Single, Pregnant, Parent and Taxes
Single With a Dependent
Here's the situation: you are pregnant and the father of the child may or may not marry you. Or, your now ex-spouse has left you alone to raise your child. Once you and/or the father consider the options below, it might help both of you to decide what to do, at least from a taxation point of view. Did you know that financial disagreements are one of the largest factors why marriages or relationships break up?
While taxes may not be the first thing on your mind if you are left alone to raise a child, it may be worth considering so you take control of your finances in order to care for your child. The points below may help you save money in order to provide a home for yourself and your newborn child.
What If You DO Get Married?
If you get married on or before December 31 of a given tax year, then the IRS considers you married for the entire year. You now have a choice of two filing statuses: Married Filing Jointly and Married Filing Separately.
In most cases, it is more tax beneficial to file jointly (Married Filing Joint). However, there are some exceptions where separate returns will yield a better result, and there are specific reasons why you might want to file a separate return from your spouse. The eFile.com STATucator will help you determine the best filing status for you. If you end up getting married, you and your spouse can claim your newborn child as a dependent on your joint tax return or one of you can claim the dependent on a married filing separately return. The dependent can only be claimed once per tax return per year. Any dependent born at any time during the tax year is considered to have lived in the household for the full year.
Find out more about marriage and taxes.
What If You Do NOT Get Married and You Are a Single Parent?
Let's assume that you don't get married. In this case, you will have two choices for your filing status: Single or head of household. If you raise the baby on your own as a single parent, then head of household is the perfect filing status for you! This unique filing status has distinct advantages over the single filing status, including better tax rates and a bigger standard deduction.
Both you and the baby's father can file as Single, no matter what your relationship is after the baby is born. However, filing as head of household could get you lower taxes and/or a bigger tax refund, but you must have a dependent to file with the head of household status. This means you would need to be an unmarried single mother or unmarried single father in order to file as head of household with your child as your dependent on your taxes. You can also claim head of household if you are not a mother or father, but you take care of a qualifying child or person.
Note: only one person can claim a dependent per tax year. If you provide the most support as well as a home for this dependent, claim this filing status when you file your return. Learn what to do if someone claims your dependent.
See how to file as head of household and explore its benefits.
If you take care of your child and provide at least half the support, then you should file as head of household. Also, claim your dependent to claim any deductions and credits, such as the Child Tax Credit. Use these simple tools below:
Can I file as head of household? Can I claim my child as a dependent?
Once you have determined that you can claim your dependent and your filing status is head of household, start the process of filing your taxes online for free. Cancel anytime; review our e-filing and tax preparation services before you eFileIT.
You can file as head of household when you prepare your tax return on eFile.com! If it isn't free, it's the lowest price guaranteed!
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When you e-file your taxes, you do not need to mail and forms or supporting documents. eFile.com makes it easy to claim dependent tax savings for your child so you can get more out of your tax refund. As a single mother or father, use eFile to save money on your taxes.
Still Live Together?
Maybe you live together and raise the child as a family. In this case, either one of you can still file as Single, but only one of you can file as head of household by claiming your baby as a Qualifying Person. There is only one head of household per household! If you qualify as head of household, then you should strongly consider using that filing status on your tax return.
Use the HOHucator tax educator tool
Can I Claim a Dependent While Pregnant?
Even though you are definitely supporting your baby during pregnancy, the baby must be born in order to be your dependent for tax purposes.
If you did not give birth on or before December 31 of a given tax year, you will have to wait until the following tax year to claim the baby as a dependent. In other words, if you gave birth after December 31, you will have to wait until the following year to claim your baby as a dependent on that income tax return.
If your baby is born on or before December 31, then he or she is considered to have lived with you for the entire year and may qualify to be your dependent on your return.
See the requirements for claiming a qualifying child as a dependent or simply use this free dependent tool to determine if you can claim someone:
Use the DEPENDucator tool
What If the Baby's Father Supports Me and the Baby?
If you and the baby lives with, and are supported by the baby's father, then he might be able to claim both of you as dependents amd he might be able to file as head of household. He can claim the baby as a dependent if the baby meets the requirements to be his qualifying child. He can claim you as a dependent if you meet the requirements to be his qualifying relative or person, but not if you are married and are his spouse.
What If Someone Else Supports Me and the Baby?
If you and the baby lives with, and are supported by someone other than the baby's father, they can claim you both as dependents if you meet the requirements to be their qualifying relatives or person.
If you and the baby are supported by a boyfriend who is not the baby's father, the boyfriend may still be able to claim your baby as a dependent, even if the baby does not meet all of the requirements to be his qualifying relative or person. He can claim your baby if you and the baby lived with your boyfriend all year and you did not have enough income and you do not need to file a tax return.
When you file your taxes with eFile.com, a simple tax interview will allow the app to determine all of this for you. It will suggest the best filing status, generate and help you complete the proper forms, and help you get the most of your tax return refund. File now or by the Tax Day deadline.
Additional Information on Marriage, Relationships, and Taxes
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