Thursday, November 13, 2008

Filing Status Part IV – Head of Household (H/H)

A taxpayer desiring to file as head of household must meet several requirements. First, they must be unmarried or considered unmarried as of the last day of the year in which they are filing. A taxpayer must have paid for more than half of the cost of maintaining a dwelling that for more than half of the year was the main residence of the taxpayer and either a qualifying child or qualifying relative. It is important to note that a dependent can qualify only one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for any given year.

If a parent doesn’t live with the taxpayer and the taxpayer claims the parent as an exemption, the taxpayer may still file as head of household provided the taxpayer pays more than half of the cost of keeping up the dwelling that was the main residence for the parent. This would also apply if the parent lived in a rest home.

If a taxpayer and his or her qualifying child are temporarily absent from the home due to circumstances beyond their control like an illness, business, vacation military service or education purposes the taxpayer still may file head of household. A professional tax preparer can give the best advice if any of these situations are present.

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