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

New Baby, New House or New Spouse? How Major Life Changes Affect Your Taxes

Getting married? Having a baby? Buying a house? Go through your life events checklist and see how each can affect your tax return with the experts at H&R Block.

Are Car Repairs Tax Deductible?

Are car repairs tax deductible? Is there a car repair credit? Learn more from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Self-Employment Tax Deductions

Are you eligible for self-employment tax deductions? Learn how to deduct health insurance and other expenses, and get tax answers at H&R Block.

Child Support Tax Deduction

If you are paying child support for your children, but they don't live with you, can you claim them as dependents? Get Tax Answers from H&R Block.