: My wife and I do not believe in divorce. Because we have had our share of shouting matches, we decided to separate the day after Christmas 2013 before it came to blows. She has custody of our 12-year-old daughter, and I have custody of our 15-year-old son. Our incomes are about the same. I know that we cannot file jointly for our 2014 income taxes, but can either of us file as Head of Household? We each got a different story from our tax preparers. Give it to us straight, Harry.
WHAT HARRY SAYS: This is a lucky day for both of you! You can each file as Head of Household. You may do this because you meet the standards. You lived apart for the last half of the year, you file separate returns and you each had a qualified child living with you and supported by you. A qualified child may be a foster child living with you if that child was placed by a placement agency or a court. Too many taxpayers fail to claim Head of Household designation because they don't understand the qualifications. If any of our readers are filing individual returns, it pays to take a long look at the Head of Household designation.