Filing Your Taxes Online is Fast, Easy and Secure.
Start now and receive your tax refund in as little as 7 days.

1. Get Answers

Your online questions are customized to your unique tax situation.

2. Maximize your Refund

Find tax credits for everything from school tuition to buying a hybri

3. E-File for FREE

E-file free with direct deposit to get your refund in as few as 7 days.

Filing your taxes with paper mail can be difficult and it could take weeks for your refund to arrive. IRS e-file is easy, fast and secure. There is no paperwork going to the IRS so tax refunds can be processed in as little as 7 days with direct deposit. As you prepare your taxes online, you can see your tax refund in real time.

FREE audit support and representation from an enrolled agent – NEW and only from H&R Block

2012 Freetaxusa

H & R Block Taxes For FreeHow To File 2010 Taxes2010 1040ez FormHow To Ammend TaxesIrs Ez File OnlineFile For A Tax Extension FreeE File 2012 Tax ReturnH&r Block Tax Software 2011How To Fill Out The 1040x Form1040ez FileWhat Can Military Claim On TaxesHelp Me File 1040ezMilitary Tax Return CalculatorEztaxFree Federal And State Income Tax FilingHow To Do 1040xState Income Tax Rate Comparisons1040x H&r BlockI Need To Amend My Taxes2012 State Tax FormsHow Do You Amend A Tax ReturnFreetaxusa 2010Senior Taxes2008 Taxes Online For FreeH&r BlockEz 40 Tax Form1040ez InstructionsHttps Mypay Dfas MilFree H&r BlockMy Pay MilFile Ez Form FreeMy Free TaxesIrs E FileFree Tax UsaFile Irs ExtensionWhat Is A 1040nrFiling 2009 Taxes In 2013Free File State Federal TaxesE File 20112007 Taxes

