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm
(248) amy a says:

My domestic partner and i have a home. The home is in her name. I have 4 kids that are mine and we have 6 kids that are ours. We both pay equally all the bills. Can we both file head of household at the same address or does only one of us get the Head of hold.

December 3, 2010 at 12:23 am
(249) Terri says:

I have a question. In my court papers we have joint custody dad has primary also stated in papers dad is allowed to claim children every year but this year my kids have lived with me the full 12 months. Can I claim them as unearned tax credit?

December 11, 2010 at 9:11 am
(250) Mary Lu says:

Good Morning:

1- I divorced on march this year and I don’t have kids. My boyfriend and I live together but we don’t claim either of us as dependents, we file separately. Can I file as HOH since my boyfriend and I split the expenses of the house and I have a part time and also pay college tuition?

2-I have always filed as married filing separately. Obviously this year I will file as single, divorced or if possible HOH . There is any specific form I have to send the IRS to inform them about my new marital status since I did not update the information for my W2 at work or there is no need for that?

December 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm
(251) Kat says:

My sister has a lot of medical problems. She moved into my home 2 years ago. In June 2010 she lost her job and has been on unemployment since then. Due to her money going to medication, I have been paying for most of the expenses and the mortgage. I was wondering if I would be eligible for Head of Household? Her unemployment is more than the standard exemption. I assume I do not qualify, but wanted for verify it.

December 15, 2010 at 2:57 am
(252) William Perez says:

Kat, the answer to your question depends on whether your sister falls under the Qualifying Child or the Qualifying Relative criteria If your sister has income more than her personal exemption amount ($3,650 for 2010), then she is not eligible to be claimed as a qualifying relative, and you would therefore not qualifying for Head of Household. However, if she qualifies under the qualifying child rules, then she would be a dependent since that test is not tied to income. And in that case you would likely also qualify for Head of Household.

December 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm
(253) Josh says:

I bought a house in November of 2009. My girlfriend and I had a child December 2, 2009. We’ve been living together ever since. She currently makes somewhere around 15,000 a year and I make somewhere around 40,000 a year. Obviously I pay all the bills, mortgage, car, utilities ect. Last year we filed separately and she got 3500 for the baby and I didn’t receive a credit for having a child. We want to get the most deductions as possible. Should I file HOH or should we file separate again so she gets the 3500 and I get the interest on my house back(6000). Also, her name isn’t on the house. What’s the best filling status for us both? Thanks

January 3, 2011 at 12:48 am
(254) felipa says:

my question? i been filing head of household for few years since they told me i was at the place i do my taxes. this is the case i been living with my mom for 10 years i paid my rent and bills i have 3 kids i was divorced until may of 2010 my husband lives in mexico he is being there for over a year now and there is no plans for him to come back soon due to his legal status, my brother move to this house around june since he lost his work in san francisco and everything got more complicated for him he is also married with 3 kids, not paying rent but paying for his food and other expenses, after all these do i keep filing the same or what happens, i will discuss this with the person that does my taxes but i would really appreciate some advice. thanks

January 17, 2011 at 10:21 am
(255) marilyn says:

I live in a house, my name – with my daughter and her family we half all the bills – 2010 my son is 20 not in school but earned over 3500, what is my filing status.

January 18, 2011 at 8:17 am
(256) Telsa Singh says:

I have a question. I live with my ex-boyfriend in the same house. I pay my part of the bills. I have two children, one of which belongs to him. Can we both file head of household if I claim the child that doesn’t belong to him?

January 18, 2011 at 8:31 am
(257) joann says:

i have elderly parents that is retired and only on social security , i live in house to take care of them and pay all the bills, my income is more then what they get from social security so i support them when they do not have money. we live in my uncle house. i am single and have not been filing for head of household can i do that this year.

January 18, 2011 at 8:40 am
(258) debra says:

i am the grandmother i pay my sons c- support and i pay for all the trips to out of state to see her motel cost gas food clothes fot the little girl round trip every month; he works his income isnt that high it is filed in court he can claim her on taxes the mother does not work she gets assistace from the state she lives with her partner and her familyhe has given me permission to claim my grandaughter on taxes because my income is so much higher than his can i still claim

January 18, 2011 at 11:54 am
(259) Megan says:

My boyfriend and I live together. We have one child together. He also has a daughter by his ex wife. This year he will claim his daughter and I will claim our son. We both want to claim HOH for the different children. Is this legal?

January 24, 2011 at 11:33 pm
(260) William Perez says:

Megan, you raised an excellent question. And I have posted an article that addresses your very question: whether two people residing at the same address can each file as head of household.

January 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm
(261) Amber says:

Can I claim head of household if I receive child support?

January 21, 2011 at 10:00 am
(262) Nichole says:

I have a son and I am living with my mom, but pay her rent for living there, can we both claim head of household?

January 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm
(263) Patricia says:

Hi I am married filing joint, we have a 18 y/o daughter whom lives with us fulltime and works part time. My question is I do claim HOH since I make the majority of the income, how do we claim her, and her file her taxes…or do we file her taxes with our?

January 24, 2011 at 12:42 am
(264) Lovely says:

I have a nephew and a neice that I care for for the full year and I live with my parents. I want to know if I can claim HOH, since I care for my nephew and neice. Also between my parents, my mother is the only one working can she claim my father as a dependent as well as claim HOH too.

Basically I am asking if we both can claim HOH at the same address. We both split all the bills.

January 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm
(265) William Perez says:

Lovely, for your niece and nephew, you will first need to work through the criteria for qualifying children. Those criteria will tell you which taxpayer is most eligible to claim the niece and nephew as dependents. And pay careful attention to the tie-breaker tests at the bottom of that article. Once you determine who claims them as dependents, you then have to ask additional questions for HOH: did the kids actually live in the same residence as the taxpayer for more than half the year, and did the taxpayer pay for more than half the cost of maintaining the residence. If the answer to both follow-up questions is yes, then the taxpayer who claims the kids as dependents will also qualify as HOH.

As for your mom and dad, they can file either jointly or separately. One spouse cannot be the dependent of his or her spouse.

January 26, 2011 at 7:47 am
(266) Chris says:

I am assuming that I cannot file HOH, but I figured that I should ask as it is sort of tricky.

I am unmarried, my fiancee’, her child and I live in my house. I pay 100% of the upkeep of the house. Is it possible for me to file HOH?

January 27, 2011 at 12:23 am
(267) mslanie says:

Hi William. I’m not quite sure if you had answer such question like the one I will ask you but I really need some legal advice. My husband and I had lived together for more than 8 years. We have four children together. However, we were never legally married but considered married by our traditions. In 2005, a representative from HRBlock decided to file our taxes together as married filing jointly (MFJ). This year my husband moved out and separated from me but he supported for two kids and I supported the other two. My question is, will it be possible to file as Head of Household this year for my 2010 return although we were filing as MFJ and were never legally married? I really appreciate if you would reply back. Thank you so much in advance!!!

January 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm
(268) Chris says:

My ex husband and I have 1 son. We trade filing HOH every other year. This is my year he wants to claim out son and have me file HOH. Can we do this. I thought that claiming HOH is also claiming the child?

January 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(269) William Perez says:

I discuss this particular situation in my article on sharing the child-related tax benefits.

January 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm
(270) ME says:


January 29, 2011 at 2:08 am
(271) Justin says:

I live with my girlfriend, can I claim hoh if I pay for most of our stuff? does it have to be a family member? Thanks

January 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(272) Katherine says:

I own my own home and my grown son and daughter live with me. They both work and contribute minimally to the bills in the home. My daughter has a son and she claims him as a dependent. Can I claim HOH if she doesn’t? I pay the majority of the bills.

January 30, 2011 at 1:01 am
(273) Brandon says:

I lived with my daughter since her birth 2-1-2010. to aug of 10. can i claim her on my taxes since her mom never worked?
but we lived with her parents but i paid for the rent and care of my child

January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm
(274) mary says:

can i claim head of household if my daughter works and lives with me and makes 17,000 a year and i pay all household expences

January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm
(275) julie says:

Ok, I’ve been separated from my current husband for 10 plus years. He has his house and I rent my home, I have 2 teenagers by my first husband and they live w/ me .My oldest(son) is attending a community college and I am preparing my daughter to live to college this year, she is a senior in high school and I have to have everything ready for FAFSA when the college offers start to come in. I’ve always filed w/ my husband but really wondering if it would benefit me and my children if I did it HOH especially if I make under $30,000 a year. HELP!

February 1, 2011 at 8:21 pm
(276) Tania says:

My husband was unemployed during all year and I paid all the bills. should I file house of household or marry filing together?

February 1, 2011 at 8:23 pm
(277) tania says:

My husband is employee for the whole year. should I file house of household of filling together?

February 3, 2011 at 10:37 pm
(278) Cindy says:

My sons fiance lived with him over half the year along with her child, my son was the supporter of her child can he claim head of household status since the child is not considered a step child as of yet?

February 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm
(279) phyllis says:

My grown daughter lives with me.She makes a decent salary,I pay most of the household expenses Can I claim HOH ? She is not my dependent.Thank’s

February 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(280) William Perez says:

Phyllis, no you are not eligible for head of household. The HOH filing status requires that you have a closely related dependent. Since you don’t have a dependent, you’re not eligible for HOH.

February 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm
(281) tammi says:

I am single and my 30 year old son lives with me….He never worked or had any kind of money coming in…I supported him 100%..I did not think i could claim head of household…I did single and claimed him as a qualifying relative…After everything I have read I think i could have done HOH…It would have been 500 more…I already filed with tax act…Is there anything I can do? or am I just out?

February 4, 2011 at 11:56 pm
(282) sweetsyntt says:

i claim my child as a dependent and head of household, but her father claims her as a non dependent.
So if i state the child lived with me for 12 mths out the year as a dependent and he claims that she lived with him 7mths as a nondependent is that okay?

February 5, 2011 at 2:46 pm
(283) William Perez says:

Sweetsyntt, please see my article on sharing dependents.

February 6, 2011 at 5:33 am
(284) Lori says:

My 21 year old daughter and her 1 year old live with us. We do not charge her any rent, she does not pay any of the house hold expenses. She does buy the things that her daughter needs (i.e diapers, clothes food) does she qualify for Head of Household on her taxes.

February 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(285) David says:

Hello, I stay at my girlfriends home, when I come in off my tractor trailor, which I’m gone like 6 days a week. When not on the truck (for work), I live at my girlfriends home (which is hers). She has total full custody of her 13 yr. old grandson, due to abuse & neglect for the last 4 years. His biological parents are drug addicts & dead beats, nothing to do with the child. My girlfriend in the last couple of years has been out of work due to health issues (multiple), she is pending disability & surgeries. She has NO INCOME, so I pay for all her bills. She hasn’t filed taxes since 2008, and no one claims the grandson. Can I claim them some way on my income taxes, an if you say that I can, how do I go about doing this, & what do I put down as far as HOH, or SINGLE, & Dependents/Exemptions? I’d greatly appreciate an answer. Thanks David

February 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm
(286) Sharon says:

I have a question about head of household. My boyfriend has lived with me for the past 4 years – he is a disabled Veteran and is 100% disabled for the past 2 years. While he does help out with bills ( he gets a disability check that he does not pay taxes on) I pay more than 50% of the housing costs – can I claim head of household and can I do that retro as well?

February 8, 2011 at 9:56 am
(287) Mike says:

I live in Texas. I am still married. My wife moved out in March 2010. We have one child who lives with me more than 50% of the time. Money is tight. In order of financial sense for myself and the both of us is it better to file married filing seperately, head of household, single?(Is single even an option?) or other? Thank you for your time.

February 9, 2011 at 9:15 am
(288) cynthia kopp says:

my unmarried daughter and grandson live with me
i have more income than she does she is claiming him as a dependent.
can i claim head of household without claiming them as dependents

February 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm
(289) Lizzie says:

My boyfriend and I and our daughter live with his dad. His dad claimed head of household because he claimed my boyfriends little brother. Since my boyfriend is claiming my daughter could he also claim HOH because he provides for me and our daughter?

February 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm
(290) Greg B. says:

My kids spend the majority of the year with me. My ex-wife is remarried and will be filing jointly with her husband. If I was to release my claim of child exemption to her, so she can claim them as dependents, can I still file as head of household?

February 11, 2011 at 10:51 pm
(291) EM says:

I work full time and have children. Due to a recent divorce I am moving us all in with my parents. They want nothing so I will not be paying rent, utilities, etc. I will be providing all support for my children and myself. Does this mean I am not maintaining a household? Can I claim HH status?

February 13, 2011 at 12:46 am
(292) benny says:

Can I claim head of household if I had friends stayin at my place and could not make half of bills?

February 15, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(293) lynn says:

I have a son who is 17 was never married to his father and we split up 4 years ago. No court papers at all but it was a verble aggreement that I would claim him a dependent and HOH. He had always been 50/50 on where he stayed. This year he was with his father nearly the entire year but because of this I spent alot of Money on him that I would not have if he was with me 50% of the time. For Example he got his Drivers Lisc. this year and need a car so I spent 4,000 on vehicle also got him a cell phone @80 per month, he need a new computer I bought $900 and the list goes on. I have already filled this year claiming him as I always had per our agreement. Now he wants to claim him for this year but taxes are done, I know I could ammend but had I known he was going to change are agreement I would never had been able to put all this money out!! He now says he is going to claim HOH even thought I already did. What Should I do. He refuses to reimburse me for any of the money already put out which I offered, but he is being totally unreasonable. I had already changed my taxes status for this year and was going to tell him he could claim him from now on. Our son is headed to college and will be claim for the next several years. What Happens if I don’t ammend any suggestions or ideas? Thanks in Advance for any HELP!!

February 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm
(294) Candice says:

I currently reside in my parents home but i pay rent and the electric bill half of the stelite bill and all of the food for me and my 4 children as well as all of their other needs ie.. school lunches and supplies, health/ dental insurance, clothing, doctor/ hospital bills anything that they need I pay for. can I qualify for HOH

February 17, 2011 at 10:21 am
(295) Natalie says:

Since my divorce in 2006 I have claimed HOH. I will be remarrying (to a different person) in August of this year. Will I still get to claim head of household since I pay all of the home living expenses (rent, etc) and the child is mine?

February 18, 2011 at 3:29 pm
(296) Megan says:

My boyfriend is trying to file as head of household with turbo tax. We have a child together and he supports us both. I have not worked in over a year and have lived with him for 3 years. He has paid all of my bills and I have made no income for the 2010 year. Turbo tax says I’m not an eligible dependent. are we doing something wrong? We keep getting told he should be able to claim me, as I meet all the requirements.

February 19, 2011 at 9:17 am
(297) Christi says:

How does it work if a child lived with each parent for equal time of the year can one file and get eic while the other files as head of house how would that work

February 24, 2011 at 1:06 am
(298) jake says:

can i claim head of household if my sister lived in my appartment for 6 months but my parents claim her as a dependent?

February 24, 2011 at 10:44 pm
(299) Marion says:

I am divorced over a year now and my ex and I have joint custody where the kids stay 50% with me and 50% with their father. Who can be Head of Household?

