Separate Newlyweds

Today TaxMama hears from Ingrid in Illinois, who tells us. “We are over 40 and got married in December 2008. We have two homes, separate bank accounts, and maintain our own households. Can we each file Head-of-Household for 2009?”

Dear Ingrid,


How interesting to get married and live totally separately. It’s certainly the best way not to hear each other snoring. And probably generates many fewer arguments.

But can you each file head of household?

Heck no!

You’re married.

You can each file as married, filing separate – which is THE most expensive filing status there is. You’re probably better off filing as married, filing jointly. (How did you file last year? After all, getting married in December, even if it’s December 31st, makes you married for the whole year in IRS’s eyes.)

Incidentally, head of household only works when you’re single and have dependents. Then you are the head of THEIR household. You can’t be the head of your own household. Good try, though.

Have a wonderful marriage!

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about marriage and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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