Filing as Head of Household
I am a single mother with a 7-year-old son. Should I file as head of household?
Taxpayers who qualify as head of household for tax filing purposes may pay less tax than single individuals supporting themselves. As head of household, your tax rate will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately, and you will also receive a higher standard deduction. If you are unmarried at the end of the year, maintain a household for a child, parent, or other relative, and are a U.S. citizen or a resident alien, you may be eligible.
To qualify, you must have been unmarried on the last day of 2016. You also must have paid more than 50 percent of the cost of maintaining the household for a qualifying relative for the year, and you must have maintained your household for a qualifying person who lived with you for more than half the year.
I separated from my wife in November. Can I file as head of household?
To qualify for the head of household filing status, you must have been unmarried on the last day of 2016. You are unmarried if you are single or legally separated from your spouse or under a divorce or separate maintenance agreement.
You may be able to file as head of household even if you were not divorced or legally separated from your spouse in 2016, if your spouse was not a member of your household at any time during the last six months of the year; you are filing separate returns; and you maintained a household for more than half the year for a dependent child, stepchild, or adopted child and you furnish more than half the cost of maintaining the household.
How do I file as head of household?
To file as head of household, you can use Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the appropriate box, and use the head of household column in the Tax Table to compute your tax. If you’re not sure whether you qualify for filing as head of household, a CPA can help you determine your eligibility.
| American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
||Texas State Board of Public Accountancy