2012 Freetaxusa

2012 freetaxusa Publication 557 - Introductory Material Table of Contents What's New Reminders Introduction What's New Proposed regulations on “good faith determinations”. 2012 freetaxusa  Proposed regulations modify standards for making a good faith determination that a foreign organization is a charitable organization, grants to which may be qualifying distributions and not taxable expenditures. 2012 freetaxusa The proposed regulations identify a broader class of tax practitioners upon whose written advice a private foundation may base a “good faith determination. 2012 freetaxusa ” See, Proposed Regulations: Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations, REG-134974-12, 2012-47 I. 2012 freetaxusa R. 2012 freetaxusa B. 2012 freetaxusa 553. 2012 freetaxusa Prop. 2012 freetaxusa Regs. 2012 freetaxusa on Good Faith Determinations. 2012 freetaxusa New Requirements for section 501(c)(3) Hospitals Under the Affordable Care Act. 2012 freetaxusa  The Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements that hospital organizations must satisfy in order to be described in section 501(c)(3), as well as new reporting requirements and excise taxes. 2012 freetaxusa On June 22, 2012, the Service issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that addresses the new requirements enacted by the ACA applicable to section 501(c)(3) hospital organizations. 2012 freetaxusa See, Proposed Regulations: Additional Requirements for Charitable Hospitals, REG-13026-11, 77 Fed. 2012 freetaxusa Reg. 2012 freetaxusa 38148. 2012 freetaxusa On April 3, 2013, the Service issued proposed regulations on the ACA's community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirements. 2012 freetaxusa The proposed regulations also discuss the related reporting and excise tax requirements for charitable hospitals and the consequences for failure to satisfy the section 501(r) requirements. 2012 freetaxusa See, Proposed Regulations: Community Health Needs Assessments for Charitable Hospitals, REG-106499-12, 78 Fed. 2012 freetaxusa Reg. 2012 freetaxusa 20,523. 2012 freetaxusa Timing of when an Organization is exempt for Federal Tax Purposes. 2012 freetaxusa  As noted in section 2. 2012 freetaxusa 03(4) of Revenue Procedure 2013-9, 2013-2 I. 2012 freetaxusa R. 2012 freetaxusa B. 2012 freetaxusa 267, the provisions in section 11. 2012 freetaxusa 01 regarding the effect of determination letters or rulings recognizing exempt status of organizations described in section 501(c), other than sections 501(c)(3), (9), (17), and (29), have been revised. 2012 freetaxusa Prior to this year, and back to 1962, when such organizations applied for recognition, the IRS would usually recognize the organizations as tax exempt from the date of formation, no matter how long the interval between the date of formation and the date of application. 2012 freetaxusa In addition to the practical difficulties of ascertaining an organization's purposes and activities for this period, such recognition is now potentially inconsistent with the provisions of section 6033(j), which automatically revokes the exempt status of an organization that fails to file required Form 990 series returns or notices for three consecutive years. 2012 freetaxusa The new procedure adopts a practice similar to the rule for section 501(c)(3) organizations for these organizations, generally permitting recognition from the date of formation if the organization has: always met the requirements for exemption, has applied within 27 months from the end of the month in which it was organized, and has not failed to file required Form 990 series returns or notices for three consecutive years. 2012 freetaxusa Section 11. 2012 freetaxusa 01(3) notes: an organization that otherwise meets the requirements for tax-exempt status and the issuance of a determination letter or ruling that does not meet the requirements for recognition from date of formation will generally be recognized from the postmark date of its application. 2012 freetaxusa Exempt Organizations Select Check. 2012 freetaxusa  The IRS has developed an on-line search tool, Exempt Organizations Select Check, that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. 2012 freetaxusa It consolidates three former search sites into one, providing expanded search capability and a more efficient way to search for organizations that: Are eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions (Publication 78 data). 2012 freetaxusa Users may rely on this list in determining deductibility of contributions, just as they did when Publication 78 was a separate electronic publication rather than part of Select Check. 2012 freetaxusa Have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked under the law because they have not filed Form 990 series returns or notices annually as required for three consecutive years (Auto-Revocation List). 2012 freetaxusa Have filed a Form 990-N (e-Postcard) annual electronic notice. 2012 freetaxusa  In addition to searching for a particular organization, users may download a complete list of each of the three types of organizations through Exempt Organizations Select Check. 2012 freetaxusa See also Revenue Procedure 2011-33, 2011-25 I. 2012 freetaxusa R. 2012 freetaxusa B. 2012 freetaxusa 887. 2012 freetaxusa Future developments. 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa  The IRS has created a page on IRS. 2012 freetaxusa gov for information about Publication 557, at www. 2012 freetaxusa irs. 2012 freetaxusa gov/pub557. 2012 freetaxusa Information about any future developments affecting Publication 557 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted on that page. 2012 freetaxusa Reminders The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). 2012 freetaxusa   The ACA added several new laws. 2012 freetaxusa This includes a new excise tax on indoor tanning services, a small business health care tax credit, additional requirements for tax-exempt hospitals, and the section 501(c)(29) CO-OP program. 2012 freetaxusa For more information, go to IRS. 2012 freetaxusa gov and select Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions. 2012 freetaxusa Electronic filing requirement for large organizations. 2012 freetaxusa  For tax years ending on or after December 31, 2006, only organizations that file 250 returns during the calendar year and that have total assets of $10 million or more are required to file Form 990 electronically. 2012 freetaxusa For more information, go to e-file for Charities and Non-Profits. 2012 freetaxusa Section 501(c)(15) gross receipts. 2012 freetaxusa   The definition of gross receipts for purposes of determining whether small insurance companies qualify as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(15) has changed. 2012 freetaxusa See Notice 2006-42, 2006-19 I. 2012 freetaxusa R. 2012 freetaxusa B. 2012 freetaxusa 878, Notice 2006-42. 2012 freetaxusa Prohibited tax shelter transactions. 2012 freetaxusa  New excise taxes are imposed under section 4965 on certain tax-exempt organizations entering into prohibited tax shelter transactions. 2012 freetaxusa See T. 2012 freetaxusa D. 2012 freetaxusa 9492, Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirements, 2010-33 I. 2012 freetaxusa R. 2012 freetaxusa B. 2012 freetaxusa 242. 