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If separated and I filed HOH what would my spouse file

 
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DanielV01
Expert Alumni

If separated and I filed HOH what would my spouse file

It depends.   If you live in separate residences and each have qualifying dependents to claim, it is theoretically possible for both of you to claim Head of Household.  But more typical is that your spouse must file Married Filing Separately.  Your spouse can only use the status of Single if you are either divorced or have a legal separation, not just living apart.

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3 Replies
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

If separated and I filed HOH what would my spouse file

It depends.   If you live in separate residences and each have qualifying dependents to claim, it is theoretically possible for both of you to claim Head of Household.  But more typical is that your spouse must file Married Filing Separately.  Your spouse can only use the status of Single if you are either divorced or have a legal separation, not just living apart.

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If separated and I filed HOH what would my spouse file

If you were still married as of 12/31/18,  your spouse would file the same as you either MFJ or MFS only ONE of you could claim HOH.

By the way MFS is Married Filing Separate ---NOT Separated.



If separated and I filed HOH what would my spouse file

@retiree - The OP said they were separated.

If separated for the last 6 months of 2018, and the spouse meets the HOH requirements themselves with a different dependent child then there is no reason that the spouse could not also file HOH.

And a qualifying dependent for HOH when married and separated can only be your child, stepchild, or foster child - nobody else.
========================================
Head of Household is for UNMARRIED taxpayers with a related dependent or married and have not lived with their spouse at anytime during the last 6 months of the tax year AND has a child, stepchild or foster child that can be a dependent.
=======================================
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 $4,150 (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 dependent for the qualifying person except in the case of divorced or separated parents (that lived apart) and the noncustodial parent is claiming the dependent.

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 501 for more information about who is a qualifying person and a worksheet to determine the cost of keeping up a home.

See IRS Pub 501 for more information
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p501#en_US_2018_publink1000220775">https://www.irs.gov/publications...>
**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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