Can I claim my ex-mother-in-law on my taxes?

March 04, 2016 by Dave Du Val, EA
Woman in white sweater

Hey Dave,

I have a question about a head of household qualification.

I was married for over a decade before my husband and I divorced. My ex-husband later passed away, which left his mother, my ex-mother-in-law, needing someone to care for her. I took her into my home and have been caring for her for a couple of years now. Would my claiming her as a dependent qualify me to file as head of household? I know if I hadn't divorced her son, I would qualify, but since we did divorce does that change things?

Sabrina

 

Sabrina,

Your willingness to take in your ex-mother-in-law and care for her is truly commendable. And the good news is that, from a tax standpoint, a relationship that is established by marriage such as your relationship with your mother-in-law, does not end with either divorce or with the death of the spouse. So, it would appear you may file as Head of Household, assuming your mother-in-law meets all the other tests to be a “qualifying relative,” and as long as you meet all the other tests for head of household.

Deductibly yours,
Dave

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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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