February 25, 2011 at 2:03 am
(300) Karen Geyer says:

I am single but have a down syndrome brother that lives with me. After reading all the criteria for “Head Of Household” I am still confused.
My brother works for a workshop program and the yearly salary fluctuates. However, last year his income was $10,000. Even at that amount, it was still not 1/2 of our total living expenses.
1. Can I or can I not claim “Head of Household?”
2. Is he considered a dependant (brother & disabled)?

February 27, 2011 at 9:53 am
(301) Sue says:

My taxes were rejected because someone else has claimed my daughter on their taxes. I was court ordered to be able to file my daughter as a dependant until she was 18 because of the arrrearage her father owed me in child support. My X’s (daughers father) girlfriend claimed her on her taxes, cuz she lived there through the year. Is that right? They are not married.
How can I get the IRS to understnad this and get what is mine? My daughter will be 18 this year, so it being the last year she can be claimed as a dependant.

February 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm
(302) jeff curtis says:

my daughter lives with me 4 days aweek i pay support, and i buy her clothes, medicine and liable for 1/2 medical expences,her mother hasnt worked in atleast 6 monthes now on disability,she does have custody she claimes her on taxes and irs denied me head of household whats the deal not right

March 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm
(303) aaron says:

Me and my girlfriend live together unmarried and we just had a baby last year. She didnt work but collected unemployment which didnt go towards household expenses so i provided all of the support for both of them. I filed head of household and claimed my daughter and my girlfriend as dependants. Did i do that correctly?

March 16, 2011 at 1:06 am
(304) Jen says:

This is rather unusual, do you have insight? My domestic partner (and federally unrecognized same-sex spouse) and I had a child together last year (I gave birth). In California they put both of our names on the birth certificate as parents. However the step-parent adoption didn’t go through until this year. Can my partner file as Head of Household for last year; i.e. will the IRS recognize her as parent – is the name on the birth certificate sufficient?
Thank you!

March 16, 2011 at 4:13 am
(305) William Perez says:

Jen, a most excellent question. I don’t see why not. To be a qualifying child, for the purpose of claiming a dependent, the child needs to meet the relationship test, such as being the son or daughter of the taxpayer. For Head of Household purposes, the taxpayer needs a “qualifying person” — the criteria are slightly different, but sons and daughters of the taxpayer do qualify. So your and your wife’s child should qualify under both sets of criteria. Head of household is defined in the tax laws at IRC 2(b), and qualifying child is defined at IRC 152(c), the relevant part stating simply that a qualifying child is, among other possibilities, “a child of the taxpayer.” The Treasury regulations get a bit more specific at section 1.152-2 by stating that adopted children and foster children are treated the same as biological children. In other words, Jen, as far as I can tell your child seems to be the child of both you and your partner, and I don’t see anything immediately that convinces me otherwise. Now the only objection I can see the IRS making is to refer to the tie-breaker tests for qualifying children (scroll to the bottom of the article), in which a child should be claimed by the parent with the highest adjusted gross income. Other than that, I don’t see why your partner couldn’t claim the dependent and Head of Household status.

March 17, 2011 at 12:23 am
(306) jong says:

can i claim my children who are living outside then US. they have never been here in the US. im sending them money on a monthly basis

March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm
(307) Eric says:

I divorced last year. I lived at and paid 1/2 the cost of house #1 for over half the year (8 months) and then moved into another house and paid all of the expenses for remaining 4 months. My ex-wife lived at and paid 1/2 the cost of house #1 for 8 months and then paid all of the expenses for house #1 for the remaining 4 months. We have two children. My ex has primary custody of both as of October, however we each claim one child as a dependent. My ex had her dependent living with her all year long. I had my dependent living with me (at house #1) for 8 months.
Can we both claim head of household for this year only?

March 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm
(308) Mona Bloom says:

My middle age son is disabled following brain surgery..he has lived with me for over a year . I provide over 75%,maybe more,,of all his expenses even though he is collecting unemployment from his last employer…which ends soon. Can I claim HOH this year?

March 24, 2011 at 7:22 pm
(309) Rosie says:

My husband and I are divorced but still live in the same household. How do we file taxes and who claims the children?

March 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm
(310) dixie says:

I am a divorced woman About 2 1/2 years ago I invited my 57-year-old friend (female) to share my home with me, because she lost her home through foreclosure. She has no income and will not have any income until she is eligible for social security, so I pay all of the household and living expenses.
I would like to file as Head of Household, but she is not a blood relative.
Can I get any kind of tax break in this situation?

March 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm
(311) Summer says:

My husband and I have six children all 17 and under still in school and live with us. He files married at a higher single rate and we claim zero through out the year. Im disabled and since we have all our children would it be better to claim a few throughout the year then claim the rest of us at the end of the year or would we be better to leave things the way they are. I have asked taxes preparers before but they never answer my question. Please help me understand what would be benificail to my large family.

Thank You,


April 9, 2011 at 9:54 am
(312) Tim says:

My wife and I lived in different states due to job change. My mom lived near me and was supported 100% by me. She has no income at all. Can I claim as HOH? Thanks.

April 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm
(313) eliza w says:

my bf has two daughters, 14 & 16 y.o. they live with their mother, but come to his house every other weekend. the girls’ mom does not work – is on gubment cheese. can my bf claim as head of household in this case?

April 10, 2011 at 12:14 am
(314) William Perez says:

Eliza, the clue is found in the fact that the daughters “live with their mother.” Head of household is available only when children live with the taxpayer for more than half the year. Your boyfriend unfortunately doesn’t qualify, as his daughters do not reside with him.

April 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm
(315) Michelle says:

Me and my boyfriend live in the same home. He has a child to claim and I have a child to claim. All of Our expenses are completely separate. Can we both claim HOH since we would be using the same mailing address.
I have a house I also own but it will be a rental property but I still have some mail going to that address also.

April 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(316) William Perez says:

That’s a good question, Michelle. I talk about this issue in my article on Can two people claim Head of Household at the same address?

April 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm
(317) Tom says:

I have been claiming head of household for the last few years for my mom as the dependent. I set higher exemptions on my w-2 because of this (S-4) and it worked out that i would usually get a small to medium refund. I got married in 0ct 2010
From what I’m reading, it seems I cannot claim HOH for even the part of the year we were unmarried?
Did i create a big liability for myself by claiming S-4?
What do i say when i get my taxes done tomorrow?


April 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm
(318) William Perez says:

Tom, your filing status is largely determined by your marital status on the last day of the year (12/31). Since you got married in October 2010, you are considered for tax purposes to be married for the whole year. Your filing status options are married filing jointly or married filing separately. You can still claim your mom as a dependent if she still qualifies to do so. Whether you have over- or under-paid your tax, well you’re not going to know that until you run the numbers and see how it comes out.

April 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm
(319) Jeff says:

I had joint custody of my son. His mom lives in NC and I live in CA. He came to my house on June 7, 2010 and never returned to his mothers house. I received primary physical custody awarded by the CA court on September 22, 2010. Since he was living in my home do I have the right to claim him on my taxes for 2010? We were divorced in 2001 but nothing in our divorce decree states that she will be allowed to claim the children.

April 19, 2011 at 12:34 am
(320) Leann says:

My ex husband and I moved in together last year to share responsibility and expenses in raising our sons together. We split household costs equally. I had previously always been the custodial parent and therefore claimed head of household AND the dependents. Now he is filing his taxes (at 9pm April 18) and says HE is going to claim head of household and the dependents since, after all, he was living with us. I’m trying to explain to him that, since I’ve already filed as both, he cannot. Am I correct?

May 4, 2011 at 12:11 pm
(321) Uh Oh in Pittsburgh says:

what if two people who each have their own children live together, can they both claim head of household if not married

May 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm
(322) William Perez says:

Uh oh in Pittsburg, please see my article on whether two people can claim head of household status at the same address.

May 24, 2011 at 12:46 pm
(323) karen says:

My daughter and I lived over half the year with my fiance , he handles all finances regarding the household and pays most of the care for her can he file head of household for her .

July 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm
(324) Lawrence Golden says:

Our divource wont be final until September of this year and my question as the non custodial parent that will be claiming one of our two dependents.
Since we I too have contributed support in the same household along with my wife for over 6 months and this includes daycare expenses.
Can I claim Head of Household for this year only?
Am I entitled for half the portion of daycare expenses paid through the final divource?
OR DO I LOOSE OUT ON ALL THAT I CONTRIBUTED THIS YEAR and my wife (custodial parent) gets to claim it all.
I just dont want to get hit with no deductions next year that I greatly contributed on.

July 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm
(325) Abbey says:

My boyfriend, Child and I are planning on moving out of our home that we rent and moving in with 2 of our friends. My question is that if we move in with them would we have to get our own seperate address and utility bills for my boyfriend to be considered HOH? The friend that we are moving in with says that he cannot claim because the bills are still in his parents name from when they used to live there and left the house to him, so does the same thing apply to us? And also we have lived in the same household for over 6 months now and I havent worked, so can he claim me? I am over 18 years old so I dont know if that will still work! Any information that someone can give me would be greatly appriciated!! thank you!

August 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm
(326) TJ says:

For the past 2 years my husband and I have been separated/lived separately although we are not legally separated because I’m unemployed and, therefore, cannot pay for a lawyer. My son lives with me full-time in our house. Because I have not been able to find a job, however, my ex has been providing me with money for the mortgage etc until I can find employment. I am trying to get financial aid for my son to attend a community college (my ex is not assisting us in this in any way). Here’s my question: my ex insists on file taxes as “married/filing jointly” even though I have no income. He also insists on claiming 3 “dependents” (me, my son, and the house) even though he does not live with us in the house. This is making it difficult for me to obtain financial aid for my son’s college. Can you please help me understand what the law is regarding all of this? Thanks!

August 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm
(327) Nichole says:

Hey, Ok my husband and I married in March 2011. I have custody of my two daughters from a previous marriage. We are expecting a child in December of our own. Is my husband able to claim my two daughters as dependants when we file taxes? He also makes 47k a year and I make 28K what do you suggest we set our W-4 to throughout the year to still get a paycheck but not have to pay in at the end of the year? Do we file jointly or separate? Sorry I am just confused. Thank you for any help!!

September 4, 2011 at 7:23 am
(328) sam ricky says:

A kingdom can not have two kings
what if two people who each have their own children live together, can they both claim head of household if not married

September 6, 2011 at 10:00 am
(329) William Perez says:

Sam Ricky, an excellent question. The answer depends on the facts and circumstances of each situation. Please see my article on whether Head of Household Status Possible for Two People at the Same Address.

September 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(330) Erik says:

I am divorced and had two children with my ex-wife. My ex lives in Chicago, Il, with my daughter and I live in Jacksonville, FL, with my son, other than a two week visit in the summer, my son lives with me all year long, can we both file head of household?

September 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm
(331) Danielle says:

Hello, I have been working full-time and now I am considering resigning from my job and going back to school full-time to finish my graduate degree. For the past two years I have claimed head of the household, and my 2 year old daughter and her father claimed our house. I have the opportunity to go back to school full-time as a graduate assistant and have my tuition paid for as well as earn a 5000 stipend for the year and half while I am completeing my degree. How will this affect my taxes for the upcoming year that I am not working? I am planning on obtaining aid from the government:food stamps and medical assistance for myself and my partner is going to cover our daughters medical insurance. Do you have any advice on how we should file? I am worried about having to owe money especially when I will not have much because I am going full-time in school. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

September 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm
(332) Marcella says:

me and my fiance have lived together since may of 2010. he was the only one working until nov. of 2010. i worked from nov. 2010 to june 2010. i had our son in july 2010. he is the main source of income. can we file our son. if so how do we file our son.

October 2, 2011 at 5:32 pm
(333) Craig says:

I filed for head of house hold and recieved an audit. I claimed my 12 month old son. We live together with his mother. We are unmarried and our son gets State medi cal benefits. However My girlfriend claim to medi cal that she is a single mother and claims that I dont live with her in the house of give any money to recieve medical benefits. DId i get an audit because State medi cal shows that I dont live with them??

October 3, 2011 at 11:50 am
(334) chris says:

My sister is divorced and wants to file head of household. She has 2 children that live with her 100% of the time and is the custodial parent. She doesn’t work, but receives a hefty alimony check, which allows her to maintain her household. Her husband states since he is paying for all of the household expenses (through alimony), he should be entitled to filing head of the household. Who can legally file head of household?

October 3, 2011 at 2:13 pm
(335) William Perez says:

Chris, you can review the qualifying factors in my article on head of household, and you can also review the in-depth material found in IRS Publication 501.

October 10, 2011 at 11:09 pm
(336) Christopher says:

Hello, I have a complicated situation. I was engaged/lived with me for a tad over 6 months and she and her 17 year old son lived with me. Needless to say, it wiped out my savings, put me further in debt of over $25000 and all of it is just a mess. Could I claim head of household for that period of time on my taxes? Or any credit allowed on the 2011 tax season? Bad situation for me.


October 12, 2011 at 11:31 am
(337) lauren says:

my name is lauren and i have a question about earned income credit. i had a baby in june of 2011 and im currently working and making minimum wage. im only 20 yrs old. do i qualify for earned income credit?

October 19, 2011 at 12:18 am
(338) Craig says:

My wife and I have been divorced for 4 months and were separated for 2 months prior. We agreed for joint custody with her receiving 51% custody for government benefit purposes. I have of course 49% custody. We have 3 kids.
In the divorce decree I was awarded 1 child to claim as an exemption. since the divorce and separation the kids have lived with me 83% of the time. What are my chances for claiming head of household?

October 28, 2011 at 11:55 am
(339) Anthony says:

My girlfriend and her 6 year old son moved in with me, into my apartment, at the begining of the year (2011). In the past, since she’s had her son, she has claimed head of household even when living with her mother/step-father… Now that she has moved in with me, I was wondering if I can claim HOH either instead of her or with her claiming as well… I don’t have a qualifying child dependant, and I believe if I try to claim her as a qualifying relative she’ll loose her ability to claim her son as a dependant and/or receive EIC. She has worked during the year, although sporatically, and she is a full time adult college student. I pay the rent, utilities, and insurance for the apartment while we split most of our personal bills (cell, credit cards, car payments/insurance). We’ll share the cost for food, fun, etc… and she tries to cover most of her son’s costs, I do have to help out to some degree though… Is this a case of me having to remain single filing status, or could I change to HOH, or is she even eligible herself to claim HOH?

November 9, 2011 at 5:14 pm
(340) Alyssa Gladu says:

i live with my boyfriend and we have a daughter together but he is not on the birth certificate, i did not work last year, he provided all of the support for both me and our daughter, can he claim her as a his child even though he’s not on the birth certificate?

November 13, 2011 at 10:15 am
(341) Michael says:

My fiancee and I bought a house (cash, no mortgage) three years ago originally in my name and shortly there after, quit claimed to both of us.
We havs seperate bank acounts, all the utility accounts are in my name and I have paid all bills for the house including property taxes since then.
Over the first two years She worked and bought groceries and incidentals but as of this last year she has not worked at all.
Will she qualify as a “dependant” and or will this qualifty me as “HOH”.
Which is better to file under?

November 17, 2011 at 11:50 am
(342) diana says:

Can I claim head of household since I have two dependents but my grandma will probably file head of household so can we both file head of household

November 18, 2011 at 11:49 am
(343) Dawn says:

My 21yr old daughter still lives at home and I pay all the bills. She has a job of her own. Can I file hoh with her still being able to claim herself when she files her taxes?

