People desperate for money may get more than they barganed for

United States
February 4, 2009 3:01pm CST
People are so desperate for money these days that I am seeing this problem a lot at work. People are thinking they can claim Head of Household when they do not qualify for that filing status. In order to claim Head of Household you must have a qualifying child or relative living with you the entire year and you must support them over 50% A qualifying child is your daughter,son,step daughter, or step son that is 18 or younger and and still attending school or 19-24 and attending school. A qualifying relative would be mother, father, brother, sister, or grandparent or a decendant of those which would include nieces, nephews, and grandchildren not cousins. Just because you have someone living in your house (and it has to be your house that you rent or are buying or own) this does not make you Head of Household, just because you own the house you are living in doesn't make you Head of Household. The IRS has strict guidelines to filing status. The punishment for a fraudulent return (claiming the wrong filing status is a fraudulent return) is up to 5 years in prison (it is a felony) and/or $250,000 in fines not a slap on the wrist. Please do take great care when filing your taxes as the IRS is doing more and more audits every year and this year in particular. Here is a chart that you can use to determine if you qualify for Head of Household status. If the person is your . . . AND . . . THEN that person is . . . qualifying child (such as a son, he or she is single a qualifying person, whether or daughter, or grandchild who lived with not you can claim an exemption you more than half the year and meets for the person. certain other tests)2 he or she is married and you can claim an a qualifying person. exemption for him or her he or she is married and you cannot claim not a qualifying person.3 an exemption for him or her qualifying relative4 who is your father or you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person.6 mother you cannot claim an exemption for him or not a qualifying person. her qualifying relative4 other than your father he or she lived with you more than half the a qualifying person. or mother (such as a grandparent, year, and he or she is related to you in one brother, or sister who meets certain of the ways listed under Relatives who do tests) not have to live with you in chapter 3 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5 he or she did not live with you more than half not a qualifying person. the year he or she is not related to you in one of the not a qualifying person. ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household you cannot claim an exemption for him or not a qualifying person. her 1A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 2The term “qualifying child” is defined in chapter 3. Note. If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of divorced or separated parents under Qualifying Child in chapter 3. If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. 3This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. 4The term “qualifying relative” is defined in chapter 3. 5If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. See Multiple Support Agreement in chapter 3. 6See Special rule for parent for an additional requirement. Chapter
2 people like this
6 responses
• United States
4 Feb 09
I have problems with filling out my papers when i am hired somewere. I dont fully understand somtimes what i should put and now put. and i know that that is dangerous. i have been working on it. I usually have the employer help me. as far as i know i have not messed up yet. and i hope i never do.. I will be honest. i think it was last year. i thought about filing for head of house hold and im a single parent who lives with her mom I pay for my phone bill and internet bill and stuff. but i didnt do it im to afraid of what would happen... I keep all my tax info from the years ive filed.. im just scared one day i will mark somthing on my papers with the employer and then it be wrong and then file it right on my taxes and it be diffrent and I get into trouble...taxes is really a headache for me.lol what i dont understand is... If my taxes are payd out of my paycheck each week....why do i have to file a tthe end of the year? LMAO... i know yes ill get money back and so forth. but id rather skip the money and risk no chance of getting into trouble haha..taxes suck..
• United States
5 Feb 09
A little help here for you. You are single, with one dependant you could put on your w4 (that is the tax withholding for your employer) 1, 2 or 0 exemptions. If you want a refund at the end of the year put 0 on the exemptions, if you want more on your paychecks and are willing to run the risk of might have to pay in at the end of the year put 1 or 2 in the exemptions. I am glad you didn't file head of household that year cause with you living with your mom you wouldn't qualify as head of household cause you didn't pay over 50% of the housing costs. Those W4 are confusing when you read them, even for a tax preparer LOL.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 09
Thank you:)... i need to write thoes down and go over them often and learn them.. I hate depending on the employer to help me but usually i have no choice.lol Thanks for responding back with that info:)...
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 09
Some people do not understand that if they lie in anyway to the IRS they may not get caught today, but might wind up in prison when they are 75. My husband files head of household every year. We prepare and file our own taxes. We have never had a problem except waiting was hard. I just think when people get greedy during tax time all they do is dig themselves intoa hole.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 09
There are only 5 filing statuses 1. Single 2. Head of Household 3. Married filing Joint 4. Married filing Seperate 5. Qualified Widower If you are married you are filing married filing joint or married filing seperate not Head of Household. Usually the husband is the priamry taxpayer which is often confused with head of household. Head of Household filing status is strictly for singles with dependants.
• United States
4 Feb 09
I meant primary taxpayer not priamry lol long day at work.
• United States
4 Feb 09
I even know people that claims other peoples children just to get the extra money. I really don't think this is right, these people give the parent so much money for letting them claim their kids. It seams like there should be a way that the IRS could stop these kinds of things.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 09
We see this a lot. It does get caught a lot if more than one person claims the child then one or the other is going to get rejected by the IRS. We have stacks of rejects each morning because of this.
• United States
4 Feb 09
Big trouble that this will get you into if you claim that you are the head of household and are not. I know someone that lived with a woman for that year and she had four kids so both of them claimed head of household and each claimed two kids. Both of them got audited... Never good news I suppose. I would not want it to happen to me I know that much.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 09
Yep that will get you a guarenteed audit if two people claim Head of Household in one residence and splitting the kids that is a whole nother bag of worms. I just don't think that any amount of money is worth jail time but as a tax preparer I have seen people do stupid things.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
17 Feb 09
And this is why I would just go to H&R Block and have them do it. I'd be so confused I'd end up in prison for it. [b]~~AT PEACE WITHIN~~ **STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS**[/b]
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
14 Feb 09
Well, this is just the topic I didn't need to read right now. Just got a letter from the IRS. They went and changed my head of household status to single because apparently I either forgot to list my daughter's ss or I listed it wrong. I'm a single mom and have been claiming her for 15 yrs. this is an honest mistake but they are now saying that I owe them money! I am so angry and worried right now. I need that money. I am a single mom...don't get child support and well....it is my money. I just barely got home and opened this news so I need to calm down and figure out how to fix it.