When you file your taxes, there are a number of different options for filing. One way is to file as head of household.
But what does that mean? How do you qualify for this filing status? And will it help or hurt your tax situation?
In this post, We’ll explain everything you need to know about how to be head of household on your taxes and why it might be the best choice for your tax situation.
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Single vs. head of household?
If you’re unmarried and have a dependent child, you may file as head of household. This gets you a lower tax rate and a higher standard deduction than if you file as single.
To qualify, you must have paid more than half the cost of maintaining your home for the year. This includes rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, utilities, and other expenses.
You must also have had a dependent child living with you for at least half the year. The child can be your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, or any other relative who meets the IRS definition of a dependent.
If you don’t meet the criteria for head of household, you’ll have to file as single.
What are the head of household requirements?
To qualify for the IRS head of household status, you must be unmarried—or considered unmarried—at the end of the year. If your spouse died during the year and you don’t remarry before December 31st, you can file as a head of household if all these conditions apply:
- You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for that year.
- Your spouse didn’t live in the home at any time during the last six months of his or her life. (That is, they had moved out before dying.)
- Your deceased spouse is not considered to have been living with anyone else who could claim him or her as a dependent on their tax return (for example, because they were providing more than half their support).
How much is the head of household standard deduction?
The Head of Household filing status has a higher standard deduction than the Single filing status. For the tax year, the standard deduction for Head of Household is $19,400.
This is significantly higher than the standard deduction for Single filers, which is $12,900.
What is the head of household tax bracket?
Head of household tax brackets are often misunderstood. The head of household bracket is the same as it is for Married Couples Filing Separately.
The head of household tax bracket is generally lower than the tax bracket for married taxpayers filing jointly.
This is because head of household taxpayers are typically single parents who bear the brunt of the financial responsibility for their children
Is there a head of household vs single calculator?
Yes, TurboTax provides a calculator to help users determine whether they should file as head of household or single. The calculator takes into account factors such as filing status, number of dependents, and income.
You must have a qualifying person living in your home for more than 6 months of the year
According to IRS rules, you must have a qualifying person living in your home for more than six months of the year.
This includes minor children and foster children, but only if they are related to you or were placed with you by an authorized placement agency (not a relative).
It also includes any dependents who are physically or mentally incapable of self-care and lived with you for more than half of the tax year.
Can you file as head of household even if you are divorced or separated?
Yes, in some cases, you can file as head of household even if you are divorced or separated.
You can also file as head of household if your spouse did not live with you after marriage and is considered missing due to imprisonment or death in military service.
If you are not currently married but have lived with your partner in a relationship similar to marriage for at least 12 months and have a child together, then it likely makes sense for both parties to apply jointly and claim the credits available on their joint return rather than filing separately and paying higher taxes overall (especially since many states offer extra savings for residents who marry).
No one in your household can be a dependent on another person’s return.
You do not qualify for the head of household tax status if:
- Someone else claims you as a dependent on their return.
- Your qualifying child is not living with you for the last six months of the year.
For example, if your grandchild lived with you for nine months but then moved in with her mother for three months at the end of the year (and neither of them had any other children), then she would be considered a qualifying person for those nine months that she lived with you.
Can I file taxes online and claim the head of household tax deduction?
Yes, If you’re like many people, you may be wondering if it’s possible to file your taxes online and claim the head of household tax deduction. The answer is yes! You can easily file your taxes online and claim this deduction.
How to File Taxes Online in 3 Simple Steps - TurboTax Tax Tip Video
Remember, with TurboTax Online Tax Filing we’ll ask you simple questions and fill out the right forms for you. We’ll find every tax deduction and credit you qualify for to get you the biggest tax refund, guaranteed!