Can I file as head-of-household for my parents?

April 19, 2004

Subject:  taxes
From:  Cindy
Date:  Fri, 26 Mar 2004

I live in my parents' home with my son. My father passed away this past year and they had no income except for social security, a small IRA that my mother cashed out to pay for funeral expenses and W-2 income of $1,800. I help my mother with most expenses. Can I file as head of household and claim one or both of my parents as dependents?

Gratefully,
Cindy

Answer

Date:  Fri, 2 Apr 2004

Hello Cindy,

Since you are living in your parents' home, I don't think you can qualify as a head of household. With the IRA, it looks like your mother has too much income for you to claim her as a dependent. You would have to provide more than one-half of your father's support to claim him as a dependent. You could only claim him as a dependent if his income tax return is filed on a married, filing separately basis.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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