Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-14-2014

Head Of Household with College Students

I was divorced in 2013.  We have two children and each will claim one.  The oldest is a Sr. in college and did not live with either of us.  The ex paid her rent.  Can he claim Head of Household even though she did not live with him?  He is claiming her on his taxes  The younger child lived with me until August when she went to college.  I will claim her and qualify for Head of Household as far as I can tell.  In this situation, can we both claim Head of Household?

Associate (Council Member)
Posts: 2,518
Registered: ‎12-17-2012

Re: Head Of Household with College Students

Hi Jodi10,


Welcome to the Community. I shared your question with an associate from The Tax Institute. Her response is below:


Assuming your ex maintains his own abode, whether the older college student meets the residency requirement required for your ex to file as HOH depends. To qualify for HOH filing status, a taxpayer must maintain as his or her home a household that is the principal place of abode for more than half the year for a qualifying child or qualifying relative. There are temporary absences that count as time spent in the home, such as being away for education, but only if the student would have lived in the home of the taxpayer if they weren’t away at school. If the student would have lived on her own, not lived with your ex, or your ex does not have a room where she stays when school isn’t in session, then the student will not meet the residency requirement for your ex to file as HOH.


I hope this helps.



Community Manager

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