How to Change to Head of the Household

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Tax returns may be amended up to three years after the filing deadline.
Tax returns may be amended up to three years after the filing deadline. (Image: tax forms image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com)

Filing a tax return as head of household allows an individual to claim a greater standard deduction and often be taxed at a lower rate than if filed as single or married filing separately. Head of household may be claimed if the taxpayer is considered unmarried, paid more than half of household expenses for the year and a qualifying person lived with the taxpayer for more than half of the year. The filing status on your tax returns from the three previous years may be amended using Form 1040X provided the requirements for head of household are met for that year, and the original tax return was filed as single or married filing separately.

Things You'll Need

  • IRS Form 1040X
  • Copy of return to be amended

Ensure the conditions established for head of household are met. The current requirements for filing as head of household are listed in Internal Revenue Service Publication 501.

Obtain both Form 1040X and the instructions for 1040X from the IRS by calling 800-829-3676 or go to IRS.gov.

Complete the taxpayer information at the top of 1040X to include your name, Social Security number, current home address and phone number.

Mark "Head of Household" in Section A of Form 1040X and the calendar year that is being amended in Section B. Explain all changes being made to your tax return in the space provided in Section C.

Complete the remainder of the form accounting for any changes due to the change in filing status and any additional errors made on the original tax return. After making all corrections, sign and date Form 1040X.

Attach any supporting schedules or documents for the changes made to the front of Form 1040X and mail to the appropriate IRS Center. The appropriate center for each state and its address is listed in the instructions for Form 1040X.

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