Can I claim head of household in years I don't claim my daughter?

April 12, 2006

Subject:  Claiming head of household
Date:  Mon, 06 Mar 2006
From:  Eric

My ex-wife and I alternate years to claim the dependent exemption for my five-year-old daughter.

Can I claim head of household status for the years that I do not claim her as a dependent?




Date:  Mon, 03 Apr 2006

Hello Eric,

First, understand that you and your wife can't both claim head of household status based on your daughter as a "qualifying child" for the same tax year.

These rules are tricky because of recent tax law changes.

In order to qualify, you must provide more than one-half of your daughter's support for the taxable year, and she must have lived with you for more than one-half of the tax year. (Given – she must not have provided more than one-half of her own support for the year.)

See IRS Publication 501 at

Good luck!
Mike Gray

For answers to new questions, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight by filling out the form below.

Home    Newsletter Archive    Introducing Michael Gray, CPA    Articles    Tax FAQ   Need Help?    Other Links

Michael Gray, CPA
2482 Wooding Ct.
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 918-3162
FAX: (408) 938-0610
Hours: 8am - 5pm PDT Monday - Friday

Find us on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Connect on LinkedIn
Our Blog

Subscribe to Michael Gray, CPA's
Tax & Business Insight

We respect your email privacy