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Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

I'm claiming our child, as the child was with me all year. We separated a little before the half year mark, and I moved out with the child. Does that make me eligible for Head of Household even though I am married?
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6 Replies

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

Yes it does!  So you get a higher Standard Deduction.  

See FAQ on Head of Household

https://ttlc.intuit.com/community/family/help/do-i-qualify-for-head-of-household/00/25539

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

No.  

If you were married as of 12/31/2022, you must file as married - either jointly or separately.

If you are married, you do not qualify for the head of household filing status.

State law governs whether or not you were married or considered married.

Often, filing jointly is more advantageous, if you can work that out with your spouse.

 

See https://www.irs.gov/publications/p501#en_US_2021_publink[phone number removed]

search for "marital status".

"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."  ...

2 more requirements are listed.

To qualify for the head of household status: "You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. 

 

 

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

Yes if you lived apart for the last 6 months of the year you can file Head of Household .

 

Can a married person claim Head of Household

Can a married person claim Head of Household filing status?

 

You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following 3 requirements (A-C).  Copied from Pub 501.

 

A.  To claim head of household you have to be unmarried or to be considered unmarried. You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests:

1. You file a separate return.

2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.

3. Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the year.

4. Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year.

5.  You must be able to claim an exemption for the child.  However you can meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child.

 

B. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.

 

C. 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 does not have to live with you.

 

See IRS pub 501 page 8

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

I see Volvogirl & I disagreed on the answers to this question.  I sent her a message asking for clarification.

I'm sure she knows more than I, but my references are the IRS publications. 

Hers are Turbotax documents. 

I'll respond when I learn more.

 

You can always use the IRS site

https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/what-is-my-filing-status

to determine your filing status.

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

See irs pub 501 page 8 Considered Unmarried #3

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf 

 

To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmar- ried on the last day of the year. You are consid- ered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests.
1. You file a separate return. A separate re- turn includes a return claiming married fil- ing separately, single, or head of house- hold filing status.
2. You paid more than half the cost of keep- ing up your home for the tax year.
3. Your spouse didn't live in your home dur- ing 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. 

 

 

Turbo suggested I file head of household, but I thought since I'm technically still married I had to file as MFS. We separated the middle of 2021. HOH is preferred. Help?

VolvoGirl,  Thank you for your clarification.
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