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540ez Form

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540ez Form

540ez form Publication 555 - Main Content Table of Contents Domicile Community or Separate Property and Income Identifying Income, Deductions, and CreditsIncome Exemptions Deductions Credits, Taxes, and Payments Community Property Laws DisregardedRequesting relief. 540ez form Equitable relief. 540ez form Earned income. 540ez form Trade or business income. 540ez form Partnership income or loss. 540ez form Separate property income. 540ez form Social security benefits. 540ez form Other income. 540ez form End of the Community Preparing a Federal Income Tax ReturnJoint Return Versus Separate Returns Separate Return Preparation How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Domicile Whether you have community property and community income depends on the state where you are domiciled. 540ez form If you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) have different domiciles, check the laws of each to see whether you have community property or community income. 540ez form You have only one domicile even if you have more than one home. 540ez form Your domicile is a permanent legal home that you intend to use for an indefinite or unlimited period, and to which, when absent, you intend to return. 540ez form The question of your domicile is mainly a matter of your intention as indicated by your actions. 540ez form You must be able to show that you intend a given place or state to be your permanent home. 540ez form If you move into or out of a community property state during the year, you may or may not have community income. 540ez form Factors considered in determining domicile include: Where you pay state income tax, Where you vote, Location of property you own, Your citizenship, Length of residence, and Business and social ties to the community. 540ez form Amount of time spent. 540ez form    The amount of time spent in one place does not always explain the difference between home and domicile. 540ez form A temporary home or residence may continue for months or years while a domicile may be established the first moment you occupy the property. 540ez form Your intent is the determining factor in proving where you have your domicile. 540ez form    Note. 540ez form When this publication refers to where you live, it means your domicile. 540ez form Community or Separate Property and Income If you file a federal tax return separately from your spouse, you must report half of all community income and all of your separate income. 540ez form Likewise, a registered domestic partner must report half of all community income and all of his or her separate income on his or her federal tax return. 540ez form You each must attach your Form 8958 to your Form 1040 showing how you figured the amount you are reporting on your return. 540ez form Generally, the laws of the state in which you are domiciled govern whether you have community property and community income or separate property and separate income for federal tax purposes. 540ez form The following is a summary of the general rules. 540ez form These rules are also shown in Table 1. 540ez form Community property. 540ez form    Generally, community property is property: That you, your spouse (or your registered domestic partner), or both acquire during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership) while you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) are domiciled in a community property state. 540ez form That you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) agreed to convert from separate to community property. 540ez form That cannot be identified as separate property. 540ez form Community income. 540ez form    Generally, community income is income from: Community property. 540ez form Salaries, wages, and other pay received for the services performed by you, your spouse (or your registered domestic partner), or both during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership) while domiciled in a community property state. 540ez form Real estate that is treated as community property under the laws of the state where the property is located. 540ez form Note Separate property. 540ez form    Generally, separate property is: Property that you or your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) owned separately before your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Money earned while domiciled in a noncommunity property state. 540ez form Property that you or your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) received separately as a gift or inheritance during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Property that you or your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) bought with separate funds, or acquired in exchange for separate property, during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Property that you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) converted from community property to separate property through an agreement valid under state law. 540ez form The part of property bought with separate funds, if part was bought with community funds and part with separate funds. 540ez form Separate income. 540ez form    Generally, income from separate property is the separate income of the spouse (or the registered domestic partner) who owns the property. 540ez form    In Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, income from most separate property is community income. 540ez form Table 1. 540ez form General Rules — Property and Income: Community or Separate? Community property is property: That you, your spouse (or your registered domestic partner), or both acquire during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership) while you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) are domiciled in a community property state. 540ez form (Includes the part of property bought with community property funds if part was bought with community funds and part with separate funds. 540ez form ) That you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) agreed to convert from separate to community property. 540ez form That cannot be identified as separate property. 540ez form Separate property is: Property that you or your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) owned separately before your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Money earned while domiciled in a noncommunity property state. 540ez form Property either of you received as a gift or inherited separately during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Property bought with separate funds, or exchanged for separate property, during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership). 540ez form Property that you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) agreed to convert from community to separate property through an agreement valid under state law. 540ez form The part of property bought with separate funds, if part was bought with community funds and part with separate funds. 540ez form Community income 1,2,3 is income from: Community property. 540ez form Salaries, wages, or pay for services of you, your spouse (or your registered domestic partner), or both during your marriage (or registered domestic partnership) while domiciled in a community property state. 