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Do you have children?
Are you legally separated?
Hello again daisey,
In the year that you first separated, if you were separated for at least the last 6 months of the year and you kept up the home of a dependent child, then you would have qualified to file as HOH. If you were separated for less than the last 6 months of the year, then for that year only you should have filed as Married filing a Separate Return.
For all later years since you were separated for the entire year, you would qualify to file as HOH.
If you need to go back and amend the one year due to the fact you were not separated for at least the last 6 months of the year, you may do so by filing Form 1040X for that one tax year. There will likely end up being some additional tax due for that year because the standard deduction for HOH is around $2,500 higher than it is for a married person filing a separate return, so your deductions would be slightly reduced.
Thank you daisey
What you were told is not correct. As long as you were separated for the last 6 months of the year and you kept up the home for a qualifying child, you may file as HOH. You do not have to first file one year as separate before claiming the HOH status.
Refer to the following IRS publication under the section entitled Head of Household -- and then the subsection "Considered Unmarried".