If I file HOH can I file itemized and she file a standard return.
If you itemize and she will file using MFS filing status - she has to itemize. See the same publication - page 23 - Persons not eligible for the standard deduction
.What about the welfare that my wife received for a few months? If she files MFS is her income separate from mine?
Her income is separate from yours as long as you do not live together. It doesn't matter how you file your tax return - jointly or separate.Can my child be on both a HOH return and MFS return?
Generally - you may not claim the same child, however there are some exemptions for divorced or separated parents.
Under the IRS rules the custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater part of the year
. The other parent is the noncustodial parent.
The IRS will award dependency exemption to the custodial parent.
Can my child be on both a HOH return and MFS return?
The custodial parent may release the claim to the noncustodial parent by signing the form 8332 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf - should be filed with the noncustodial parent's tax return. The non-custodial parent - you should obtain that form signed by the custodian parent for specified years.
Please refer to the IRS publication 504 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf
If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule for divorced or separated parents, only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child.
However, the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. Only the custodial parent (or other eligible taxpayer) can claim the child as a qualifying child for these four tax benefits. Is there any concern for welfare fraud?
If you claim a child as your dependent - that means the child is living with you.
If your wife received welfare benefits for the same child - means the child is living with her.
If the child lived part of the year with your wife - that should be stated on her welfare application.