Senior Head of Household Credit is available to individuals who are age 65 or older who are filing either a California head of household return or a California married filing jointly return. The credit is based on the assessed value of the property that the senior owns and uses as his or her principal residence. The assessed value is the same figure used to determine local property taxes. This credit is a nonrefundable credit.
To qualify for the Senior Head of Household Credit, you must be a qualified older adult who is the head of household on your tax return and whose earned income (not including Social Security or retirement) is below certain threshold amounts. In addition, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number. Qualified older adults may also receive state or local tax credits or exemptions for rent or real estate taxes that they pay. For more information on these, contact your local treasury or revenue agency. Also, check out the other tax credits and deductions available for seniors. For example, California offers a Circuit Breaker tax credit for older adults. You must complete and include the Head of Household Filing Status Schedule (FTB 3532) with your return.
How to Determine Senior Head of Household Credit Eligibility?
For the 2024 tax year, to qualify for the Senior Head of Household Credit, your state-adjusted gross income (line 11 on your federal return) must be less than $100,000. This credit is nonrefundable. However, offsetting your state taxes with the standard deduction and other credits/deductions is possible. We recommend adjusting your withholding via Form W-4 to maximize the credit you can claim.
If you’re a homeowner, you can use the standard formula for determining your eligibility by dividing your taxable household income (line 9 of the California instructions) by the taxable value of your property. This figure can be found on your property tax statement or obtained from the local tax assessor. Renters may also use this formula by substituting 20% of their annual rental income for the taxable household income.
Remember, choosing the head of household filing status can reduce your tax rate and increase your standard deduction. Be sure you meet all of the qualifications before selecting this filing status. Also, be careful not to choose this filing status by mistake; if you do so and don’t meet the qualifications, your HOH credit will be denied when processing your tax return.