2012 freetaxusa See IRS Issues Final Regulations Regarding Excise Taxes on Prohibited Tax Shelter Transactions and Related Disclosure Requirement. 2012 freetaxusa Pension Protection Act of 2006 tax changes. 2012 freetaxusa  The Pension Protection Act of 2006 made numerous changes to the tax law provisions affecting tax-exempt organizations. 2012 freetaxusa Unless otherwise noted, most of the changes became effective on August 17, 2006. 2012 freetaxusa For key provisions, go to The Pension Protection Act of 2006. 2012 freetaxusa Section 501(c)(3) organizations must make their Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Tax Return (and proxy tax under section 6033(e)), open for public inspection for a period of 3 years from the date the Form 990-T is required to be filed (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing) or is actually filed, whichever is later. 2012 freetaxusa There is an increase in excise taxes relating to public charities, social welfare organizations, and private foundations. 2012 freetaxusa There are additional standards for credit counseling organizations. 2012 freetaxusa The definition of convention or association of churches has been modified. 2012 freetaxusa Entities that are not required to file Form 990 or 990-EZ must file new Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or 990-EZ. 2012 freetaxusa The requirements of disclosure to state officials relating to exempt organizations has been modified. 2012 freetaxusa There are excise taxes imposed on excess benefit transactions involving donor advised funds and sponsoring organizations. 2012 freetaxusa There are new excise taxes on prohibited tax shelter transactions. 2012 freetaxusa There is a modification of recordkeeping requirements for certain charitable contributions. 2012 freetaxusa Introduction This publication discusses the rules and procedures for organizations that seek recognition of exemption from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). 2012 freetaxusa It explains the procedures you must follow to obtain an appropriate ruling or determination letter recognizing your organization's exemption, as well as certain other information that applies generally to all exempt organizations. 2012 freetaxusa To qualify for exemption under the Code, your organization must be organized for one or more of the purposes specifically designated in the Code. 2012 freetaxusa Organizations that are exempt under section 501(a) include those organizations described in section 501(c). 2012 freetaxusa Section 501(c) organizations are covered in this publication. 2012 freetaxusa Chapter 1, Application, Approval, and Appeal Procedures, provides general information about the procedures for obtaining recognition of tax-exempt status. 2012 freetaxusa Chapter 2, Filing Requirements and Required Disclosures, contains information about annual filing requirements and other matters that may affect your organization's tax-exempt status. 2012 freetaxusa Chapter 3, Section 501(c)(3) Organizations, contains detailed information on various matters affecting section 501(c)(3) organizations, including a section on the determination of private foundation status. 2012 freetaxusa Chapter 4, Other Section 501(c) Organizations, includes separate sections for specific types of organizations described in section 501(c). 2012 freetaxusa Chapter 5, Excise Taxes, provides information on when excise taxes may be imposed. 2012 freetaxusa Organizations not discussed in this publication. 2012 freetaxusa   Certain organizations that may qualify for exemption are not discussed in this publication, although they are included in the Organization Reference Chart. 2012 freetaxusa These organizations (and the Code sections that apply to them) are as follows. 2012 freetaxusa Corporations organized under Acts of Congress 501(c)(1) Teachers' retirement fund associations 501(c)(11) Mutual insurance companies 501(c)(15) Corporations organized to finance crop operations 501(c)(16) Employee funded pension trusts (created before June 25, 1959) 501(c)(18) Withdrawal liability payment fund 501(c)(22) Veterans' organizations (created before 1880) 501(c)(23) National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust 501(c)(28) Religious and apostolic associations 501(d) Cooperative hospital service organizations 501(e) Cooperative service organizations of operating educational organizations 501(f)   Section 501(c)(24) organizations (section 4049 ERISA trusts) are neither discussed in the text nor listed in the Organization Reference Chart. 2012 freetaxusa   Similarly, farmers' cooperative associations that qualify for exemption under section 521, qualified state tuition programs described in section 529, and pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans described in section 401(a) are not discussed in this publication. 2012 freetaxusa If you think your organization falls within one of these categories, contact the IRS for any additional information you need. 2012 freetaxusa For telephone assistance, call 1-877-829-5500. 2012 freetaxusa   Check the Table of Contents at the beginning of this publication to determine whether your organization is described in this publication. 2012 freetaxusa If it is, read the chapter (or section) that applies to your type of organization for the specific information you must give when applying for recognition of exemption. 2012 freetaxusa Organization Reference Chart. 2012 freetaxusa   The Organization Reference Chart enables you to locate at a glance the section of the Code under which your organization might qualify for exemption. 2012 freetaxusa It also shows the required application form and, if your organization meets the exemption requirements, the annual return to be filed (if any), and whether or not a contribution to your organization will be deductible by a donor. 2012 freetaxusa It also describes each type of qualifying organization and the general nature of its activities. 2012 freetaxusa   You may use the Organization Reference Chart to determine the Code section that you think applies to your organization. 2012 freetaxusa Any correspondence with the IRS (in requesting forms or otherwise) will be expedited if you indicate in your correspondence the appropriate Code section. 2012 freetaxusa Check the IRS website, IRS. 2012 freetaxusa gov, for the latest updates, Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-Profits, www. 2012 freetaxusa irs. 2012 freetaxusa gov/charities/index. 2012 freetaxusa html. 2012 freetaxusa Comments and suggestions. 2012 freetaxusa   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. 2012 freetaxusa   You can e-mail us while visiting our website at IRS. 2012 freetaxusa gov. 2012 freetaxusa   You can send your comments to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. 2012 freetaxusa NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. 2012 freetaxusa Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. 2012 freetaxusa   If you wish telephone assistance, please call 1-877-829-5500. 2012 freetaxusa This toll-free telephone service is available Monday through Friday. 2012 freetaxusa Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
Español