540ez form Real estate that is treated as community property under the laws of the state where the property is located. 540ez form Separate income 1,2 is income from: Separate property which belongs to the spouse (or registered domestic partner) who owns the property. 540ez form 1In Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, income from most separate property is community income. 540ez form 2Check your state law if you are separated but do not meet the conditions discussed in Spouses living apart all year , later. 540ez form In some states, the income you earn after you are separated and before a divorce decree is issued continues to be community income. 540ez form In other states, it is separate income. 540ez form 3Under special rules, income that can otherwise be characterized as community income may not be treated as community income for federal income tax purposes in certain situations. 540ez form See Community Property Laws Disregarded , later. 540ez form Identifying Income, Deductions, and Credits If you file separate returns, you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) each must attach your Form 8958 to your Form 1040 to identify your community and separate income, deductions, credits, and other return amounts according to the laws of your state. 540ez form Under special rules, income that can otherwise be characterized as community income may not be treated as community income for federal income tax purposes in certain situations. 540ez form See Community Property Laws Disregarded, later. 540ez form Check your state law if you are separated but do not meet the conditions discussed in Spouses living apart all year, later. 540ez form In some states, the income you earn after you are separated and before a divorce decree is issued continues to be community income. 540ez form In other states, it is separate income. 540ez form Income The following is a discussion of the general effect of community property laws on the federal income tax treatment of certain items of income. 540ez form Wages, earnings, and profits. 540ez form    A spouse's (or your registered domestic partner's) wages, earnings, and net profits from a sole proprietorship are community income and must be evenly split. 540ez form Dividends, interest, and rents. 540ez form    Dividends, interest, and rents from community property are community income and must be evenly split. 540ez form Dividends, interest, and rents from separate property are characterized in accordance with the discussion under Income from separate property , later. 540ez form Example. 540ez form If you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) buy a bond that is considered community property under your state laws, half the bond interest belongs to you and half belongs to your spouse. 540ez form You each must show the bond interest and the split of that interest on your Form 8958, and report half the interest on your Form 1040. 540ez form Attach your Form 8958 to your Form 1040. 540ez form Alimony received. 540ez form    Alimony or separate maintenance payments made prior to divorce are taxable to the payee spouse only to the extent they exceed 50% (his or her share) of the reportable community income. 540ez form This is so because the payee spouse is already required to report half of the community income. 540ez form See also Alimony paid , later. 540ez form Gains and losses. 540ez form    Gains and losses are classified as separate or community depending on how the property is held. 540ez form For example, a loss on separate property, such as stock held separately, is a separate loss. 540ez form On the other hand, a loss on community property, such as a casualty loss to your home held as community property, is a community loss. 540ez form See Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets, for information on gains and losses. 540ez form See Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, for information on losses due to a casualty or theft. 540ez form Withdrawals from individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). 540ez form    There are several kinds of individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). 540ez form They are traditional IRAs (including SEP-IRAs), SIMPLE IRAs, and Roth IRAs. 540ez form IRAs and ESAs by law are deemed to be separate property. 540ez form Therefore, taxable IRA and ESA distributions are separate property, even if the funds in the account would otherwise be community property. 540ez form These distributions are wholly taxable to the spouse (or registered domestic partner) whose name is on the account. 540ez form That spouse (or registered domestic partner) is also liable for any penalties and additional taxes on the distributions. 540ez form Pensions. 540ez form    Generally, distributions from pensions will be characterized as community or separate income depending on the respective periods of participation in the pension while married (or during the registered domestic partnership) and domiciled in a community property state or in a noncommunity property state during the total period of participation in the pension. 540ez form See the example under Civil service retirement , later. 540ez form These rules may vary between states. 540ez form Check your state law. 540ez form Lump-sum distributions. 540ez form    If you were born before January 2, 1936, and receive a lump-sum distribution from a qualified retirement plan, you may be able to choose an optional method of figuring the tax on the distribution. 540ez form For the 10-year tax option, you must disregard community property laws. 540ez form For more information, see Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income, and Form 4972, Tax on Lump-Sum Distributions. 540ez form Civil service retirement. 540ez form    For income tax purposes, community property laws apply to annuities payable under the Civil Service Retirement Act (CSRS) or Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). 540ez form   Whether a civil service annuity is separate or community income depends on your marital status (or your status as a registered domestic partner) and domicile of the employee when the services were performed for which the annuity is paid. 540ez form Even if you now live in a noncommunity property state and you receive a civil service annuity, it may be community income if it is based on services you performed while married (or during the registered domestic partnership) and domiciled in a community property state. 540ez form   If a civil service annuity is a mixture of community income and separate income, it must be divided between the two kinds of income. 540ez form The division is based on the employee's domicile and marital status (or registered domestic partnership) in community and noncommunity property states during his or her periods of service. 540ez form Example. 540ez form Henry Wright retired this year after 30 years of civil service. 540ez form He and his wife were domiciled in a community property state during the past 15 years. 540ez form Since half the service was performed while the Wrights were married and domiciled in a community property state, half the civil service retirement pay is considered to be community income. 