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Can I still claim head of household even if I'm not claiming my daughter this year?

it's her mothers year to claim her, but I owe unemployment so I figure the more I can get back on my refund, then when it gets offset it'll be that much closer to a zero balance

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Sorry mserica is wrong. You have to have a household to be head of. If this is your only qualifying child and her mother is claiming her & if you are unmarried, then your only available filing status is single. I am a licensed tax professional and you may not get the refund you want this year, but believe me it's better than the fines & penalties for filing a fraudulant return. If you go to a tax company or use online software they will both require you to fill in the name, date of birth and social security number of the person that allows you to file HOH & the mom will have already used your childs info. The IRS doesn't look kindly on fraud. Good luck.

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In most cases you can still claim head of household even if you are not claiming your daughter this year. As long as you are the one that pays majority of the bills for your household you should be able to claim that exemption.

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I beg to differ on that. Only one of you can claim your daughter, presuming she is your only child. Nowadays, the IRS doesn't necessarily just look at court orders for child custody. Instead, they consider your child's primary address, who provides most of the food, clothing, and shelter, as well as other personal expenses. If both of you claim your daughter, they may either give it to the filer whose tax return they receive first, or possibly require either or both of you to furnish your proof of who provides the majority of your child's support. I would recommend seeking a professional tax advisor/accountant to show who would benefit the most from either scenario.

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It's my understanding you can claim head of household if your daughter lives with you the majority of the year. You can claim head of household without actually claiming your daughter. You cannot claim head of household if you live by yourself. You will have to give your daughters name, DOB and social to prove that you are the head of the household and the person responsible for the household bills.Head of household is different from claiming dependents. It may be different if the mother plans on claiming your daughter and head of household. your best bet is to check with someone who knows the ins and outs of the laws in you area. It may very state to state. As well as the legal agreement you and the child's mother have with visitation and custody.

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