Are you the Head of your Household or not?

Are you the Head of your Household or not?

This is often a confusing topic for people.  Some say “Well, I pay all the bills at my house so I must be Head of Household”, others “I’m married but we haven’t lived together for a long time, I must be single”.   Ummm…..no.

There are actually lots of things to consider.   Head of Household also requires either having a dependent on your tax return or qualifying to have a dependent on your return but allowing the child’s other parent to claim them that year.  Sure, you also have to have paid over half the cost to maintain your home, but hey, if you qualify for this filing status it may be very beneficial.  You get a bigger standard deduction and the tax rates are lower at various income levels than with other filing status’.

Married, with kids, but you haven’t lived with your spouse for at least the last 6 months of the year.   Awkward to mention…..but spouse sleepovers count so can’t have had any of those either.  But I digress…….anyway, you may qualify for Head of Household status instead of Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separate status if this is the case.  This status is a huge help with claiming various credits too like the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Education Credits and the Dependent Care Credit.    Married Filing Separate, which many times is what people resort to when separated, doesn’t allow for many credits at all so best to avoid it if possible.

Lots to this topic.  We can help figure out which is best for you.

Linda Reinhardt

  • scrivo

    great article!