November 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm
(344) Sherry Nestleroad says:

Can I claim my 41 year old son as a dependent if I pay for 100% of his expenses, he lives with me in my home and has never worked?

November 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm
(345) Sherry Nestleroad says:

Not sure if my last post posted….
I have a 41 year old son who lives at home, has never worked. I provide 100% of his expenses, can I claim him as a dependent

December 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm
(346) Dennis says:

I need some help. I have been divorced for fifteen years. During that time, I paid child support, and I mostly raised our daughter who lived with me Mon -Friday. I bought all clothes, paid for all activities, everything, and I loved it. My ex claimed our daughter as an exemption, and I claimed HOH. Now our daughter is a full time college student on athletic scholarship living at school, and I sen her the child support direct as an “allowance.” My question is is whether I can still claim HOH, and can my ex still claim her as dependent?

December 9, 2011 at 12:29 am
(347) Ed says:

If a married spouse truly qualifies for HOH, can they itemize deductions? The other spouse has not lived in the house for almost a year by year’s end; has provided minimal support and will not be itemizing?

December 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm
(348) rub says:

I have a fiancee who i pay for some medical expenses each week for medication its could be at least $800 a month based on what she needs i write her checks in the amount needed her name and a note for what it for. i do this until i get her on my medical plan. i need to know if i can some how get something back in taxes for medical cost

December 13, 2011 at 1:41 am
(349) William Perez says:

If you can claim your fiancee as a dependent under the qualifying relative criteria, then you can take a deduction for the medical expenses. Otherwise, only your fiancee can take the medical deduction. Also, if your fiancee is not a dependent, then any amounts you have given directly to your fiancee counts as a gift (tax-free to the recipient), but you may have to report the gifts on a gift tax return.

December 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm
(350) Karen says:

I am divorced and employed. I have a 22-year-old daughter and 1-year-old granddaughter living with me. My daughter was in school for most of the year and has been looking for a job. She has no income from employment, however, the father has paid approximately $2000 in court ordered child support for the year. He pays nothing else and sees the baby only about 4 days a month. I support everything else for both my daughter and my granddaughter. Can I claim both my daughter and granddaughter on my income tax?

December 16, 2011 at 11:09 am
(351) Tara says:

I am seperated from my soon to be ex husband for well over a year. I have custodial custody (he gets visitation every other weekend for 2 nights and dinner once a week). I would like to claim Head of Household and believe I can. There is one catch however. My son and I are living with my boyfriend who owns the home (no mortgage) and pays for the taxes on the house and the heating. However, I pay all other utilities and groceries. We are not married and we are both self employed. He has no children and can ony claim “single”. Although he plans on writing off 1/5th of the ulility bills he paid in Jan – April (I took over utilities then because he had a very bad year business wise). So, I pay electric, groceries, cable & internet access. However, I am suporting my son as my dependent and pay for mine and my sons living expenses (jwe don’t pay rent). Can I still claim head of household?

December 20, 2011 at 6:05 am
(352) William Perez says:

To qualify for the head of household status, you will need to provide over half the cost of maintaining a home for the entire year. So tally up all the expenses related to the home, and see if you’ve contributed over half that amount. If so, you’ll qualify for HOH, otherwise you’re stuck with the single filing status. The IRS provides a worksheet for determining this in Publication 501.

December 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm
(353) Yazmin says:

I was wondering if I can fill for head of household if my cousin is living with me?

December 30, 2011 at 6:05 pm
(354) William Perez says:

Yazmin, cousins are not eligible persons for the purpose of qualifying for the Head of Household filing status.

December 28, 2011 at 8:23 pm
(355) Kissess says:

Can my mother file me and my baby if im filen me and my baby.?

December 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm
(356) William Perez says:

No, dependents can be the dependent of at most one taxpayer. Or to phrase this another way, two taxpayers cannot claim the same person as a dependent.

December 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm
(357) tiffany says:

hey… I have my own apartment and stay with my mom to take care of my her and my nephew. I was wondering if I can claim my nephew as my dependent since im the one taking care of him ? Do anyone knows the answer ?

December 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm
(358) William Perez says:

Tiffany, in order to claim another person as a dependent for tax purposes, you need to review the various criteria for dependents. Nephews can fall under either the qualifying child or the qualifying relative categories. But the qualifying child rules are the more important; under those rules the dependent must actually reside with the taxpayer for more than half the year. If the child resides with multiple taxpayers for more than half the year (as in your case, where the nephew resides with both you and your mother for more than half the year), then you need to look at the tie-breaker tests found on the qualifying child article linked to above. Use the tie-breaker tests to determine which person is most eligible to claim the dependent.

December 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm
(359) Jack says:

Here’s my situation:

My ex-girlfriend and her child resided with me for 10-months in 2011. During this time, she worked & contributed income towards the household (less than 25%) for less than 6-months during 2011. She also received minimal child support ($200 per month). I provided the majority of financial support for both her and child during 2011. I do not own a home and will not be itemizing my taxes, only taking the standard deduction. She and her child moved out October 2011. Bottom line: unless there is a very significant difference in monies (in excess of $1000) I do not wish to contact her about any of this. My W-4 for 2011 was setup as “single, 1 exemption.”

That being said, here’s my question:

Can (and should!) I file single, Head of Household for 2011? I do not want to claim the child as a dependent as that would force me to contact her again.

Any help is greatly appreciated in advance!

December 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm
(360) William Perez says:

Jack, Is the child also your son or daughter? If so, you may qualify to claim the dependent under the qualifying child rules. If the child isn’t related to you, then you’d have to look at the qualifying relative rules. For the purpose of determining Head of Household status, you’ll need to be eligible to claim a closely related dependent, which usually falls under the qualifying child definitions. In other words, since you’re not going to claim the child as a dependent, then you also cannot claim that same child for Head of Household purposes, or any of the other child-related tax incentives.

January 2, 2012 at 5:28 am
(361) Chelsea says:

My boyfriend and I have a son together. I have been in college since January and he has been since this August. the three of us are living in a college apartment which we me and him split but use our student loans to pay for it. he made 20,000 this year and becasue i lost my full time job only made 5,000. plus i take out a lil more in loans to help pay expens’s. However, pretty much everything i made went towards taking care of our son we for the most part split everything 50/50 and cas we all live togehter we both are responsoble for our son. I have claimed our son everyother year and filled as head of household cas i also used to make more. but what should I do this year? should he claim our son and hoh or should I? would I get more back if I claimed him? what is the best way to file so we can get the absolute most back?

January 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm
(362) Holmes says:

I am a divorced father who pays my ex alimony and child support. She works a minimum pay job minimum days a week (3 days). I pay for all of the child’s medical bills and half or more of his clothing expenses, his tutoring and most of his vacations. He lives with my ex more than half the year because I am a consultant working out of the country many weeks. My AGI is higher than my ex.

Our divorce decree states that the deduction for the dependent child will belong to the wife in even years and the husband in odd years.

My ex is now saying she will be claiming the “Head of Household” status. Although she will allow me to claim him only as a dependent.

Do I have the right or ability to claim the HOH status when claiming him as a dependent in the years specified by the decree or for that matter every year?

January 5, 2012 at 12:17 am
(363) William Perez says:

Holmes, to qualify for Head of Household, you need to meet two criteria: you need to be eligible to claim a closely-related dependent and the dependent must live with you for more than half the year. Since 2011 is an odd year, your wife will take the dependent instead of you. For even years, you get the dependent. For more details on this situation, see my article on sharing dependents.

January 3, 2012 at 8:58 pm
(364) Jane says:

I know that this scenario is similar to those already posted…but I have a specific question. My husband and I have been separated for a few years now. He has paid “child support” this entire time…even though we have not have any “legal” documents drawn up. If I’m the one actually paying the bills- house payment, utilities, etc., even though I wouldn’t have enough without his child support, can I still file HOH? The kids live with me 100% of the time, except for vacations.

January 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm
(365) mandy says:

was wondering if y husband does hoh can it be deposited in my bank or does it have to be his since we will be filing jointly

January 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm
(366) William Perez says:

Mandy, tax refunds can only be directly deposited into a bank account for which the taxpayer is an account-holder.

January 5, 2012 at 9:27 am
(367) holmes says:

Thank you for your response. As we are both sharing custody per the divorce decree and we have as part of the decree the years we are assigned the dependent for tax purposes then the question is.

Along with claiming the dependent during our respective year we are also able to claim head of house hold status.

Yes or No

I have read everything you have written and still have this question.

Thank you…

January 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm
(368) William Perez says:

Holmes, for the year in which you are claiming the dependent as part of your divorce decree, your can also claim Head of Household status if (and only if) you meet the head of household criteria. In other words, you can file as Head of Household if, for that year, the dependent actually resides with you for more than half the year and you pay for more than half of the dependent’s living expenses. Otherwise you would file as single.

January 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(369) Sarah says:

I would like to file as Head of Household and claim my children for my 2011 taxes. How should my husband file his taxes? Any money he may get back as a refund will go to his ex for child support.

January 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm
(370) David says:

I divorced my wife in April 2011. Can I file a joint return for 2011 ?

January 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm
(371) William Perez says:

David, no you cannot file a joint return. Since you were unmarried on the last day of the year, you are (for tax purposes) unmarried for the entire year.

January 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(372) Chelsea Curtis says:

My boyfriend and I have a son together. I have been in college since January and he has been since this August. the three of us are living in a college apartment which we me and him split but use our student loans to pay for it. he made 20,000 this year and becasue i lost my full time job only made 5,000. plus i take out a lil more in loans to help pay expenss. However, pretty much everything i made went towards taking care of our son we for the most part split everything 50/50 and cas we all live togehter we both are responsoble for our son. I have claimed our son everyother year and filled as head of household cas i also used to make more. but what should I do this year? should he claim our son and hoh or should I? would I get more back if I claimed him? what is the best way to file so we can get the absolute most back?

January 7, 2012 at 11:45 am
(373) jamie says:

Can i file as head of household and my husband as single? I will be claiming our son. Reason being is that i dont recieve the EIC if he is on our tax return because he has an ITIN not a SSN. Any suggestions?

January 9, 2012 at 6:18 am
(374) lealex says:

Okay. I have two children. My oldest is to my husband and my youngest is to another man. My husband and I split which ia when i hot pregnant wiith my swcon but we are back together now. When he files our taxes can he claim my youngest aswell?? He lives with me more than he stays with hi biological father. But have no custody established.

January 9, 2012 at 7:31 pm
(375) Diane says:

My college-age daughter has only spent the summer at home. I am paying none of her college expenses and she has worked parttime during the school year and over the summer of 2011. Can I still qualify as Head of Household and/or claim her as a dependent? I also changed my dependents to zero on my W-2 at the beginning of year in hopes of filing Single status on the EZ form (to help her qualify for more grants, etc.). I no longer wish to file under this status.

January 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm
(376) April says:

I am legally divorced with two children. The divorce degcree states 50/50 custody. Is it possible for my ex-husband to claim one child and HOH, and claim the other child and HOH? Would both of us qualify for EIC if we meet the income requirement?

January 10, 2012 at 7:35 pm
(377) April says:

I meant * I claim the other child and HOH.*

January 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm
(378) Jeff Rockhill says:

I have been divorced for over 2 years now. In the beginning of this year my ex wife and I had the patenting plan changed to 50-50 but she is stioo listed as the primary. She gets to claim the 2 kids as dependents and will file head of household for last year. I own my own home and have had the kids 50% of the time. Can I file head of household?

January 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm
(379) KieraLee says:

I purchased a home with my fiance in 2011, and, though he makes more money than I do, I pay a little more than half of the household expenses due to the fact that he has car loans, medical bills, etc. However, the majority of the bills pertaining to our home come from my money. My question is this. My 17 year old brother lives with us thursday through tuesday, as my mother works those days and he needs looked after due to his not so clean record. I provide him shelter, food, and necessities during those days. Heck, I even bought him a truck!

Now here is where it gets tricky. Because my dad is disabled, he recieves a monthly check for the care of my brother, however, he can not take care of him while my mom is working. Because his income is not tax deductible, my father doesn’t need to file taxes, therefore not claiming my brother.

So my queston is this, can I claim head of household using my brother as my qualifying relative? Or is this one of those “uncommon” situations that isn’t allowed? Thanks!

January 14, 2012 at 9:39 am
(380) Clivus says:

My fiance’ and I have been living together for a few years. We have a 1 1/2 year old son whom I claim as a dependent. She is a stay at home mom now, with no income. Do I claim single with one dependent or head of household with one dependent? Does she qualify as a relative dependent even though we are not married? In short what is the best way to file as an unmarried couple who are living in the same household with one child and are all living off of one income?

January 14, 2012 at 10:31 am
(381) Tasha D. says:

My fiance’ is incarcerated and has been the last year or so. Will I be able to claim him as a dependent because for sure I took care of him all year long, or does that only apply if you are married?

January 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm
(382) brittany says:

i live with my boyfriend and we have a son together, we have both agreed that i am going to claim in on our taxes, my question is… he is filing head of household, and we both pay our own share of the bills, i collect unemployment and he is employed, but we pay our own share, i was wondering if i could also claim head of household since the bills are split?

January 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm
(383) Lisa says:

My ex and I separated in Feb. 1st of last year and our divorce was final in Aug.My accountant is saying that I will need to file my taxes as sep, but with 50% of his income because of the community split laws in Texas and he’ll need to claim 50 % of mine. Is this correct since we were totally separate for the entire year after Jan.? This doesn’t seem correct that I should have to pay taxes on 50% of his salary when I never had it except for 1 month of the year.
I kept the house and have our 1 child more than 50% of the time. He doesn’t pay child support and I pay 100% of the house expenses.

January 15, 2012 at 11:46 pm
(384) William Perez says:

Lisa, When were you legally separated? From your post, it sounds like you separated in February 2011 and were divorced in August 2011. If that’s the case, then you are unmarried on December 31st, 2011, and therefore unmarried for the whole year of 2011. In which case you will file as single. If, however, you were not legally separated or divorced, then it’s true what your accountant says about community property income.

January 15, 2012 at 4:04 am
(385) Ashley says:

I have been reading about the earned income and the guidelines for it and im a little confused it says that the child has to live you more then half the year. I gave birth to my son in september…will i not qualify?

January 15, 2012 at 9:24 am
(386) MAX says:

Hello……My parents are living with me.My mom have a job and my dad dont have a job.Also I have a sister living with us and she is full time student .I support more to parents and my sis. so can i file a HOH .I m single.If yes so i can claim my parents and sister as a dependent. If i claim my sister as dependent my parents cannot claim her. plz respone me. thnx.

January 15, 2012 at 10:22 am
(387) crystal says:

I am a mother of two. They both live with me all year long. Will I get more back if I claim head of household? We live with my parents so I know I could claim either way. What is the better way for me to go?

January 16, 2012 at 7:41 am
(388) sofia says:

I am legaly separated from my ex, my 2 kids life with me and i have full custedy of them he started to pay child support in august and now he wants to claim one of the kids this year so what should i do

January 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm
(389) SCS says:

I’m helping a friend with her taxes, and we have a question about who can claim the children as dependents on the 2011 tax return. She was in a half-way house most of the year and now has an apartment of her own. While incarcerated before and then in the halfway house, the children stayed with the father’s sister. My friend helped with some of the expenses throughout the year, and now has the kids living back with her. I read that while temporarily incarcerated the mom gets to count all of those months as if she had custody.
1. Does being the court-mandated halfway house count as incarcerated?
2. Would the kids qualify as her dependents?
3. Would she qualify as HOH?