American History

Find an A-Z list of American history topics and resources on the U.S. Constitution, Liberty Bell, flag, and more.

The 2012 Freetaxusa

2012 freetaxusa Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. 2012 freetaxusa Married persons. 2012 freetaxusa Same-sex marriage. 2012 freetaxusa Exception. 2012 freetaxusa Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. 2012 freetaxusa Amended instrument. 2012 freetaxusa General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. 2012 freetaxusa Individual Retirement Arrangements Property SettlementsTransfer Between Spouses Gift Tax on Property Settlements Sale of Jointly-Owned Property Costs of Getting a Divorce Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Community PropertyCommunity Income Alimony (Community Income) How To Get Tax Help Filing Status Your filing status is used in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and the correct tax. 2012 freetaxusa It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. 2012 freetaxusa The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. 2012 freetaxusa Marital status. 2012 freetaxusa   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). 2012 freetaxusa If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. 2012 freetaxusa For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa Unmarried persons. 2012 freetaxusa   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. 2012 freetaxusa You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 2012 freetaxusa You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. 2012 freetaxusa Exception. 2012 freetaxusa If you and your spouse obtain a divorce in one year for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to remarry each other and do so in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals. 2012 freetaxusa You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. 2012 freetaxusa You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. 2012 freetaxusa The statute of limitations generally does not end until 3 years (including extensions) after the date you file your original return or within 2 years after the date you pay the tax. 2012 freetaxusa On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. 2012 freetaxusa Married persons. 2012 freetaxusa   You are married for the whole year if you are separated but you have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 2012 freetaxusa An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. 2012 freetaxusa Same-sex marriage. 2012 freetaxusa   For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered 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 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa For more details, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa Exception. 2012 freetaxusa   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. 2012 freetaxusa See Head of Household , later. 2012 freetaxusa Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. 2012 freetaxusa You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 2012 freetaxusa If both you and your spouse have income, you should usually figure your tax on both a joint return and separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately) to see which gives the two of you the lower combined tax. 2012 freetaxusa Nonresident alien. 2012 freetaxusa   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. 2012 freetaxusa If either of you was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, you can file a joint return only if you agree to treat the nonresident spouse as a resident of the United States. 2012 freetaxusa This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa income tax. 2012 freetaxusa These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa Tax Guide for Aliens. 2012 freetaxusa Signing a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa Joint and individual liability. 2012 freetaxusa   Both you and your spouse may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. 2012 freetaxusa This means that one spouse may be held liable for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. 2012 freetaxusa Divorced taxpayers. 2012 freetaxusa   If you are divorced, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return for a tax year ending before your divorce. 2012 freetaxusa This responsibility applies even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. 2012 freetaxusa Relief from joint liability. 2012 freetaxusa   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 2012 freetaxusa   There are three types of relief available. 2012 freetaxusa Innocent spouse relief. 2012 freetaxusa Separation of liability, which applies to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date election of this relief is filed. 2012 freetaxusa Equitable relief. 2012 freetaxusa   Married persons who live in community property states, but who did not file joint returns, may also qualify for relief from liability arising from community property law or for equitable relief. 2012 freetaxusa See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. 2012 freetaxusa    Each kind of relief has different requirements. 2012 freetaxusa You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 2012 freetaxusa Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 2012 freetaxusa You can also find information on our website at IRS. 2012 freetaxusa gov. 2012 freetaxusa Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. 2012 freetaxusa   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. 2012 freetaxusa This includes your spouse's federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support payments, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan. 2012 freetaxusa You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. 2012 freetaxusa Injured spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   You are an injured spouse if you file a joint return and all or part of your share of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied against your spouse's past-due debts. 2012 freetaxusa An injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount. 2012 freetaxusa   To be considered an injured spouse, you must: Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments), or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or additional child tax credit on the joint return, and Not be legally obligated to pay the past-due amount. 2012 freetaxusa Note. 2012 freetaxusa If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). 2012 freetaxusa For more information, see Publication 555. 2012 freetaxusa    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. 2012 freetaxusa If you live in a community property state in which all community property is subject to the debts of either spouse, your entire refund is generally used to pay those debts. 2012 freetaxusa   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. 2012 freetaxusa Follow the instructions for the form. 2012 freetaxusa   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. 2012 freetaxusa You should receive your refund within 14 weeks from the date the paper return is filed or within 11 weeks from the date the return is filed electronically. 2012 freetaxusa   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. 2012 freetaxusa When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. 2012 freetaxusa Do not attach the previously filed tax return, but do include copies of all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, for both spouses and any Forms 1099 that show income tax withheld. 2012 freetaxusa    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. 2012 freetaxusa An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. 2012 freetaxusa An innocent spouse uses Form 8857 to request relief from joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse (or former spouse) that were incorrectly reported on or omitted from the joint return. 2012 freetaxusa For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. 2012 freetaxusa Married Filing Separately If you and your spouse file separate returns, you should each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on your individual return. 2012 freetaxusa You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. 2012 freetaxusa For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. 2012 freetaxusa Community or separate income. 2012 freetaxusa   If you live in a community property state and file a separate return, your income may be separate income or community income for income tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. 2012 freetaxusa Separate liability. 2012 freetaxusa   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. 2012 freetaxusa Itemized deductions. 2012 freetaxusa   If you and your spouse file separate returns and one of you itemizes deductions, the other spouse cannot use the standard deduction and should also itemize deductions. 2012 freetaxusa Table 1. 2012 freetaxusa Itemized Deductions on Separate Returns This table shows itemized deductions you can claim on your married filing separate return whether you paid the expenses separately with your own funds or jointly with your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. 2012 freetaxusa See Community Property. 2012 freetaxusa IF you paid . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa AND you . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa   medical expenses   paid with funds deposited in a joint checking account in which you and your spouse have an equal interest     half of the total medical expenses, subject to certain limits, unless you can show that you alone paid the expenses. 2012 freetaxusa     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 2012 freetaxusa         file a joint state income tax return and you and your spouse are jointly and individually liable for the full amount of the state income tax     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 2012 freetaxusa         file a joint state income tax return and you  are liable for only your own share of state  income tax     the smaller of: the state income tax you alone paid during the year, or the total state income tax you and your spouse paid during the year multiplied by the following fraction. 