The head of household filing status for personal tax returns provides a more favorable tax rate than filing single or separately. You do not have to be divorced or legally separated to obtain head of household status. As long as you have a dependent child and meet the following criteria as of the last day of the year:
1. The taxpayer must file a separate return
2. The taxpayer pays more than half the cost of operating the household for the year
3. The household was the principal place of residence for more than half of the year of a child to whom the taxpayer is allowed a dependency exemption (or would be allowed an exemption but for a written release of the exemption to the noncustodial parent).
4. The taxpayer’s spouse was not a member of the household during the last six months of the tax year.