540ez form If Mr. 540ez form Wright receives $1,000 a month in retirement pay, $500 is considered community income—half ($250) is his income and half ($250) is his wife's. 540ez form Military retirement pay. 540ez form    State community property laws apply to military retirement pay. 540ez form Generally, the pay is either separate or community income based on the marital status and domicile of the couple while the member of the Armed Forces was in active military service. 540ez form For example, military retirement pay for services performed during marriage and domicile in a community property state is community income. 540ez form   Active military pay earned while married and domiciled in a community property state is also community income. 540ez form This income is considered to be received half by the member of the Armed Forces and half by the spouse. 540ez form Partnership income. 540ez form    If an interest is held in a partnership, and income from the partnership is attributable to the efforts of either spouse (or registered domestic partner), the partnership income is community property. 540ez form If it is merely a passive investment in a separate property partnership, the partnership income will be characterized in accordance with the discussion under Income from separate property , later. 540ez form Tax-exempt income. 540ez form    For spouses, community income exempt from federal tax generally keeps its exempt status for both spouses. 540ez form For example, under certain circumstances, income earned outside the United States is tax exempt. 540ez form If you earned income and met the conditions that made it exempt, the income is also exempt for your spouse even though he or she may not have met the conditions. 540ez form Registered domestic partners should consult the particular exclusion provision to see if the exempt status applies to both. 540ez form Income from separate property. 540ez form    In some states, income from separate property is separate income. 540ez form These states include Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Washington. 540ez form Other states characterize income from separate property as community income. 540ez form These states include Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin. 540ez form Exemptions When you file separate returns, you must claim your own exemption amount for that year. 540ez form (See your tax return instructions. 540ez form ) You cannot divide the amount allowed as an exemption for a dependent between you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner). 540ez form When community funds provide support for more than one person, each of whom otherwise qualifies as a dependent, you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner) may divide the number of dependency exemptions as explained in the following example. 540ez form Example. 540ez form Ron and Diane White have three dependent children and live in Nevada. 540ez form If Ron and Diane file separately, only Ron can claim his own exemption, and only Diane can claim her own exemption. 540ez form Ron and Diane can agree that one of them will claim the exemption for one, two, or all of their children and the other will claim any remaining exemptions. 540ez form They cannot each claim half of the total exemption amount for their three children. 540ez form Deductions If you file separate returns, your deductions generally depend on whether the expenses involve community or separate income. 540ez form Business and investment expenses. 540ez form    If you file separate returns, expenses incurred to earn or produce community business or investment income are generally divided equally between you and your spouse (or your registered domestic partner). 540ez form Each of you is entitled to deduct one-half of the expenses on your separate returns. 540ez form Expenses incurred by a spouse (or registered domestic partner) to produce separate business or investment income is deductible by the spouse (or the registered domestic partner) who earns the corresponding separate business or investment income. 540ez form    Other limits may also apply to business and investment expenses. 540ez form For more information, see Publication 535, Business Expenses, and Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. 540ez form Alimony paid. 540ez form    Payments that may otherwise qualify as alimony are not deductible by the payer if they are the recipient spouse's part of community income. 540ez form They are deductible as alimony only to the extent they are more than that spouse's part of community income. 540ez form Example. 540ez form You live in a community property state. 540ez form You are separated but the special rules explained later under Spouses living apart all year do not apply. 540ez form Under a written agreement, you pay your spouse $12,000 of your $20,000 total yearly community income. 540ez form Your spouse receives no other community income. 540ez form Under your state law, earnings of a spouse living separately and apart from the other spouse continue as community property. 540ez form On your separate returns, each of you must report $10,000 of the total community income. 540ez form In addition, your spouse must report $2,000 as alimony received. 540ez form You can deduct $2,000 as alimony paid. 540ez form IRA deduction. 540ez form    Deductions for IRA contributions cannot be split between spouses (or registered domestic partners). 540ez form The deduction for each spouse (or each registered domestic partner) is figured separately and without regard to community property laws. 540ez form Personal expenses. 540ez form   Expenses that are paid out of separate funds, such as medical expenses, are deductible by the spouse who pays them. 540ez form If these expenses are paid from community funds, divide the deduction equally between you and your spouse. 540ez form Credits, Taxes, and Payments The following is a discussion of the general effect of community property laws on the treatment of certain credits, taxes, and payments on your separate return. 540ez form Child tax credit. 540ez form    You may be entitled to a child tax credit for each of your qualifying children. 540ez form You must provide the name and identification number (usually the social security number) of each qualifying child on your return. 540ez form See your tax return instructions for the maximum amount of the credit you can claim for each qualifying child. 540ez form Limit on credit. 540ez form    The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income (modified AGI) is above a certain amount. 540ez form The amount at which the limitation (phaseout) begins depends on your filing status. 540ez form Generally, your credit is limited to your tax liability unless you have three or more qualifying children. 540ez form See your tax return instructions for more information. 540ez form Self-employment tax. 540ez form    For the effect of community property laws on the income tax treatment of income from a sole proprietorship and partnerships, see Wages, earnings, and profits and Partnership income , earlier. 540ez form The following rules only apply to persons married for federal tax purposes. 