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Head of Household Question: Ex-husband and ex-wife still…

Head of Household Question: Ex-husband...
Head of Household Question: Ex-husband and ex-wife still life together. There are two children. Ex-husband and ex-wife basically split everything; however, ex-H pays a bit more for daughter and ex-W pays a bit more for son. Can both claim Head of Household filing status? I'm thinking no because of the "more than half" qualifier for maintaining the household. I believe one is single and one is HoH. They can split the dependents.
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Answered in 39 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 32,687
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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The definitely may decide who will claim which dependent - that is not an issue - as long as they live together.

Regarding using HOH filing status - that is a little trickie...

First of all "still life together" - for me it sounds as ONE household.

If so - we may not have two "heads" in one household...mainly - as you mentioned - because one of basic requirements is to provide more than half of the household support.

It is possible however for them to have completely separate households even when using the same dwelling - but that probably is not true and if audited - it is not feasible to proof.

So the best path forward would be the ex-spouse if larger income to use HOH filing status - and the other would claim as single.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I would agree. I inherited a bit of a mess - but that's okay. They also co-own the home they live in and rent out a separate structure (residential) on the property. Historically, and for many years, the ex-W has been claiming the income / rental activity. (Missed depreciation / mortgage interest / etc.) To your earlier point, one will be single and one will be HoH. I will split the dependents.

That would the most effective way to file for such situation.

You may want to verify if that will be more beneficial fro ex-spouse with larger AGI to claim both children ?
But otherwise - you are correct.

Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 32,687
Experience: Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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