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Keeping up a Home for Head of Household - Child Support

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Level 12

One requirement of Head of Household is paying over 1/2 of the cost of Keeping Up the Home.

 

Custodial parent receives Spousal Support/Alimony.  That is considered as belonging to that custodial parent, so that is used for considering if 1/2 of the cost of the home is paid for, RIGHT?

What about Child Support?  My logic would say that belongs to the non-custodial parent and would NOT be considered for the custodial parent paying for the home.  BUT I have stuck in my mind that it IS considered as belonging to the Custodial Parent which could be used for determining if over 1/2 is paid for.   Does anybody have any input or citations on that?

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3 Replies 3
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Level 12

I like to use IRS resources, such as:

https://www.irs.gov/faqs/interest-dividends-other-types-of-income/alimony-child-support-court-awards...

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p504

 

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Level 12

Unfortunately, those don't answer the question.

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Level 12

"Unfortunately, those don't answer the question."

The answer is Maybe. "Receiving child support or alimony doesn’t prevent you from claiming Head of Household as long as you’re paying more than 50% of your household costs from your own income or savings."

The resources help more about the wording, qualifications, references, etc. There are residency tests, support tests, and other determinations to perform.

This looks easy to read:

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/child-support-taxes-30263.html

Social Security benefits in the name of a child are treated as belonging to that child and would be part of their computed share of contributing to their own household costs. If there are multiple support streams, then as long as the custodial parent still pays more than the others, that parent can still be HOH for that qualifying child.

Support tests can be found, such as:

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p501#en_US_2019_publink1000292527

https://apps.irs.gov/app/vita/content/globalmedia/teacher/worksheet_for_determining_support_4012.pdf

https://www.thebalance.com/head-of-household-filing-status-3193039#the-support-test

And you need to follow the list for qualifying costs, since not everything applies.

https://www.efile.com/irs-head-of-household-tax-filing-status/

 

 

 

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"Level Up" is a gaming function, not a real life function.