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mrstrong2011
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

After reading the information listed below, it appears that I am eligible for file for HOH.

I am legally married, but living separately from my husband. He has physically resided in the home with me for a couple of months and then decided to leave. I meet all the qualifications below. What documentation do I need to have on hand if I decide to file for HOH.

How to file.   If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax.

Considered Unmarried

To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests.

You file a separate return. A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status.

You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.

Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. See Temporary absences , under Qualifying Person, later.

Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. (See Home of qualifying person , under Qualifying Person, later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year.)

You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child in chapter 3, or referred to in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3. The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained under Exemptions for Dependents in chapter 3.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000270844

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

As long as you meet all of those requirements you should be OK.  If the IRS questions it for any reason, they will ask for them type of documentation that they want to show that you paid more than 1/2 the total cost of keeping the home for you and your child.  I would certainly keep receipts for utilities, and other such receipts, that show that you lived in the home and paid the bills.

**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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17 Replies
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

As long as you meet all of those requirements you should be OK.  If the IRS questions it for any reason, they will ask for them type of documentation that they want to show that you paid more than 1/2 the total cost of keeping the home for you and your child.  I would certainly keep receipts for utilities, and other such receipts, that show that you lived in the home and paid the bills.

**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.**
mrstrong2011
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Thank you!
klingle85
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Going through the same thing but How would we both file though??  Single or married filing seprate?
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

If you were legally married as of December 31, 2014, you can only file Jointly or Married Filing Separately, unless yiu have a qualifying child dependent  to file Head of Household.
**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.**
mrstrong2011
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Thanks I do have a daughter that resides with me. That's a good question klingle85!
klingle85
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

So Both  file married filing seperate but whoever supports the dependents gets hoh to??
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

@klingle85 -Only if you meet all of the requirements of HOH.

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.
 (You could be considered unmarried if your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the tax year).
If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state, special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. See Publication 555 for more information.
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) - a parent does not have to live with you to be a qualifying person.
4. If the qualifying person is your qualifying relative, their gross income must have been less than $3,950 (do not include non taxable Social Security) and you provided more than 1/2 of their support
5. You must be able to claim the exemption for the qualifying person except in the case of divorced or separated parents (that lived apart) and the noncustodial parent is claiming the exemption.
A Qualifying person is either:
A qualifying child or a qualifying closely related relative and meets certain other requirements, however if you are considered unmarried it can only be your child, stepchild, or foster child.  See IRS Publication 17 for more information about who is a qualifying person and a worksheet to determine the cost of keeping up a home.
See IRS Pub 17 for more information
<a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000170792" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000170792</a>
**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.**
rachelle-franks
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

so if the wife files HOH and the husband files married filing seperate whats the community property stuff???  We are seperate and do not have community property yet
rachelle-franks
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

i am assuming i can legally file HOH if i have a daughter from a previous relationship.. and my husband and I just got married end of last year but do not live together or have any finances together yet. and he can claim married filing seperate?
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

If you were marries at the end of 2014, your spouse cannot have lived in  your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year.

Filing jointly would probably result in  the lowest tax.

If you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin) then the community property laws apply whether filing separately or HOH.

See IRS Pub 555 - <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/index.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/publications/p555/index.html</a>

Since the community property laws are different is different states and apply differently to different situation you might want to consult with a tax professional in your area.
**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.**
rachelle-franks
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Ok I will get with a tax professional.  I dont know what to do.  We did not and still do not live together havent been able to afford a place large enough to accomodate all of us.  Turbo tax took me to HOH and my return is already sent and accepted HOWEVER I went to file my husbands as married but seperate and I am worried I have done this incorrectly.  We are in Texas and I just dont understand the community property stuff.  There is no community property between the two of us his is his and mine is mine
macuser_22
Level 15

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Community property does not just mean real property.  Money that you earn while married is also community property.  Half of your W-2 wage (or other income) belongs to your spouse.  In a community property state, you enter 1/2 of your W-2 income on your tax return and 1/2 on your spouses.  If were only married for a month, then that would only apply the the income earned doing that period.

Dealing with community property laws is one very good reason to file jointly which avoids income allocation altogether.
**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.**
rachelle-franks
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

Ooh.  well turbo tax did not ask me for his income when i filed HOH?!?! i think turbo tax led me wrong, so now i am going to have to ammend my taxes!.
rachelle-franks
New Member

Head of Household- Married, Living Separately

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