2012 freetaxusa The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. 2012 freetaxusa     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. 2012 freetaxusa     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. 2012 freetaxusa     casualty loss   have a casualty loss on a home you own  as tenants by the entirety     half of the loss, subject to the deduction limits. 2012 freetaxusa Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. 2012 freetaxusa 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2012 freetaxusa Dividing itemized deductions. 2012 freetaxusa   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa See Table 1, later. 2012 freetaxusa Separate returns may give you a higher tax. 2012 freetaxusa   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. 2012 freetaxusa There is no joint liability. 2012 freetaxusa But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. 2012 freetaxusa Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot take the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot take the credit for higher education expenses (American opportunity and lifetime learning credits), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 2012 freetaxusa 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 will have to include in income more (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. 2012 freetaxusa Your income limits that reduce the child tax credit, the retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are half of the limits for a joint return filer. 2012 freetaxusa Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 2012 freetaxusa Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2012 freetaxusa See Itemized deductions , earlier. 2012 freetaxusa Joint return after separate returns. 2012 freetaxusa   If either you or your spouse (or both of you) file a separate return, you generally can change to a joint return within 3 years from the due date (not including extensions) of the separate return or returns. 2012 freetaxusa This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. 2012 freetaxusa Separate returns after joint return. 2012 freetaxusa   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa Exception. 2012 freetaxusa   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 freetaxusa The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. 2012 freetaxusa Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. 2012 freetaxusa You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2012 freetaxusa Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2012 freetaxusa Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2012 freetaxusa You may be able to claim certain credits (such as the dependent care credit and the earned income credit) you cannot claim if your filing status is married filing separately. 2012 freetaxusa Income limits that reduce your child tax credit, retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are higher than the income limits if you claim a filing status of married filing separately. 2012 freetaxusa Requirements. 2012 freetaxusa   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 2012 freetaxusa You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. 2012 freetaxusa You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2012 freetaxusa A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 2012 freetaxusa However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 2012 freetaxusa See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa Considered unmarried. 2012 freetaxusa   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 2012 freetaxusa You file a separate return. 2012 freetaxusa A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 2012 freetaxusa Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 2012 freetaxusa Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 2012 freetaxusa See Temporary absences , later. 2012 freetaxusa Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 2012 freetaxusa (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 2012 freetaxusa ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 2012 freetaxusa However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rule described later in Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Exemptions for Dependents. 2012 freetaxusa The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. 2012 freetaxusa    If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (one of the states listed later under Community Property), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. 2012 freetaxusa See Publication 555 for more information. 2012 freetaxusa Nonresident alien spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   If your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, and you have not chosen to treat your spouse as a resident alien, you are considered unmarried for head of household purposes. 2012 freetaxusa However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 freetaxusa You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. 2012 freetaxusa Keeping up a home. 2012 freetaxusa   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. 2012 freetaxusa This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 2012 freetaxusa This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. 2012 freetaxusa Qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 2012 freetaxusa Table 2. 2012 freetaxusa Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. 2012 freetaxusa See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa IF the person is your . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa AND . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa THEN that person is . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa   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 freetaxusa     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa     qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests) 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 in Publication 501 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa     he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 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 freetaxusa     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 freetaxusa   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 2012 freetaxusa 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa Note. 2012 freetaxusa 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 Exemptions for Dependents, later. 2012 freetaxusa If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child is generally 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 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. 2012 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa 6 See Special rule for parent . 2012 freetaxusa Special rule for parent. 2012 freetaxusa   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 freetaxusa However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 2012 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa Death or birth. 2012 freetaxusa   If the person for whom you kept up a home was born or died in 2013, you still may be able to file as head of household. 2012 freetaxusa If the person is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. 2012 freetaxusa If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa Temporary absences. 2012 freetaxusa   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 freetaxusa It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 2012 freetaxusa You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 2012 freetaxusa Kidnapped child. 2012 freetaxusa   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 2012 freetaxusa You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 2012 freetaxusa The child must be 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 freetaxusa In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 2012 freetaxusa You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 2012 freetaxusa   This treatment applies for all years until the earlier 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 freetaxusa More information. 2012 freetaxusa   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 2012 freetaxusa However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 2012 freetaxusa There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. 2012 freetaxusa If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim his or her personal exemption on his or her own tax return. 2012 freetaxusa Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. 2012 freetaxusa If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa These are called personal exemptions. 2012 freetaxusa Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 2012 freetaxusa Joint return. 2012 freetaxusa   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa Separate return. 2012 freetaxusa   If you file a separate return, you can take 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 freetaxusa If your spouse is the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim an exemption for your spouse even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse's exemption. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony paid. 2012 freetaxusa   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. 2012 freetaxusa Divorced or separated spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 2012 freetaxusa This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 2012 freetaxusa Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 2012 freetaxusa You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 2012 freetaxusa The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 2012 freetaxusa Table 3 shows the tests that must be met to be either a qualifying child or qualifying relative, plus the additional requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent. 2012 freetaxusa For detailed information, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 2012 freetaxusa If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own exemption on his or her own tax return. 2012 freetaxusa This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 2012 freetaxusa It is also true if the decedent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. 2012 freetaxusa Table 3. 