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Filing Status

Question: If I lived apart from my spouse from July 10 to December 31 but was not divorced or legally separated at the end of the year, can I file as head of household? Will my filing status allow me to claim a credit for childcare expenses and the earned income tax credit if I have a qualifying child?


You do not qualify for head of household filing status because you were not unmarried or considered unmarried at the end of the tax year. You were not considered unmarried because you and your spouse were members of the same household for part of the last 6 months of the tax year.

Your filing status for the year will be either married filing separately or married filing jointly.

  • If you use the filing status of married filing separately, you will not qualify for the earned income tax credit and cannot claim a credit for childcare expenses.
  • If you file a joint return with your spouse, you may be eligible to claim these credits.

See What is My Filing Status? and Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for information about filing status.

Additional Information:

Category: Filing Requirements, Status, Dependents, Exemptions
Subcategory: Filing Status

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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