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Returning Member

Can I file as Head of Household if my fiance lives with me for the 2018 tax year?

My fiance and I live together and we both go to school. She goes to school and has been unemployed for the 2018 year. I am also going to school and work, but I am the only source of income for our family. She is 32 years old and I am 33 and neither of us has a disability. She had no income this year and I supported both of us and all of our living expenses. So my question is - can I claim the Head of Household status on my 2018 tax returns (to be filed in 2019)? Or, can I claim her as a dependent?

Thank you for your help in advance,


3 Replies
Level 15

Can I file as Head of Household if my fiance lives with me for the 2018 tax year?

No, you cannot have Head of Household status since she is not a close blood relative.  You may be able to claim her as a non-relative dependent on your tax return under the Qualifying Relative rules if she meets all the requirements.

See IRS Publication 501 Table 4 on page 10 for a HOH qualifying person -

To be a Qualifying Relative -

1. The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. A child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer if the child's parent (or any other person for whom the child is defined as a qualifying child) is not required to file an income tax return or files an income tax return only to get a refund on income tax withheld.

2. The person either (a) must be related to you or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household. 

3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $4,150 (social security does not count) in 2018

4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.

5. The person must be a U.S. citizen or a U.S., Canada, or Mexico resident for some part of the year.

6. The person must not file a joint return with their spouse.

Level 15

Can I file as Head of Household if my fiance lives with me for the 2018 tax year?

There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and standard ("Qualifying Relative" in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit, a relationship test and residence test. Only a QC qualifies a taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each.
Level 15

Can I file as Head of Household if my fiance lives with me for the 2018 tax year?

No, you can not. One of the requirements is that you must have a qualifying dependent, and that dependent must be your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, step sibling, half sibling, or a descendant (child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.) of one of these relatives. Your fiancé is not related to you in any way, form or fashion. So you can't use them to file head of household.

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