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2012 1040a

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2012 1040a

2012 1040a Publication 503 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. 2012 1040a Tax questions. 2012 1040a Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 503, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. 2012 1040a irs. 2012 1040a gov/pub503. 2012 1040a Reminders Taxpayer identification number needed for each qualifying person. 2012 1040a  You must include on line 2 of Form 2441, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, the name and taxpayer identification number (generally the social security number) of each qualifying person. 2012 1040a See Taxpayer identification number under Qualifying Person Test, later. 2012 1040a You may have to pay employment taxes. 2012 1040a  If you pay someone to come to your home and care for your dependent or spouse, you may be a household employer who has to pay employment taxes. 2012 1040a Usually, you are not a household employer if the person who cares for your dependent or spouse does so at his or her home or place of business. 2012 1040a See Employment Taxes for Household Employers, later. 2012 1040a Photographs of missing children. 2012 1040a  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 2012 1040a Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. 2012 1040a You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. 2012 1040a Introduction This publication explains the tests you must meet to claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2012 1040a It explains how to figure and claim the credit. 2012 1040a You may be able to claim the credit if you pay someone to care for your dependent who is under age 13 or for your spouse or dependent who is not able to care for himself or herself. 2012 1040a The credit can be up to 35% of your expenses. 2012 1040a To qualify, you must pay these expenses so you can work or look for work. 2012 1040a This publication also discusses some of the employment tax rules for household employers. 2012 1040a Dependent care benefits. 2012 1040a   If you received any dependent care benefits from your employer during the year, you may be able to exclude from your income all or part of them. 2012 1040a You must complete Form 2441, Part III, before you can figure the amount of your credit. 2012 1040a See Dependent Care Benefits under How To Figure the Credit, later. 2012 1040a Comments and suggestions. 2012 1040a   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. 2012 1040a   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. 2012 1040a NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. 2012 1040a Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. 2012 1040a   You can send your comments from www. 2012 1040a irs. 2012 1040a gov/formspubs/. 2012 1040a Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. 2012 1040a ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. 2012 1040a Ordering forms and publications. 2012 1040a   Visit www. 2012 1040a irs. 2012 1040a gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. 2012 1040a Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. 2012 1040a Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. 2012 1040a   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. 2012 1040a gov or call 1-800-829-1040. 2012 1040a We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. 2012 1040a Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information 926 Household Employer's Tax Guide Form (and Instructions) 2441 Child and Dependent Care Expenses Schedule H (Form 1040) Household Employment Taxes W-10 Dependent Care Provider's Identification and Certification See How To Get Tax Help , near the end of this publication, for information about getting these publications and forms. 2012 1040a Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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The 2012 1040a

2012 1040a Publication 501 - Main Content Table of Contents Who Must FileSelf-employed persons. 2012 1040a Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers Dependents Other Situations Who Should File Filing StatusMarital Status Single Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child ExemptionsForm 1040EZ filers. 2012 1040a Form 1040A filers. 2012 1040a Form 1040 filers. 2012 1040a More information. 2012 1040a Personal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Qualifying Child Qualifying Relative Phaseout of Exemptions Social Security Numbers for DependentsBorn and died in 2013. 2012 1040a Taxpayer identification numbers for aliens. 2012 1040a Taxpayer identification numbers for adoptees. 2012 1040a Standard DeductionStandard Deduction Amount Standard Deduction for Dependents Who Should Itemize How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Who Must File If you are a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends on your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent. 2012 1040a For details, see Table 1 and Table 2. 2012 1040a You also must file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. 2012 1040a The filing requirements apply even if you owe no tax. 2012 1040a Table 1. 2012 1040a 2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a AND at the end of 2013 you were. 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a * THEN file a return if your gross income was at least. 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a ** single under 65  $10,000 65 or older $11,500 head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 married, filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 married, filing separately any age  $3,900 qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born before January 2, 1949, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2013. 2012 1040a ** Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). 2012 1040a Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). 2012 1040a If (a) or (b) applies, see the Form 1040 instructions to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. 2012 1040a Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. 2012 1040a Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. 2012 1040a But in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. 2012 1040a *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. 2012 1040a You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file a return but fail to do so. 2012 1040a If you willfully fail to file a return, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. 2012 1040a For information on what form to use — Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040 — see the instructions for your tax return. 2012 1040a Gross income. 2012 1040a    Gross income is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. 2012 1040a If you are married and live with your spouse in a community property state, half of any income defined by state law as community income may be considered yours. 2012 1040a For a list of community property states, see Community property states under Married Filing Separately, later. 2012 1040a Self-employed persons. 2012 1040a    If you are self-employed in a business that provides services (where products are not a factor), your gross income from that business is the gross receipts. 2012 1040a If you are self-employed in a business involving manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, your gross income from that business is the total sales minus the cost of goods sold. 2012 1040a In either case, you must add any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. 