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Conwaytax6769
Level 2

I have a client who is not married and has 2 kids

they (mom and dad) each want to claim a dependent and file head of household. Am I allowed to file them this way?

1. they live together

2. they are not married

3. they each can claim 1 of the children (there are 2) (not claiming the same dependent for HOH)

4. they split the bills

Thank you for your help!! 

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11 Replies 11
IRonMaN
Level 15

As the Rolling Stones sang, you can't always get what you want.  There is only one household so they can't both file as head of household.

Barber! Why didn't I think of this before? Getting paid to give out bad tax advice - need I say more? I've run with scissors for years so it is a natural fit.
Conwaytax6769
Level 2

As long as both individuals meet the requirements, including each having a qualifying child, an unmarried couple living together can both file as head of household. This is what I found. When I do the ITA on IRS.gov 

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IRonMaN
Level 15

I don't think that is true under the situation you are presenting.

Barber! Why didn't I think of this before? Getting paid to give out bad tax advice - need I say more? I've run with scissors for years so it is a natural fit.
BobKamman
Level 13

If you came here to argue about it, tell us which one is paying more than half the household costs if they are splitting the bills.  

Separate households can happen under the same roof, but it's rare and usually a case of his kids and her kids and separate bank accounts.  

Are you even sure it makes a tax difference?  Usually these losers end up with zero taxable income regardless of filing status.  

Conwaytax6769
Level 2

Here’s the information the client presented to me. Not trying to argue. 

they each make around $20,000-$25,000

they are not married

they split the bills 

this is their first year having a second child

if one came to me to prepare takes I would file CTC and HOH

now what if the other went to H&R and filed that way with the other dependent.... 

 

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BobKamman
Level 13

And you aren't claiming EIC, because . . . ?

Conwaytax6769
Level 2

I was only talking about CTC AND HOH because people can have EIC without kids. Yes I am old out EIC... but this isn’t helping me get my question answered. I called 2 tax accounts and one said they both can be and the other said they can’t 

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IRonMaN
Level 15

Well, you have 4 reputable tax preparers here saying you can't do that ------------------ well, 3 plus me.  How many folks do you need to tell you the answer is no before you will believe us?

Barber! Why didn't I think of this before? Getting paid to give out bad tax advice - need I say more? I've run with scissors for years so it is a natural fit.
IRonMaN
Level 15

Based on what you just posted, neither one qualifies for head of household since they each provide 50% of the costs.  Someone has to to provide more than 50% to qualify.

Barber! Why didn't I think of this before? Getting paid to give out bad tax advice - need I say more? I've run with scissors for years so it is a natural fit.
Just-Lisa-Now-
Level 15
Level 15
they would each need to pay MORE than 50% of the household expenses....so Im not sure how that would happen as theyre all living together as one family in one house.

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
PATAX
Level 9

Iron Man sounds like he is correct again... in my opinion it is a good idea to avoid potential headaches...