Daughter Heads House

Today TaxMama hears from Sherri, who needs to know. “My daughter is 17. She has worked all year since I was hurt on the job and haven’t been able to work. Can she claim head of household? She helped out with the bills when I was hurt. I don’t want her to get in trouble; but someone said she could. I also have a 12 yr old son.”

Dear Sherri,

It’s quite admirable for a young girl to step in and take responsibility for the household while mom is ill. Of course, there’s often not much of a choice. But not all teens see it that way.

Now, in order to claim head of household, your daughter would have had to provide more than half the support for someone. You don’t say if you had any disability income or other income coming in, or savings, or if you lived entirely on your daughter’s earnings.

If your daughter’s income provided more than half the support for you and your son, she can certainly claim head of household.

Interestingly enough, even if she didn’t provide more than half the support for all of you, if she provided more than half the support for your son, she’d be able to claim head of household AND would probably also qualify for an earned income credit.

IRS has a worksheet to use for the support test. Fill it in and keep in your daughter’s tax return file for the year to prove that she qualified as head of household for her brother, or both of you.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch03.html#d0e11846

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions, about head of household, and other tax information, free. Where? At TaxMama.com

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