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Single vs. Head of Household

Single vs. Head of Household

Amherst, NH Resident Has Questions

Unmarried individuals have the option of either single or head of household as their tax status.  When filing as head of household, you have a much higher standard deduction than single filers, as well as a better overall tax rate.  To qualify as head of household you must be unmarried, pay greater than half the costs of supporting a household and have at least one dependent that lives with you.

An Amherst resident has been filing with a single status for many years.  Concerned that she may be missing out on tax savings, she contacted Merrimack Tax Associates.

Qualifying as Head of Household

A lower tax rate and higher standard deduction make filing as head of household desirable if you qualify for this status.  Married individuals, even those legally separated and living apart, cannot file as head of household.  As long as the filer is divorced on the final day of the year, the head of household status can be filed. 

Filers must be responsible for more than half of the expenses to support the household to qualify.  These expenses include rent or a mortgage, property taxes, property insurance, home repairs, utilities and groceries.  Personal expenses such as clothing, vacations, medical care and transportation do not count towards these household expenses. 

Those filing as head of household must have a dependent living in the home the majority of the year.  This could be a child, grandchild, parent, sibling, or some other dependent living in the home.  Minor children can be claimed as a dependent on one parent’s taxes.  To qualify as a dependent, the individual must be living in the home with you and have an income that does not exceed $4,300.

The Amherst resident was pleased to hear that she would qualify for a head of household tax filing, ultimately saving her money now and in the future.

File Income Tax, head of household, single filier, taxes