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Is it better to file head of household or married joint return, when husband has no income other than soc. sec, and he is in graduate school?

If I file head of household can i claim my spouses graduate school expenses?
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3 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Is it better to file head of household or married joint return, when husband has no income other than soc. sec, and he is in graduate school?

Head of household has a special meaning on a tax return. It does not mean that you are the breadwinner or the person in charge of the household. Head of household is a filing status for a single person with a child. If you are married and live with your husband you cannot file as head of household. The only filing statuses you can use are married filing jointly or married filing separately. You will almost certainly pay less tax or get a bigger refund if you file as married filing jointly. You can claim an education credit if you file as married filing jointly.

 

Is it better to file head of household or married joint return, when husband has no income other than soc. sec, and he is in graduate school?

Head of household only applies if you are separated or living apart from your spouse for at least the last 6 months of the year.  It generally applies to single parents and marital separation, but can sometimes apply when one spouse is deployed or incarcerated.  Even if you are living apart temporarily because one spouse is attending school far away, a claim of head of household would be defeated if you got together over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays, because you aren't really separated. 

Is it better to file head of household or married joint return, when husband has no income other than soc. sec, and he is in graduate school?

FYI ... being deployed in the military is NOT a HOH qualifier even if the spouse was away all year if the military spouse did not support  a separate home of their own.  Staying on base housing  or in overseas military housing does not make a separate  residence that the military member supports.  Deployed military members are considered "temporarily" away from home like a dependent going to college.  

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