540ez form Registered domestic partners report community income for self-employment tax purposes the same way they do for income tax purposes. 540ez form Sole proprietorship. 540ez form    With regard to net income from a trade or business (other than a partnership) that is community income, self-employment tax is imposed on the spouse carrying on the trade or business. 540ez form Partnerships. 540ez form    All of the distributive share of a married partner's income or loss from a partnership trade or business is attributable to the partner for computing any self-employment tax, even if a portion of the partner's distributive share of income or loss is community income or loss that is otherwise attributable to the partner's spouse for income tax purposes. 540ez form If both spouses are partners, any self-employment tax is allocated based on their distributive shares. 540ez form Federal income tax withheld. 540ez form    Report the credit for federal income tax withheld on community wages in the same manner as your wages. 540ez form If you and your spouse file separate returns on which each of you reports half the community wages, each of you is entitled to credit for half the income tax withheld on those wages. 540ez form Likewise, each registered domestic partner is entitled to credit for half the income tax withheld on those wages. 540ez form Estimated tax payments. 540ez form    In determining whether you must pay estimated tax, apply the estimated tax rules to your estimated income. 540ez form These rules are explained in Publication 505. 540ez form   If you think you may owe estimated tax and want to pay the tax separately (registered domestic partners must pay the tax separately), determine whether you must pay it by taking into account: Half the community income and deductions, All of your separate income and deductions, and Your own exemption and any exemptions for dependents that you may claim. 540ez form   Whether you and your spouse pay estimated tax jointly or separately will not affect your choice of filing joint or separate income tax returns. 540ez form   If you and your spouse paid estimated tax jointly but file separate income tax returns, either of you can claim all of the estimated tax paid, or you may divide it between you in any way that you agree upon. 540ez form   If you cannot agree on how to divide it, the estimated tax you can claim equals the total estimated tax paid times the tax shown on your separate return, divided by the total of the tax shown on your return and your spouse's return. 540ez form   If you paid your estimated taxes separately, you get credit for only the estimated taxes you paid. 540ez form Earned income credit. 540ez form    You may be entitled to an earned income credit (EIC). 540ez form You cannot claim this credit if your filing status is married filing separately. 540ez form   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information), and live in a state that has community property laws, your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your spouse that is treated as belonging to you under community property laws. 540ez form That amount is not earned income for the EIC, even though you must include it in your gross income on your income tax return. 540ez form Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned, even if part of it is treated as belonging to your spouse under your state's community property laws. 540ez form The same rule applies to registered domestic partners. 540ez form    This rule does not apply when determining your adjusted gross income (AGI) for the EIC. 540ez form Your AGI includes that part of both your and your spouse's (or your registered domestic partner's) wages that you are required to include in gross income shown on your tax return. 540ez form   For more information about the EIC, see Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC). 540ez form Overpayments. 540ez form    The amount of an overpayment on a joint return is allocated under the community property laws of the state in which you are domiciled. 540ez form If, under the laws of your state, community property is subject to premarital or other separate debts of either spouse, the full joint overpayment may be used to offset the obligation. 540ez form If, under the laws of your state, community property is not subject to premarital or other separate debts of either spouse, only the portion of the joint overpayment allocated to the spouse liable for the obligation can be used to offset that liability. 540ez form The portion allocated to the other spouse can be refunded. 540ez form Community Property Laws Disregarded The following discussions are situations where special rules apply to community property and community income for spouses. 540ez form These rules do not apply to registered domestic partners. 540ez form Certain community income not treated as community income by one spouse. 540ez form    Community property laws may not apply to an item of community income that you received but did not treat as community income. 540ez form You are responsible for reporting all of that income item if: You treat the item as if only you are entitled to the income, and You do not notify your spouse of the nature and amount of the income by the due date for filing the return (including extensions). 540ez form Relief from liability arising from community property law. 540ez form    You are not responsible for the tax relating to an item of community income if all the following conditions are met. 540ez form You did not file a joint return for the tax year. 540ez form You did not include an item of community income in gross income. 540ez form The item of community income you did not include is one of the following: Wages, salaries, and other compensation your spouse (or former spouse) received for services he or she performed as an employee. 540ez form Income your spouse (or former spouse) derived from a trade or business he or she operated as a sole proprietor. 540ez form Your spouse's (or former spouse's) distributive share of partnership income. 540ez form Income from your spouse's (or former spouse's) separate property (other than income described in (a), (b), or (c)). 540ez form Use the appropriate community property law to determine what is separate property. 540ez form Any other income that belongs to your spouse (or former spouse) under community property law. 540ez form You establish that you did not know of, and had no reason to know of, that community income. 540ez form Under all facts and circumstances, it would not be fair to include the item of community income in your gross income. 540ez form Requesting relief. 540ez form    For information on how and when to request relief from liabilities arising from community property laws, see Community Property Laws in Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief. 540ez form Equitable relief. 540ez form    If you do not qualify for the relief discussed earlier under Relief from liability arising from community property law and are now liable for an underpaid or understated tax you believe should be paid only by your spouse (or former spouse), you may request equitable relief. 540ez form To request equitable relief, you must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. 