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us expat tax guide – france

Can I claim “Head of Household” on US taxes while living in France?

The IRS allows you to claim the “Head of Household” filing status even if you are married, provided your spouse is a non-US citizen. This means you are considered “unmarried” for tax purposes, allowing you to benefit from this status. However, you must also have a dependent or a qualifying child to use this filing status.

What qualifies a child under the “Head of Household” status?

In general, a qualifying child for the “Head of Household” status must meet the following conditions:

  • Relationship: The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of these (for example, your grandchild, niece, or nephew).
  • Age: The child must be under the age of 19 at the end of the tax year, or under 24 if a full-time student for at least five months of the year. There is no age limit if the child is permanently and totally disabled.
  • Residency: The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year. Exceptions apply for temporary absences such as school, vacation, medical care, military service, or detention in a juvenile facility.
  • Support: The child can only provide up to half of their own support during the year.
  • Joint Return: The child must not be filing a joint tax return for the year unless the return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income taxes or estimated taxes paid.

Is an American parent living in France with a non-US child eligible for “Head of Household” status?

Yes, if you’re an American married to a non-US citizen, like a French spouse, and living in France with a child who isn’t registered as an American born abroad, you can still claim the “Head of Household” status. 

This status is available as long as you meet the criteria stated above.

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