Head of household Filing status
Head of household (HOH) filing status allows you to file at a lower tax rate and a higher standard deduction than the filing status of single. But to qualify, you must meet specific criteria.
Choosing this status by mistake may lead to your HOH filing status being denied at the time you file your tax return. Be sure you meet all the qualifications.
Do you qualify
You must meet all of the following on December 31 of the tax year:
- You were unmarried, considered unmarried, or not in a registered domestic partnership
- You have a qualifying child or relative
- Your qualifying person lived with you for more than 183 days in the year
- You paid more than ½ the costs for maintaining a home
- 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.
Follow the instructions in your tax preparation software.
- Paper file
Complete and include the Head of Household Filing Status Schedule (FTB 3532) with your tax return.
Avoid common mistakes
Here are the most common reasons you may be denied the HOH filing status:
- Your qualifying relative’s gross income is above the limit
- Your qualifying child's age is 19 years old but under 24 years old and not a full time student
- Your qualifying child lived with you less than 183 days
- You and someone else claimed the same qualifying person, or used the same address
- You are married and claimed a qualifying relative
- You didn’t attach a completed Head of Household Filing Status Schedule (FTB 3532)
Help with HOH
Be sure you file correctly. See California Head of Household Filing Status (FTB Pub 1540) for more in depth information.