2012 1040a    You must file Form 1040 if you owe any self-employment tax. 2012 1040a Filing status. 2012 1040a    Your filing status generally depends on whether you are single or married. 2012 1040a Whether you are single or married is determined at the end of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. 2012 1040a Filing status is discussed in detail later in this publication. 2012 1040a Age. 2012 1040a    Age is a factor in determining if you must file a return only if you are 65 or older at the end of your tax year. 2012 1040a For 2013, you are 65 or older if you were born before January 2, 1949. 2012 1040a Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers You must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1. 2012 1040a Dependents should see Table 2 instead. 2012 1040a Deceased Persons You must file an income tax return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. 2012 1040a You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. 2012 1040a The decedent met the filing requirements described in this publication at the time of his or her death. 2012 1040a For more information, see Final Income Tax Return for Decedent — Form 1040 in Publication 559. 2012 1040a Table 2. 2012 1040a 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See Exemptions for Dependents to find out if you are a dependent. 2012 1040a If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. 2012 1040a  In this table, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. 2012 1040a It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. 2012 1040a Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. 2012 1040a Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. 2012 1040a If your gross income was $3,900 or more, you usually cannot be claimed as a dependent unless you are a qualifying child. 2012 1040a For details, see Exemptions for Dependents. 2012 1040a Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. 2012 1040a You must file a return if any of the following apply. 2012 1040a Your unearned income was more than $1,000. 2012 1040a Your earned income was more than $6,100. 2012 1040a Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. 2012 1040a     □ Yes. 2012 1040a You must file a return if any of the following apply. 2012 1040a Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a Your gross income was more than the larger of—  $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a     Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. 2012 1040a You must file a return if any of the following apply. 2012 1040a Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2012 1040a Your unearned income was more than $1,000. 2012 1040a Your earned income was more than $6,100. 2012 1040a Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750 plus $350. 2012 1040a     □ Yes. 2012 1040a You must file a return if any of the following apply. 2012 1040a Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2012 1040a Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a Your gross income was more than the larger of— $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). 2012 1040a     U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you earned or received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. 2012 1040a For more information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. 2012 1040a Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. 2012 1040a This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. 2012 1040a If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the whole year, your U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. 2012 1040a It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or any U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a agency. 2012 1040a If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a tax, you must reduce your standard deduction, which reduces the amount of income you can have before you must file a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a income tax return. 2012 1040a For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a Possessions. 2012 1040a Individuals With Income From U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a federal income tax return. 2012 1040a In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual possession government. 2012 1040a See Publication 570 for more information. 2012 1040a Dependents A person who is a dependent may still have to file a return. 2012 1040a It depends on his or her earned income, unearned income, and gross income. 2012 1040a For details, see Table 2. 2012 1040a A dependent must also file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. 2012 1040a Responsibility of parent. 2012 1040a    If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. 2012 1040a If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. 2012 1040a ” Earned income. 2012 1040a    Earned income includes salaries, wages, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform. 2012 1040a Earned income (only for purposes of filing requirements and the standard deduction) also includes any part of a scholarship that you must include in your gross income. 2012 1040a See chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more information on taxable and nontaxable scholarships. 2012 1040a Child's earnings. 2012 1040a    Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. 2012 1040a This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. 2012 1040a But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. 2012 1040a Unearned income. 2012 1040a    Unearned income includes income such as interest, dividends, and capital gains. 2012 1040a Trust distributions of interest, dividends, capital gains, and survivor annuities are also considered unearned income. 2012 1040a Election to report child's unearned income on parent's return. 2012 1040a    You may be able to include your child's interest and dividend income on your tax return. 2012 1040a If you do this, your child will not have to file a return. 2012 1040a To make this election, all of the following conditions must be met. 2012 1040a Your child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a student) at the end of 2013. 2012 1040a (A child born on January 1, 1995, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child unless the child was a student. 2012 1040a Similarly, a child born on January 1, 1990, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child. 2012 1040a ) Your child had gross income only from interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends). 2012 1040a The interest and dividend income was less than $10,000. 2012 1040a Your child is required to file a return for 2013 unless you make this election. 2012 1040a Your child does not file a joint return for 2013. 2012 1040a No estimated tax payment was made for 2013 and no 2012 overpayment was applied to 2013 under your child's name and social security number. 2012 1040a No federal income tax was withheld from your child's income under the backup withholding rules. 2012 1040a You are the parent whose return must be used when making the election to report your child's unearned income. 2012 1040a   For more information, see Form 8814 and Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in Publication 929. 2012 1040a Other Situations You may have to file a tax return even if your gross income is less than the amount shown in Table 1 or Table 2 for your filing status. 2012 1040a See Table 3 for those other situations when you must file. 2012 1040a Table 3. 2012 1040a Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return If any of the four conditions listed below applied to you for 2013, you must file a return. 