Claiming Head of Household: A Comprehensive Guide

Claiming Head of Household: A Comprehensive Guide

Published January 1st, 2024

Understanding the various filing statuses available when preparing your tax return is crucial. One of these statuses is "Head of Household" (HOH), which often results in a lower tax liability compared to filing as "Single". Here's what you need to know about claiming HOH.

1. What is Head of Household?

Head of Household is a filing status for single or unmarried taxpayers who keep up a home for a Qualifying Person1. The IRS provides a more favorable tax rate schedule for those who qualify for this status.

2. Who Can File as Head of Household?

To file as HOH, you must meet several criteria2:

  • You must be unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year.
  • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
  • A qualifying person has lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences).

3. Who is a Qualifying Person?

A qualifying person includes your child, parent, or other relatives, but they must meet certain conditions. For instance, if you're claiming a parent as a qualifying person, they don't need to live with you, but you must be able to claim them as a dependent3.

4. Benefits of Filing as Head of Household

Filing as HOH can result in significant tax benefits, including a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates compared to the Single filing status4. In addition, you may also qualify for other tax credits and deductions.

5. How to Claim Head of Household

When you fill out your tax return, you'll have the option to select your filing status. If you meet the requirements described above, you can choose to file as HOH5.

In conclusion, the Head of Household filing status can provide substantial tax benefits for those who qualify. However, the rules can be complex, so it's advisable to consult with a tax professional if you have any doubts or questions.


Publication 501 (2022), Dependents, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
Head of Household | Internal Revenue Service
Who Can I Claim as a Dependent?
Tax Brackets and Rates
Filing Status | Internal Revenue Service

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