Will I still be head of household when my son goes away to college?

April 01, 2015 by Dave Du Val, EA
boy with glasses thinking

Hey Dave,

In the Fall my son will go away to college and I will be paying his tuition (and flight training − he's going to be a pilot). Can I still claim Head of Household status for 2015 taxes and while he is attending college?  He will spend most of the year in a dorm or off-campus apartment with roomies, but his real home is with me.

Thanks for the advice!




Temporary absences from the home due to special circumstances do not count as time lived away from the home. Special circumstances include going to school, vacation, business, medical care, and military service.

If you are otherwise qualified, your son going to college in and of itself would not disqualify you from claiming Head of Household. And kudos to you and your family for raising a young man who knows the value of an education!

Deductibly Yours,




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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