april 15

Hows Gays Can Exploit the Tax Code: Have Both Partners File as Heads of Household

As we approach April 15, the tax tips for homos are just flying in. We already learned about how gay couples with children can choose who claims children as dependents to get the best tax benefit. Now we learn that while the IRS allows gay couples to have one partner file as “head of household” (something married straight couples cannot do), it’s actually possible for both partners to do so, and reap the tax savings. “To qualify, you must be unmarried or considered unmarried, have paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home and live with a ‘qualifying person,’ like a dependent child. So generally, only one partner (who is also the legal parent of a dependent child) can claim this status on a federal return. But it’s not impossible for two partners to claim head of household — one partner, for instance, may be supporting an elderly parent, while the other is supporting a child. It often makes sense for the higher-earning partner to file as head of household, but not always.” Do friends who always come over and eat out of your fridge count as dependents? [NYT]