What is a "qualifying person" for Head of Household?
For the purposes of the Head of Household filing status, a qualifying person is a child, parent, or relative who meets certain conditions that enable you to qualify for Head of Household.
These rules are stricter than those for claiming a dependent; for example, although you may be able to claim a roommate as a dependent, that person would never qualify you for Head of Household status.
A qualifying child would be:
- Your child (including legally adopted), stepchild, foster child, sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild or niece) AND
- Permanently and totally disabled OR under the age of 19 as of December 31, 2016 (under 24 if a full-time student) and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) AND
- Lived with you for more than half the year AND
- Single (or if the child is married, you'd have to qualify to claim them as a dependent even if you're not going to claim them as such).
A child that is too old to fit the definition of qualifying child may qualify as a relative for Head of Household. A qualifying relative would be:
- Your mother or father, if you're qualified to claim them as a dependent (even if you're not claiming them as such) OR
- A relative related by blood, legal adoption, or marriage other than a parent (child, sibling, grandparent, nephew, aunt, step-parent, in-law, etc.) AND lived with you for more than half the year AND that you're able to claim as a dependent (even if you're not claiming them as such).