January 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm
(390) Ron Taryle says:

For purposes of qualifying for HOH status, can living in separate rooms under one roof qualify as “living apart”?

January 17, 2012 at 2:50 am
(391) William Perez says:

Ron, you asked an excellent question. I have written about this issue in my article on whether two people at the same address can both claim Head of Household.

January 17, 2012 at 3:07 am
(392) David M says:

Hello, I was wondering if I am able to claim HOH for 2011 eventhough I purchased the house on the 28th of December 2011?

January 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm
(393) Lynn says:

My ex-husband and I were divorced a number of years ago, but have continued to live in the same house due to the economic crisis and downfall of the housing market. He has been retired since July 2010 and has been able to live off his pension and his guaranteed two year termination pay. I, on the other hand, still hold a full-time job earning about $80000/yr. Both of our names are on the deed for the house, so we split the mortgage payments and utilities 50-50. Each year we take turns using the mortgage interest on our taxes. Which would be more advantageous for me: filing single or filing as head of household?

January 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm
(394) Laura says:

I am the biological parent to a child that I co-parent with my female partner. We are obviously not married in the traditional since. We co-mingle all of our finances (and have for many years) so my question is can I claim HOH with our child since it would be extremely difficult to prove 50% finances since our accounts are all together. My partner makes more than I do, but daycare comes out of my check so so in our account it appears she pays more living expenses.

January 18, 2012 at 11:01 am
(395) KidTaxi says:

My husband and I have been seperated since 2007. We both maintained seperate homes during that time. Recently, we reconciled and purchased a home (Sept ’11). Normally, I file HOH, claiming my two children. Would I still be able to file HOH for 2011 since I maintained my own home for 9 months prior to moving in together again and would he be able to file married but seperate claiming the interest for the new house? Both our names are on the title.

January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am
(396) catlin says:

I own my own home and my daughter which will be 22 in the end of feb, and her daughter which turned 4in dec live with me and ive taken care of them since her daughter was born. Last year i got back $3500 for my grandchild alone, what is the maxium i can get returned to me for my grandchild this year? My houe recently burnt dec 21,2011 and was needing a estimate so i can see a range of what i’m working with so i can buy my grandchild some things for her new room and cloths

January 18, 2012 at 11:48 am
(397) ALISSA says:

I live with my significant other. SHe was unemployed for half the year. Can i claim HOH since I kept up the bills?

January 19, 2012 at 11:30 am
(398) Amber says:

I have been working 2 full time jobs for the last year and a half. My bf has been out of work due to a severe motorcycle accident in aug 2010 and i have been paying everything in the household. including his medical bills and his child support. can i claim head of household?

January 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm
(399) alisha says:

I have been seperated from my husband since Feb 2011. We have 3 children, 2 of whom stay with him most of the time ! I want to know if I can claim head of household and my oldest daughter which is 17, and him claim the 2 younger children?

January 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm
(400) April says:

My boyfriend got out of jail in May 2011 and I was supporting him while he was in jail and since he has been out, since he cannot find a job because of his record. So I supported him all year, but he “lived” in prison from Jan to May 2011. He also owes child support. We live together and I pay everything. Can I claim him as a dependent and if I do, would they try and take child support from my tax return?

January 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm
(401) April says:

I am legally married but have been separated from my husband since the beginning of July. We have a child together who lives with me 98% of the time. She spends 2 (maybe 3!) nights a MONTH with her father… When we decided to separate, we both terminated our lease agreement. I (and my daughter!) moved in with a friend until the divorce becomes final. How should I file my taxes this year? I don’t make a lot of money on my own, and my friends and family are telling me I should file “head of household”… Is that even an OPTION? I am so confused……….

Please Help. I need advise!
Thanks :)

January 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm
(402) April says:

Its just a coincidence that “April 400 and April 401″ have the same name! I assure you, we are two different posts!
Like I said before, I really need advise before I do my taxes!!!
Please Help! Thx….

January 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm
(403) Gwen says:

My ex-husband and I divided the dependent deduction for our two children. The child he claims as a dependent lives with me. He does not file as Head of Household and I didn’t know I could. Consequently, last year, I filed as single and paid LOTS of income tax.

Is it reasonable for me to file an amended return for last year or should I just let it go?

January 21, 2012 at 12:57 am
(404) ken says:

Is it possible to claim my mother as a dependent and file as Head of Household even though she files as a joint return with my dad? She meets all the other criteria: (have no income, lives with me and I pay most of the expenses).

January 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm
(405) amanda says:

I am a single mother who did not work in 2011. My daughter and I live with my sister. I do not pay housing expenses, but I am financially responsible for the food, clothing, and other child-care related expenses for my daughter. Do I qualify for head of household?

January 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm
(406) Brian says:

My sister gave birth to her daughter in December of of 2010. She was unable to afford living arrangements and thus in January of 2011, she and her daughter moved into my apartment. She has not contributed toward rent or telephone, but when I couldn’t afford the entire power bill myself, I asked her to split it with me. She is still residing with me at the moment. I’ve been told by some tax people that I qualify as Head of Household, but then again, wouldn’t she qualify as well because of her daughter? I’ve read and read and read, and am still in limbo as to what I can and can not claim. I’d truly appreciate any assistance.

Thank You!

By the way, I’m also unemployed and she’s not! Imagine that!

January 24, 2012 at 8:24 am
(407) William Perez says:

Brian, to qualify as head of household, you would need to be unmarried and you to claim a closely-related person as your dependent. Your sister might qualify as your dependent if she meets the qualifying relative test (for example, one of the criteria there is she earns less than $3,700). Your niece (your sister’s daughter) might qualify as your dependent if your sister is also your dependent; otherwise your niece is probably the dependent of her mother.

January 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm
(408) Gabrielle says:

I situation is very complicated and unusual! I was married in 2009. My husband is incarcerated in another state than where i currently live. We have never shared a home or any finances and have no children together because we actually go married while he was incarcerated. I was young and made a mistake! We have been separated since around march 2010. We now have a court date set for april 13 to finalize the divorce. But to make things more complicated I had a baby last september with my current fiance. I was going to claim her on my taxes because i worked more than my fiance last year. I have no clue how to file or if i can claim my child or not. My soon to be ex husband is still incarcerated and will be for the next few years and he obviously doesnt file taxes. Can you please give some some advice on how i should file?
Thank you…

January 24, 2012 at 2:47 am
(409) Ramiro Gonzalez says:

For separated couples who qualified as unmarried, if the spouse that has care of the kids files as head of household, what can the other spouse file as? Married filing seperate or single. Please advise.
Thank you.

January 24, 2012 at 7:32 am
(410) William Perez says:

The other spouse would file as married-filing-separately.

January 24, 2012 at 8:30 am
(411) Donna says:

My daughter lives with me full-time and I have always claimed her on my taxes as it is stated in my divorce settlement. Last year was the first year I filed taxes as single and I claimed Head of Household. Federal accepted this but the state of MA questioned it because the amount of child support I receive is more than what I make (I assume this is the reason for the question as it stated the information they got was from the Dept of Revenue). Does child support count as income towards qualifying as HOH? If that is the case then I don’t cover more than half of our expenses and therefore I would not qualify. I just can’t seem to find any info as to whether child support is considered income as it’s obviously not something that is claimed on my taxes. Thank you.

January 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm
(412) Tammy says:

Me and my fiance live at the same residence and have a one year old. I pay household bills, but he pays the mortgage. We will obviously file seperately for last year. I will claim our son as my dependant, and he will claim the mortgage interest on his taxes. Who if either of us can file under head of household? Thanks.

January 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm
(413) William Perez says:

Tammy, a great question. The answer depends on who is eligible to claim the dependent, since claiming the dependent opens up the possibility of Head of Household status. If you and your fiance are the parents, then either you of would be eligible to claim your daughter under the qualifying child criteria. Under the tie-breaker tests, whichever parent has higher income (as measured by your adjusted gross income) is most eligible to claim the dependent. So that particular parent would then claim the dependent and also head of household. But you also have an alternative available: the parent who is most eligible parent could take the head of household status and let the other parent take the dependent’s exemption. This is alternative is something I call sharing the child-related tax benefits. So basically, in your situation, you have two options: person with the highest income takes HOH and no dependent; the person with the lowest income files as single and takes the dependent’s personal exemption.

January 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm
(414) michelle says:

do i have to claim married if i have still been using my maiden name and also i have two kids so do i qualify for head of household and

January 25, 2012 at 10:21 am
(415) Amber says:

i really need help so i can file my taxes and hopefully get a refund assap! i am 2 mths behind on rent and will be evicted soon….

I have been working 2 full time jobs for the last year and a half. My bf has been out of work due to a severe motorcycle accident in aug 2010 and i have been paying everything in the household. including his medical bills and his child support. can i claim head of household?

January 26, 2012 at 12:08 am
(416) Debbie R says:

My husband and I usually file joint but for the last 2 years we have my uncle living with us. He is disabled and was just awarded his disability. The problem is he had not file his taxes in yrs and the IRS this yr has contacted him for pass taxes. If we file HOH for him will they attach our return for his unpaid taxes?
Thank you for your help in this matter.

January 26, 2012 at 9:37 am
(417) Mandy says:

I am married and have two children with my husband. We live with his mother. She does not work. Can my husband claim head of household because he provides over half of the bills and pays for the things needed for the house? The house and bills are also in his mother’s name. Can he claim her and our two children as head of household?

Thank you!

January 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm
(418) KRP says:

My Fiancee and I have lived together for 6 years. He is also the custodial parent of his child. I contribute to more than 1/2 of the total household. Am I able to file as HOH and as such claim his child as well?

January 27, 2012 at 12:08 am
(419) Shaun says:

I rent a room for myself and my 2 year old daughter. I pay for all my and my daughters food. We have our own bedroom in the house. I do not pay for any seperate utility bills as the rental agreement states it is included in the rent cost. My rent and food do not equal over 50% of that houses total cost. Could I still qualify as HOH as that room is my “household”?

January 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm
(420) Jill says:

I am currently separated from my husband and live in separate households. He has been out of work so am not getitng any child support and am renting a house with our 5 year old daughter. Can I claim HOH even though I am still “legally” married and not legally separated??

January 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm
(421) judy88 says:

My boyfriend and i have live together for 8 years in Texas. We have 2 kids together and needed to find out the right way to file taxes. Since we live together for the whole year and he gets paid more than i do should he file as head of household? And also when I file my taxes should I file as single? Can we use the same address when we both file seperate?

January 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm
(422) Diane says:

I am unmarried but have two adult dependent children who have lived with me since birth. They still live with me. One is 23 years old, the other is 20 years old. They want to file their taxes as individuals because they have been working. Can I still claim head of household status even though they want to file independently? Would I file my taxes as a single person?

January 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm
(423) William Perez says:

Diane, you can longer claim your adult children. Based on the situation you described, they are now independent taxpayers and cannot be claimed as dependents; and this would make you ineligible for Head of Head of Household.

January 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm
(424) Jessica says:

I am divorced with 2 children. My ex husband and I share custody of our two children. Can we both claim head of household and one child on our taxes?

January 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm
(425) Diana says:

If I am totally supporting a 20 year old college student, but he is not living at home but I am paying his rent, do I claim head of household?

January 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm
(426) Brenda says:

I have a question. I got married December 28th, 2011 but we never lived together throughout the entire year. As soon as we got married he went to Germany. Am I able to claim head of household since I have a qualifying child that is not his?

January 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm
(427) Millie says:

I am a single parent and I have a room mate. My room mate provides over half the income to his disabled aunt. We both qualify for HOH can we both claim this status using the same address?

January 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm
(428) William Perez says:
January 29, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(429) Cam says:

I just got out of active duty and my wife and i have been split up for about a year who lives back home with her parents.Now the reason of my absence was because of me being stationed in another state and could not see my daughter as often as i wanted.i have currently been out of active duty for 2 weeks.I am responsible for 80% of my daughters well-beings with child support and pay spousal support too .Am I elgible to claim my daughter ?

January 30, 2012 at 12:06 am
(430) Jill says:

I have two children who live with me full time. The oldest, 22, is a full time student (part of the year) and also makes more money than me. ( I am self employed) The younger one is 17 and is a dependent on the non custodial parent’s tax return. Can I claim Head of Household? Are there any other tax credit I might be eligible for? I might add that I absolutely provide all household necessities: rent, food, pg&e, cable, etc.

February 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm
(431) William Perez says:

Jill, what’s required is an analysis of your family situation. Some factors with regard to head of household are: can you claim either of your children as dependents? Did you issue the Form 8332 to the non-custodial parent? Did the children reside with you for more than half the year? And did you provide for more than half their total support?

January 30, 2012 at 7:40 am
(432) Khloe says:

Hi im a full time student and i work part time i live with my mom i also just had my first child dec 19 2011 my mom has filed head of household and me as a dependent this year already. Will i be able to file my daughter on my taxes as a dependent this year

January 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm
(433) William Perez says:

Dependents cannot claim dependents. So if you were properly claimed as a dependent by your mother, then you cannot claim yourself nor your daughter.

January 30, 2012 at 8:05 am
(434) Cheryl says:

My husband has not worked for four years,and is in the process of applying for SSDI, I am the only one bringing in a paycheck and am the paying bills, can i file as HOH ?

January 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm
(435) William Perez says:

Cheryl, do you reside with your husband? If so, you’re only options are to file jointly or separately.

January 31, 2012 at 11:19 am
(436) justin says:

Hi, was wondering if i qualify for eic? I have always been the bread winner, up until i was laied off all of 2011 so ive been on unemployment and only grossed 19,500 for the whole year,however my wife was employed for about a month and only made only about 1000,we do have three children together, do we qualify? Or because the amount she made and i was on umeployment does it not apply? thankyou for your time, justin.

January 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm
(437) Janice says:

Hi there. I have a complicated question. I am a single mother with 2 children who are my dependants. Mid year my Uncle moved in with me after losing his job and having no where to live. My adult daughter also moved home, both have earned more income than I have. Am I able to claim them with me being Head of Household when they earned more than I?

January 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm
(438) frances dye says:

I have been divorced for 4 yrs now.. I have had my taxes done by a prof. tax agentsy the past two yrs.. My ex and I take turns on claiming our children ( one yr he claims two and me one and then we switch)..all my children live with me.. this yr my ex asked me to sign a form allowing him to claim two of our children… I still get to claim earned income credit and one child.. but in the past that I didnt claim the kids he was claiming I wasnt aware of the earned income credit for the ones he claimed.. my question is ( BECAUSE MY KIDS LIVE WITH ME YEAR ROUND HE CANT GET THE EARNED INCOME CREDIT ON THEM???) I just want all my ducks in a row for when he finds out that I claimed them for this and left the exemption on them to him.. thank you .. I look forward to hearing from you.

January 31, 2012 at 3:22 pm
(439) Sheila Phillips says:

My son lives with his Fiancee and their son who was born in March of 2011, in the same household. My question is: Which one should claim head of household? They share in the bills and for the care of their son. He however makes more money than she does. If she claims head of household can he then claim the baby as a dependant, or would they benefit more by having her claim everything? Thank U for your time.