540ez form Also see Publication 971. 540ez form Spousal agreements. 540ez form    In some states a married couple may enter into an agreement that affects the status of property or income as community or separate property. 540ez form Check your state law to determine how it affects you. 540ez form Nonresident alien spouse. 540ez form    If you are a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat your nonresident alien spouse as a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form resident for tax purposes and you are domiciled in a community property state or country, use the community property rules. 540ez form You must file a joint return for the year you make the choice. 540ez form You can file separate returns in later years. 540ez form For details on making this choice, see Publication 519, U. 540ez form S. 540ez form Tax Guide for Aliens. 540ez form   If you are a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form citizen or resident alien and do not choose to treat your nonresident alien spouse as a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form resident for tax purposes, treat your community income as explained next under Spouses living apart all year. 540ez form However, you do not have to meet the four conditions discussed there. 540ez form Spouses living apart all year. 540ez form    If you are married at any time during the calendar year, special rules apply for reporting certain community income. 540ez form You must meet all the following conditions for these special rules to apply. 540ez form You and your spouse lived apart all year. 540ez form You and your spouse did not file a joint return for a tax year beginning or ending in the calendar year. 540ez form You and/or your spouse had earned income for the calendar year that is community income. 540ez form You and your spouse have not transferred, directly or indirectly, any of the earned income in condition (3) above between yourselves before the end of the year. 540ez form Do not take into account transfers satisfying child support obligations or transfers of very small amounts or value. 540ez form If all these conditions are met, you and your spouse must report your community income as discussed next. 540ez form See also Certain community income not treated as community income by one spouse , earlier. 540ez form Earned income. 540ez form    Treat earned income that is not trade or business or partnership income as the income of the spouse who performed the services to earn the income. 540ez form Earned income is wages, salaries, professional fees, and other pay for personal services. 540ez form   Earned income does not include amounts paid by a corporation that are a distribution of earnings and profits rather than a reasonable allowance for personal services rendered. 540ez form Trade or business income. 540ez form    Treat income and related deductions from a trade or business that is not a partnership as those of the spouse carrying on the trade or business. 540ez form Partnership income or loss. 540ez form    Treat income or loss from a trade or business carried on by a partnership as the income or loss of the spouse who is the partner. 540ez form Separate property income. 540ez form    Treat income from the separate property of one spouse as the income of that spouse. 540ez form Social security benefits. 540ez form    Treat social security and equivalent railroad retirement benefits as the income of the spouse who receives the benefits. 540ez form Other income. 540ez form    Treat all other community income, such as dividends, interest, rents, royalties, or gains, as provided under your state's community property law. 540ez form Example. 540ez form George and Sharon were married throughout the year but did not live together at any time during the year. 540ez form Both domiciles were in a community property state. 540ez form They did not file a joint return or transfer any of their earned income between themselves. 540ez form During the year their incomes were as follows:   George Sharon Wages $20,000 $22,000 Consulting business 5,000   Partnership   10,000 Dividends from separate property 1,000 2,000 Interest from community property 500 500 Total $26,500 $34,500 Under the community property law of their state, all the income is considered community income. 540ez form (Some states treat income from separate property as separate income—check your state law. 540ez form ) Sharon did not take part in George's consulting business. 540ez form Ordinarily, on their separate returns they would each report $30,500, half the total community income of $61,000 ($26,500 + $34,500). 540ez form But because they meet the four conditions listed earlier under Spouses living apart all year , they must disregard community property law in reporting all their income (except the interest income) from community property. 540ez form They each report on their returns only their own earnings and other income, and their share of the interest income from community property. 540ez form George reports $26,500 and Sharon reports $34,500. 540ez form Other separated spouses. 540ez form    If you and your spouse are separated but do not meet the four conditions discussed earlier under Spouses living apart all year , you must treat your income according to the laws of your state. 540ez form In some states, income earned after separation but before a decree of divorce continues to be community income. 540ez form In other states, it is separate income. 540ez form End of the Community The marital community may end in several ways. 540ez form When the marital community ends, the community assets (money and property) are divided between the spouses. 540ez form Similarly, a registered domestic partnership may end in several ways and the community assets must be divided between the registered domestic partners. 540ez form Death of spouse. 540ez form    If you own community property and your spouse dies, the total fair market value (FMV) of the community property, including the part that belongs to you, generally becomes the basis of the entire property. 540ez form For this rule to apply, at least half the value of the community property interest must be includible in your spouse's gross estate, whether or not the estate must file a return (this rule does not apply to registered domestic partners). 540ez form Example. 540ez form Bob and Ann owned community property that had a basis of $80,000. 540ez form When Bob died, his and Ann's community property had an FMV of $100,000. 540ez form One-half of the FMV of their community interest was includible in Bob's estate. 540ez form The basis of Ann's half of the property is $50,000 after Bob died (half of the $100,000 FMV). 540ez form The basis of the other half to Bob's heirs is also $50,000. 540ez form   For more information about the basis of assets, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. 540ez form    The above basis rule does not apply if your spouse died in 2010 and the spouse's executor elected out of the estate tax, in which case section 1022 will apply. 540ez form See Publication 4895, Tax Treatment of Property Acquired From a Decedent Dying in 2010, for additional information. 540ez form Divorce or separation. 