Head Of Household

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Head Of Household

Quick Summary of Head Of Household

Under US federal income tax law, you are eligible for favorable tax treatment as the head of household only if you are unmarried and you manage a household which is the principal residence (for more than half of the year) of dependent children or other dependent relatives. Under bankruptcy homestead and exemption laws, the terms householder and “head of household” mean the same thing. Examples include a single woman supporting her disabled sister and her own children or a bachelor supporting his parents. Many states consider a single person supporting only himself to be a head of household as well.

What is the dictionary definition of Head Of Household?

Dictionary Definition

A person who supports and maintains, in one household, one or more people who are closely related to him by blood, marriage or adoption.


  1. in federal income tax law, the person filing a tax return who manages the household which has dependents such as children and/or other dependent relatives living in the home, but does not file on a joint return with a spouse. The calculation of taxes is somewhat more favourable to a head of household than to a person filing singly.
  2. anyone who manages the affairs of the family living in a household, who need not be the husband/father or wife/mother, but could be a grandparent, uncle, aunt, son or daughter.
  3. head of family.

Full Definition of Head Of Household

Head of Household is a Filing Status (federal income tax) for individual American taxpayers.

Generally, to qualify for head of household status you must be unmarried, not entitled to file as a qualifying widow or widower, and have a dependent child. You must also have provided more than half the cost of maintaining, as your home, a household that was the main home for a qualifying dependent. You may also qualify for head of household status if you, though married, file a separate return and your spouse was not a member of your household during the last six months of the tax year and you provided more than half of the cost of maintaining, as your home, a household that was the main home, for more than one half of your tax year, of a child who is a qualifying dependent. A taxpayer should also bear in mind that the definition of “head of household” contains a lot of exceptions and other rules.

Advantages To Qualifying As A “Head Of Household”

Someone who qualifies as a head of household uses the tax table in §1(b) of the IRS code. This table contains a wider Tax bracket than unmarried individuals. A head of household also can deduct a larger Personal Exemption (federal income tax).

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Head Of Household. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. September 20, 2021 https://payrollheaven.com/define/head-of-household/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Head Of Household. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/head-of-household/ (accessed: September 20, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Head Of Household. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/head-of-household/

Definition Sources

Definitions for Head Of Household are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 28th April, 2020 | 0 Views.