2012 freetaxusa Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. 2012 freetaxusa This table is only an overview of the rules. 2012 freetaxusa For details, see Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2012 freetaxusa • You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is only a claim for refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns. 2012 freetaxusa • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa citizen, U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa resident alien, U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 2012 freetaxusa 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 2012 freetaxusa   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. 2012 freetaxusa     2. 2012 freetaxusa       3. 2012 freetaxusa    4. 2012 freetaxusa    5. 2012 freetaxusa    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 freetaxusa   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 freetaxusa   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 2012 freetaxusa 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 2012 freetaxusa   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). 2012 freetaxusa   1. 2012 freetaxusa    2. 2012 freetaxusa       3. 2012 freetaxusa    4. 2012 freetaxusa The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. 2012 freetaxusa   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 in Publication 501 or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household 2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). 2012 freetaxusa   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 2012 freetaxusa 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 2012 freetaxusa 4 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 freetaxusa See Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person , later, to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. 2012 freetaxusa 2 Exceptions exist 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 freetaxusa 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. 2012 freetaxusa 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 2012 freetaxusa See Publication 501. 2012 freetaxusa 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 freetaxusa For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. 2012 freetaxusa Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. 2012 freetaxusa Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2012 freetaxusa   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. 2012 freetaxusa The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married. 2012 freetaxusa The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. 2012 freetaxusa The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. 2012 freetaxusa Either of the following applies. 2012 freetaxusa The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. 2012 freetaxusa (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984, see Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009 , later. 2012 freetaxusa A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during 2013. 2012 freetaxusa See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. 2012 freetaxusa Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. 2012 freetaxusa The other parent is the noncustodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa   If the parents divorced or separated during the year and the child lived with both parents before the separation, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the rest of the year. 2012 freetaxusa   A child is treated as living with a parent for a night if the child sleeps: At that parent's home, whether or not the parent is present, or In the company of the parent, when the child does not sleep at a parent's home (for example, the parent and child are on vacation together). 2012 freetaxusa Equal number of nights. 2012 freetaxusa   If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. 2012 freetaxusa December 31. 2012 freetaxusa   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. 2012 freetaxusa For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. 2012 freetaxusa Emancipated child. 2012 freetaxusa   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. 2012 freetaxusa See Examples 5 and 6 . 2012 freetaxusa Absences. 2012 freetaxusa    If a child was not with either parent on a particular night (because, for example, the child was staying at a friend's house), the child is treated as living with the parent with whom the child normally would have lived for that night, except for the absence. 2012 freetaxusa But if it cannot be determined with which parent the child normally would have lived or if the child would not have lived with either parent that night, the child is treated as not living with either parent that night. 2012 freetaxusa Parent works at night. 2012 freetaxusa   If, due to a parent's nighttime work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days but not nights with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. 2012 freetaxusa You and your child’s other parent are divorced. 2012 freetaxusa In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. 2012 freetaxusa You are the custodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa Example 2 – child is away at camp. 2012 freetaxusa In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. 2012 freetaxusa In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. 2012 freetaxusa During the time she is at camp, she is treated as living with you for 3 weeks and with her other parent, your ex-spouse, for 3 weeks because this is how long she would have lived with each parent if she had not attended summer camp. 2012 freetaxusa Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. 2012 freetaxusa Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. 2012 freetaxusa Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. 2012 freetaxusa Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. 2012 freetaxusa You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. 2012 freetaxusa Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. 2012 freetaxusa Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. 2012 freetaxusa You become ill and are hospitalized. 2012 freetaxusa The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. 2012 freetaxusa Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. 2012 freetaxusa Example 5 – child emancipated in May. 2012 freetaxusa When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. 2012 freetaxusa As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. 2012 freetaxusa The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 2012 freetaxusa Example 6 – child emancipated in August. 2012 freetaxusa Your daughter lives with you from January 1, 2013, until May 31, 2013, and lives with her other parent, your ex-spouse, from June 1, 2013, through the end of the year. 2012 freetaxusa She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. 2012 freetaxusa Because she is treated as not living with either parent beginning on August 1, she is treated as living with you the greater number of nights in 2013. 2012 freetaxusa You are the custodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa Written declaration. 2012 freetaxusa    The custodial parent must use either Form 8332 or a similar statement (containing the same information required by the form) to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. 2012 freetaxusa The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. 2012 freetaxusa   The exemption can be released for 1 year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. 2012 freetaxusa Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. 2012 freetaxusa   If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. 2012 freetaxusa To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. 2012 freetaxusa The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. 2012 freetaxusa The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. 2012 freetaxusa The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. 2012 freetaxusa   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. 2012 freetaxusa The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). 2012 freetaxusa The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. 2012 freetaxusa The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. 2012 freetaxusa Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. 2012 freetaxusa   If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, a noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child cannot attach pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332. 2012 freetaxusa The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. 2012 freetaxusa The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. 2012 freetaxusa The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. 2012 freetaxusa The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. 2012 freetaxusa For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. 2012 freetaxusa    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. 2012 freetaxusa Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. 2012 freetaxusa   The custodial parent can revoke a release of claim to exemption that he or she previously released to the noncustodial parent on Form 8332 or a similar statement. 2012 freetaxusa In order for the revocation to be effective for 2013, the custodial parent must have given (or made reasonable efforts to give) written notice of the revocation to the noncustodial parent in 2012 or earlier. 2012 freetaxusa The custodial parent can use Part III of Form 8332 for this purpose and must attach a copy of the revocation to his or her return for each tax year he or she claims the child as a dependent as a result of the revocation. 2012 freetaxusa Remarried parent. 2012 freetaxusa   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. 2012 freetaxusa Child support under pre-1985 agreement. 2012 freetaxusa   All child support payments actually received from the noncustodial parent under a pre-1985 agreement are considered used for the support of the child, even if such amounts are not actually spent for child support. 2012 freetaxusa Example. 2012 freetaxusa Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. 