Domestic Diversions

Head of the house

The “Head of Household” filing status provides more favorable tax rates to an unmarried individual who maintains a household for certain dependents. In essence, the taxpayer pays a smaller percentage of tax on more of the dollars earned than either those filing Single or Married filing Separately. For example, the Head of Household status bumps up from 10% to 15% at the $10,200 mark, while the other two filing statuses are bumped up at the $7,150 mark. The same proves true as income moves up from one tax bracket to another.

The taxpayer must maintain the home for the dependent for more than one-half of the tax year, with an exception for time spent away at school. This means furnishing more than half of costs such as mortgage interest/rent, property taxes/insurance, utility charges, maintenance and repairs, food and the like.

A “married” person can file Head of Household when the spouse is not a member of the household for the last 6 months of the year, the taxpayer provides the principal residence for his or her child, and the taxpayer has the dependcy exemption for that child.

Talk to your accountant for more and updated information and for specific advice about your situation.

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