By John Stylianou, Accountant
If you’re single, it might be worth checking whether you qualify to file your tax return as head of household. The advantages: You’ll enjoy lower tax brackets and a bigger standard deduction than single filers.
The usual example of a head of household is someone who is single on the last day of the tax year, has a dependent child living at home, and pays at least half the cost of maintaining the home. But there are some surprising other ways to qualify. Here are a few examples:
You’re single and have a parent who qualifies as a dependent but doesn’t live with you. You may be able to file as head of household if you provide at least half the cost of maintaining your parent’s home for the year.
You’re single and have a dependent parent who lives in a nursing home. If you pay at least half of your parent’s nursing home costs for the year, you could qualify as head of household.
You’re single and have an unmarried child living at home, but can’t claim him or her as a dependent. You might still be able to file as head of household as long as you pay at least half the cost of maintaining your household.
The rules and exceptions can get complicated, so check with our office if you think you might be eligible. You’ll save yourself some tax dollars if you can find a way to qualify.