If the parents of a year old child never married but live together
with the child for the tax year, and both contribute to the cost of maintaining
the household for the child and themselves, may they both file as head of
Only one taxpayer may claim the child as a qualifying child for purposes
of filing as head of household. Also, a taxpayer filing as head of household
must furnish over half the cost of maintaining the household. Therefore, both
parents may not file as head of household. For more information, please refer
to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information,
for more information.
My husband and I have provided a home for my niece and her son for
the past seven months. She receives no child support from her ex-spouse, and
she does not work or have any income of her own. Can I claim her and her son
In order to be your dependents, your niece and her child must meet the
- Qualifying child or qualifying relative tests;
- Dependent Taxpayer test;
- Citizenship or resident test; and
- Joint return test
Refer to Publication 501
, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and
, or Tax Topic 354
, Dependents for more information.
If both parents want to claim the earned income credit, who is entitled
to it if there was no marriage?
If the child is a qualifying child of both parents, they may choose which
one will claim the credit. If there are two qualifying children, each parent
may claim the credit on the basis of one of the children or one parent may
claim the credit with both children. If both actually claim the credit on
the basis of the same child or children, the parent who is entitled to the
credit is the parent with whom the child lived for the longest period of time
during the tax year, or the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI)
if the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time during the
Refer to Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, for full discussion
of the earned income credit rules.
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