2012 1040a 1. 2012 1040a You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. 2012 1040a   a. 2012 1040a Alternative minimum tax. 2012 1040a (See Form 6251. 2012 1040a )   b. 2012 1040a Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. 2012 1040a (See Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. 2012 1040a ) But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. 2012 1040a   c. 2012 1040a Social security or Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer (see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income) or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes (see Form 8919). 2012 1040a   d. 2012 1040a Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional tax on health savings accounts. 2012 1040a (See Publication 531, Publication 969, and the Form 1040 instructions for line 60. 2012 1040a )   e. 2012 1040a Household employment taxes. 2012 1040a But if you are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself. 2012 1040a   f. 2012 1040a Recapture taxes. 2012 1040a (See the Form 1040 instructions for lines 44, 59b, and 60. 2012 1040a ) 2. 2012 1040a You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions. 2012 1040a 3. 2012 1040a You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. 2012 1040a (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. 2012 1040a ) 4. 2012 1040a You had wages of $108. 2012 1040a 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. 2012 1040a (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. 2012 1040a ) Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. 2012 1040a For example, you should file if one of the following applies. 2012 1040a You had income tax withheld from your pay. 2012 1040a You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax. 2012 1040a You qualify for the earned income credit. 2012 1040a See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information. 2012 1040a You qualify for the additional child tax credit. 2012 1040a See the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A) for more information. 2012 1040a You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. 2012 1040a See Form 8863, Education Credits. 2012 1040a You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. 2012 1040a For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit. 2012 1040a You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. 2012 1040a See Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels. 2012 1040a Form 1099-B received. 2012 1040a    Even if you are not required to file a return, you should consider filing if all of the following apply. 2012 1040a You received a Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions (or substitute statement). 2012 1040a The amount in box 2a of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement), when added to your other gross income, means you have to file a tax return because of the filing requirement in Table 1 or Table 2 that applies to you. 2012 1040a Box 3 of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement) is blank. 2012 1040a In this case, filing a return may keep you from getting a notice from the IRS. 2012 1040a Filing Status You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return, your standard deduction (discussed later), and your tax. 2012 1040a You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain other deductions and credits. 2012 1040a There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. 2012 1040a If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. 2012 1040a Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. 2012 1040a Unmarried persons. 2012 1040a    You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. 2012 1040a   State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. 2012 1040a Divorced persons. 2012 1040a    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. 2012 1040a Divorce and remarriage. 2012 1040a    If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. 2012 1040a Annulled marriages. 2012 1040a    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. 2012 1040a You must file amended returns (Form 1040X) claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. 2012 1040a Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. 2012 1040a If you filed your original tax return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). 2012 1040a However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. 2012 1040a Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. 2012 1040a    If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. 2012 1040a See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. 2012 1040a Married persons. 2012 1040a    If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. 2012 1040a Considered married. 2012 1040a    You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. 2012 1040a You are married and living together. 2012 1040a You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. 2012 1040a You are married and living apart but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 2012 1040a You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. 2012 1040a Same-sex marriage. 2012 1040a    For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. 2012 1040a The term "spouse" includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. 2012 1040a However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not called a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not married for federal tax purposes. 2012 1040a   The word “state” as used here includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a territories and possessions. 2012 1040a It means any domestic jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. 2012 1040a The term “foreign country” means any foreign jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. 2012 1040a   If individuals of the same sex are married, they generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. 2012 1040a However, if they did not live together during the last 6 months of the year, one or both of them may be able to use the head of household filing status, as explained later. 2012 1040a   For more details, see Answers to Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals of the Same Sex Who Are Married Under State Law on IRS. 2012 1040a gov. 2012 1040a Spouse died during the year. 2012 1040a    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. 2012 1040a   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. 2012 1040a For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . 2012 1040a   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. 2012 1040a Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. 2012 1040a Married persons living apart. 2012 1040a    If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. 2012 1040a If you qualify to file as head of household instead of as married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. 2012 1040a Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. 2012 1040a See Head of Household , later. 2012 1040a Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. 2012 1040a To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. 2012 1040a Widow(er). 2012 1040a    Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. 2012 1040a You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. 2012 1040a See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. 2012 1040a How to file. 2012 1040a    You can file Form 1040. 2012 1040a If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. 2012 1040a If, in addition, you have no dependents, are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. 