Head Of Household Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Head Of Household, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Head Of Household?

(n) Head Of Household is the person who manage the affairs of the house comprising the dependents and relatives living along with him. Head of Household is authorized to file the Income Tax Returns of the family.

History and Meaning of Head of Household

Head of Household is a term used in tax law, and it refers to a person who pays more than half the cost of keeping up their home for themselves and a qualifying dependent, such as a child or elderly parent. The term has been around since the earliest versions of the U.S. Tax Code, which dates back to 1913.

In the past, the term Head of Household was applied more broadly and included unmarried people who supported other family members, such as siblings or grandparents. Over time, the definition was refined to the more specific version used today.

The Head of Household status is important because it provides tax benefits, including a higher standard deduction and lower tax rates than those for single filers.

Examples of Head of Household

  1. Maria is a single mother with a 16-year-old daughter. She pays for more than half of their household expenses, including rent, utilities, and groceries. Maria qualifies as Head of Household when she files her taxes.
  2. Tom is recently divorced and has a 10-year-old son who lives with him for more than half of the year. Tom pays for most of the household expenses and can claim Head of Household status on his tax return.
  3. Carlos lives with his mother and provides more than half of her financial support. He can file as Head of Household because he is contributing to the cost of maintaining the household.

Legal Terms Similar to "Head of Household"

  1. Qualifying Relative - This term refers to any person who meets the IRS definition of a dependent, who is related to the taxpayer and is supported by the taxpayer.
  2. Single Filers - This term is used to describe taxpayers who are not married and do not qualify for Head of Household status.
  3. Dependents - This term refers to individuals who meet specific criteria and are claimed as dependents on a taxpayer's tax return.