Chat with an FTB Representative

I'm head of my house. Why was I denied Head of Household filing status?

To qualify for head of household filing status:

  • You must be either single on the last day of the tax year or, if you were married on the last day of the tax year, you must not have lived with your spouse at any time during the last six months of the tax year.
  • You must have provided the main home for a qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the year.
  • You must have paid more than half the cost of keeping up the home in which you and your qualifying relative lived.
  • If you were single (never married, divorced, or legally separated by the last day of the tax year), your qualifying relative can be either your child or one of the relatives that is specified by law who can qualify you for the head of household filing status. You must be entitled to a dependent exemption credit for your relative. You must also be entitled to a dependent exemption credit for your child, if your child was married. If your qualifying relative is your parent, your parent need not live with you. (For a list of relatives who can qualify you for the head of household filing status and the test that must be met for you to qualify for a dependent exemption credit, see "Qualifying Relative" and Dependent Exemption Credit" in the definitions section of FTB Publication 1540, California Head of Household Filing Status Information).
  • If you were married, your qualifying relative can only be your child for whom you are entitled to a dependent exemption credit.
  • If you claim your foster child as your qualifying relative, you must be entitled to a dependent exemption credit for the child and the child must have lived with you for the entire year as a member of you household. If either of the child's natural parents lived with you at any time during the tax year, the child cannot qualify as your foster child. 

You may not claim yourself, your spouse, or anyone other than a qualifying relative as your qualifying individual for the head of household filing status.

If we sent you a Return Information Notice changing your filing status to single, you may have omitted the qualifying individual's name from your return. You need to provide the name, age, relationship and social security number of the qualifying person that you support to a Franchise Tax Board Representative. You may call 800.852.5711 and select option 6 to speak to a Franchise Tax Board Representative