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williamhtorr
New Member

My mother and I live in the same house. She claims my sister, and I have my daughter that I claim. We split everything 50/50. can we both claim head of household?

My mother moved in with me and she and my sister both have their own rooms. I have my own bedroom with my Girlfriend and our daughter. My mom claims my sister on her taxes and I claim my daughter on mine. We split every cost of the house down the middle. The rent, the bills, the groceries. Everything else like car and car insurance phone bills is separate. In a way its two families living under the same roof. Can we both claim head of household using the same address? 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Hal_Al
Level 15

My mother and I live in the same house. She claims my sister, and I have my daughter that I claim. We split everything 50/50. can we both claim head of household?

Maybe, but probably not.  In fact, if you really do split EVERYTHING 50-50; neither of you can claim HoH; because the requirement is MORE than half the household expenses.

Cars and car insurance are not household expenses. Cell phones are not household expenses (land lines are). If you are the owner of the house, that would tilt the scale toward you being HoH and not your mother.

That said;  If you and your roommates can show that you each are maintaining separate households within the same structure. If you paid over one-half of the expenses attributable to yourself and your dependent children and She also paid over one-half the expenses attributable to herself and her dependent children. Even if you split the main costs like rent and utilities 50/50, but do separate food bills, and separate phone lines, you probably meet the requirement for "maintaining separate households".

From a practical application, the answer is still probably no. The rule is that you must have paid more than half the household expenses. If you paid half, the other person must have paid less than half.
If your situation closely matches the IRS "Acknowledged Significant Advice" at the link below, you probably qualify. http://www.unclefed.com/ForTaxProfs/irs-wd/1998/1998-041.pdf .
It's a tough standard to meet and most living arrangements will not qualify. If you try it, be prepared to prove it with detailed accounting records of household expenses.

The fact that it's family instead of unrelated roommates weakens your case.

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2 Replies
Hal_Al
Level 15

My mother and I live in the same house. She claims my sister, and I have my daughter that I claim. We split everything 50/50. can we both claim head of household?

Maybe, but probably not.  In fact, if you really do split EVERYTHING 50-50; neither of you can claim HoH; because the requirement is MORE than half the household expenses.

Cars and car insurance are not household expenses. Cell phones are not household expenses (land lines are). If you are the owner of the house, that would tilt the scale toward you being HoH and not your mother.

That said;  If you and your roommates can show that you each are maintaining separate households within the same structure. If you paid over one-half of the expenses attributable to yourself and your dependent children and She also paid over one-half the expenses attributable to herself and her dependent children. Even if you split the main costs like rent and utilities 50/50, but do separate food bills, and separate phone lines, you probably meet the requirement for "maintaining separate households".

From a practical application, the answer is still probably no. The rule is that you must have paid more than half the household expenses. If you paid half, the other person must have paid less than half.
If your situation closely matches the IRS "Acknowledged Significant Advice" at the link below, you probably qualify. http://www.unclefed.com/ForTaxProfs/irs-wd/1998/1998-041.pdf .
It's a tough standard to meet and most living arrangements will not qualify. If you try it, be prepared to prove it with detailed accounting records of household expenses.

The fact that it's family instead of unrelated roommates weakens your case.

Critter
Level 15

My mother and I live in the same house. She claims my sister, and I have my daughter that I claim. We split everything 50/50. can we both claim head of household?

NOPE ... HOH is only for the person who pays more than 1/2 ... it is best used by the person with the higher income. 

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