Head of Household (HOH) Filing Status

Head of household (HOH) filing status allows you to file at a lower tax rate and a higher standard deduction than the Single filing status. But to qualify, you must meet specific criteria.

Choosing this status by mistake may lead to an audit. Be sure you meet all the qualifications.

Do you qualify

You must meet all of the following on December 31 of the tax year:

  1. You were unmarried, considered unmarried, or not in a registered domestic partnership
  2. You have a qualifying child or relative
  3. Your qualifying person lived with you for more than 183 days in the year
  4. You paid more than ½ the costs for maintaining a home
  5. You were a U.S. citizen or legal resident for the whole year

How to file

To claim the HOH filing status, you must include the Head of Household Filing Status Schedule (FTB 3532) with your return.

Avoid common mistakes

Here are the most common reasons you may be denied the HOH filing status:

Help with HOH

Be sure you file correctly. See California Head of Household Filing Status (FTB Pub 1540) for more in depth information.