As someone filing taxes as a head of household, this automatically means you have an eligible dependent for tax purposes. Most single parents are eligible to file taxes as a head of household, but the other parent is probably not as far as if we’re talking about one dependent. Both parents cannot claim a dependent on different federal income tax returns. That’s unless decided upon that the tax return is filed jointly.
The reason for this is the eligibility requirements for a dependent and what that brings to the person who’s filing the return. One of the Internal Revenue Service’s rules is that the dependent must’ve lived with the filer for at least half the tax year. If the dependent hasn’t lived with you for at least half the year, during the tax year, you cannot file taxes as head of household. That opposes the other parent who might want to file taxes as head of household. So for one child, only one parent can file taxes as head of household and claim it as a dependent on a federal income tax return.
The majority of the requirements for dependents are the same. The dependent and the taxpayer who wants to claim it as a “dependent” on a tax return must meet these requirements. You can either claim the dependent as a qualifying child or a qualifying adult dependent.
Although every situation is different, the dependents must meet specific criteria to fit the description of the IRS for what a dependent is. Generally, the dependent must’ve lived for at least half the tax year with the taxpayer, be under the age of 17 by the tax-year-end or between the ages of 18 and 24 as a college student, be a US national; citizen; resident alien, and the taxpayer must’ve supported at least half the financial costs.
As long as the requirements are met by both the dependent and the taxpayer, there are many tax breaks that opens the door for eligibility.