Head of Household (HOH) Filing Status
The head of household (HOH) filing status is for taxpayers who are either unmarried and not an RDP or meet the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a registered domestic partnership and maintain a home for a relative who lived with them for more than half the year.
Registered Domestic Partners (RDPs)
Effective for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2007, RDPs under California law must file their California income tax returns using either the married/RDP filing jointly or married/RDP filing separately filing status. RDPs will have the same legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities as married couples unless otherwise specified. For more information on RDPs, see FTB Pub. 737, Tax Information for Registered Domestic Partners.
If you are an RDP, you may qualify to use the HOH filing status if both of the following apply:
- You are in the process of ending your relationship.
- You meet the requirements to be considered not in a registered domestic partnership. (See Considered Unmarried or Considered Not in a Registered Domestic Partnership under Legal Definitions.)
Do I qualify for HOH?
You are entitled to the HOH filing status only if all of the following apply:
- You were unmarried and not an RDP or met the requirements to be considered unmarried or considered not in a registered domestic partnership as of the last day of the year.
- You paid more than one-half the costs of keeping up your home for the year.
- Your home was the main home for you and a qualifying person who lived with you for more than half the year.
- The qualifying person was related to you and met the requirements to be a qualifying child or qualifying relative.
- You were entitled to a Dependent Exemption Credit for your qualifying person. However, you do not have to be entitled to a Dependent Exemption Credit for your qualifying child if you were unmarried and not an RDP and your qualifying child was also unmarried and not an RDP.
- You were not a nonresident alien at any time during the year.
Find out if you do qualify to use the HOH filing status by taking the Self-Test.
HOH Audit Letter
If you received an HOH Audit Letter, you can submit your responses to the questionnaire online.
- Head of Household (HOH) Filing Status
- Qualification Requirements
- Audit Process
- Common Reasons You May Not Qualify
- Electronic Head of Household Filers
- Forms & Publications
- Frequently Asked Questions
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- Legal Definitions
- Practitioner's Corner
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- Head of Household