TurboTax helps you identify whether you qualify for the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) head of household filing status. The company’s online tax-preparation software walks qualified taxpayers through filling out and filing Form 1040 or 1040A under this status. Whether you can file this way is important because head of household allows a larger standard deduction and a lower tax rate than filing as single or married filing separately.
Under IRS rules, to qualify for this status you must meet certain conditions related to 1) your marital status 2) the proportion of the household expenses you paid 3) the proportion of the personal expenses of the person getting support you paid 4) your relationship to the person receiving support 5) the age of that person and 6) the resources of that person.
Must be unmarried. To qualify, you must have been unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Some conditions for being considered unmarried include filing a separate tax return, having the person you support live at your residence more than six months of the year, and your spouse not living at the residence for the last six months of the year.
Support. Did you pay more than 50 percent of the expenses of the household in which the individual receiving support lives? These expenses include rent, mortgage interest, repairs, property insurance, utilities, and food. They also include the personal medical and dental, clothing, education, and other expenses of the person who got the support.
Relationship. In general, if the individual you support is your child, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother or half sister, stepbrother or stepsister, adopted child, or grandchild you may use that relationship to qualify for this filing status. As for qualifying age, a child must be under 19 years of age if not in school and 23 or younger if in school.
A taxpayer who supports an adult relative may qualify for this filing status too. The individual you support must have a gross income of less than $3,900 and you must have paid more than 50 percent of the person’s expenses. Also, the individual must have lived with you more than six months of the year. However, a dependent parent does not have to have lived with you.