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12-04-2017 05:13 PM
I apologize if this has been answered before; I'm new and haven't had the chance to navigate through everything yet.
My married parents live with me. The only income they have is social security, and combined I believe is less than $25,000.
I pay 100% of their housing/food, as their money barely covers their medical bills.
Can I start filing as Head of Household, and claim both parents?
Thank you in advance for any help you have! I truly appreciate it.
12-04-2017 05:29 PM
Welcome to the H&R Block community.
You might be able to claim your parents, but there is a catch here.
You said that they receive $25,000 or less worth of social security income. Social security income may not be taxable, but it counts toward the support requirement for dependents and qualifying relatives. So what you have to do here is figure out if they meet the requirement that you provide more than 50% of their support. To do that, you should add up all of the costs of keeping up your home (rent or mortgage, utilities, food, repairs, insurance) and compare the total for the year to your parents' income. If your parents' income is equal to half of the home upkeep cost or more then you won't be able to claim them.
If your parents' income is less than 1/2 of the home upkeep cost then you can claim them as dependent parents which will allow you to file as a head of household and give you their exemptions. Note that you should be able to prove what your total home upkeep costs are so that you have something to show if the IRS asks a question.
If you have any other questions I'll be glad to help.
Senior Tax Advisor (Tampa, FL)