2012 1040a If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. 2012 1040a Use the Single column of the Tax Table, or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. 2012 1040a Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. 2012 1040a On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. 2012 1040a You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 2012 1040a If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. 2012 1040a Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. 2012 1040a If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). 2012 1040a You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. 2012 1040a How to file. 2012 1040a    If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. 2012 1040a If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. 2012 1040a If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. 2012 1040a If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. 2012 1040a Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table, or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. 2012 1040a Spouse died. 2012 1040a    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. 2012 1040a See Spouse died during the year , under Married persons, earlier. 2012 1040a   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. 2012 1040a Divorced persons. 2012 1040a    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. 2012 1040a Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. 2012 1040a Accounting period. 2012 1040a    Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. 2012 1040a Joint responsibility. 2012 1040a    Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. 2012 1040a This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. 2012 1040a Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. 2012 1040a One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. 2012 1040a   You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. 2012 1040a Divorced taxpayer. 2012 1040a    You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. 2012 1040a This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. 2012 1040a Relief from joint responsibility. 2012 1040a    In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. 2012 1040a You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 2012 1040a   There are three types of relief available. 2012 1040a Innocent spouse relief. 2012 1040a Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). 2012 1040a Equitable relief. 2012 1040a    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. 2012 1040a Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains the kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 2012 1040a Signing a joint return. 2012 1040a    For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. 2012 1040a Spouse died before signing. 2012 1040a    If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. 2012 1040a If neither you nor anyone else has been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. 2012 1040a Spouse away from home. 2012 1040a    If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so it can be filed on time. 2012 1040a Injury or disease prevents signing. 2012 1040a    If your spouse cannot sign because of injury or disease and tells you to sign for him or her, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife). 2012 1040a ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. 2012 1040a Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. 2012 1040a The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. 2012 1040a Signing as guardian of spouse. 2012 1040a    If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. 2012 1040a Spouse in combat zone. 2012 1040a    You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. 2012 1040a Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. 2012 1040a For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. 2012 1040a Other reasons spouse cannot sign. 2012 1040a    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). 2012 1040a Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. 2012 1040a You can use Form 2848. 2012 1040a Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. 2012 1040a    Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. 2012 1040a However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. 2012 1040a If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a residents for the entire tax year. 2012 1040a See chapter 1 of Publication 519. 2012 1040a Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. 2012 1040a This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. 2012 1040a If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. 2012 1040a You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). 2012 1040a This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. 2012 1040a If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. 2012 1040a The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. 2012 1040a See Head of Household , later, for more information. 2012 1040a You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. 2012 1040a However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). 2012 1040a This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. 2012 1040a When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. 2012 1040a How to file. 2012 1040a    If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. 2012 1040a You can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another person. 2012 1040a   You can file Form 1040. 2012 1040a If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. 2012 1040a Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. 2012 1040a Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. 2012 1040a If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. 2012 1040a Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. 2012 1040a Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. 2012 1040a Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. 2012 1040a Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. 2012 1040a Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. 2012 1040a You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000 on a joint return). 2012 1040a If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. 2012 1040a See Joint Return Test in Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, for more information. 2012 1040a You cannot take the earned income credit. 2012 1040a You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 2012 1040a You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. 2012 1040a You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. 2012 1040a If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. 2012 1040a The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. 2012 1040a Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 2012 1040a If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. 2012 1040a If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. 2012 1040a Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. 2012 1040a    If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. 2012 1040a Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). 2012 1040a    You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. 2012 1040a Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. 2012 1040a This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. 2012 1040a For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct? in chapter 1 of Publication 590. 2012 1040a Rental activity losses. 2012 1040a    If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income up to $25,000. 