Filing as a head-of-household taxpayer may be more advantageous than filing as a single taxpayer. Why? Generally, it results in a lower income-tax liability.
To qualify, you generally must:
- Be unmarried at the end of the tax year (certain married taxpayers living apart may qualify),
- Not be a surviving spouse who qualifies for joint return rates,*
- Not be a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, and
- Maintain a household that, for more than half the tax year, is the residence of at least one qualifying child or dependent relative or is the residence of your dependent parent(s), whether or not you reside there.
A qualifying child must meet all the requirements of being a dependent, with the exception that the custodial parent may have released the dependency exemption to another person.
* Generally, a widow or widower with a dependent child may qualify for joint return rates for two years following the year his or her spouse died.