So if you are not married but support other people and consider yourself the head of a household how does that work in bankruptcy?  As you may know in bankruptcy you must report your household income and household size.  It can become complicated.  The United States Bankruptcy Trustee typically uses the definition of the IRS to determine household status.  When you ask them about it they refer you to IRS Publication 501

IRS publication 501:

“Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests.

1. You file a separate return. A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status.

2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year.

3. Your spouse didn’t live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. See Temporary absences, later.

4. Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. (See Home of qualifying person, later, for rules applying to a child’s birth, death, or temporary absence during the year.) 5. You must be able to claim the child as a dependent. However, you meet this test if you can’t claim the child as a dependent only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described, later, in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative.”

All this becomes important and an issue depending upon your household income level as opposed the median income level of the state where you intend upon filing for bankruptcy.  These are complex question that could make or break your bankruptcy case, so I suggest you consult with a bankruptcy attorney near you to help you sort out your status if you think this might be an issue.  In Utah call the team at the Utah Bankruptcy Guy to set up a consultation today.

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