2012 1040a This is called a special allowance. 2012 1040a However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. 2012 1040a Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. 2012 1040a See Rental Activities in Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. 2012 1040a Community property states. 2012 1040a    If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. 2012 1040a See Publication 555, Community Property. 2012 1040a Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. 2012 1040a You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. 2012 1040a This does not include any extensions. 2012 1040a A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2012 1040a Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. 2012 1040a Exception. 2012 1040a    A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. 2012 1040a The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the return to make the change. 2012 1040a See Publication 559 for more information on filing income tax returns for a decedent. 2012 1040a Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 2012 1040a You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. 2012 1040a See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. 2012 1040a You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2012 1040a A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 2012 1040a However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 2012 1040a See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. 2012 1040a If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. 2012 1040a You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. 2012 1040a How to file. 2012 1040a    If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. 2012 1040a If you have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. 2012 1040a Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. 2012 1040a Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. 2012 1040a Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. 2012 1040a You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 2012 1040a You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). 2012 1040a You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 2012 1040a Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 2012 1040a Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 2012 1040a See Temporary absences , later. 2012 1040a Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 2012 1040a (See Home of qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 2012 1040a ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 2012 1040a However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption 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. 2012 1040a The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents . 2012 1040a If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. 2012 1040a See Publication 555 for more information. 2012 1040a Nonresident alien spouse. 2012 1040a    You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. 2012 1040a However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 1040a You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. 2012 1040a Choice to treat spouse as resident. 2012 1040a    You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. 2012 1040a See chapter 1 of Publication 519. 2012 1040a Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2012 1040a You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 1. 2012 1040a Worksheet 1. 2012 1040a Cost of Keeping Up a Home         Amount You  Paid Total  Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $       Minus total amount you paid   ()       Amount others paid   $       If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. 2012 1040a Costs you include. 2012 1040a    Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 2012 1040a   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. 2012 1040a However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. 2012 1040a Costs you do not include. 2012 1040a    Do not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. 2012 1040a Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. 2012 1040a Qualifying Person See Table 4 to see who is a qualifying person. 2012 1040a Any person not described in Table 4 is not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a Example 1—child. 2012 1040a Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. 2012 1040a He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. 2012 1040a As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child , later) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 1040a Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. 2012 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. 2012 1040a Because he does not meet the age test (explained later under Qualifying Child), your son is not your qualifying child. 2012 1040a Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative), he is not your qualifying relative. 2012 1040a As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 1040a Example 3—girlfriend. 2012 1040a Your girlfriend lived with you all year. 2012 1040a Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained later) are met, she is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes because she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . 2012 1040a See Table 4. 2012 1040a Example 4—girlfriend's child. 2012 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. 2012 1040a He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test , later). 2012 1040a As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 1040a Home of qualifying person. 2012 1040a    Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a Special rule for parent. 2012 1040a    If your qualifying person is your father or mother, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if your father or mother does not live with you. 2012 1040a However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 2012 1040a Also, you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for the entire year for your father or mother. 2012 1040a   You are keeping up a main home for your father or mother if you pay more than half the cost of keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly. 2012 1040a Death or birth. 2012 1040a    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the qualifying person who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. 2012 1040a To qualify you for head of household filing status, the qualifying person (as defined in Table 4) must be one of the following. 2012 1040a Your qualifying child or qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. 2012 1040a Your parent for whom you paid, for the entire part of the year he or she was alive, more than half the cost of keeping up the home he or she lived in. 2012 1040a Example. 2012 1040a You are unmarried. 2012 1040a Your mother, for whom you can claim an exemption, lived in an apartment by herself. 2012 1040a She died on September 2. 2012 1040a The cost of the upkeep of her apartment for the year until her death was $6,000. 2012 1040a You paid $4,000 and your brother paid $2,000. 2012 1040a Your brother made no other payments towards your mother's support. 2012 1040a Your mother had no income. 2012 1040a Because you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up your mother's apartment from January 1 until her death, and you can claim an exemption for her, you can file as a head of household. 2012 1040a Temporary absences. 2012 1040a    You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. 