When you do your taxes, if you meet the head of household qualifications, you can save some moolah. The IRS has a certain definition for head of household, and just because you wear the pants in the family, it doesn’t guarantee you that status. So what are the qualifications to get head of household tax filing status? Read on for an overview of how to qualify as head of household. Check the IRS website, Publication 501 too, since you may have a complicated situation that can’t be fully explained here.
Advantages: If you meet the head of household qualifications, you will likely save money. Your tax rate will be less than if you file married filing separately or if you file single. Your standard deduction will be greater than if you filed married filing separately or single also. A greater standard deduction and a lower tax rate are good things.
Forms: As head of household, you can choose from two tax forms to file your taxes. The choices are either form 1040 or 1040a. You indicate that you are filing as head of household on line four of either form.
Unmarried: You have to be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year by the IRS in order to meet head of household qualifications. You cannot file a joint return. Being unmarried is not the only one of the head of household qualifications. Keep reading for more.
Keep Up a Home: This doesn’t mean that you are necessarily an ace handyman and a housekeeper rolled into one. The IRS means that you have to have paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Basically, you must have paid for most of the rent or mortgage, maintenance, groceries, etc.for your household.
Qualifying Person: There has to be someone you supported in your home for the past tax year in order for you to qualify as head of household. This qualifying person does not have to be a child, although a child is often a qualifying person. Some examples of people who may be considered a qualifying person include a child, parent, grandparent, brother, or sister. Be sure to read more about the IRS rules of who can or cannot be considered a qualifying person in Publication 501 from the IRS.