February 1, 2012 at 5:19 pm
(440) shanell says:

I have a dependant & live with my parents. I pay for everything for me & my dependent. Everything is under my parents; house utilities etc. I pay them rent (half of their mortgage pymt) & give the additional money for half of the utilities; repairs; & household expenses. so technically its not more than 50% does that exclude me from claiming head of household. My parents file a joint tax returns; but live on a very fixed income and don’t really get any tax returns or have to pay much taxes.

February 2, 2012 at 12:37 am
(441) dave says:

hi, im 19. can my brother or his girlfriend live with me? both are 16.

February 2, 2012 at 7:19 am
(442) rose says:

my ex has custody of our 12 year old daughter but she has been living with me, her mother is claiming her as a dependent, along with her other two children and HOH on her taxes.. can i file HOH since she lives with me

February 3, 2012 at 12:12 am
(443) Rosemary says:

Can I claim head of household if my son is 27? Also, if he did make some $$, what is the amount he is allowed to still allow me to claim head of household?

February 4, 2012 at 10:06 pm
(444) Crystal says:

My fiance and I live together along with our 2 year old son. I was unemployed majority of 2011 and received unemployment benefits all along still paying for myself and some expenses but I want to claim my son this year since his father claimed him last year. Is my sons father still able to claim head of household? He made more than me and paid for majority of our childs expenses including his medical insurance.

February 6, 2012 at 11:06 am
(445) Renee Hanes says:

In 2011, my then two-year-old grandson lived in my home for six months where I assumed all his support and childcare expense. He then went to live with my son, who became his legal guardian.

Justifiably so, they have claimed him as their dependent. They seem to believe that my claiming HOH for that six month period will take away from their benefit. I realize I am entitled to some benefit for my expenses but would forego that if need be, in order to keep the peace

Can i rightfully file HOH status for my son’s dependent child who lived with me half the year? If I do, will my son have any reason to resent my filing HOH?

February 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm
(446) William Perez says:

Renee, to be eligible for HOH, you need three factors: you must be eligible to claim the dependent, the dependent must live with you for more than half the year, and you must provide more than half of his total support. Sounds like your grandson lived with you for exactly half the year, in which case he didn’t live with you for more than half the year. So it doesn’t sound like HOH is the right status for you.

February 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm
(447) Jill says:

Please don’t forget number 430, Jill..

February 7, 2012 at 5:05 am
(448) steve says:

going threw divorce in ohio,2 kids,she wants head of house whole for tax’s,i get 2 kids for dependants,i make $66,000 a year,what to do?

February 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm
(449) jane says:

I live on and off with my mother at her apartment, but I pay her in straight cash for rent, pay all her utility bills, some food, etc. (more than 50% of maintaining her home). Can I claim her as a dependent and file as head of household? How would I show proof that I paid more than 50% of her support if I paid her cash for rent, groceries, things needed to maintain the house, etc? Can bank statements showing monthly cash withdrawals be used as proof? I do have cancelled checks for all the utilities bills.

February 10, 2012 at 12:18 am
(450) William Perez says:

Jane, how much income does your mother earn? If she makes over $3,700, then she’s not likely to be your dependent, and this would prevent you from claiming head of household.

February 9, 2012 at 5:55 pm
(451) jane says:

Forgot to mention- I am single. Mother is my biological mother and is a citizen. Did not earn income.

February 10, 2012 at 1:13 am
(452) Jane says:

William, my mother has no income aside from food stamps that she receives monthly (~$200 per month)

February 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm
(453) Liz says:

I live with my fiance and infant. We are unmarried (obviously) and he works while I have no income as I stay home to care for the child. So would it make more sense for him to claim the child and claim Head of Household or for me to claim the child as single?

February 16, 2012 at 4:24 am
(454) Dee says:

Can I claim Head of Household if I have a disabled son who is 25 years old living with me and made $8,900 in 2011?

February 17, 2012 at 11:23 am
(455) Kori says:

I own a home which I moved out of over a year ago. I rent a room out to a boarder in that home, but I am still responsible for >50% of expenses for that home. My son and I currently live with my parents in another town (same state). They do not claim us as dependents on their taxes. Can I claim head of household since I have a qualifying dependent that nobody else is claiming, I am single, and I pay 50% of expenses on a home?

February 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm
(456) Dominika says:

I have full custody of my son however his father has visitation rights and pays child support. We also rotate claiming him as a dependent. In the year where I can’t claim him can I still file as Head of household or should I file as Single?

February 18, 2012 at 2:53 am
(457) William Perez says:

Dominika, good question. I spell that situation out in my article at http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/qt/splitting-dependents.htm

February 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm
(458) Denise says:

My question is also regarding dependents. If one parent has custody and the other parent has weekend visitation and pays child support, can the non-custodial parent claim the dependent children? Do both parents have to agree to this split or does the non-custodial automatically have rights to claim the children or at least split the claim?

February 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm
(459) Jan says:

I am a single mother, my 19 yr old daughter lived with me for 6 months and 2 days , I provided total support, and she made $3,500….Do I still qualify for head of household? Thanks

February 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm
(460) DST says:

We are registered domestic partners in California and therefore required to file federal returns on a community property basis. For me to file HOH, do we have to prove that the amount I contribute to the household that is greater than half comes from separate income or property?

February 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(461) Binu Mathunny says:

I lived with my girlfriend for the entire 2011and my girlfriend is 25 years old and was a full time student during 2011 and she earned around $3000 from a part time job. Can I claim her as my dependent and claim myself as HOH in my tax return. I don’t have any kids.

February 27, 2012 at 10:24 am
(462) Rubi says:

Hi, I recently bought a house, my daughter and her son have been living with for a several years now, and she just recently had a job. She is claiming her son as a dependent this year but also claiming as HOH. Even though she doesn’t help me with the house expense or food, basically she is living for free at my house. why can I claim HOH without dependents? I do take care of all the expenses, she takes care of the expenses relating to her son but I provide shelter & food for both.

February 28, 2012 at 12:59 am
(463) Bob says:

I wanted to claim my sister, brother and my mom as my dependents. Can I claim HOH status, and can my father claim married filing jointly status? My Mom didn’t work, sister and brother did not have any income. My father started a business, and had a lot of expenses, so he does not have any taxes due.

February 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm
(464) Heather says:

My husband and I have been separated for almost a year. We didn’t get legally separated, though. My daughter lives with me 60% of the time, and I pay for all of our rent, food, utilities. Can I claim ‘head of household’? And would my ex, since we are still legally married, just file as ‘married filing separately’?

Thanks in advance!

February 28, 2012 at 8:57 pm
(465) So Confused.... says:

Question: If I lived apart from my spouse from Jan 1 to December 31, but was not divorced or legally separated at the end of the year, can I file as head of household? We have two children who live with each of us in our own places. And will my filing status allow me to claim a credit for child care expenses and the earned income credit since I have a qualifying child ?
Thank You

March 2, 2012 at 4:32 am
(466) Wendi says:

I have a room-mate and we both have children. She claims her son as her dependent & I claim my 2 daughters. We are renting a house. The basement is finished. She lives in the upstairs and I in the basement. The only common area is the kitchen. We even have the refrigerator split. She has the top half of fridge/door/freezer and I have the bottom half. We don’t even have meals together. We do not share toiletries and we even have our laundry supplies separated. Have separate bank accounts etc. We share an address and a kitchen,that’s it. It’s not possible for us to get separate utility bills so we split them. Everything else is separate though. We both want to be able to claim HOH as we always have. We are both single Mom’s (obviously) and this would help a lot. I feel we should be able to and I have read the article you wrote. The only part that concerns me is it’s not possible for us to have “separate utilities” everything else is easy to prove that we live “separate”.

March 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm
(467) lynn says:

If i was considered umarried at the end of last year, and i have a child that I can claim as a dependent, but I live with my parents so I do not pay half the expenses of keeping up the household, do I get to claim head of household since I support my child?

March 6, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(468) Diane says:

My husband & I are married but he works overseas (not in military but does contract work there) he has not “physically lived” at our home in 2011, he did however visit ONCE in May 2011 for 3 weeks & left June 4th 2011.. Can I still file “Married HOH”? He also sends money home to pay mortgage in addition to extras to help take care of other stuff & I take care of the kids & other household expenses as well. I work full time. Can we both do separate returns by filing “Married HOH”? I have been reading online on the IRS site but all the definitions & terms are very confusing. Please advise.

Thanks, Diane.

March 8, 2012 at 9:54 am
(469) Paige Snyder says:

My son and daughter both lived with me in 2011 and neither one worked that year (they are 25 and 26 years old). If they do not file a tax return since neither had any income, can I claim ‘Head of Household’ on my taxes for the year 2011?

March 14, 2012 at 5:45 am
(470) Candace says:

I have three children from a previous marriage (their father is now deceased) and my boyfriend and I have two children together. I pay over half of the household expenses as I make twice his income – can I claim my three biological children from the previous marriage and have him claim our two children that we have together? When I run the numbers, our tax returns added together seem to add up the best that way- will having him claim the two children that we have together jeopardize my head of household status?

March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm
(471) Lisa says:

Have 2 children, and 50-50 shared parenting. We both provide more than 50% in maintaining a home. Divorce decree allows us to each take one dependent exemption. Regarding HOH filing status, can we both claim this status?

March 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm
(472) William Perez says:

Lisa, head of household has different criteria than for dependents. You will need to meet the HOH criteria if you want to use that filing status.

March 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm
(473) Vicki Hopkins says:

Last year my son (27) and his daughter (18) months showed up on my doorstep January 1, 2011. They lived with me until 10/31/11. I paid for food, housing, plus many other related expenses taking care of both.

My son did taxes and claimed his daughter as a dependent.

Question: Can I file as head of household when I do my taxes? If I can’t, I’m going off into a corner and cry. LOL

March 26, 2012 at 3:21 pm
(474) Lisa says:

To clarify my question…if both my ex and I meet the HOH criteria, can we both claim HOH? My research leads me to believe that although our separation agreement is 50/50 parenting, that if we counted the actual days, one of us technically would have the children 183 and 182 days respectively, therefore allowing for only one of us to claim it. It was written in agreement to be alternated each year, but still wondering if we could both claim HOH.

March 27, 2012 at 10:29 am
(475) Carolyn says:

Can I claim HOH since my 21 year old daughter lives with me, but I do not claim her as a dependent. She has a job and claims herself and files her own taxes.

March 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm
(476) csjohnson says:

My husband is disabled and gets SS. I work outside the home. Can I file head of household?
Does it make a difference?

March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm
(477) Terry says:

My sister and her daughter live with my father. My sister files as married, filing separately and claims her daughter as dependent. My father is retired and his income is under $30,000 per year. (sister makes more). As father pays more than half the bills in home, can he file as head of household even after sister has filed, claiming the grandchild as her dependent?

March 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm
(478) William Perez says:

Only one person can claim a dependent.

April 3, 2012 at 12:41 am
(479) Fiona says:

I own my home and my boyfriend and his son live with me. I am single and have no dependents. I pay for the majority of the expenses. Am I able to file head of household?

April 11, 2012 at 1:12 am
(480) Renee says:

My son was audited in 2006; something to do with HOH and EIC eligibility. He hasn’t filed since. How can he get this situation resolved?

April 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm
(481) Kristin says:

I’m 26 and I live at home. My mom can’t claim me as a dependent but can she claim head of household and list me as her child? She pays for all of the “head of household expenses” rent, food, electricity, etc.

Is my mother quailified as head of household since I live at home?

Thanks for your help!

May 20, 2012 at 11:10 am
(482) Bob Hodges says:

My son 38 years old and single is a home owner with whom my Parents, his Grandparents, live. The Grandparents 88 and 87 years old receive approximately $1075.00 a month in SS. My son furnishes the housing, and all utilities including cable for his Grandparents without any compensation from his Grandparents. The question is, can my son qualify to file as head of household ILO single. He has been supporting them in this manor for approximately 10 tears but has been filing as single.

May 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm
(483) Donna says:

My Son will graduate from College in early June and start a job with the Sheriff’s Dept mid June. I have been claiming head of household as a single mother with a dependent in college

Can I claim head of household for only 1/2 the year?

May 31, 2012 at 6:05 pm
(484) William Perez says:

Donna, most likely you will be single with no dependents. It is not possible to claim head of household for only half the year.

June 5, 2012 at 7:52 pm
(485) Bob says:

I have a complex one. I am the noncustodial parent but in our final divorce degree I was given the right to take the kids as exemptions. Here’s the twist; I offered her the opportunity to take one of the kids as an exemption if she ever made too much money to be ineligible for EIC. She never did and has actually been living on SSD without any tax liability. IRS has come back and determined me unqualified to take them as dependents because a condition was involved even though it was a benefit to the custodial mother and she never made enough money to have any tax liability. The rules in the Public 17 say that for a divorce decree to be acceptable instead of the official IRS waiver form it cannot include any conditions and they specifically say “such as child support.” They now say that any stipulation applies (in other words the child support example is not really suggestive of any specific type.) I’m near the end of my appeals, do you have any Hail Mary’s to beat this monstrous machine. By the way, since my ex is not eligible for the exemption all the money goes back to the IRS’ coffers. Sorry to make this so long.

June 11, 2012 at 8:58 pm
(486) Jeff says:

Dominika : He pays the child support so he should be the one claiming the child on his taxes. KEYword Child Support

June 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm
(487) Jeanine says:

I recently just had my first child. I am unmarried & live with my son’s father. I am starting a new job & I am completing the W4 form. I am confused on whether I should select HOH or single. Reading the info it states that if you contribute more then 50% towards the household you are eligible, which I always have in the past. It seems if would be benifical for me to do HOH but I do not want to put myself into a situation that I didnt pay enough taxes or was not qualified for HOH when filing my 2012 taxes next year! Need advice! Thanks :)

June 16, 2012 at 11:36 am
(488) liz says:

me and my fiancee have a daughter. we all live together with my fiancee’s grandparents. we do not have to pay rent or anything for that matter. all we pay for are things we need for the baby. considering we do not pay rent or any bills for that matter can my fiancee claim HOH? he works, i do not.and he pays 100% of alll chi;d expenses as well as mine.someone please explain how this works?!

June 18, 2012 at 12:33 am
(489) Carla says:

I am single, not married, reside with my 2 children 11 and 8, and the father of my children for the past 12 yr. He has always claimed HOH with both dependents, the house is in his name (only) which is why i allow him to claim both. However…he was a full time student NOV 2010 – FEB 2012 and had $0.00 income 2011. He was still under the impression that he could file, and claim, (HOH) home owners insurance, property taxes, student loans and dependents for the year 2011 and expect a refund without having an earned one. With that in mind i filed as i normally should have and already recieved refund. However…is it possible id be able to revise my tax return by filing an amendment? Since my partner was unable to claim those stats. And if so…would i qualify for HOH and child and dependent credit?

June 22, 2012 at 2:03 am
(490) kim says:

My boyfriend and I live together with our daughter. We have never been married. I pay for more than half of household bills. Do I qualify for head of household?

July 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm
(491) PamVic says:


Me and my husband both are US citizens. We have two kids , a 9yr old and a 4yr old. My Husband is the only earning person in our household. Right now me and the kids are living in India while my husband in US.
Im not working and my husband is the provider. does he qualify to file as Head of the houshold and claim me and the kids as dependents.

