Why I can’t be head of household
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Highlighted
New Member

Why I can’t be head of household

 
2 Replies
Highlighted
Returning Member

Why I can’t be head of household

You have no dependents on your account, i tried claiming it but you have to have a dependent to claim HoH

Highlighted
Expert Alumni

Why I can’t be head of household

If you meet certain criteria, you can use this status. Below are the criteria for this filing status:

 

The Head of Household (HOH) filing status is for unmarried individuals who provide a home for a qualifying child or a qualifying relative. Certain married individuals can be considered unmarried; see Married individuals considered unmarried (below) for requirements.

 

Qualifying Child

 

Relationship test: The child must be the taxpayer’s son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, or a descendant of any of these, such as the taxpayer’s grandchild, niece, or nephew.

 

Residency test: The child must have lived with the taxpayer for more than half of 2019.

  • Temporary absences (e.g., school, vacation, business, medical care, military services, or detention in a juvenile facility) are considered as time living with the taxpayer.
  • Exceptions apply under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents. See IRS Publication 501 for details.

​​Age test: The child must be:

  • Under age 19 at the end of the tax year and younger than the taxpayer (or spouse), or
  • Under age 24 at the end of 2019, a full-time student for any part of five calendar months during the tax year, and younger than the taxpayer (or spouse), or
  • Permanently and totally disabled at any age
  • Support Test: The child cannot have provided more than 1/2 of his/her own support during the tax year. Welfare, TANF, and scholarships received by the child are not considered support.

 Qualifying Relative
 

  • Relationship or Member of Household Test: To be considered a qualifying relative, a person must be:
    • A son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of these,
    • A brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, or a descendant of any of these,
    • A father, mother, or an ancestor or sibling of them (does not include foster parents), or
    • A stepbrother, stepsister, stepfather, stepmother, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law,

and

 

Must have lived with the taxpayer for more than 1/2 of the tax year. Exceptions: See temporary absences (below). Also, the taxpayer's mother or father does not have to live with the taxpayer as long as the taxpayer is able to claim the parent as a dependent and paid more than half the cost of keeping up the parent's main home (including nursing homes) for the entire year.

 

*Although a person who does not fall under one of the aforementioned relationships (e.g., girlfriend, boyfriend) who lived with the taxpayer all year as a member of taxpayer's household can qualify to be claimed as a dependent, they do not qualify for HOH if the only reason they qualified as a dependent was their year-long residency with the taxpayer.
 

  • Not a Qualifying Child Test: The relative cannot be a qualifying child of any other taxpayer for the year.
  • Gross Income Test: The relative's gross income must be less than $4200 for the year. Gross income is all income that is not tax-exempt. Examples of gross income include taxable Social Security benefits, taxable unemployment compensation, and certain scholarships and fellowships (i.e., monies used to pay higher education expenses other than tuition, fees, supplies, books, and course-required equipment).
  • Support Test: The taxpayer must have provided over 1/2 of the relative's support during the year. This test does not apply to persons who qualify as dependents under the children of divorced or separated parents rule and multiple support agreements.

Unmarried Individuals

 

HOH status can be used if the taxpayer was unmarried, and one of the following applies:

  • The taxpayer paid over half the cost of keeping up a main home for a parent who can be claimed as a dependent of the taxpayer. The parent did not have to live with the taxpayer.
  • The taxpayer paid over half the cost of keeping up a home in which they and one of the following lived for more than half the year:
    • A qualifying child or qualifying relative, but not including i), ii), and iii):
  • The taxpayer's child who qualifies as a dependent based on the rules for children of divorced or separated parents,
  • Anyone who is a dependent only because they lived with the taxpayer for all of 2019, or
  • Anyone claimed as a dependent under a multiple support agreement.
  • The taxpayer's unmarried qualifying child who is not a dependent of the taxpayer,
  • The taxpayer's married qualifying child who is not a dependent only because he/she can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return, or
  • The taxpayer's child who is neither their dependent or qualifying child due to the divorced or separated parents rule.

Married Individuals Considered Unmarried

  • Married individuals can be considered unmarried for HOH if all of the following apply:
    • The taxpayer lived separate from his/her spouse for the last six months of the year. Temporary absences (below) are considered as time lived in the home.
    • The taxpayer does not file MFJ
    • The taxpayer paid over 1/2 of the cost of keeping up a home
    • The taxpayer's home was the main home of the taxpayer's child, stepchild, or foster child for over 1/2 the tax year
      • The taxpayer claims this child as a dependent, or the child's other parent claims the child as a dependent under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents.

Temporary Absences

  • Temporary absences (e.g., school, vacation, business, medical care, military services, or detention in a juvenile facility) are considered as time living with the taxpayer.

Costs of Keeping Up a Home

  • Costs included in keeping up a home:
    • Rent
    • Mortgage interest
    • Real estate taxes
    • Homeowner's/renter's insurance
    • Repairs and maintenance
    • Utilities
    • Food eaten in the home
    • Other household expenses

 

  • Costs not included in keeping up a home:
    • Clothes
    • Education
    • Medical expenses
    • Vacations
    • Life insurance
    • Transportation

 

 

@schulman1dan

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Privacy Settings