IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

For Caregivers

Question: I am a caregiver for my aging parent who lives in my home. May I file as head of household?


You may file as head of household only if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year.
  2. You may claim a dependency exemption for your parent.
  3. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for your parent for the tax year. Your dependent parent does not have to live with you. See Special rule for parent in Chapter 2 of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals under "Qualifying Person." 

For more information, refer to:

  • Table 3-1, Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent, in Chapter 3 of Publication 17
  • Table 2-1, Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You to File as Head of Household?, in Chapter 2 of Publication 17
  • Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
  • What is My Filing Status?

Category: IRS Procedures
Subcategory: For Caregivers

Please provide your feedback.

1. Was it easy to find your information within the above Frequently Asked Question?

2. How satisfied are you with the information provided within the above Frequently Asked Question?

3. If you still need help from the IRS, what would your next step be?

The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224