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Old 04-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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Filing Dilema

My husband (we are seperated) filed married filing seperately. Do I have to now file the same way since he has already filed or can I file head of household?



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Old 04-05-2013, 08:54 AM
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“Do I have to now file the same way since he has already filed or can I file head of household?”========It depends; although married filers must file joint or separate, an exception is made for separated filers who meet the head of household criteria.As you live apart from your spouse and are legally separated on the last day of the tax year, then you are considered unmarried for the purposes of filing. If, in addition to living apart from your spouse and being legally separated, you also paid more than half the cost of maintaining your household and had a qualifying dependent or another qualifying person live with you,(if you support your parent(s), then they do not have to live with you) then you can claim head of household as your filing status while you are separated. To be considered a qualifying child for the purposes of filing as head of household, the child must meet the relationship, age and support test --- the child must be your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, stepsibling or an extension of one of these persons. The child must also be under age 19 at the end of the tax year (or under age 24 if the child is a full-time student) to meet the age test and you must have provided the majority of support for the child in order to meet the support test. If the child meets these criteria, then he is considered a qualifying child for the purposes of filing. For the purposes of claiming head of household, a qualifying person is a person who lived with you for more than half the tax year and is related to you. If you, as a Head of household filer, are eligible to itemize their deductions, then your spouse must itemize deductions on Sch A. You are eligible to itemize when your potentially eligible expenses for the year in total exceed the standard deduction amount for your filing status. As far as I know , you file your return as HOH and itemize deductions on Sch A of 1040 then your spouse files his return as MFS then he needs to itemize his deductions; ALSO if you qualify for head of household status, you can take the standard deduction even if your spouse itemizes/takes std deduction; the HOH spouse's decision to itemize controls the MFS spouse, but the HOH spouse's decision to take a standard ded does not control the MFS spouse)



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