"keeping up a home" Clarification


P

Pat

Greetings,

I've been reading through this group for a clarification of
"keeping up a home", but I still cannot find the
clarification I am looking for. IRS: "You paid more than
half the cost of keeping up a home for the year."

Background:

FY 2006

My son, Ms. A and her two kids started living together in my
son's house -- I think-- at the beginning of May 2006.

Ms. A's two kids are from a prior relationship. She was
never married to the children's father. The children's
father has never supported the children. She has always
provided full support for the children and, in the past, has
always files as head of household.

Ms. A helps with the household expenses but is not paying
half -- probably more like 20 or 30% of my son's household
expenses (she is clearly not contributing enough to pay for
1/2 of the house payment, 1/2 of the insurance payment, 1/2
of the property taxes.

Question: Can she qualify for head of household since she is
paying the total cost of providing room and board for her
children and herself --an amount high enough to pay for a
one bedroom apartment-- even though she is not paying half
of my son's household expenses?

Her family and friends are telling her to file as head of
household saying that

(a) she is indeed paying "more than half the cost of keeping
up a home" since she is contributing the same amount she was
paying previously for the full cost of her prior home, a one
bedroom apartment,(where they are living a one bedroom with
all utilities included can be had for about $550), and (b)
since she is providing the full amount expected (from my
son) for her and the children's shelter.

I am telling her that since she is not paying half of the
household expenses --half of the household expenses of the
house she is living in-- she cannot file as head of
household.

At this time, I am most unpopular.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Pat
 
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P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Pat said:
My son, Ms. A and her two kids started living together in my
son's house -- I think-- at the beginning of May 2006.

Ms. A's two kids are from a prior relationship. She was
never married to the children's father. The children's
father has never supported the children. She has always
provided full support for the children and, in the past, has
always files as head of household.

Ms. A helps with the household expenses but is not paying
half -- probably more like 20 or 30% of my son's household
expenses (she is clearly not contributing enough to pay for
1/2 of the house payment, 1/2 of the insurance payment, 1/2
of the property taxes.

Question: Can she qualify for head of household since she is
paying the total cost of providing room and board for her
children and herself --an amount high enough to pay for a
one bedroom apartment-- even though she is not paying half
of my son's household expenses?

Her family and friends are telling her to file as head of
household saying that

(a) she is indeed paying "more than half the cost of keeping
up a home" since she is contributing the same amount she was
paying previously for the full cost of her prior home, a one
bedroom apartment,(where they are living a one bedroom with
all utilities included can be had for about $550), and (b)
since she is providing the full amount expected (from my
son) for her and the children's shelter.

I am telling her that since she is not paying half of the
household expenses --half of the household expenses of the
house she is living in-- she cannot file as head of
household.

At this time, I am most unpopular.
Of course you're unpopular. You'd have been better off
telling her that outfit makes her butt look fat.

I take it your son and her are sharing a bed. If so, she is
prohibited from claiming HOH. If she's just renting space
in your son's house (ie: they have separate bedrooms and
live separate lives) she would qualify as HOH. They
basically have to operate as two separate families.

The cite is SCA 1998-041.

It seems, from the court cases, that the bed sharing is
frowned upon in certain tax circles.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

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