2012 1040a It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 2012 1040a You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 2012 1040a Kidnapped child. 2012 1040a    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 2012 1040a You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 2012 1040a The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. 2012 1040a In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 2012 1040a You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 2012 1040a   This treatment applies for all years until the earliest of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. 2012 1040a Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. 2012 1040a The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. 2012 1040a See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. 2012 1040a You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. 2012 1040a For example, if your spouse died in 2012 and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. 2012 1040a The rules for using this filing status are explained in detail here. 2012 1040a This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). 2012 1040a It does not entitle you to file a joint return. 2012 1040a How to file. 2012 1040a    If you file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. 2012 1040a If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. 2012 1040a Check the box on line 5 of either form. 2012 1040a Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. 2012 1040a Table 4. 2012 1040a Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 2012 1040a IF the person is your . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a   AND . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a   THEN that person is . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a . 2012 1040a qualifying child (such as a son, daughter, or grandchild who lived with you more than half the year and meets certain other tests)2   he or she is single   a qualifying person, whether or not you can claim an exemption for the person. 2012 1040a   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. 2012 1040a   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. 2012 1040a 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests). 2012 1040a   he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. 2012 1040a   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household   not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a 1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 2012 1040a 2 The term “qualifying child” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. 2012 1040a Note: If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child, later. 2012 1040a If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. 2012 1040a 3 This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. 2012 1040a 4 The term “qualifying relative” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. 2012 1040a 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a See Multiple Support Agreement . 2012 1040a 6 See Special rule for parent . 2012 1040a Eligibility rules. 2012 1040a    You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all the following tests. 2012 1040a You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. 2012 1040a It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. 2012 1040a Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. 2012 1040a You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. 2012 1040a This does not include a foster child. 2012 1040a This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. 2012 1040a See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. 2012 1040a There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. 2012 1040a You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2012 1040a See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. 2012 1040a Example. 2012 1040a John's wife died in 2011. 2012 1040a John has not remarried. 2012 1040a He has continued during 2012 and 2013 to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. 2012 1040a For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. 2012 1040a For 2012 and 2013, he can file as a qualifying widower with a dependent child. 2012 1040a After 2013, he can file as head of household if he qualifies. 2012 1040a Death or birth. 2012 1040a    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. 2012 1040a You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. 2012 1040a Kidnapped child. 2012 1040a    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child even if the child who qualifies you for this filing status has been kidnapped. 2012 1040a You can claim qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all the following statements are true. 2012 1040a The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. 2012 1040a In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 2012 1040a You would have qualified for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 2012 1040a As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. 2012 1040a Exemptions Exemptions reduce your taxable income. 2012 1040a You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 2012 1040a If you are entitled to two exemptions for 2013, you can deduct $7,800 ($3,900 × 2). 2012 1040a But you may lose the benefit of part or all of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. 2012 1040a See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 2012 1040a Types of exemptions. 2012 1040a    There are two types of exemptions you may be able to take: Personal exemptions for yourself and your spouse, and Exemptions for dependents (dependency exemptions). 2012 1040a While each is worth the same amount ($3,900 for 2013), different rules, discussed later, apply to each type. 2012 1040a Dependent cannot claim a personal exemption. 2012 1040a    If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. 2012 1040a How to claim exemptions. 2012 1040a    How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file. 2012 1040a Form 1040EZ filers. 2012 1040a    If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction and entered on line 5. 2012 1040a Form 1040A filers. 2012 1040a    If you file Form 1040A, complete lines 6a through 6d. 2012 1040a The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. 2012 1040a Also complete line 26. 2012 1040a Form 1040 filers. 2012 1040a    If you file Form 1040, complete lines 6a through 6d. 2012 1040a The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. 2012 1040a Also complete line 42. 2012 1040a If your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 2012 1040a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen or resident alien. 2012 1040a    If you are a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen, U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a resident alien, U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a national (defined later) or a resident of Canada or Mexico, you may qualify for any of the exemptions discussed here. 2012 1040a Nonresident aliens. 2012 1040a    Generally, if you are a nonresident alien (other than a resident of Canada or Mexico, or certain residents of India or Korea), you can qualify for only one personal exemption for yourself. 2012 1040a You cannot claim exemptions for a spouse or dependents. 2012 1040a   These restrictions do not apply if you are a nonresident alien married to a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen or resident alien and have chosen to be treated as a resident of the United States. 2012 1040a More information. 2012 1040a    For more information on exemptions if you are a nonresident alien, see chapter 5 in Publication 519. 