July 26, 2012 at 11:30 am
(492) jove says:

i filed my taxes for 2011i filed as hoh because my husband was not living with us for over 7months and i am the taking care of the kids and all expenses in my household. I filed for financial aid and came up for verification because of this what can i do i told financial aid the situation but they want me to amend my taxes can you advise please

July 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm
(493) Peggy says:

Hi, I am divorced. My daughter, 28, lives with me. She has her own job. I pay the mortgage, taxes, food, and utilities. She pays me rent of $300 per month. Can I claim Head of Household? Thanks a million.

July 30, 2012 at 3:16 pm
(494) Crystal says:

My name is Crystal and I just got married in June. My husband also works and I was wondering if I could file head of household or does he have to? we do not have any children living in our house at this moment but all the bills are in his name and even the house is to. I am just curious as to how we should file our taxes this year coming up. Can you please help me.

August 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm
(495) Erica N says:

My husband and I and our three children recently moved into my parents residence to help us to save up to buy a house. We currently do not pay any rent to my parents but do maintain our own bills. Car, Insurance, Phone, Water, and we split some of the utilities like Gas/Electric and Cable. We buy separate groceries, have separate living space and pay for all our children’s expenses and gifts. Can both my Father and Husband claim HOH?

September 10, 2012 at 5:48 am
(496) Audrey K says:

Do I need to file taxes if my only income came from a combination of a federal student grant and student loans totalling $12,500? Also if I file can I write off the interest one of the student loans is accruing?

September 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm
(497) Sussana says:

I have been separated from my husband since 2009, I have 3 kids. I want to file as HOH, but I would not claim my childrens. can I still meet the criteria?

September 24, 2012 at 11:22 pm
(498) maida says:

Hi. I’m a single parent who lives with my boyfriend. Ever since I was divorced I been claiming as head of household for me and my daughter. My boyfriend wants to put us on his taxes as exemptions. My question is will I be able to file taxes as head of household for next year taxes? Is it going to cause any issues on his taxes? Thank you for.responding.

October 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm
(499) Sharon says:

My boyfriend moved into my place officially in April of this year. He lost his job shortly thereafter. He was on unemployment while it lasted, and therefore I pay for almost everything. I paid all the bills. We recently moved out of state for him to attend school. I now pay 65% of the rent and he pays 35% of it. I pay for almost everything- food, utilities etc. and I have the proof. He is 24 and I am 31. Do I qualify to file as HoH?

October 14, 2012 at 7:09 am
(500) Ashley says:

I have been living with my grandmother for most of my life. I am now 19 years old and working fulltime. My grandmother doesnt have to file taxes. I am bringing in over 50% of the income to our house. Would I be able to claim her and claim HOH this year?

October 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm
(501) karen says:

My son is on a full athletic schorlship. I was able to fileHOH last year because that was his first year in college and he lived with me the entire senior year in highschool. he’s meals are not included. can i still file HOH. I read althletic schorlarship are not included in total suport, i don’t understand that term. HELP!!

October 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm
(502) Kyle says:

I live my girlfriend and her five year old daughter. My girlfriend is working on her PHD. I work as an engineer and pay for all of the household expenses. I also own the house we live in. I have two questions: (1) can I file as head of house hold? (2) Can I claim my girlfriend and her daughter as qualifying relatives?

November 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm
(503) moethegrass says:

Two sons age 19 & 25 live with Dad who provides more than half their support while they live in his house. Mom died years ago. 19 year old has no job and earned nothing during the year. 25 year old earned $6,000.00 in wages.

Can Dad claim head of household and take both boys as dependents on his return?

November 18, 2012 at 7:03 am
(504) lindley says:

can i claim hoh if my wife is a japanese citizen but we are both legaly married and we have two kids that are both us citizens and i pay all expenses because she is a stay at home mom and she doesn’t have a tax number either

November 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm
(505) William Perez says:

Lindley, good question! Generally speaking, married couples file either a joint return or separate returns. However in certain circumstances, one or both taxpayers can file using the head of household status. The criteria for this are listed in the “Considered Unmarried” section of my article on the head of household filing status.

November 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm
(506) Connie Rothwell says:

I do not work at this time. my husband makes the money. we need help in trying to get the most back. I could not work for the whole year. My husband paid for all of my medications, doctor co-pays and more. Can he claim me as a dependent and head of household?

November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm
(507) William Perez says:

Connie, good question! One spouse may not be claimed as dependents by the other spouse. Rather, spouses may choose between filing jointly or separately. If separately, they each report their own income and deductions. If filing jointly, they report their combined income and deductions. Thus the primary way for your husband to claim both your personal exemption and your medical expenses is to file jointly and claim those deductions on a joint return. Whether this is beneficial depends on your overall tax and financial situation.

November 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm
(508) Jenny says:

I was married in June and trying to decide if we should file jointly or seperate. I have always claimed my two children, my house and head of household. My husband did also claim one child, his house and head of household. This year he fell on some rough times and pulled out his savings, which is like a 401K plan. They with held 30% already.The account is based from a IL carpentry union and we live in WI. I think we might get hit with more taxes being in another state. I wonder if it would be more beneficial to file seperate this year? We both own houses and will have 3 children to deduct along with other minor deductions like medical bills and work supplies for him.

December 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm
(509) Amanda says:

I work full time and my boyfriend is unemployed. He has two children who are with us every weekend plus some. He is the “noncustodial parent”. I provide close to all of the support for the household & everyone in it. After the changes for 2012, how should I file? (head of household, dependents, etc)

December 5, 2012 at 6:14 pm
(510) Amanda says:

I work full time and my boyfriend is unemployed. He has two children who are with us every weekend plus some. I provide well over 50% support for the four of us. After the changes for 2012, how should I file? (head of household, dependents, etc)

December 13, 2012 at 9:35 am
(511) Stan says:

Divorced w/2 kids. I claim one of the children as a decution and the ex claims the other. This is per our divorce paperwork.

Can we each qualify as head of household given we each claim one of the kids, assuming each of us have our claimed child for more than 1/2 the year? Or is the filing status limited to only 1 of the parents of divorce?

December 21, 2012 at 3:07 am
(512) kristin says:

Hi, my situation is as follows…I am a single parent living at home with my mom and brother. My son was born in February of this year, and I’ve lived at home and worked full time for over 2 years but my mom was unemployed from March of 2011 until about the beginning of this year, but she was receiving unemployment benefits at the time…. she is claiming my brother as a dependent and I will be claiming my son as a dependent so, with that said, I did not pay half of the bills/utilities….she did by borrowing or getting loans for money…although I did provide groceries, and help when I could with bills…can I file head of household if my mom files hoh too, and will I be eligible for the child income tax credit ?? Thanks.

December 31, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(513) Debbie says:

I am a widow with a 18 yr at home and am I able to file Head of house hold and claim her a a dependent when I file.

January 3, 2013 at 3:27 am
(514) Jazmyn says:

Me and my ex husband split up 5 months ago, we have two children together but he doesn’t work so i will be the only one to file taxes can i qualify for HOH ? And can i claim my ex as a dependent?

January 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm
(515) karen says:

I am sngle with two children. Employed. My fiance is employed. We are wanting a December wedding. For tax purposes shoud I wait to marry in January.

My income $27,000
His income $38,000

Thank you.

January 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm
(516) JahorMA says:

My spouse and I have been separated (without legal decree) and lived separately for the past 4 years. I live overseas with our child and have been the sole provider for all child related expenses. We live in a rental place, but my spouse has been living at the house in the US. The house is under both names but he has been paying the mortgage and property tax. Can I claim HOH and also child deduction?


January 8, 2013 at 1:05 am
(517) Chrissy says:

My partner and I have been living together for about two years now, I make more than she does and support most of our bills, is it likely that they will approve the head of household?

January 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm
(518) deb says:

My 30 year old son and his eight year old daughter live with me he works and claims his daughter but I pay 80% of household bills can I claim head of household even though he isn’t my dependent

January 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm
(519) Zenia says:

I claim HOH every year and always get the EITC – my son however turned 17 in August so I wanted to know if I would still be eligilbe for that credit or as just a dependent? He worked during the summer and made a little over $3000. Could he file his ownself or can I still claim him? thank you

January 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm
(520) Brittney says:

I was a single parent of one child paying more than 50% of his income for the year of 2012, on November 23, 2012 I got married and my husband moved in with me. Seeing as how there was only one month of the year 2012 we lived together and the other 11 months I was head of household, can I claim being the head of household for 2012?

January 11, 2013 at 10:23 am
(521) sha says:

can two people file head of household in the same house

January 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm
(522) Married living separately says:

I’ve searched the above and cannot find an applicable answer to my question:
My husband and I are still married. We have been living separately since March. We have two children. One is living with his dad for the benefit of the school district. The other is a college student, but my place is home. I am a full-time college student myself, and I do not have an income except for the informally agreed-upon “allowance” my husband gives me for maintenance and as a trial run at a fair alimony amount once we are finally divorced. Are we both eligible to file HOH if we each claim a child as a qualifying person and could my husband claim both of the children as his dependents? Also, would he be able to deducted the allowance that he gives me for my maintenance? To sort this question out is not only important for tax purposes but also affects my financial aid status as well. Thank you for any possible direction.

January 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm
(523) Halfadime says:

I’m 62, employed full time. My former husband, divorced 27 yrs, moved in w/me two yrs ago. He has only social security and I pay all other expenses, to include my mortgage, utilities, home maintenance, etc. Most of his income ($1,064/mo) is spent on his medical expenses. Can I claim HOH? We were married for eleven yrs and have NOT remarried.

January 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm
(524) Denise says:

I am legally married but my husband is in Federal Prison since 1-25-11. Can I claim head of household? My daughter who works lives with me.

January 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm
(525) shawn says:

I lived with my girlfriend for first 4 months of last year and in October I was granted full custody of my son can I claim hoh and eic

January 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm
(526) ash says:

I have made more money this yr then my boyfriend can i claim head of household since i made more then him

January 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm
(527) Toi says:

I live in a house hold where my mother usually claims HOH, my question is can I also file HOH because I have 2 qualifying children that lived with me for the whole year and use the same address?

January 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm
(528) William Perez says:

Regarding whether it’s possible to claim Head of Household for two different taxpayers using the same address, please see http://taxes.about.com/od/filingstatus/qt/Head-Of-Household-Status-For-Two-People-At-The-Same-Address.htm.

January 22, 2013 at 10:30 am
(529) Katherine says:

I have sole decision making and parental responsbilities of my son. According to our divorce decree, my ex gets to claim my son every 4th year since he pays child support. He does not work, he lives with his parents, he sees his son 3 hours every Saturdays (not always), his parent is his VA (Veterans Affairs) primary care giver and the only “income” he receives is his VA disability; now, does he get to claim our son as a dependent when I provide everything except for the child support he provides plus he is also delinquent on his payments. VA disability payment is non taxable. If he’s not working at all, just because the divorce decree states that he gets to claim our son as dependent because he pays child support, does that really allow him to file our son as his dependent?

January 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm
(530) Sarah says:

I live with my boyfriend and we have 2 children together. I am filing as head of household while he is filing single. Do you see any issue with this? I make twice the salary but we do combine our pays to meet expenses.

January 27, 2013 at 10:10 am
(531) Abrah says:

I have a complicated arrangement. I moved in with my boyfriend April 2012 with my 2 children. He pays more than half of the household bills but I own another house and pay all those bills without his help. Do I claim the rent as income on my other home? Can I claim HOH in order to claim my dependents? Or can he claim HOH and claim my children? He owes back taxes and don’t really want my money from my children going towards that. Do I have to claim HOH in order to get the earned income credit?
He also has 2 children that he gets every weekend and pays child support on. Isn’t there a new law that allows him to partially claim them?

January 27, 2013 at 7:09 pm
(532) mary says:

I am a working mother and grandmother. My working daughter and 3 children live in my home which I am purchasing. I pay most of the monthly bills, she gives me money towards water and sewer. We went and had our taxes filed by a tax place, they had each of us file single with her claiming the children. My question is why I or she did not get to claim HOH? They also listed me as her landlord, and not paying. I do not understand why they did this. I am the one that has a higher income through the year.

January 28, 2013 at 8:06 am
(533) Tina says:

My Husband was unemployed until September of 2012. Can I fie head of household? He did collect unemployment also.

January 28, 2013 at 1:22 pm
(534) tracie says:

My boyfriend and i lived together all of 2012 and we have a 12 yr old son together. He traveled for work frequently totaling approximately 2 months for the year. Am i able to say our son resided with me more for the year because of this travel?

January 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm
(535) tracie says:

I resided with my boyfriend and our son all of 2012. Boyfriend traveled for work approx 2 months total out of the year. Does this count for our son being cared for by me under the tie breaker rules for qualifying child?

January 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm
(536) Joe says:

Looks like the tax dude here gave up a long time ago :)

January 30, 2013 at 2:23 am
(537) Kristen says:

I am in a domestic partnership in NV, a community property state. She has 2 kids from a previous relationship. I have my mom as a dependent. Can only one of us can claim head of household because our home acts as one cohesive unit/ shared accounts, etc? Head of household is based on dependents and who cares for the home expenses more. Our tax returns remain separate. However we have to fill out a form showing each others tax information as equally divided. Since income is separated equally between us it gets tricky. The question is does the person who makes more money file head of household because they provide more in living expenses or does the person with more separate dependents who makes less money?

January 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm
(538) Tom says:

I have been divorced for 2 years and have two kids, our son lives with his mother 10 months out of the year and our daughter lives with me all year. We both maintain separate houses and pay more then 50% of the expenses for the child living with us. So would it be possible for both of us to claim HOH and 1 child each?

January 31, 2013 at 8:32 am
(539) Missy says:

Is more then one person in a house able to claim head of household? A friend of mine who is 25, lives with her dad. She herself had a baby last year. Are they both able to claim head of household or is only one permitted?

January 31, 2013 at 10:09 am
(540) Jody Levy says:

I am single and lived with my boyfriend for the whole year of 2012. I did not work during this time. He had supported me. Can he claim me as a dependent and also claim Head of Household? How does this work?

According to what I have read it seems that he has the right to do so and if that is true do I need to write a letter explaining this and have it notarized?


February 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm
(541) Natalie says:

My husband and I live apart…we are going to file separatly. I am claiming all 3 kids as head of house hold. he will have no kids to claim – does he file married filing separatly? and if so – does this mean I have to file married filling separatly? OR is it OK for us to file different ways? And i can file HOH?

February 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm
(542) Shaunda says:

My husband and I are getting divorced and we are alternating years to file for our daughter. He only gets her every other weekend so 4 days out of 14. This year I filed head of household but I didn’t claim her as a dependent. Now he says he can’t claim her at all. I told my tax preparer all that as well. Did I file wrong?

February 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm
(543) Sunny says:

For 2012 tax returns: Due to work situation. I am living in a different state and my wife and son lives in different state both are working. I have lived away from them for almost the entire 2012 and paid for their house hold. Can I claim as Head of House hold. In that case should my wife has to file her returns separately? I am using turbo tax and have included both our W2

February 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm
(544) Debbie says:

my daughter lived at one adress for 9 months. she moved in with a family member who claims hoh.can she claim hoh also?i know next year she wouldnt be able to if she still lived there.

