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Head of Household filing status

The head of household (HOH) filing status refers to the status designated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is advantageous for both unmarried and married parents with a non-American spouse. The IRS typically provides this status to individuals who have never been married and those who are divorced or legally separated. However, not all unmarried United States (US) citizens or green card holders automatically become eligible for the head of household filing status.

Can I use the Head of Household filing status if I’m married in the UAE?

That depends on who you’re married to.

Married to a Non-Resident Alien: US citizens in the UAE, or elsewhere, married to non-resident aliens (non-US individuals) can also claim this status if they have a dependent or qualifying child and provide more than 50% of that individual’s support.

What is the Head of Household filing status?

The head of household status is a tax filing status that offers more favorable tax rates and higher standard deductions compared to filing as single or married filing separately.

To qualify, you must provide more than 50% of the financial support for a dependent or qualifying child during the tax year.

Who qualifies as a dependent or qualifying child?

  • For Dependents: this can include your children, such as a daughter or son, or even a parent, depending on the specifics of your situation.
  • For Qualifying Children: typically, this refers to a child who is under a certain age (usually 19, or 24 if a full-time student) and lives with you for more than half the year.

What is another example for the eligibility status for Head of Household?

  • Single Parent with a Dependent Child: A single taxpayer with a 3-year-old dependent, who they support more than 50%, can claim the head of household status.

Are there any key points I should remember?

  • Tax Benefits: Filing as head of household can result in lower tax rates and a higher standard deduction than other filing statuses.
  • Support Requirement: The crucial factor for eligibility is providing over half of the financial support for a dependent or qualifying child.
  • Varied Situations: Each taxpayer’s situation is unique, so it’s important to have a tax professional assess your circumstances to determine if you meet the criteria.

For US taxpayers, especially expatriates, your head of household filing status can lead to significant tax savings. It’s essential to evaluate your living situation, the nature of your dependents, and the extent of your financial support to them to determine if you qualify for this beneficial filing status.

Why partner with a specialist Expat accountant?

Living outside of the US can make your tax filing requirements complicated. To ensure you pay the minimum amount of taxes, it’s critical to work with an accountant who understands every aspect and avenue for reducing your tax liability. We have a dedicated team of tax accountants who work exclusively with US expats earning and investing in the UAE. Partnering with a specialist expat accountant can help you navigate complex tax regulations and optimize your tax situation.

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