2012 1040a Dual-status taxpayers. 2012 1040a    If you have been both a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same tax year, you should see Publication 519 for information on determining your exemptions. 2012 1040a Personal Exemptions You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. 2012 1040a If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. 2012 1040a These are called personal exemptions. 2012 1040a Your Own Exemption You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2012 1040a If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent. 2012 1040a Your Spouse's Exemption Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 2012 1040a Joint return. 2012 1040a    On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 2012 1040a Separate return. 2012 1040a    If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. 2012 1040a This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. 2012 1040a You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a tax purposes and satisfy the other conditions listed above. 2012 1040a Head of household. 2012 1040a    If you qualify for head of household filing status because you are considered unmarried, you can claim an exemption for your spouse if the conditions described in the preceding paragraph are satisfied. 2012 1040a   To claim the exemption for your spouse, check the box on line 6b of Form 1040 or Form 1040A and enter the name of your spouse in the space to the right of the box. 2012 1040a Enter the SSN or ITIN of your spouse in the space provided at the top of Form 1040 or Form 1040A. 2012 1040a Death of spouse. 2012 1040a    If your spouse died during the year and you file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse, you generally can claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just explained in Joint return . 2012 1040a If you file a separate return for the year, you may be able to claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just described in Separate return . 2012 1040a   If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse. 2012 1040a   If you are a surviving spouse without gross income and you remarry in the year your spouse died, you can be claimed as an exemption on both the final separate return of your deceased spouse and the separate return of your new spouse for that year. 2012 1040a If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return. 2012 1040a Divorced or separated spouse. 2012 1040a    If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 2012 1040a This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 2012 1040a Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 2012 1040a You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 2012 1040a The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 2012 1040a The terms “ qualifying child ” and “ qualifying relative ” are defined later. 2012 1040a You can claim an exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met. 2012 1040a Dependent taxpayer test. 2012 1040a Joint return test. 2012 1040a Citizen or resident test. 2012 1040a These three tests are explained in detail later. 2012 1040a All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5. 2012 1040a Table 5. 2012 1040a Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent This table is only an overview of the rules. 2012 1040a For details, see the rest of this publication. 2012 1040a You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2012 1040a   You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid. 2012 1040a   You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a citizen, U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a resident alien, U. 2012 1040a S. 2012 1040a national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 2012 1040a 1  You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 2012 1040a   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. 2012 1040a   The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled. 2012 1040a   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a 2  The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 2012 1040a   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). 2012 1040a  If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. 2012 1040a See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person described later to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. 2012 1040a The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. 2012 1040a   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). 2012 1040a   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 2012 1040a 3  You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 2012 1040a 4  1 There is an exception for certain adopted children. 2012 1040a 2 There are exceptions for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 2012 1040a 3 There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop. 2012 1040a 4 There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 2012 1040a Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 2012 1040a If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own personal exemption on his or her own tax return. 2012 1040a This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 2012 1040a It is also true if the dependent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. 2012 1040a Housekeepers, maids, or servants. 2012 1040a    If these people work for you, you cannot claim exemptions for them. 2012 1040a Child tax credit. 2012 1040a    You may be entitled to a child tax credit for each qualifying child who was under age 17 at the end of the year if you claimed an exemption for that child. 2012 1040a For more information, see the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A). 2012 1040a Dependent Taxpayer Test If you can be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. 2012 1040a Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent. 2012 1040a If you are filing a joint return and your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by someone else, you and your spouse cannot claim any dependents on your joint return. 2012 1040a Joint Return Test You generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return. 2012 1040a Exception. 2012 1040a    You can claim an exemption for a person who files a joint return if that person and his or her spouse file the joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. 2012 1040a Example 1—child files joint return. 2012 1040a You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. 2012 1040a He earned $25,000 for the year. 2012 1040a The couple files a joint return. 2012 1040a You cannot take an exemption for your daughter. 2012 1040a Example 2—child files joint return only as claim for refund of withheld tax. 2012 1040a Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. 2012 1040a Neither is required to file a tax return. 2012 1040a They do not have a child. 2012 1040a Taxes were taken out of their pay so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. 2012 1040a The exception to the joint return test applies, so you are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for each of them just because they file a joint return. 2012 1040a You can claim exemptions for each of them if all the other tests to do so are met. 2012 1040a Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. 2012 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. 2012 1040a He and his wife are not required to file a tax return. 2012 1040a However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. 2012 1040a Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to get a refund of income