Can I file as head of household if I have a daughter who is only 4 months old, so she hasn’t been living with me the full year?

by Dafna Meltzer, CPA | Jan 14, 2019

Can I file as head of household if I have a 4-month-old daughter and pay all of my rent plus utilities? Or would I have to file as single because my daughter technically has not lived with me for six months because she is only 4 months old?

Here is what it says in IRS Publication 501:

You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the qualifying person who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. To qualify you for head of household filing status, the qualifying person (as defined in Table 4) must be one of the following.

  • Your qualifying child or qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive.

In other words, as long as your child has lived with you for more than two months, you can claim head of household.

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Answered by: Dafna Meltzer, CPA, is with Meltzer & Meltzer CPAs in Elkins Park, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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