February 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm
(545) Peggy says:

5 yrs ago I moved in with my parents when my dad went into the hospital, They are both on social security have a variety of medical problems emphyzema, on oxygen. Before they were ill however they adopted my nephew who is autistic and severely bipolar. Needless to say I am the only one working and do the majority of raising my nephew. His parents have not been in his life since he was 6 months old and he is now 14yrs old. It is not a problem to claim him as no one else does but am I considered head of household.

February 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm
(546) Joyce says:

My husband and I have not lived together for many years. I claim head of household because I still have a child living at home. Under the head of household irs law it says i can claim head of household even though i am still married to him, but am estranged from him…. my question is this, do I have to put his social security number on my tax return? or do I leave it off?

February 6, 2013 at 3:33 am
(547) Jim says:

Tax question on Head of Household status. My ex and I have gotten back with each other last year. We have two kids and have been claiming one child separately for the last six years. Non issue there. We have separate financial accounts, yet split the cost of maintaining the home to include Food etc. Bills are separate. Question is can we both claim Head of household in the same residency based on info provided above.

February 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm
(548) onearmedpaperhanger says:

I has a stroke on 6/05/12. My wfie has taken care of me since. Although I have received some short term disability, she has provided more than 50 % of our income. Is their any type of tax break that we may be qualified for. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

February 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm
(549) Marjory says:

My son and his family (wife and daughter) have lived with me for 10 months. I have paid more than 1/2 the expenses and am wondering if I can file as head of household if they are going to claim their daughter as their dependent?

February 7, 2013 at 10:21 am
(550) Terezia says:

Me and my husband are married but separated in 2012 (we live in VA). He lived with his mother so i claimed HOH in 2011 because our son lived with me. We are working on getting back together and he helped me to buy a house in November 2012. I wouldn’t qualify by myself so both our names are on mortgage. However, we knew our first mortgage payment wouldn’t be due until January 2013 and that’s when he moved back with me. So we didn’t live together in 2012, my son lived with me and i provided more than half. Can i still claim HOH even through we bough a house together?? i don’t won’t to be in trouble because his W2 has the new address since he changed it with HR in january and also he received 1098 statement (which wouldn’t change his taxes because he cannot itemized for year 2012 since we didn’t pay any mortgage in that year). Please help.

February 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm
(551) Juanita says:

Do I still claim head of household if I was living in my own house then lost job in December and now stay with my parents. I was paying taxes when I had my own place.

February 11, 2013 at 9:20 am
(552) Patti says:

My husband and I did not live together for over half of the Last part of thr year. If he claims married HOH, as he does qualify, I will need to claim married filling separately. However my question is if he itemizes as HOH, am I also required to itemize?

February 12, 2013 at 3:57 am
(553) William Perez says:

Patti, you raised an excellent question. Researching this, I found the following in Publication 501, “The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions.” http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2012_publink1000220762

February 11, 2013 at 11:35 am
(554) keven says:

My wife and I have been separated for approximately 2 years now. Not Legally. We have been residing in two separate homes. I have my daughter for over half the year and my wife has my son for over half the year. Can we both claim HOH with our respected dependents?

February 12, 2013 at 5:38 am
(555) catherine says:

My friend is sole supporter of his ex and 3 teen children. He pays mortgage, car, sends $1000 child support and helps out when he can (he never has any cash for himself). However the teens live with the ex who made around $1200 last year. He also pays for the health insurance of the kids.

Can he file head of household even though the kids live with the mom and she claims them as dependents (she got money back). I feel sorry for the guy cuz he is always broke still supporting his family (the kids range in age from 16-18). Without his money they would be homeless and hungry.

February 13, 2013 at 11:38 am
(556) bev says:

I am wondering if i have a baby with a man but we live at diffent households and pay ower own bills can we both claim head od house hold and only one of us claom the baby.

February 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm
(557) Confused Head of Household says:

I moved my elderly father in with my husband and myself inJjan of 2012.. My husband and I are on disability and do not have to file taxes The home in which we live belongs to my husband and myself and is in our name. My father receives 3 retirement checks per month and is required to pay taxes on such income. He contributes over half the expenses of the home. Can HE file HOH even tho the home is not in his name, but contributes over half the costs of upkeep? ..Thanks in advance for any advice

February 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm
(558) trisha says:

My husband and I got married on June 24th 2012 but we did not move in with each other until January 1st. The kids are my kids. We both were under a different lease at different places. because his place was more suitable for the children than my place was the children lived with him. I get social security so he provided financialy for the children. He filled HOH on the taxes. now irs want proof of. HOH, Dependency and EIC. proof the child lived at that address.
we have the marriage certificate, a cable bill saying he lived there, school and doctor reports, saying the kids lived there.
but i dont have anything to prove i did not live with him what do it do

February 20, 2013 at 2:10 am
(559) Candice says:

I have a 18yr old high school senior, that has joint custody of his 2year old daughter. His Judgment of Paternity states he is to claim taxes in odd years. He lives with me and the baby is in our home over 50% of time. I do provide all his needs and hers as well, including child support. My question is, he will start college in the fall, and will file fasfa. do I file head of household with he and the baby as dependents, or should he file her as a dependent on his taxes. He has had a parttime job for the majority of the year of 2012, and I think his income was around 4000.00$. I just want him to get the most that will help with grants for college. FYI, I myself also have 2 other full time college student in my household, plus my mother who is on social security also lives with me and i file her as a dependent. ????

February 22, 2013 at 6:54 pm
(560) Jeff says:

I meet all of the qualifications for head of household, and my daughter is my “qualifying person.” I could also claim her as a dependent, but my question – do I have to claim her as a dependent to still claim head of household? (Could I choose just not to claim her as a dependent?) Given the differences in our incomes, exemption and credit phase out rules, etc, it would be more advantageous for her mother to claim her as a dependent than for me.

February 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm
(561) karen says:

I am in the process of getting a divorce. Will not be final until mid 2013. I would like to file Head of HH for 2012. I believe I qualify because my husband was living in house less than 6 months so I am considered “unmarried”. I meet the other criteria of dependents and paying 80%+ of expenses. (He made <$3000 last yr). I do not have a doc to prove separation. Can I still file that way? If so, what would be required?

March 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm
(562) kelly says:

my brother is still legally married but has been seperated from his wife for over a year and living in different addresses..the child has lived with the mom all year..my brother is claiming him this year can he claim hoh..the way i understand is no because the child didnt live with my brother half the year is that correct..

March 4, 2013 at 9:23 pm
(563) Mani says:

I am filing as head of household, my ex lives with us and runs his own business basically at a loss, so I end up supporting him for the most part. Should he file alone? Can he be a dependent on my taxes?

March 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm
(564) Carl says:

If I am filing ‘married persons who live apart’ and filing do I still need to write my ‘spouse’ on my tax return form?

March 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm
(565) William Perez says:

Good question, Carl. I had a look at the instructions for Form 1040, the section on name and address, and while the instructions mention the rule to indicate the name of the spouse and SSN for Married Filing Separately status, there’s no mention of a similar rule for the Head of Household status.

March 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm
(566) troy says:

what if a child lives with both parents the same number of nights per year?

March 12, 2013 at 2:19 am
(567) Milton says:

Can I claim head of household if im subleasing from a friend

March 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm
(568) Megan Scott says:

I am divorced & my ex & I have a divorce decree stating I claim our daughter one year & he the next. Every year I claim our daughter as a dependent, he files as HOH & vice versa. This year he claimed her, filed HOH, & claimed $400 of the 2500$ we paid in costs of daycare. When I filed, my return was rejected. I filed as HOH & claimed the remainder of the daycare expenses. I did not “claim” her as a dependent so I dont understand why my return was rejected.?

March 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm
(569) William Perez says:

Megan Scott, you may need to mail in your tax return for manual processing.

March 24, 2013 at 10:53 am
(570) Sue says:

My question is Can i file as Head of Household if My 24 year old son lived with me all but 2 months but was only a full time college student half of the year?

April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm
(571) Mi says:

Can I qualify as Head of household if my mother lives in Mexico (She has an ITIN and qualify as dependent)?

April 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm
(572) William Perez says:

Mi, it is possible to claim a parent to qualify for Head of Household. Refer to the article on Head of Household to review all the criteria.

April 6, 2013 at 7:52 am
(573) Tricia says:

I have not filed taxes for 2010,11 or 12 yet and need help before I can:

I am separated from my husband. I filed for a divorce in October 2010 post a restraining order I got against him which essentially removed him from our home and granted me temporary custody over our 2 kids. So I know that for 2011 &. 2012 I can claim head of household. My question is regarding can I do it for 2010? ( I will NEVER file joint taxes again)
According to IL state, in order to file for divorce with “irreconcilable differences” we had to be separated for 6 months. My attorney wrote down in the originally filing that we have been separated since December 2009 since although we lived in the same house, we did not share a bank account, sleep in the same room etc. when she filed divorce papers in 2010. Can I act as head of household for 2010? I paid all child are and household bills minus our mortgage, which he paid.

April 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm
(574) William Perez says:

Tricia, thanks for posting your question. To be eligible for head of household status as a married person, you will need to meet the special criteria for being considered unmarried. To be considered unmarried, one would need to be legally married and have lived in a separate residence from his or her spouse for at least the last six months of the year. This and other eligibility criteria are discussed further in the article on Head of Household status.

April 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm
(575) elia says:

I’m debating. Filing single or head of household……I am divorced since. May 2012 but I don’t have any that’s living with me…but. I am sole.provider. that qualifies me. For head of household….I know I can file single. Bucan I file the.other way.. more than my check goes to rent please ad vice me

April 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm
(576) William Perez says:

For Head of Household status, one would need to have a qualifying person other than oneself (such as a child, sibling, or parent) for whom one could claim as a dependent.

April 8, 2013 at 11:53 am
(577) Kelsey says:

Hi! I live with my boyfriend and did for for the entire year. We have a son who is 2. My question is regarding head of household and clamining my son. It would be more beneficial for me to claim him and claim head of household. But since he made more than me by about 50 dollars my tax lady says he has to by law claim him and HOH. However, I paid more than half of the bills since my boyfriend has more personal expenses (truck payment, student loans)…So since I paid more than half of the bills for the household and always buy 100% of groceries, can’t I claim HOH and our son?

April 8, 2013 at 5:51 pm
(578) Doris says:

I live with my domestic partner(legally married in NY state).I support her 100% for 20 years.Do I use single or HOH filing status? I claim her as a dependent.

April 10, 2013 at 8:53 pm
(579) Marie says:

I’ve consulted a few CPAs regarding my situation and have yet to receive a definitive answer. My situation: I am married, but my husband and I have lived apart for 4 years, the first 3 of which were a result of the housing market. He is in the military and we have been separated for over a year, with him having a separate residence/expenses for all of this time in a different state. I filed for divorce at the end of 2012 (we are basically agreeing to terms without involving lawyers, mediators, etc.). We were both going to be claiming one child for tax purposes from here on out (as we have been told we are able to do by all tax professionals we have spoken to). We had initially planned to file jointly as we always do until someone else I know in a similar situation mentioned the HOH status. In looking at the qualifications, we both qualify for HOH as I pay more than half of the expenses to operate my household and he for his. He claims and pays the mortgage on our house that I currently reside in and he pays for his own apartment in cash to a roommate. I pay him a “rent” for living in the property, plus I pay all utilities, which are in my name. Our concern is not that we are not entitled to file HOH because I believe from everything we have read we are. My issue is more a risk of audit and not being able to prove that any of this is true because we have not had a big bad divorce where all of these things are contained in legal documents and we have always just given each other cash (I get paid cash for teaching fitness classes) because we never really thought of it being an issue. We have filed paperwork stating our income, what will be paid by whom, etc. (he pays mortgage in lieu of child support until our divorce is final). We are operating two separate households and have two separate payments for the house/apartments we live in, two separate utility bills, etc. I just want to make sure that we are doing this the right way.

April 13, 2013 at 5:15 pm
(580) Verna says:

if one is single that stays with parents but shares expenses for upgrading the house and shares property taxes can she claim as Head of Household

April 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm
(581) William Perez says:

To qualify for head of household status, one needs to be eligible to claim as a dependent a closely related relative and one needs to have paid more than half the costs of maintaining a home for oneself and one’s dependent. For more details, see the article on the head of household filing status.

April 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm
(582) Dennis says:

I am currently separated from my second wife, but i pay the mortgage and taxes for the home she lives in and the electricity, etc. I lived in this house with her before we separated, We have no children.
I currently live with a girlfriend with whom I have two children. She pays for the home we live in and takes 1 of the children as a dependent. I claim the second child as my dependent. Now here is where it gets tricky.
My first wife, since divorced, lives in a home with our two children, one of which is in college. I shared this home with her as it was our residence when we were married. I pay the mortgage and taxes, since she does not work. Can I file as H of H and claim the write offs for both homes that my current and former wife live in. Can I claim my first wife as a dependent ?

Please advise.

May 17, 2013 at 11:48 am
(583) Ryan says:

Hi-I support my fianc and our child. My fianc does not work and both will be living with me all year. I think I should claim my daughter and my fianc as dependants this year, but can I claim head of household too? Would I list my daughter only as a qualifier? Thanks for your help

May 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm
(584) Jennifer says:

My husband and I currently hold joint and shared custody of our two sons. It is a true 50/50 time division just miles away from one another. We are working through the divorce settlement.

I earn two times what my husband earns. I pay for daycare and, although I understand our custody arrangement there is no custodial/non-custodial parent, I have been behaving as the custodial parent – buying winter coats, etc. The boys go to school in my (better) school district.

If like to declare HOH status and retain both children as deductions each year. I itemize. My husband does not. I own a mortgage and a second mortgage, he rents.

In the tie-breaker, my AGI is higher. But I cannot find clear guidance as to scenarios where I can keep both children as deductions.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

August 26, 2013 at 11:49 pm
(585) Nou says:

I filed myself as HOH because I claimed my sister who has been living with me for many years now. I’m confused because my school wouldn’t provide me financial aid because they said I’m filed as HOH? They wanted me to change my status to single. I’m furious because I qualify as HOH, and now they wouldn’t provide me money. I just filed a 1040x for a change of status which will take 8-12 weeks meaning I will not be getting my full checks. Help???

August 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm
(586) William Perez says:

Nou, sorry to hear of your story. However, it sounds to me like this is more of a financial aid issue and not, strictly speaking, a tax issue.

September 1, 2013 at 7:57 am
(587) Alicia says:

I have been divorced since 2008. My ex-husband recenting took me to family court, alleging that the IRS rejected his income tax returns because I filed as Head of Household, which allegedly kept him from claiming our daughter as a dependent exemption on his income tax returns. I care for our daughter more than half the year and maintain the upkeep of a home, so as a taxpayer who has a qualifying child, I am eligible to file under the Head of Household status, however, the judge ruled in my ex-husband’s favor and odered that he can file as Head of Household, even though he is the non custodial parent and resides with his parents whom he does not take care of. They are taking care of him. I feel as though my taxpayer rights have been violated. What do you recommend I do?

September 2, 2013 at 8:54 pm
(588) William Perez says:

Alicia, you might want to consult with an attorney.

