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rosewolfkin1
New Member

My husband and I were living separately in 2018 and we filed as married-filing separately. TurboTax put me as head of household, but his financial aid says we can't.

Financial aid office says it can be married - together or married - separate, but neither can be head of household. We didn't expect him to come home, I had the child and paid for my own residence and expenses. Do we have to amend, since I am allowed to be head of household?
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Accepted Solutions
Opus 17
Level 15

My husband and I were living separately in 2018 and we filed as married-filing separately. TurboTax put me as head of household, but his financial aid says we can't.

For 2018, you would be allowed to file as head of household if,

1. you were living separately from your spouse for all of the last 6 months of the year (7/1/18-12/31/18)

2. you paid more than half the cost of maintaining your home

3. at least one qualifying person lived in that home with you, usually a child dependent who slept in your home more than half the nights of the year.

 

Your spouse would file as married filing separately, unless your spouse also provided a home for a qualifying dependent. 

 

It would not be the first time, or millionth time, that financial aid was wrong about income tax matters.

See IRS publication 501 https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-501

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

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2 Replies
Louann978
Returning Member

My husband and I were living separately in 2018 and we filed as married-filing separately. TurboTax put me as head of household, but his financial aid says we can't.

Generally, if you and your spouse lived separately for at least the last 6 months of the year, then you should be able to claim Head of Household. The basic requirements for the filing status are that you are considered unmarried, paid more than half of the costs of keeping and maintaining your home, and that you are able to claim a dependent.

 

If you are not divorced by the end of the year and your spouse lived in your home at any time during the last six months of the year, then neither of you is eligible for any filing status other than married (either jointly or separately). If he is receiving some sort of financial aid and is using your address, the source of the aid may be advising you that you do not qualify because it appears that he is living in your home.

 

IRS.gov has several resources that list the conditions to be considered unmarried for tax purposes. These include the instructions for the Form 1040, Publication 17 (essentially the detailed instruction book for the 1040), and Publication 501 which focuses on dependents, standard deduction, and filing information.

 

Hope this is helpful.

Opus 17
Level 15

My husband and I were living separately in 2018 and we filed as married-filing separately. TurboTax put me as head of household, but his financial aid says we can't.

For 2018, you would be allowed to file as head of household if,

1. you were living separately from your spouse for all of the last 6 months of the year (7/1/18-12/31/18)

2. you paid more than half the cost of maintaining your home

3. at least one qualifying person lived in that home with you, usually a child dependent who slept in your home more than half the nights of the year.

 

Your spouse would file as married filing separately, unless your spouse also provided a home for a qualifying dependent. 

 

It would not be the first time, or millionth time, that financial aid was wrong about income tax matters.

See IRS publication 501 https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-publication-501

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

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