Head of Household Filing Status

Head of household (HOH) is a filing status used many times by single parents with dependents. Attention: The tool below is for Tax Year 2021; the current tax year HOHucator is here. Do you qualify as the unique tax filing status? Who can claim head of household? Use the tool below to find out.

Head of

File as Head of Household

If you are not sure if you might qualify to claim yourself as the head of household filing status for 2021, use the calculator below. Then, find all the tools, forms, and calculators for Tax Year 2021 before you prepare your 2021 IRS and State Tax Returns and mail them in.

For the current tax year, find all tax tools here before you prepare and eFile your taxes on eFile.com. If you select head of household, the eFile Tax App will apply the higher standard deduction and help reduce your taxes as you enter your income and other tax information.

Get your taxes filed online each year on eFile.com so you do not have to go through complicated IRS forms. You can only file online electronically in the year your taxes are due.

Use the tool below to see if you may qualify for the benefits of claiming head of household for your 2021 Taxes.

Head of Household or HOHucator Tool


Do You Qualify for the Head of Household IRS Tax Filing Status?

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Do You Qualify for the Head of Household Filing Status?
Were you a U.S. citizen and/or resident alien for all of the tax year?
What was your marital status on the last day of the tax year?
Did your spouse die during the tax year?
Did your spouse die during the previous two tax years?
Did you provide more than half of your own support for the tax year?
Did you pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the tax year?
Do you have an IRS Qualifying Person who lived with you during the tax year? Use our DEPENDucator tool if you are unsure of how to answer.
Is the Qualifying Person your child or stepchild, but not a foster child?
Is your Qualifying Person single?
Are both of the following true:
  • - The Qualifying Person is married.
  • - They will file their own tax return.

Based on your answers, your filing status can be Married Filing Jointly OR Married Filing Separately. Learn the difference between these two statuses to help you decide which one is best for you.

Based on your answers, your filing status is Single. Single is the basic filing status for unmarried people who do not qualify to file as Head of Household. If you were not married on the last day of the tax year and you do not qualify to use any other filing status, then you must file your tax return as single.

Based on your answers, you qualify for the Head of Household filing status. A lot of folks think that you can file for this status if you are married and this is not the case. You have to be single, or unmarried, with a dependent child or children to qualify.

Based on your answers, your filing status is Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. This filing status allows you to retain the benefits of the Married Filing Jointly status for two years after the year of your spouse's death. You must have a dependent child in order to file as a Qualifying Widow or Widower.

This tool cannot determine your filing status because you were not a U.S. citizen and/or a resident alien for all of the tax year.

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Compared to the single filing status, the head of household filing status will get taxpayers lower tax rates and a higher standard deduction, plus qualify more easily for tax credits. Many singles with dependents qualify as heads of household - use this free 2021 Dependent Tool to see who you can claim on your 2021 Return. Additionally, other unmarried people and, with some exception, legally married people with dependents might qualify as head of household. Generally, however, to qualify to file as a head of household, you have to be unmarried and you have to support a dependent or qualifying relative.


  • If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain requirements - even if you aren't divorced or legally separated - you might file as head of household. Should you qualify to file as head of household instead of as married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. Plus, your tax amount overall may be lower and you might be able to claim the Earned Income Credit.
  • If you are a US citizen and are married to a nonresident of the United States within the meaning of the IRS, you may also qualify to use the head of household filing status if you choose to treat the nonresident as a US resident. In other words, you are considered unmarried as HOH if your spouse was a nonresident at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident as a resident. However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for the head of household filing status; you must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household.

It can be tricky to figure out if someone is your qualifying person. If you have a dependent, they might or might not also count as your qualifying person. A dependent is not always a qualifying person and you don't necessarily have to claim a qualifying person as a dependent. Don't worry, we've made it easy for you on the current tax year tax return. Use the eFile Tax app here: prepare and e-file with eFile.com and let the tax app select the best filing status for you. If your circumstances did not change from this year compared to 2021, you can most likely can use the head of household for 2021 as well.

Note: online preparation and e-filing is only available for current year returns. File your taxes when they are due each year so you do not have to fill in paper forms or mail anything in.

Find out how to how to file as head of household and see more detailed requirements.

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