September 6, 2013 at 6:43 am
(589) david ogle says:


September 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm
(590) William Perez says:

You’ll need to review the eligibility criteria for <a href=”http://taxes.about.com/od/filingstatus/qt/headofhousehold.htm”>head of household</a> to see if your wife might qualify.

September 26, 2013 at 4:45 pm
(591) Evandro Monteiro says:

I recently moved into US under an H1B visa, which allows me to work. But my wife received an H4 visa (as a dependent) and, because of this, she`s not allowed to work. In this sense I`m the one responsible for paying for 100% of the cost of keeping our house. And I`m forced to do it as my wife don`t have permission to work. On the other hand, we are married under brazilian laws. Can i file as Head of Household?

October 6, 2013 at 8:16 am
(592) bethany m says:

I am currently living with my sister because me and my husband are going through a divorce. I’ve been gone since last June. We don’t have legal papers of seperation. But seperated over a year. I have two kids that I care for 100%. I have a set of my own bills. Can I claim head of household? And is my sister able to claim it too?

November 11, 2013 at 11:10 am
(593) molly says:

i just turned 18 this past september, however i live with my mom and my niece and since my mother doesnt work due to her health, can i claim Head Of Household? I have paid over half of the bills for the house, taking care of my neice, and i am on the lease but its in my mothers name. Can i claim my mom and neice as depedents?

November 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm
(594) Rhonda says:

I don’t see any comments regarding when you make the mistake of filling out W9 for employer as HOH and having taxes being taken erroneously for the entire year. Do you know what will be the financial result when I file taxes? How much will I owe? Is there a chance I will get audited for the mistake?

November 19, 2013 at 6:45 pm
(595) Mary says:

At the beginning of 2012, my ex boyfriend and I signed an agreement that he could claim our daughter on even numbered years, and I on odd numbered years. This is fine with me, and I did not claim her as a dependent for 2012. However, I DID claim head of household, because she lives with me, and he sees her only once a week. I recently got a letter from the IRS stating I needed to make sure my dependent was my dependent, because another person had listed her as a ‘qualifying person’ for HOH (as had I.) Now, her father and I are having a disagreement over who claims HOH. I can’t legally let him, even if I wanted to, correct? He has NEVER had her for over half a year. Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated!

December 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm
(596) sarah says:

i am married but have a child and i pay all utilities, and for her care, i also buy groceries, and all of our finances are seperate. i even pay my husband back for money of his that i use for my needs. i am legal hoh on lease because he moved in with me. is it ok to keep filing hoh and him to keep filing married filing seperate? he only pays rent and some groceries.

December 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm
(597) Patricia a Benitez says:

Our daughter and 5year old son lives with me an my husband, we are owners of our home, can she claim head of household

December 26, 2013 at 4:55 pm
(598) Keshia says:

How Long do you have to stay at a resident to fill head of household? I was staying in my apartment for seven months than move with a friend . Should I still claim head of household at the apartment I was staying? What if someone else staying inthe apartment now and use that address?

December 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm
(599) kat says:

My brother is on disability and lives with me. Can I claim head of household? Are there income requirements?

January 4, 2014 at 2:06 pm
(600) Gretchen says:

I have 3 children. 19,18 and 3. The 18 and 19 work but reside with me and help with the bills. Can the all 3 of us claim HOH?

January 7, 2014 at 1:27 am
(601) William Perez says:

Gretchen, you will need to review the eligibility criteria for head of household to see if you or any other person qualifies.

January 7, 2014 at 11:47 am
(602) Denise says:

My ex husband gets to claim our son every other year on his taxes even though I have him 65% of the time. Can I file head of household (I am single and own a home) for 2013 even though I am not claiming my son as a dependent?

January 7, 2014 at 5:48 pm
(603) William Perez says:

Denise, that may be possible. This is sort of strategy is discussed in the article on sharing the child-related tax benefits. Let me know if that article is helpful to you or if you still have questions.

January 9, 2014 at 4:43 am
(604) jc says:

Can my brother claim head of household if I pay rent to him and take care of my own bills and personal things. we both live in the house he owns.

January 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm
(605) kate says:

I am 26 and live with my 74 year old father since july of 2013 and my 3 year old. Can I file as head of household? I started working in December but have helped with expenses since I moved in.

January 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm
(606) Ana says:

Question: I have a boyfriend and my daughter (who’s 17 years old) who lived with me all year in 2013. My boyfriend pays most of the support for the household for the entire year although I also have an income but not bigger than him. Can I claim my daughter and file as head of household? Also, I have a daughter who’s 23 years old, a full time student and lives in her school for the entire year of 2013. Can I claim her also as my dependent? Thank you.

January 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm
(607) Laurie says:

My son is 16 and has been in the juvenile system since June, 2012. Can I claim head of household for June 2012. This is a “temporary” thing, he will come back to me and I am the only one that maintains the home and mortgage, etc. I do pay the state child support until he gets finished with his sentence. I really wish I didn’t have to ask this question.

January 17, 2014 at 12:13 am
(608) William Shaw says:

My daughter has been separated from her husband for 8 years. She has lived with me and only paid rent for the first 2 years. She has a good job and makes over 25K. She has three teenage children and receives no child support from her husband. I have been supplying food, a place to live, clothing and other things to these three grandchildren for these last 8 years. She files every year as single, HOH, and claims her three children as dependents even though I probably pay more for their living expenses. Can I tell her that I am now going to claim her children on my tax return? Or am I stuck just being the nice grandpa who makes more than his daughter and just pays a lot of taxes?

January 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm
(609) James says:

OK here is my situation. My son’s mother and I have been separated for years. My son is 6 years old. I am the non-custodial parent although it is almost 50%. We have in our separation agreement that we alternate years on claiming dependency exemption, head of household status, EIC, Child Tax Credit, and Dependent Care Credit. That is what it says in the court order. We were trying to go for alternating all credits and exemptions every year. I dont know if that is what the language is in the court order but it definitely mentions those 5 things.

Now, after years of doing this, she is trying to say that she is always entitled to everything besides the dependency exemption regardless of what the court order says. Is there some truth to this. She lives with her boyfriend with their daughter in her mother’s house. She pays rent but it is off the books with no contract and her mother does not claim it as income. I rent an apartment and pay for more than half of the expenses of maintaining the home.

My question is if the court order, in whole or in part, can be upheld when it comes to tax laws. Also, would she qualify for any of these credits or exemptions at all and if so when? And when would I qualify for these credits and exemptions?

Thank you for your help because I am at a lost.

January 18, 2014 at 1:53 pm
(610) patti says:

I have been separated for yr now.he lives in another state. Thr kids live with me one 18 has disability and a 20yr old. I work and pay for the rent and utilities ect. My spouse will not file he only has a va ck not taxs. But here’s my question. .he owes military life insurance. .if i file head of household can my refund be taken to pay His debt..Please help.

January 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm
(611) Gail says:

I live with my parents and they both draw disability. However, I do help them with the bills . Since I am the only one working and I help them, could I file HOH or does it depend on how much I make ?

January 24, 2014 at 11:40 am
(612) brittany says:

My mom passed away in august. In september me my dad and brothers moved. I only worked from september on but i do pay most of the bills. I have a 11 year old brother. I was wondering if i can do head of household or claim him. I dont know much about taxes please help me out a little.

January 26, 2014 at 5:57 am
(613) Nate says:

I have received an order from the judge that says I get to claim 2 of my 3 children each year, however I do not have them 50% but I have my own house and my X said I get a tax deduction for them but that I cannot claim head of house hold for my kids and that she gets to. Is this correct and if I get to claim the kids then how does she get to benefit from them also. I pay her almost 1200 a month in child support. I take my kids a lot more than I was appointed to and how do you figure how many hours a day do you need the child to claim it as a day?

January 26, 2014 at 8:43 am
(614) Michelle says:

I am divorced and get to claim my son every other year and we split all of his expenses such as daycare, etc. I claimed him last year as a dependent and claimed head of household.

His dad will claim him this year. Can I still file head of household if we have joint custody but I dont claim his as a dependent on his expenses?

January 27, 2014 at 11:42 pm
(615) Alex says:

Me and my boyfriend live together been together for awhile. I have two sons from another relationship. since we’re not married but we both care for the kids. Could we both file for hoh with claiming one child each

January 28, 2014 at 10:06 am
(616) milton says:

i had a niece that lived with me, as well as her husband, who was taking college on line courses during 2012 and 2013. She turned 19 during 2012. My question is can i claim her for head of household purposes for 2012/2013?

January 29, 2014 at 2:01 pm
(617) Stephanie says:

My husband and I divorced in 2013. The divorce was finalized on November 15, 2013. We both lived in North Dakota underneath the same roof. We have four children. We have two mortgages one in North Dakota and one in Idaho. In the divorce decree my ex husband was given the house in North Dakota and I was given the house in Idaho. Right before the divorce was finalized I moved to Idaho with our four children. I am the custodial parent however as far as taxes go I am to claim the two youngest and he is to claim the two older children. All children are under 18 years old and are still in school. My question is this what does my ex husband claim on his 2013 taxes and what do I claim? While living in North Dakota I worked but paid little to no taxes because I was married and claimed exempt and my husband at the time paid a lot of taxes in because he claimed me and the children. Since the divorce I am working in Idaho and claim single and now pay 20% of my paycheck into taxes. However, while being married we both worked and put our monies into an account together that paid all of bills and mortgages and upkeep of them etc. Can we both claim head of household for 2013 or do we file as single and then next year in 2015 when its time to do our taxes for 2014 file head of household at that time?

January 31, 2014 at 7:32 pm
(618) rose says:

I have been living withy boyfriend for seven years can he claim me as a dependent? he has been the one working and he is supportIng me.

January 31, 2014 at 11:53 pm
(619) June says:

I live in Arizona, which is a community property state and I am still legally married to my husband but he has not lived with me since may of 2011. He has no income because he is in prison and he will not be filing a return. I support our 2 daughters and myself and I qualify to file Head of household. My question is if I file HOH will they keep all or part of my return to pay for any debts my ex may owe, such as child support for his oldest daughter? I have never filed a joint tax return with him and he has never filed a return for as long as I’ve known him.

February 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm
(620) Joy says:

Trying to understand the Head of Household status. I am a widow and my son turned 24 on May 23, 2013. He lived with me over half the year in 2013 and I pay all costs of maintaining the home. He did have a job the last 4 months of the year and made approx $7000. Based on this information am I eligible to claim head of household ?

February 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm
(621) Nicole says:

Hello my husband and I have been separated and living apart for a year and a half. I have a child and another child with him. I wanted to claim HOH yet one night in the last couple of moths he slept over do to all of us being sick. Will this hinder me from filing HOH.

February 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm
(622) Nicole says:


My husband and I have been separated and living apart for more than a year and a half. I have two children and wanted to file HOH. Yet one night in the last couple of months he spent the night to take care of us when we were all very sick. Will this hinder me from filling HOH.

February 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm
(623) Chicas says:

Hi, me, my mom, my brother and his family all live in the same residence. I have always claimed HOH and my mom as my dependent. I moved out in July 2013. Will I still be able to claim HOH and my mom as a dependent and can my brother and his gf also claim HOH with their children being their dependents?

February 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm
(624) Franny says:

i have a roommate who is disabled and lived with me for more than 1 year. I pay all the household expenses. Can I claim head of household? She is 48 yrs old. Please let me know if you can help with this answer

February 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm
(625) brooke says:

My boyfriend and I have three children together. We live together and each pay half of the household/children bills. Could we both claim HOH?

February 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm
(626) sg says:

If I claim head of household for my daughter can my sin who also lives with me along with his gf and son claim head of household

February 10, 2014 at 9:54 am
(627) nmyers says:

if im living with my parents also with my twins who are only 4 months old and my name is on the lease also and i pay a little bit less then half the rent and i eat seperately , have seperate bank accounts and have seperate phone lines .. would i be able to claim HOH for me and my babies and my mother still claim HOH with my little sister as a dependant ? I really need help cause i need to know if i need to make changes or not

February 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm
(628) KayKay says:

I support my mother and both sisters which are full time students. They are 20 and 21 and both of them work and made around 10,000 for the year of 2013. They didn’t help with bills, they used that money for school expenses and saved the rest. So they did make more than 3,900 but they didn’t support themselves I supported them and lived with me the entire year. I’m 22, can I claim them both?

February 23, 2014 at 9:15 pm
(629) sri says:

I am divorced and have a child that my ex would claim as dependent. I have visitation to my child 1 day for every week and hence I need to maintain home for her for the whole year and I paid all expenses for my home. In Turbotax help, I read that if the child stays part of the month then you can count it as a full month. So, can I say that my child stayed with me for 12 months? If I can claim as if she stayed with me for 12 months then I can claim taxes with filing status as head of household. Please suggest.

March 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm
(630) Splash says:

My mom passed away in May of 2012. I claimed her as head of household for she cared for my mentally challenged 76 year old sister. For her final income tax form, I still claimed her as head of household…She began living with me in June of that year….I am single and provide most monies for keeping up the household….Can I also claim her for as myself being head of household for that year since he was with me for 7 months or do I have to redo my mom’s taxes and claim her as single and then I can claim head of household status?

March 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm
(631) NC says:

Hello – my husband (soon to be ex) and I have been living seperate for 3 years. We each pay our own bills 100%. My daughter, who I claim, lives with me 51% of the year. My son, who he claims, lives with him 51% of the year. Can we each claim Head of the Household on our taxes? Thank you.

March 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(632) Dad2Daughters says:

After our divorce in 2006, my ex and I verbally agreed to each claim one daughter since I have them every weekend and I maintain a household for them and sustain them financially through child support, medical and dental insurance and various incidental expenses all year.

in 2011, she got greedy and arbitrarily claimed both girls and has ever since. Now i am being audited and of course I am chagrin for not having her originally make our agreement official.

but doesn’t the 4 or 5 years of filed taxes where she complied clearly demonstrate our agreement?

Besides that, she has been living with her boyfriend and not paying for the household. Why would she be able to claim head of household at all?

besides that if I have 2 children with me for over 30% of the year and I maintain a house for them, how does the government see me as equal to a single guy without cohabiting children?

March 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm
(633) Andrew says:

Was wondering I recenly had my taxes done for me by same person @ the same business as I did last year I am self employed and work for a corporation as well i was told by him that as of last year new rules had came about when 2 parents who live together but have not yet married and have a child. He had said something along the lines of whoever makes the most claims head of household and claims the child as well that there its no longer a choice between parents who can claim him that the tie breaker rule is not an option but the rule that whoever makes more claims head of household and child as a dependant. He also said that if we didnt do it that way it could result in either 1 or both us being penalized and not having opportunity 2 file again. My girlfriend has informed me that I am trying to cheat her out of money and lying about the whole process please explain it if possible as I don’t want to get penalized but also dont want my girlfriend making false accusation on me for it. Thank you

April 14, 2014 at 6:03 pm
(634) Elia says:

I have been separated for almost 4 years. I claim separated and I was told I can’t claim HOH. What is the rules how long do you have to be separated before you can claim HOH? also 3yr ago he lost his job and he has not been working. I have been paying the mortgage since he has one of the kids. I pay all tax and mortgage as part of the deal. He is telling me he has to claim the house because of the depreciation of the house. I want to claim the house since I pay everything .. Can change the depreciation to my name and get the deductions for the house?

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