You cannot file as married and head of household. If the children live with you for more than half of the year and you pay for more than half of the upkeep on the home where you and your kids live, you may claim head of household as long as you and your spouse lived apart for more than the last 6 months of the year.
If you claim the kids as dependents and they live with you for more than half of the year, your wife would not be able to claim any tax benefits related to the children.
See the following regarding filing as head of household:
In order to claim Head of Household filing status
need to meet the following requirements:
- You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later.
- You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
- 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. See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person.
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 didn't 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 , 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 , 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 can't claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described later inChildren of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative. The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents.
Still have questions?Make a post