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Head of Household
Head of household status entitles certain taxpayers to pay lower taxes.
The lower tax results
from a larger standard deduction and "wider" tax brackets.
To qualify, the following
conditions must be met:
The individual is not married, is legally separated, or is married and has lived apart
from his/her spouse for the last six months of the year as of the close of the taxable
The individual is not a "qualifying widow(er)."
The individual is not a nonresident alien.
The individual maintains as his or her home a household that, for more than half the
taxable year, is the principal residence of:
A Dependent Son or Daughter
Legally adopted children, stepchildren, and descendents qualify as sons
Working Families Act:
The definition of head-of-household conforms with
the uniform definition of a child.
To qualify for head-of-household status,
the child must either be a qualifying child or qualify as the taxpayer's
: Assuming all other requirements are met, a custodial
parent is entitled to the head of household status even if the custodial
parent has waived the right to the dependency exemption by completing a
Father or Mother
(not required to live with taxpayer)
A dependent parent is not required to live with the taxpayer, provided the
taxpayer maintains a home that was the principal residence of the parent for the
Maintaining a home means contributing over half the cost of upkeep.
This means rent, mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utility charges,
repairs, and food consumed in the home.
(must live with taxpayer)
Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews, and nieces (as
well as stepparents, parents-in-law, etc.) qualify as relatives.
relative (other than a father or mother) must live with the taxpayer.
cousins, foster parents, and unrelated dependents do not qualify.
Child or Descendent
In order to avoid confusing the required time period for different filing statuses, just remember:
ead of household
alf a year