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The Guy Behind the Tree
The Guy Behind the Tree, Experienced Investor & Financier
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience:  Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.
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I am divorcing, but not finalized. Can I be HOH on ...

Customer Question

I am divorcing, but not finalized. Can I be HOH on 2007 taxes even though my "husband" will claim her as a dependent? I pay for house etc and she lives with me only. He left in 2006 and doesn''t pay alimony. I pay mortgage, taxes etc. I live in NY.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  The Guy Behind the Tree replied 9 years ago.
The IRS has specific rules for the claiming of a child or a qualifying relative as a dependent. From a reading of these requirements, you can claim your daughter as a dependent. This is true whether you file "married filing separately" or "head of household". Get tax advice as to which is better for your situation.

The IRS will not accept someone claiming a child as a dependent unless these rules are met. The person who is NOT entitled to claim the dependent will have their tax return changed, and possibly audited. The IRS computers match almost perfectly for checking doubly claimed dependents.

The IRS offers a publication that specifically states the requirements for claiming a child as a dependent:

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#d0e3591

(See "Qualifying Child" section)

Here is an article summarizing the IRS publication:

http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/a/Dependents.htm

The key points are - under the qualifying child rules, the child must live with you for more than half the year. Under the qualifying relative rules, the taxpayer must provide more than half of the dependent's total support.

It seems from what you have stated that you, not your husband, can claim your daughter as a dependent.

Hope these thoughts help.
The Guy Behind the Tree, Experienced Investor & Financier
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience: Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the guy behind the tree.
The Guy Behind the Tree and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
He has her as a dependent by settlement agreement. Question was if I could be Head of Household on taxes. Or should I file married but filing separate. You did not answer the question.
Expert:  The Guy Behind the Tree replied 9 years ago.
I see. That does change the situation. I will Opt Out, another Expert will be able to provide you a better response.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Huh? Do I have to pay again?
Expert:  The Guy Behind the Tree replied 9 years ago.
I've informed the site managers that you have Accepted but didn't mean to. They will attend to your refund.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to The Guy Behind the Tree's Post: WHen weill this new expert answer me?
Expert:  Wendy Reed replied 9 years ago.

Hello carole,

I am sorry for the confusion with your question.

You most certainly meet the definition of Head of Household for filing status. You may use your daughter as a qualifying person for head of household (and possibly earned income credit and/or dependent care credit if applicable).

Head of household is much more advantageous than filing married separate.

Please let me know if you need any additional information.