2012 freetaxusa This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. 2012 freetaxusa Parents who never married. 2012 freetaxusa   The special rule for divorced or separated parents also applies to parents who never married and lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony. 2012 freetaxusa   Payments to your spouse that are includible in his or her gross income as either alimony, separate maintenance payments, or similar payments from an estate or trust, are not treated as a payment for the support of a dependent. 2012 freetaxusa Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person If your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else, this special rule does not apply to you and you do not need to read about it. 2012 freetaxusa This is also true if your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else except your spouse with whom you file a joint return. 2012 freetaxusa If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), earlier, see Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), later. 2012 freetaxusa Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. 2012 freetaxusa (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). 2012 freetaxusa Although the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). 2012 freetaxusa The exemption for the child. 2012 freetaxusa The child tax credit. 2012 freetaxusa Head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2012 freetaxusa The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. 2012 freetaxusa The earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. 2012 freetaxusa The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa Tiebreaker rules. 2012 freetaxusa   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. 2012 freetaxusa If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. 2012 freetaxusa If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. 2012 freetaxusa If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. 2012 freetaxusa If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year. 2012 freetaxusa If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. 2012 freetaxusa If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' total AGI evenly between them; see Publication 501 for details. 2012 freetaxusa   Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1—separated parents. 2012 freetaxusa You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. 2012 freetaxusa In August and September, your son lived with you. 2012 freetaxusa For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. 2012 freetaxusa Your son is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because your son lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, support, and joint return tests for both of you. 2012 freetaxusa At the end of the year, you and your husband still were not divorced, legally separated, or separated under a written separation agreement, so the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 2012 freetaxusa You and your husband will file separate returns. 2012 freetaxusa Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa This means, if your husband does not claim your son as a qualifying child, you can claim your son as a dependent and treat him as a qualifying child for the child tax credit and exclusion for dependent care benefits, if you qualify for each of those tax benefits. 2012 freetaxusa However, you cannot claim head of household filing status because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year. 2012 freetaxusa And, as a result of your filing status being married filing separately, you cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2012 freetaxusa Example 2—separated parents claim same child. 2012 freetaxusa The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. 2012 freetaxusa If you claimed an exemption, the child tax credit, or the exclusion for dependent care benefits for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to all these tax benefits, unless you have another qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa In addition, because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year, your husband cannot claim head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa And, as a result of his filing status being married filing separately, he cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2012 freetaxusa Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2012 freetaxusa   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described earlier, only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. 2012 freetaxusa However, the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. 2012 freetaxusa If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for those tax benefits, the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1. 2012 freetaxusa You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2012 freetaxusa Your AGI is $10,000. 2012 freetaxusa Your mother's AGI is $25,000. 2012 freetaxusa Your son's father does not live with you or your son. 2012 freetaxusa Under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), your son is treated as the qualifying child of his father, who can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child if he meets all the requirements to do so. 2012 freetaxusa Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. 2012 freetaxusa However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits, but the boy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother for head of household filing status and the earned income credit because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. 2012 freetaxusa (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. 2012 freetaxusa This means she can claim him for head of household filing status and the earned income credit if she qualifies for each and if you do not claim him as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2012 freetaxusa ) Example 2. 2012 freetaxusa The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. 2012 freetaxusa Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. 2012 freetaxusa Example 3. 2012 freetaxusa The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. 2012 freetaxusa You, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 2012 freetaxusa The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the earned income credit and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. 2012 freetaxusa Phaseout of Exemptions The amount you can claim as a deduction for exemptions is reduced once your adjusted gross income (AGI) goes above a certain level for your filing status. 2012 freetaxusa These levels are as follows:    Filing Status AGI Level That Reduces Exemption Amount Married filing separately $150,000 Single 250,000 Head of household 275,000 Married filing jointly 300,000 Qualifying widow(er) 300,000 You must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions by 2% for each $2,500, or part of $2,500 ($1,250 if you are married filing separately), that your AGI exceeds the amount shown above for your filing status. 2012 freetaxusa If your AGI exceeds the amount shown above by more than $122,500 ($61,250 if married filing separately), the amount of your deduction for exemptions is reduced to zero. 2012 freetaxusa If your AGI exceeds the level for your filing status, use the Deduction for Exemptions Worksheet found in the instructions for Form 1040 or Form 1040NR to figure the amount of your deduction for exemptions. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. 2012 freetaxusa It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. 2012 freetaxusa Although this discussion is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. 2012 freetaxusa To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. 2012 freetaxusa There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. 2012 freetaxusa The general requirements that apply to payments regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed and the specific requirements that apply to post-1984 instruments (and, in certain cases, some pre-1985 instruments) are discussed in this publication. 2012 freetaxusa See, Instruments Executed Before 1985 , later, if you are looking for information on where to find the specific requirements that apply to pre-1985 instruments. 2012 freetaxusa Spouse or former spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. 2012 freetaxusa Divorce or separation instrument. 2012 freetaxusa   The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. 2012 freetaxusa This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement). 2012 freetaxusa Invalid decree. 2012 freetaxusa   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. 2012 freetaxusa A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. 2012 freetaxusa Amended instrument. 2012 freetaxusa   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. 2012 freetaxusa Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa However, a retroactive amendment to a divorce decree correcting a clerical error to reflect the original intent of the court will generally be effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1. 2012 freetaxusa A court order retroactively corrected a mathematical error under your divorce decree to express the original intent to spread the payments over more than 10 years. 2012 freetaxusa This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa Example 2. 2012 freetaxusa Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. 2012 freetaxusa To reflect the true intention of the court, a court order retroactively corrected the error by designating a part of the payment as child support. 2012 freetaxusa The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2012 freetaxusa Deducting alimony paid. 2012 freetaxusa   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. 2012 freetaxusa You must file Form 1040. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. 2012 freetaxusa Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. 2012 freetaxusa In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 2012 freetaxusa If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. 2012 freetaxusa Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. 