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Tax Filing Season: What to Know About Filing Taxes Head of Household

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building is seen on the first work day for furloughed federal workers following a 35-day partial government shutdown in Washington, DC, January 28, 2019. - The five-week government shutdown subtracted $11 billion from the US economy, about twice the amount President Donald Trump sought to fund a border wall, an independent congressional body said Monday. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

There is a legitimate reason why many people want to have the IRS head-of-household status during this tax filing season: it is advantageous. 

IRS said the standard deduction available to heads of households is 50 percent more than that available to single taxpayers ($18,650 vs. $12,400). 

They also profit from lower income groups having broader rates. A head of household, for instance, pays 10 percent tax on income up to $14,100, compared to $9,875 for single filers, and 12 percent income tax up to $53,700, compared to merely $40,125 for single filers.


MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 22: A copy of a IRS 1040 tax form is seen at an H&R Block office on the day President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax cut bill in Washington, DC on December 22, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Kathy Pickering, vice president of regulatory affairs and executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block released a statement about the new tax bill saying, ” It’s going to change the way you think about and plan your income taxes. You’ll need to take a fresh look at your individual situation to know your outcome and new strategies to use to get the best tax outcome.” (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Filing Taxes As Head of Household

What comes to mind when you hear the term “head of household”? There is no filing position that causes payers greater confusion. Should the person be the primary earner? Or should he or she be the major source of revenue for the household? It’s not that easy for the Internal Revenue Service, though.

While this status might maximize your tax savings, Investopedia said you must make sure you strictly abide by IRS regulations to prevent a potential investigation or audit.

As Investopedia noted, you must fulfill a number of conditions in order to file as the head of household:

  • not be married 
  • Pay more than half of the expenses for maintaining your home. 
  • Spend more than half of the year living with other qualified family members for whom you are the primary provider of assistance. A dependent kid, grandchild, sibling, grandmother, or any other person you may exempt are some examples of qualified family members.

ALSO READ: When Should A Couple Process Tax Filing? Is It Ideal To File Jointly Or Separately?

Single vs. Head of Household vs. Joint Filers: How it Affects Your Filing

Financial experts told CNBC that many filers continue to mix the terms single, head of household, and joint filers. 

If you are not married, you might pick the single filing status. But if you’re paying for a dependent, you could be able to claim the head of household tax deduction.

Although not as advantageous as married filing jointly, a report from Intuit mentioned that the head of household filing status offers a higher standard deduction amount and lower tax brackets than single filers. 

The taxable income of head of household filers may be smaller and their potential refund may be higher than for single filers. 

Joint filers could also from higher standard deduction amounts and wider tax brackets. However, Intuit mentioned the joint filers can’t file as heads of household.

The standard deduction for joint filers ($25,900 vs. $19,400 for 2022) is double that of a single filer and around 33 percent bigger than that of a head of household.

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