Important difference between single and head of household on your tax return & why it is crucial you get it right

TAX filing season is here, and the difference between filing single and head of household on your tax return could make a big difference.

Filers can check the box of single filing status if they’re not married.


If the filer is financially supporting a dependent, they can claim head of household status which can mean significant tax benefits, CNBC reported.

It’s better to file as head of household for divorced parents because of the wider tax brackets.

Single filers may reach the top of the 12 percent bracket with $40,525, whereas heads of household may have up to $54,200.

With a larger standard deduction, taxable income may be lower.

Filers may also qualify for other write-offs, such as the third stimulus payments, the child tax credit or earned tax credit for 2021.

While claiming head of household, there are eligibility requirements.

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The person has to be unmarried or living separately from their spouse for at least six months of the year.

A school or work temporary absence doesn’t count.

More than half of the cost of maintaining a home — rent, mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities repairs and meals — have to be paid.

The filer also has to have a “qualifying person,” such as a child, grandchild or other relative, living with them for more than half of the year, although a dependent parent can reside in a different home as long as the filer covers more than half of their living costs.

Both parents qualify for head of household with two or more children as long as one child lives with each parent for more than half of the year providing more than half of their financial support, CNBC reported.

If there is only one child, the parents can switch claiming the head of household status every year.  

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