What Qualifies for Head of Household in Wisconsin?

Head of Household is a Wisconsin income tax filing status that allows taxpayers to claim a larger income deduction than those claiming Single. For the 2010 tax year, a taxpayer claiming Single or Married Filing Separately can claim an income deduction of $5,700. A taxpayer claiming Head of Household can claim a deduction of $8,350. The filing status qualifications for a Wisconsin income tax return depend on the filing status of your federal income tax return. If you qualify for Head of Household on your federal return, you automatically qualify on your Wisconsin return.

What is Head of Household?

Head of Household is a filing status for single and certain married taxpayers who provide a home for a dependent or a qualifying child. Although the credit is used mainly for single taxpayers, individuals who are legally separated, married but live apart from their spouse or married to a nonresident can claim the deduction. If you are married but lived separately from your spouse, you must have lived apart for the last six months of the tax year.

Qualifying Conditions

To qualify for the Head of Household filing status, you must be single or separated from your spouse and pay over half the cost of keeping a home for a qualifying child or dependent. The qualifying child or dependant must be a U.S. citizen or an adopted child. Temporary absences such as school, business, military service, medical care, vacation or detention in a juvenile facility count as time lived with you.

Qualifying Children

A qualifying child is an underage child who is a relative or any descendant of a relative. This includes relationships due to foster care, adoption and marriage. The child must be under 19 years of age and younger than you or your spouse; under 24 years of age, a student and younger than you or your spouse; or any age and permanently and totally disabled. You must have provided more than half of the child's support for 2010 and the child cannot file a joint tax return with another taxpayer.


If a child is a qualifying child of the taxpayer, the child is generally the taxpayer's dependant. In addition to a qualifying child, a dependent can include a parent, grandparent, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle and any relative of your spouse. This includes any relative related by adoption and marriage. The dependent must have resided in your home for the entire tax year and received more than half of his support from you.