Determine that you were not legally married as of December 31 of the tax year.
Or, determine that, as of December 31 of the tax year, you were legally separated under a separate maintenance order issued by a court.
Or, determine that, as of December 31 of the tax year, you had not lived with your spouse at any time during the last six months of the tax year.
Make sure that your child, adopted child, stepchild or grandchild lived with you more than half the year. The child does not have to be your dependent if you have stated in writing that the noncustodial parent may claim the dependent exemption, if the other parent obtained the dependent exemption in a pre-1985 divorce or separation agreement, or if your child earned more than his or her standard deduction and is single.
Or, make sure that one - or both - of your parents was your dependent. A parent does not have to have lived with you.
Or, make sure that a grandparent, stepparent, parent-in-law, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, or a blood-related uncle, aunt, niece or nephew lived with you more than half the year and was your dependent.
Or, make sure that a foster child lived with you the entire year and was your dependent.
Calculate that you paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for you and your qualifying person for the tax year.
Or, calculate that you paid more than half the cost of your dependent parent's main home for the tax year.
Include all household expenses such as food eaten at home, rent, mortgage payments, property taxes, home insurance, cleaning supplies and utilities.
Check the box for head of household on line 4 of the 1040 or 1040A.
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