Head of Household Filing Status: Definition & Rules (2021) – SmartAsset

For IRS purposes, a pass of family is by and large an unmarried taxpayer who has dependents and paid for more than half the costs of the home. This tax file status normally includes individual parents and divorced or legally separated parents ( by the final sidereal day of the year ) with detention. It can besides be an adult who is supporting a rear or other relative under certain circumstances. These certain circumstances can be crafty to understand. besides, your personal situation might be quite complex. For more assistant with your tax planning, consider consulting with a fiscal adviser .

Who Can File as a Head of Household?

There are three particular guidelines the IRS expects you to meet to qualify as a head of family ( HOH ). First, you have to be single or considered unmarried by the last day of the tax year. The IRS considers you unmarried if you meet the following criteria :

  • You’re divorced or legally separated.
  • Your spouse didn’t live with you during the last six months of the year.
  • You and your spouse file separate tax returns.

If the circumstances of your separation are irregular, the IRS will consider you married for tax purposes. Qualifying irregular separations include military deployment, staying in a aesculapian treatment facility or going to college. second, you need to have paid more than half the costs of keeping up a home for the year. That includes your economic rent or mortgage payment, property taxes, utilities, repairs, sustenance and groceries. You can ’ thymine include things like clothe, life indemnity or fare. Receiving child confirm or alimony doesn ’ triiodothyronine prevent you from claiming head of family adenine long as you ’ re paying more than 50 % of your family costs from your own income or savings. ultimately, you need to have a qualify dependent support in the home with you for more than half the year. For many people who file as head of family, their qualify dependent is a child. A qualifying child can be your biological child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, gradation sibling, half sibling or a descendant of one of the aforesaid relatives. The child besides needs to be under the age of 19 ( or under the age of 24 if a full-time scholar ). You can besides claim these relatives as your qualifying pendent if the person is permanently and wholly disable, careless of senesce. If the subject, though, is a sibling, he or she must be younger than you and their gross income must be less than $ 4,300. early non-child qualifying dependents include a parent, step rear, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle and daughter-, son-, mother- or father-in-law. note that you can claim a parent as your subject even if the rear doesn ’ t live with you, a long as you pay for half the costs of their home, including if they live in a nurse family. The like is true for a child who is away at college. Again, they can not have arrant incomes in excess of $ 4,300.

Head of Household Status Advantages

Claiming “ forefront of family ” as your file status ( versus file as individual or marital filing individually ) benefits you in two ways. First, you ’ ll get a lower tax rate. For tax year 2021, for exemplar, the 12 % tax rate applies to single filers with an adjusted gross income that ’ second between $ 9,950 and $ 40,525. If you file heading of family, however, you can earn between $ 14,201 and $ 54,200 before surpassing the 12 % tax bracket.

head of family filers besides benefit from a higher standard tax write-off. For the 2021 tax year, the deduction for individual filers is $ 12,550, but it climbs about 50 % more to $ 18,800 for those filing drumhead of family. Deductions reduce your taxable income for the year, which can bring your tax bill down or bump up the size of your refund. address of the 2021 tax year, the current tax deadline is April 15 in 2022. For mention, your 2020 tax return had to be filed by May 17 in 2021 ( which was extended because of the coronavirus pandemic ) .

Can I File as Head of Household If I Live With My Significant Other?

If you both are unmarried and have children from previous relationships, each of you can file as heads of family adenine retentive as you ’ re adhering to the IRS guidelines ( including each of you is paying for more than half of your home costs – for example, you ’ re evenly splitting the rent and utilities and each of you pays for your own food ). If you have a child together, entirely one of you can claim HOH status with that child in thinker ( the IRS says that a child can be alone one person ’ mho pendent. ) In the subject where alone one of you has a child from a previous kinship, the biological parent can claim HOH condition – and the other can claim single condition. But if the biological parent doesn ’ metric ton work outside the home, the gain partner could claim HOH condition. In order to claim both the child and non-earning partner as qualifying dependents, the following would have to be true :

  • You provided more than half of their total support for the year.
  • They lived with you legally as members of your household for the entire year.
  • Neither had a gross income that exceeds $4,300.
  • Neither is someone’s qualifying child.

Can I File as Head of Household If There Are No Children?

If there are no children, you can silent claim a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend as a qualify dependent, ampere long as you meet the following is true :

  • The significant other lived with you legally the whole year.
  • You provided more than half his or her total support for the year.
  • His or her income does not exceed $4,300.
  • He or she is not someone’s qualifying child.

Can I File as Head of Household If I’m Married?

If you have a spouse, it ’ s probably more beneficial tax-wise to file jointly. But if you are filing individually, you can claim heading of family status if you meet these three criteria :

  • Your spouse did not live with you the last six months of the year.
  • You provided the main home of the qualifying child and paid for more than half the home costs.
  • You are claiming your child as a dependent.

Bottom Line

Filing as mind of family will put you in a lower tax bracket than if you filed as single. It besides enables you to claim a higher standard tax deduction on your tax return. This is because you are supporting one or more people besides yourself. In turn, the government is lowering your tax burden the lapp way it does for marry couples with children. This can make point of family an very beneficial tax status for the right situation .

Tax Planning Tips

  • Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • SmartAsset can help you figure out what you’ll be getting back from Uncle Sam with our free tax return calculator.

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