“Can a parent who has joint custody but waives dependent status for a child file as head of household?”----->Yes as long as the other custodial parent meets the requirements to file as a HOH; Head of Household is not dependent on dependency exemption except in specific cases. The parent is unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. The parent paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. A“qualifying person” lived with him/her in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). However, if the “qualifying person” is his/her dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Qualifying person is his/her child, for whom he/she provided more than half of their support is his/her "qualified child" regardless of claim of exemption. Even though the paarent can not claim the Exemption, Child Tax Credit, or Education Credits, that same child can be used for qualifying person for Head of Household filing status ;qualifying child for Earned Income Credit ; Child and Dependent Care Credit.