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  1. #1
    pegmom3 is offline Junior Member
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    Income tax Filing status if not legally seperated from spouse

    Michigan. Hi. My husband and I seperated (not legally) in may of this year. My question is, can I file HOH if we are not legally seperated but live apart? I do make a little more more than he does and our children live with me. Also what proof if any will I have to show that he no longer resides with me? Also will I have to provide proof that I provide more than half of the cost's of our children, rent,food,utilities?
  2. #2
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    You have not provided any info indicating you don't meet the criteria, however you need to verify you do.

    Considered Unmarried

    To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests.

    You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ).

    You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.

    Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. See Temporary absences , later.

    Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. (See Home of qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year.)

    You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described later in Children of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents or Parents Who Live Apart under Qualifying Relative. The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents .
    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000220775
  3. #3
    pegmom3 is offline Junior Member
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    So I would have to have receipts for rent,food utilities and such? My residence that our children and I are residing in is still in both my husband and I names. Utilities are in mine. Vehicles are in mine. I just don't know what exactly I need for proof or will be asked of me. Although my husband does not live with us his name is still on our lease agreement because we are considering getting back together,we do not take lightly to divorce. I do receive state aid (medical for my children anyway) I don't know if that has anything to do with this. I just don't want an audit,but it seems that I should be able to use this filing status. And he would then file married/seperate?
  4. #4
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    If you will be married on 12/31, then you must file as married. I suspect without a legal separation, his moving out will be considered a temporary absence. Is he sending you any money?
  5. #5
    pegmom3 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    If you will be married on 12/31, then you must file as married. I suspect without a legal separation, his moving out will be considered a temporary absence. Is he sending you any money?
    He does give me(he lives 4miles from us at his fathers house) $100 for the insurance on the vehicle he is driving,$100 for gas for taking the kids to and from school. And $200 for food. So $400 per month. I pay the remaining amount of rent/bills.($875)
  6. #6
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I think you are safest filing married joint or married separate. Consult a tax pro when it's time to file though. Some of it will depend on what happens between now and 12/31.
  7. #7
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    If you will be married on 12/31, then you must file as married.
    Not if she qualifies for HOH.

    I suspect without a legal separation, his moving out will be considered a temporary absence. Is he sending you any money?
    None of which is relevant to the issue.
  8. #8
    davew128 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I think you are safest filing married joint or married separate. Consult a tax pro when it's time to file though. Some of it will depend on what happens between now and 12/31.
    First off, filing joint requires both spouses to consent. You may have noticed there is a problem here. Secondly, I wouldn't even think twice about HOH for OP.
  9. #9
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    I think you are safest filing married joint or married separate. Consult a tax pro when it's time to file though. Some of it will depend on what happens between now and 12/31.
    Unlike Dave, I can neither agree nor disagree with the first part of this answer, Why? Because of the second part of the answer.

    They are talking about getting back together. If that happens before the end of the year then there temporary separation a completely a moot point.
  10. #10
    pegmom3 is offline Junior Member
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    From what I have read I do qualify to file as HOH, we are seperated(not legally but we haven't been living together since May 2012,which has been 6 months now)and possibly may still be seperated on 12/31, I do have dependents, I am making more money and supplying more than half of living cost's for my children and I. It is such a gray subject. I just really don't want to be audited and if they ask for proof I really have none, I do not have a checking account to show receipts/cancelled checks for rent etc. All of our assets are shared because of the possibility we get back together. So there is my problem, showing proof. I am starting to think filing married-joint may be the best,only because we will benefit more than filing seperate. Although filing HOH I would benefit even more than Joint..I'm not looking to create a mess by being accused of tax fraud.
  11. #11
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    It's way to early to worry about now anyway. See whether you are still separated on 12/31, and when you are ready to file, see a professional.

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