The head of household designation is a tax designation that is applied to people in the United States who have the following characteristics:
The person pays more than half of the costs required to run a household
The person looks after a dependent who lives in the same home for at least half of the year
The person is unmarried or filing an individual tax return
The head of household designation confers a favorable tax status on a taxpayer, and so is commonly used by single parents to reduce their income tax liability.