Monday Mishap: What if I filed as Single instead of Head of Household?
However, if you have dependents, you may be able to file as head of household. That means you will be taxed at a lower bracket and your standard deduction will increase.
You can generally file as head of household if all of the following requirements are met:
- You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year, and
- You either:
- Maintain as your home a household that is the principal place of abode for more than half the year for a qualifying person, or
- Maintain a home that is the principal place of abode for more than half the year for your father or mother if you are entitled to claim a dependency exemption for them (the parent does not need to live with you).
Head of household can also sometimes be used by taxpayers who would not otherwise file as single. For example, what if you’re still married and separated, but not legally separated? In this situation, you can’t file as single; however, you can still claim head of household filing status if you’re “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. To be “considered unmarried”, you must either be married to a nonresident alien, or meet all of the following tests:
- You file a separate return
- You pay for more than half the cost of keeping up the home for the tax year
- Your spouse has not lived in your home during the last six months of the tax year. However, your spouse is considered to live in your home if they are only temporarily absent, such as because of illness, education, business, vacation, or military orders.
- You have a child, stepchild or eligible foster child, and your home was the main home of your child for more than half of the tax year.
- You can claim your child, stepchild or eligible foster child as a dependent.
If you met the requirements to file as head of household but filed as single instead, don’t worry; you didn’t do anything wrong. However, you’re likely leaving a lot of money on the table that could go toward maximizing your refund or reducing your tax liability.
For example, in 2015 the normal standard deduction for a single or married filing separate return is $2,950 less than the standard deduction available on the return of someone filing as head of household.
What does it mean to be an enrolled agent? Learn more about the roles and requirements of enrolled agent (EA) tax preparers at H&R Block.
What is a CPA, and how can one help you with preparing your taxes? Understand the role of a certified public accountant with the experts at H&R Block.
Trying to determine the cost of tax preparation or H&R Block’s prices? Find out why there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to tax prep.
If you’re itemizing deductions, the IRS generally allows you a medical expenses deduction if you have unreimbursed expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for tax years 2017 or 2018. You can deduct the cost of care from several types of practitioners at various stages of care.