Head of Household filing - simple question for someone who knows tax law
February 17, 2013 10:10 AM   Subscribe

My divorced sister has a 24 year old son (23 in 2012) who lives at home but does not go to school, he has a part-time job. She did pay for all the expenses at home. Using Turbo Tax and it recommends she should file as Head of Household, but I want to be sure this is correct. I checked and I did put her son did not go to school in 2012. Can she file as Head of Household?
posted by just asking to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I assume you've read the IRS publications which defines student as being someone who was in school some part of five months of the previous calendar year? In light of that, your interpretation seems to be correct. TurboTax has some very good online help and I would try this over the advice of someone on the internet in the absence of any actual tax experts' advice.
posted by jessamyn at 10:22 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

IANATaxL. The criteria are laid out here in table 4. It's a little unclear to me: the term "qualifying child" is used both for qualifying for an exemption and for qualifying for head-of-household status. The son is too old to be a "qualifying child" as a dependent. This might be something to call the IRS's question line for.
posted by hattifattener at 10:29 AM on February 17, 2013

Best answer: Her son is not a qualifying child (over 19, and not a full-time student), but he is a qualifying relative who lived with her more than half the year. She is single, and she paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Ergo, she can file as Head of Household. See Publication 501 for more info. It gives examples showing that someone who is not a qualifying child may still be a qualifying relative.
posted by ubiquity at 10:31 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I just used IRS interactive question tool on their website. It does say she can file as Head of Household. Turbo Tax and ubiquity are correct in recommending this.
posted by just asking at 10:38 AM on February 17, 2013

Response by poster: Yeah, unfortunately he didn't make over 3800. Thanks.
posted by just asking at 10:40 AM on February 17, 2013

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