540ez form    If spouses divorce or separate, the (equal or unequal) division of community property in connection with the divorce or property settlement does not result in a gain or loss. 540ez form For registered domestic partners, an unequal division of community property in a property settlement may result in a gain or loss. 540ez form For information on the tax consequences of the division of property under a property settlement or divorce decree, see Publication 504. 540ez form   Each spouse (or each registered domestic partner) is taxed on half the community income for the part of the year before the community ends. 540ez form However, see Spouses living apart all year , earlier. 540ez form Any income received after the community ends is separate income. 540ez form This separate income is taxable only to the spouse (or the registered domestic partner) to whom it belongs. 540ez form   An absolute decree of divorce or annulment ends the marital community in all community property states. 540ez form A decree of annulment, even though it holds that no valid marriage ever existed, usually does not nullify community property rights arising during the “marriage. 540ez form ” However, you should check your state law for exceptions. 540ez form   A decree of legal separation or of separate maintenance may or may not end the marital community. 540ez form The court issuing the decree may terminate the marital community and divide the property between the spouses. 540ez form   A separation agreement may divide the community property between you and your spouse. 540ez form It may provide that this property, along with future earnings and property acquired, will be separate property. 540ez form This agreement may end the community. 540ez form   In some states, the marital community ends when the spouses permanently separate, even if there is no formal agreement. 540ez form Check your state law. 540ez form   If you are a registered domestic partner, you should check your state law to determine when the community ends. 540ez form Preparing a Federal Income Tax Return The following discussion does not apply to spouses who meet the conditions under Spouses living apart all year , discussed earlier. 540ez form Those spouses must report their community income as explained in that discussion. 540ez form Joint Return Versus Separate Returns Ordinarily, filing a joint return will give you a greater tax advantage than filing a separate return. 540ez form But in some cases, your combined income tax on separate returns may be less than it would be on a joint return. 540ez form This discussion concerning joint versus separate returns does not apply to registered domestic partners. 540ez form The following rules apply if your filing status is married filing separately. 540ez form You should itemize deductions if your spouse itemizes deductions, because you cannot claim the standard deduction. 540ez form You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most instances. 540ez form You cannot take the earned income credit. 540ez form You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. 540ez form S. 540ez form savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 540ez form You cannot take the credit for the elderly or the disabled unless you lived apart from your spouse all year. 540ez form You may have to include in income more of any social security benefits (including any equivalent railroad retirement benefits) you received during the year than you would on a joint return. 540ez form You cannot deduct interest paid on a qualified student loan. 540ez form You cannot take the education credits. 540ez form You may have a smaller child tax credit than you would on a joint return. 540ez form You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most instances. 540ez form Figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns under the community property laws of your state. 540ez form You can then compare the tax figured under both methods and use the one that results in less tax. 540ez form Separate Return Preparation If you file separate returns, you and your spouse must each report half of your combined community income and deductions in addition to your separate income and deductions. 540ez form Each of you must complete and attach Form 8958 to your Form 1040 showing how you figured the amount you are reporting on your return. 540ez form On the appropriate lines of your separate Form 1040, list only your share of the income and deductions on the appropriate lines of your separate tax returns (wages, interest, dividends, etc. 540ez form ). 540ez form The same reporting rule applies to registered domestic partners. 540ez form For a discussion of the effect of community property laws on certain items of income, deductions, credits, and other return amounts, see Identifying Income, Deductions, and Credits , earlier. 540ez form Attach your Form 8958 to your separate return showing how you figured the income, deductions, and federal income tax withheld that each of you reported. 540ez form Form 8958 is used for married spouses in community property states who choose to file married filing separately. 540ez form Form 8958 is also used for registered domestic partners who are domiciled in Nevada, Washington, or California. 540ez form A registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California must follow state community property laws and report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her registered domestic partner. 540ez form Extension of time to file. 540ez form    An extension of time for filing your separate return does not extend the time for filing your spouse's (or your registered domestic partner's) separate return. 540ez form If you and your spouse file a joint return, you cannot file separate returns after the due date for filing either separate return has passed. 540ez form How To Get Tax Help Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. 540ez form Free help with your tax return. 540ez form    You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. 540ez form The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. 540ez form The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. 540ez form Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. 540ez form In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. 540ez form To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. 540ez form gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. 540ez form   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. 540ez form To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. 540ez form aarp. 540ez form org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. 540ez form For more information on these programs, go to IRS. 540ez form gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. 540ez form Internet. 540ez form    IRS. 540ez form gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 540ez form Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. 540ez form Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. 540ez form Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. 540ez form gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. 540ez form The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. 540ez form Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. 