How To File Your Taxes as Head of Household

Your tax filing condition depends on your life circumstances. The key agent is whether you ‘re married. other factors include whether you have dependents and if you were married, but your spouse is now deceased .

The Internal Revenue Code offers five file status options. You must choose one of them when you complete your tax render. The head of household condition is thought to be the most advantageous. These taxpayers get a higher standard tax write-off. They ‘re besides subject to more friendly tax brackets compared to the single charge condition. But numerous rules apply to qualifying .

Key Takeaways

  • Head of household filers get larger standard deductions than single filers, and they’re subject to more generous tax brackets.
  • Qualifying as head of household requires that you not be married, have at least one dependent who you support and who lives with you, and that you pay for more than 50% of your home’s costs.
  • A special IRS rule says you’re “considered” unmarried if you didn’t live with your spouse at any point after June 30 of the tax year, even if you’re not legally divorced yet.
  • You may qualify if you support an aging parent by paying more than half their living expenses in their home, even if they don’t live with you.

How Do You Claim Head of Household Filing Status ?

Qualifying for the head of family condition means meeting a series of interlocking rules that involve your marital status, paying for more than half your family ‘s expenses, and having a dependent .

The Unmarried Test

A taxpayer must be unmarried on the stopping point day of the tax year to file as head of family. This means you ‘re single, disassociate, or legally separated under an order issued by a express court. But you can be “ considered ” unmarried if you ‘re hush legally married, but you lived in a branch residence from your spouse for at least the last six months of the year—literally from no later than July 1 through the end of December .

You must file a separate tax return from your spouse, and you must hush meet the other two criteria for the read/write head of family condition if you qualify under the “ considered ” unmarried rule .

The Support Test

The accompaniment examination requires that you provide more than half the cost of keeping up your base for the entire year. Qualifying costs include expenses like rent or mortgage matter to payments, although not the chief parcel of your mortgage payments. That part is paying binding your loanword. They include property taxes, place insurance, repairs, utilities, and groceries .

unfortunately, costs associated with dress, education, medical care, vacations, life sentence policy, and transportation do n’t count toward this test .

This does n’t mean that you have to be the only adult living in your family. You can still have a roommate to help defray costs. But you must pay at least 51 % of the family expenses. You wo n’t qualify as mind of family if you scissor expenses precisely down the center .

Taxpayers can use Worksheet 1 in Publication 501 to determine if they meet the confirm test. Income received from public aid programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families does n’t count toward fiscal support provided by a taxpayer for purposes of qualifying for head of family filing condition. You ca n’t include it as money you personally paid toward supporting your family if you used funds from any of these sources .

The Qualifying Dependent Test

A passing subject must live in your home plate for more than half the year. This might be the most complicate predominate of all. only certain close relatives can be qualifying persons for the purposes of meeting the head of family file condition rules. They include :

  • Your child, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister, or a descendant of one of these persons whom you claim as a dependent under the qualifying child rules.
  • Your child, stepchild, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister, or a descendant of one of these persons whom you could claim as a dependent under the qualifying child rules, but you’ve elected not to claim them as a dependent. You released the right to claim the child as a dependent to the noncustodial parent.
  • Your mother or father who can be claimed as your dependent under the qualifying relative rules.
  • Your brother, sister, grandparent, niece, or nephew whom you can claim as a dependent under the qualifying relative rules.

The IRS provides a well laid out graph regarding qualifying persons in table 4 of Publication 501 .

Tools for Determining Filing Status

The IRS provides an synergistic file condition tool on its web site. It takes about five minutes to complete. It can help you determine if you qualify for head of family status. Most tax preparation software will ask you a series of questions to help determine your file status for you american samoa well .

The Standard Deduction for Heads of Household

Your filing status determines the come of your standard discount, a well as the tax rates you ‘ll pay on your income. The head of family standard subtraction for 2022 is $ 19,400, up from $ 18,800 in 2021 .

contrast this with single filers and marital persons who file separate returns. They can claim only a $ 12,950 standard deduction in 2022, up from $ 12,550 in 2021. Married taxpayers who file joint returns get a $ 25,900 standard deduction in 2022. But this works out to one $ 12,550 discount for each of them, just as though they were single .

head of Household Tax Rates

This table shows the tax rates that apply to head of family filers for the tax year 2021, the tax hark back you ‘ll file in 2022. Each segment of your income is taxed at the applicable bracket or share rate .

