Head of Household Expenses List

Single filers with a qualifying dependent can file taxes as head of household. Taxpayers that are eligible to file taxes as heads of households get a lower tax rate and an increased standard deduction. Not every taxpayer who has a dependent is eligible for this status. As the name suggests, the head of household is someone that covers the majority of the expenses of keeping up a house. 

Here is everything you need to know about head of household expenses.

For tax purposes, we can categorize the type of expenses that a head of household is expected to uphold. These are:

  • Household expenses
  • Transportation expenses
  • Childcare expenses
  • Entertainment expenses

If you’re someone that pays more than half of every expense and you have a qualifying dependent, you claim taxes as head of household. The common type of expenses for each category is as follows.

Household expenses

  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Supplies
  • Rents
  • Mortgage

Transportation expenses

  • Car insurance
  • Gas
  • Registration 

Childcare expenses

  • Cost of a cook, maid, housekeeper, nanny
  • Cost of providing babysitter/dependent care center
  • Education 
  • Basic necessities

Entertainment expenses

  • Movies
  • Game tickets
  • Meals outside of your residence

The above expenses are pretty self-explanatory. However, you should think of every expense as a whole in your household and see if you cover at least half the expenses. If you don’t you automatically disqualify to file taxes as head of household as you are not the ‘head of household’ and your dependent isn’t a qualifying dependent assuming you don’t provide half of his or her living expenses.

Why file as head of household?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, heads of households get an increased standard deduction and a lower tax rate. You will pay less tax and get more benefits in return in comparison to a regular single filer. Take note that one spouse can file taxes as the head of household rather than filing a separate return if both spouses lived separately for more than half of the tax year.

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