540ez form You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. 540ez form The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. 540ez form Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. 540ez form No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. 540ez form The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. 540ez form When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. 540ez form New subject areas are added on a regular basis. 540ez form  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. 540ez form gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. 540ez form You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. 540ez form The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. 540ez form When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. 540ez form Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. 540ez form You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. 540ez form Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. 540ez form gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. 540ez form Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. 540ez form Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. 540ez form Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. 540ez form If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. 540ez form Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. 540ez form gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. 540ez form You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. 540ez form It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. 540ez form Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. 540ez form gov. 540ez form Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. 540ez form gov for more information. 540ez form Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. 540ez form Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. 540ez form gov. 540ez form Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. 540ez form Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. 540ez form gov. 540ez form Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. 540ez form gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. 540ez form Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. 540ez form Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. 540ez form gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. 540ez form An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. 540ez form Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. 540ez form gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. 540ez form If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. 540ez form Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. 540ez form Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). 540ez form Go to IRS. 540ez form gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. 540ez form Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. 540ez form Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. 540ez form Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. 540ez form Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. 540ez form gov and choose from a variety of options. 540ez form    Phone. 540ez form You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. 540ez form Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. 540ez form Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. 540ez form gov, or download the IRS2Go app. 540ez form Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. 540ez form The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. 540ez form Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. 540ez form Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. 540ez form Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. 540ez form Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. 540ez form If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. 540ez form The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. 540ez form Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. 540ez form Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. 540ez form The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. 540ez form Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. 540ez form Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. 540ez form Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. 540ez form You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. 540ez form It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. 540ez form Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). 540ez form You should receive your order within 10 business days. 540ez form Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. 540ez form If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. 540ez form Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. 540ez form The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. 540ez form These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. 540ez form    Walk-in. 540ez form You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. 540ez form Products. 540ez form You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. 540ez form Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. 540ez form Services. 540ez form You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. 540ez form An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. 540ez form Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. 540ez form gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. 540ez form    Mail. 540ez form You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. 540ez form You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. 540ez form Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. 540ez form Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613   The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. 540ez form The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. 540ez form Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. 540ez form   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. 540ez form We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. 540ez form You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. 540ez form You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. 540ez form   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. 540ez form Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. 540ez form Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. 540ez form Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. 540ez form We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. 540ez form   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at www. 540ez form irs. 540ez form gov/advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. 540ez form   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. 540ez form If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System at www. 540ez form irs. 540ez form gov/sams. 540ez form Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. 540ez form Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. 540ez form Visit www. 540ez form irs. 540ez form gov/litc or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. 540ez form Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Appeals Online Self-Help Tools

