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myloharv
New Member

Can I claim head of household?

I am divorced/single. My ex-wife technically has full custody, but my 13 year old daughter stays at the home my fiancé and I share probably half of the time. I have no proof of this, but it is true. My fiancé's 3 children also live with us full time. I do pay for more than half of the living expenses at said household. I do not claim my fiancé or her children due to the social security they receive from her late husband. 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Coleen3
Intuit Alumni

Can I claim head of household?

In order to determine Head of Household, there can't be a 50/50 split. One party must be at least 51%. If your ex-wife has custody and the child lives with her, she is HOH for that child. See also the "qualifying child" below.

The rules for Head of Household are below: 

You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements.

  1. You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. See Marital Status  and Considered Unmarried.
  2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
  3. A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she doesn't have to live with you. 


A qualifying child would be:

  • Your child (including legally adopted), stepchild, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild or niece) AND
  • Permanently and totally disabled OR under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2016 (under 24 if a full-time student) and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) AND
  • Lived with you for more than half the year AND
  • Single (or if the child is married, you'd have to qualify to claim them as a dependent even if you're not going to claim them as such).

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4 Replies
Coleen3
Intuit Alumni

Can I claim head of household?

In order to determine Head of Household, there can't be a 50/50 split. One party must be at least 51%. If your ex-wife has custody and the child lives with her, she is HOH for that child. See also the "qualifying child" below.

The rules for Head of Household are below: 

You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements.

  1. You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. See Marital Status  and Considered Unmarried.
  2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
  3. A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she doesn't have to live with you. 


A qualifying child would be:

  • Your child (including legally adopted), stepchild, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild or niece) AND
  • Permanently and totally disabled OR under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2016 (under 24 if a full-time student) and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) AND
  • Lived with you for more than half the year AND
  • Single (or if the child is married, you'd have to qualify to claim them as a dependent even if you're not going to claim them as such).
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can I claim head of household?

"I have no proof of this, but it is true." You need proof.
SweetieJean
Level 15

Can I claim head of household?

 I do not claim my fiancé or her children due to the social security they receive from her late husband. 

If Social Security is her only income, it is not taxable. You should thus be able to claim her and her children, but they cannot qualify you for HOH, EIC, etc.

macuser_22
Level 15

Can I claim head of household?

Not only is SS not taxable if it is the only income, it also is not included in the $4,050 gross income limit for non-related dependents.
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
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