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What is a "qualifying person" for Head of Household?

by Intuit Updated 4 months ago

For the purposes of the Head of Household filing status, a qualifying person is a child, parent, or relative who meets certain conditions, listed below.

The conditions are stricter than those for claiming a dependent. For example, you might be able to claim a roommate as your dependent, but never as a qualifying person 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, 2023 (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's too old to qualify as a child might be able to qualify as a relative for Head of Household. A qualifying relative would be:

  • Your mother or father (including your stepfather or stepmother), 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 (see the full list of qualifying relatives below) 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).
    • Qualifying relatives:
      • Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister
      • Your grandparent, or other direct ancestor, but not foster parent
      • A son or daughter of your brother or sister
      • A son or daughter of your half brother or half sister
      • A brother or sister of your father or mother
      • Your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law
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