• There are five ways that a person can file their United States income tax, one of which is as "head of household." According to the IRS, if a person qualifies for head of household status, their tax rates should be lower and their standard deduction higher than using another filing status.

    Types of Filing Statuses

    The five types of filing statuses are single, married filing separately, married filing jointly, head of household and qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child.

    Head of Household Qualification

    The IRS has three qualifications that must be met for filing as a head of household. They are: either unmarried or unmarried as of the final day of the filing year; the filer contributed at least half of the cost of maintaining a home for the filing year; and a qualifying dependent must have lived with the filer for at least half the year.


    The IRS does grant exceptions only if the qualifying dependent is a parent for whom the taxpayer has paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for the filing year. This includes paying for more than half the cost of "keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly."

    Who Must File

    According to the IRS, anyone claiming head of household status under the age of 65 must file taxes if they made at least $11,500 for 2008. Those age 65 and older must have an annual income of at least $12,850.

    How to File

    Head of household filers must use either a 1040 or 1040A form to file their United States federal income taxes.



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