USA Correct Filing Status for 2016 Tax Returns


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Hello everyone,

I have a few questions about the best way to file the 1040 for me and my family this year. I was hoping I could get some help here. Really appreciate any responses or feedback I can get on this.

Some background info: I live with my mother and younger brother in an apartment. Brother is a full time college student at a local community college. In 2015, my mother made about 14k while I made 7k. As a result, she filed as head of household and was able to get an earned income credit for providing support to my brother.

I got a great job in 2016 that pays about 55k. My mother's income only increased by 4k to a total of about 18k.

My question is about the correct filing status for my mother and me. I understand that for me to file as head of household I would need to claim my mother as a dependent. As a result of that, she would not be able to claim the EIC for the support she provided to my brother. Would it be possible for her to file as head of household while not having made more than half of our combined income?

In this case, is it better for both of us to file as single? Or is there a way to file as head of household for either of us while still being able to claim the EIC?

Thank you so much for any advice you are able to provide on this.
 
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