Question

If I’m separated from my spouse, can I file as head of household to get the EIC — What are EIC separated from spouse specifics that I need to be aware of.

Answer

Regarding EIC separated from spouse, you can file as head of household if you meet the tests and were unmarried or considered unmarried for the year.

You’re considered unmarried if you meet these tests:

  • You file a separate return.
  • You paid more than half the cost of keeping up the home for the year.
  • Your spouse didn’t live in the home during the last six months of the year.
  • Your home was the main home of one of these for more than half of the year:
    • Your child
    • Stepchild
    • Eligible foster child
  • You must be able to claim an exemption for your child. This applies even if you don’t claim the exemption since you released the child’s exemption to the noncustodial parent.

If you file as head of household, you can claim the Earned Income Credit (EIC) if you otherwise qualify for it. However, you can’t claim the EIC if you’re married filing separately.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Claiming a Married Child

Can you claim your child if they married and moved out of your home? Learn more about dependent tests and get tax answers at H&R Block.

Filing Taxes if Married but Living Separately

Learn how to file your return if married and living separately from your spouse from the tax experts at H&R Block.

The Qualifying Child Test

What is the qualifying child test, and how can it help with your taxes? Learn more about qualifying dependents. Get tax answers at H&R Block today.

Should I Report Non-Deductible Expenses?

Do you need to report non-deductible expenses from Schedule K-1 on your taxes? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.