Head of Household Tax Brackets for 2021
Rate: Income:
10% $0 to $14,200
12% $14,201 to $54,200
22% $54,201 to $86,350
24% $86,351 to $164,900
32% $164,901 to $209,400
35% $209,401 to $523,600
37% More than $523,600

These income thresholds are besides indexed for inflation, so they increase slenderly for tax year 2022 .

Head of Household Tax Brackets for 2022
 Rate:  Income:
 10%  $0 to $14,650
 12%  $14,651 to $55,900
 22%  $55,901 to $89,050
 24%  $89,051 to $170,050
 32%  $170,051 to $215,950
 35%  $215,951 to $539,900
 37%  More than $539,900

head of family filers besides get a pause on the long-run capital gains tax rate. They do n’t jump to the 15 % rate in the 2021 tax year until their taxable incomes exceed $ 54,100. It ‘s equitable $ 40,400 for other unmarried taxpayers and $ 80,800—again, double the amount for other individual filers—for married taxpayers filing jointly. This 15 % doorway increases to $ 55,800 in 2022 .

Exceptions to the Rules

A taxpayer and their qualify dependents are considered to reside in the same family during periods of temp absences if the absence is due to “ illness, education, business, vacation, or military serve, ” according to the IRS. In early words, your child will still qualify you if they live away at school for a parcel of the year .

There ‘s besides a special exception for people who support their dependant parents. A rear can be a qualifying person for purposes of meeting the residency test evening if they do n’t reside in your home, a long as you can claim them as your dependant and you meet the support test. You must pay more than half the monetary value of maintaining their home for the year .

You ‘d besides meet the qualifying dependent trial if you paid more than half the monetary value of keeping your parent in a base for the aged or a rest home.

Can Two Spouses Both Qualify ?

It ‘s possible that two taxpayers who used to be married to each other could each qualify as oral sex of family due to the complexity of these rules—assuming they ‘re divorced as of December 31 of the tax year, or they have n’t lived together from July 1 forth .

mary might maintain her own mansion. The child she and John share lives with her throughout most of the class. She claims the child as her subject. She has a roommate to help her make end touch. But the roommate merely contributes about a one-fourth of the family ‘s annual expenses. Mary pays the other 75 % .

mary qualifies as head of family. She meets both the qualify subject test and the hold test. She and John are “ considered unmarried ” under IRS rules because she and John broke up. They moved into separate residences on June 1. They never lived together after that period .

As for John, he lives alone. He pays 100 % of his family expenses. He besides paid more than half the annual monetary value for his mother to live in a breastfeed home. John besides qualifies as head of family. He ‘s considered unmarried, and he meets both the support examination and the passing dependent trial because he provides for his mother .

frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

What’s the difference between single and head of household?

Heads of family and unmarried filers are both unmarried taxpayers. But there are some major differences. Single filers do n’t have to prove that they ‘re supporting qualifying dependents and they receive fewer tax benefits than those who file as point of family .

What happens if two people claim head of household?

Two unmarried parents can not file as headway of family with the same dependents. The IRS wo n’t accept both returns. Both taxpayers may have to pay a punishment if both seek to claim this status for supporting the lapp qualify dependents .

How do you prove head of household status to the IRS?

The IRS accepts a kind of documents to prove that you meet each of the three requirements to pass as a head of family. These are listed on Form 886-H-HOH .

Article Sources

  1. IRS. “ Publication 501 ( 2020 ), Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing information : head of Household. ”
  2. IRS. “ IRS Provides Tax Inflation Adjustments for Tax year 2022. ”
  3. Tax Foundation. “ 2021 Tax Brackets. ”
  4. Tax Foundation. “ 2022 Tax Brackets. ”
  5. IRS. “ Publication 501 ( 2020 ), Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing information. ”

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