2012 freetaxusa Enter your total payments on line 31a. 2012 freetaxusa If you do not provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. 2012 freetaxusa Reporting alimony received. 2012 freetaxusa   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. 2012 freetaxusa You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. 2012 freetaxusa    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. 2012 freetaxusa If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. 2012 freetaxusa Withholding on nonresident aliens. 2012 freetaxusa   If you are a U. 2012 freetaxusa S. 2012 freetaxusa citizen or resident alien and you pay alimony to a nonresident alien spouse, you may have to withhold income tax at a rate of 30% on each payment. 2012 freetaxusa However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. 2012 freetaxusa For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. 2012 freetaxusa General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. 2012 freetaxusa Payments not alimony. 2012 freetaxusa   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained later under Community Property , Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. 2012 freetaxusa Example. 2012 freetaxusa Under your written separation agreement, your spouse lives rent-free in a home you own and you must pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and utilities for the home. 2012 freetaxusa Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. 2012 freetaxusa Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. 2012 freetaxusa If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. 2012 freetaxusa Your spouse must report them as income. 2012 freetaxusa If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, you can also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring your deductible interest. 2012 freetaxusa However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. 2012 freetaxusa If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2012 freetaxusa For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2012 freetaxusa Child support. 2012 freetaxusa   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. 2012 freetaxusa If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2012 freetaxusa irs. 2012 freetaxusa gov/formspubs. 2012 freetaxusa Underpayment. 2012 freetaxusa   If both alimony and child support payments are called for by your divorce or separation instrument, and you pay less than the total required, the payments apply first to child support and then to alimony. 2012 freetaxusa Example. 2012 freetaxusa Your divorce decree calls for you to pay your former spouse $200 a month ($2,400 ($200 x 12) a year) as child support and $150 a month ($1,800 ($150 x 12) a year) as alimony. 2012 freetaxusa If you pay the full amount of $4,200 ($2,400 + $1,800) during the year, you can deduct $1,800 as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,800 as alimony received. 2012 freetaxusa If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. 2012 freetaxusa You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. 2012 freetaxusa Payments to a third party. 2012 freetaxusa   Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. 2012 freetaxusa These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. 2012 freetaxusa ), taxes, tuition, etc. 2012 freetaxusa The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1. 2012 freetaxusa Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. 2012 freetaxusa If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. 2012 freetaxusa Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. 2012 freetaxusa Example 2. 2012 freetaxusa Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. 2012 freetaxusa If itemizing deductions, your spouse can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. 2012 freetaxusa However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2012 freetaxusa If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2012 freetaxusa Life insurance premiums. 2012 freetaxusa   Alimony includes premiums you must pay under your divorce or separation instrument for insurance on your life to the extent your spouse owns the policy. 2012 freetaxusa Payments for jointly-owned home. 2012 freetaxusa   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse or former spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. 2012 freetaxusa See Table 4. 2012 freetaxusa   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. 2012 freetaxusa If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2012 freetaxusa Table 4. 2012 freetaxusa Expenses for a Jointly-Owned Home Use the table below to find how much of your payment is alimony and how much you can claim as an itemized deduction. 2012 freetaxusa IF you must pay all of the . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa AND your home is . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa . 2012 freetaxusa   mortgage payments (principal and interest) jointly owned half of the total payments half of the interest as interest expense (if the home is a qualified home). 2012 freetaxusa 1   real estate taxes and home insurance held as tenants in common half of the total payments half of the real estate taxes2 and none of the home insurance. 2012 freetaxusa     held as tenants by the entirety or in joint tenancy none of the payments all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. 2012 freetaxusa 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. 2012 freetaxusa  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. 2012 freetaxusa Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. 2012 freetaxusa Exception for instruments executed before 1985. 2012 freetaxusa   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. 2012 freetaxusa A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. 2012 freetaxusa A temporary divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and incorporated into, or adopted by, a final decree executed after 1984 that: Changes the amount or period of payment, or Adds or deletes any contingency or condition. 2012 freetaxusa   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2012 freetaxusa irs. 2012 freetaxusa gov/formspubs. 2012 freetaxusa Example 1. 2012 freetaxusa In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. 2012 freetaxusa In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. 2012 freetaxusa The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. 2012 freetaxusa The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2012 freetaxusa Example 2. 2012 freetaxusa The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. 2012 freetaxusa In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. 2012 freetaxusa The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2012 freetaxusa Alimony Requirements A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met. 2012 freetaxusa The payment is in cash. 2012 freetaxusa The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. 2012 freetaxusa The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. 2012 freetaxusa This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 2012 freetaxusa There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. 2012 freetaxusa The payment is not treated as child support. 2012 freetaxusa Each of these requirements is discussed next. 2012 freetaxusa Cash payment requirement. 2012 freetaxusa   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. 2012 freetaxusa The following do not qualify as alimony. 2012 freetaxusa Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). 2012 freetaxusa Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. 2012 freetaxusa The use of the payer's property. 2012 freetaxusa Payments to a third party. 2012 freetaxusa   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. 2012 freetaxusa   Also, cash payments made to a third party at the written request of your spouse may qualify as alimony if all the following requirements are met. 2012 freetaxusa The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. 2012 freetaxusa The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. 2012 freetaxusa You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. 2012 freetaxusa Payments designated as not alimony. 2012 freetaxusa   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. 2012 freetaxusa You do this by including a provision in your divorce or separation instrument that states the payments are not deductible as alimony by you and are excludable from your spouse's income. 2012 freetaxusa For this purpose, any instrument (written statement) signed by both of you that makes this designation and that refers to a previous written separation agreement is treated as a written separation agreement (and therefore a divorce or separation instrument). 2012 freetaxusa If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. 2012 freetaxusa   Your spouse can exclude the payments from income only if he or she attaches a copy of the instrument designating them as not alimony to his or her return. 2012 freetaxusa The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. 2012 freetaxusa Spouses cannot be members of the same household. 2012 freetaxusa   Payments to your spouse while you are members of the same household are not alimony if you are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 2012 freetaxusa A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. 2012 freetaxusa   You are not treated as members of the same household if one of you is preparing to leave the household and does leave no later than 1 month after the date of the payment. 2012 freetaxusa Exception. 2012 freetaxusa   If you are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, a payment under a written separation agreement, support decree, or other court order may qualify as alimony even if you are members of the same household when the payment is made. 2012 freetaxusa Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. 2012 freetaxusa   If any part of payments you make must continue to be made for any period after your spouse's death, that part of your payments is not alimony whether made before or after the death. 2012 freetaxusa If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. 2012 freetaxusa   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the