These tools are aids to help customers understand their appeal rights, what can be appealed, and what to expect in Appeals.

These tools deal with some of the most frequently encountered problems - the rejection of a request for innocent spouse relief; the denial of a request for abatement of certain delinquency penalties, and the rejection of an Offer in Compromise. They are simple interactive screens (decision trees) to provide assistance to customers who are not represented by tax professionals.

These tools are designed to help customers focus in on their area of dispute and help them determine if they will benefit from filing an appeal. 

These tools are aids to help customers prepare an appeal that is appropriate and complete.

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

If your Offer in Compromise has been rejected, then use this tool to determine if you should request an Appeals conference or hearing.

Innocent Spouse

If your request for Innocent Spouse Relief was rejected, then use this tool to determine if you should request an Appeals conference or hearing.  There are several types of relief available for Innocent Spouse but only if you meet certain qualifications.

Penalty

If your request to remove a penalty was rejected, then use this tool to help you decide if you should request an Appeals conference or hearing.

Mediation Programs

If you disagree with IRS's decision or action, this self-help tool explains our different mediation programs and aims to help you understand when to discuss mediation with the IRS person assigned to your case.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 16-Jan-2014

The 540ez Form

540ez form Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. 540ez form Married persons. 540ez form Same-sex marriage. 540ez form Exception. 540ez form Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. 540ez form Amended instrument. 540ez form General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. 540ez form 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. 540ez form It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. 540ez form The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. 540ez form Marital status. 540ez form   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). 540ez form If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. 540ez form For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. 540ez form Unmarried persons. 540ez form   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. 540ez form You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 540ez form You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. 540ez form Exception. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. 540ez form You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. 540ez form S. 540ez form Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. 540ez form 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. 540ez form On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. 540ez form Married persons. 540ez form   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. 540ez form An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. 540ez form Same-sex marriage. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form For more details, see Publication 501. 540ez form Exception. 540ez form   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. 540ez form See Head of Household , later. 540ez form Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. 540ez form If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. 540ez form You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Nonresident alien. 540ez form   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. 540ez form 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. 540ez form This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. 540ez form S. 540ez form income tax. 540ez form These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. 540ez form S. 540ez form Tax Guide for Aliens. 540ez form Signing a joint return. 540ez form   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. 540ez form Joint and individual liability. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Divorced taxpayers. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Relief from joint liability. 540ez form   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. 540ez form You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 540ez form   There are three types of relief available. 540ez form Innocent spouse relief. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Equitable relief. 540ez form   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. 540ez form See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. 540ez form    Each kind of relief has different requirements. 540ez form You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 540ez form Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 540ez form You can also find information on our website at IRS. 540ez form gov. 540ez form Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. 540ez form   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. 540ez form Injured spouse. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Note. 540ez form If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). 540ez form For more information, see Publication 555. 540ez form    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. 540ez form 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. 540ez form   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. 540ez form Follow the instructions for the form. 540ez form   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. 540ez form 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. 540ez form   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. 540ez form When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. 540ez form 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. 540ez form    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. 540ez form An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. 540ez form 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. 540ez form For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. 540ez form For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. 540ez form Community or separate income. 540ez form   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. 540ez form For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. 540ez form Separate liability. 540ez form   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. 540ez form Itemized deductions. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Table 1. 540ez form 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. 540ez form  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. 540ez form See Community Property. 540ez form IF you paid . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form AND you . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form   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. 540ez form     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 540ez form         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. 540ez form         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. 540ez form The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. 540ez form     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. 540ez form     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. 540ez form     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. 540ez form Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. 540ez form 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 540ez form Dividing itemized deductions. 540ez form   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. 540ez form See Table 1, later. 540ez form Separate returns may give you a higher tax. 540ez form   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. 540ez form There is no joint liability. 540ez form But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. 540ez form This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. 540ez form Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. 540ez form Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. 540ez form You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. 540ez form You cannot take the earned income credit. 540ez form You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 540ez form Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. 540ez form See Itemized deductions , earlier. 540ez form Joint return after separate returns. 540ez form   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. 540ez form This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 540ez form Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. 540ez form Separate returns after joint return. 540ez form   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. 540ez form Exception. 540ez form   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. 540ez form The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. 540ez form Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. 540ez form You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 540ez form Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 540ez form Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Requirements. 540ez form   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 540ez form You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. 540ez form You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 540ez form A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 540ez form However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 540ez form See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. 540ez form Considered unmarried. 540ez form   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 540ez form You file a separate return. 540ez form A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 540ez form You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 540ez form Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 540ez form Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 540ez form See Temporary absences , later. 540ez form Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 540ez form (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 540ez form ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 540ez form 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. 540ez form The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. 540ez form    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. 540ez form See Publication 555 for more information. 540ez form Nonresident alien spouse. 540ez form   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. 540ez form However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 540ez form You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. 540ez form Keeping up a home. 540ez form   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. 540ez form This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 540ez form This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. 540ez form Qualifying person. 540ez form    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. 540ez form Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. 540ez form   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 540ez form Table 2. 540ez form Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. 540ez form See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 540ez form IF the person is your . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form AND . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form THEN that person is . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form   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. 540ez form     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. 540ez form     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 540ez form 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 540ez form 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 540ez form     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. 540ez form     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. 540ez form     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. 540ez form     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 540ez form   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 540ez form 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. 540ez form Note. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. 540ez form 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. 540ez form See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. 540ez form 6 See Special rule for parent . 540ez form Special rule for parent. 540ez form   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. 540ez form However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Death or birth. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. 540ez form Temporary absences. 540ez form   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. 540ez form It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 540ez form You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 540ez form Kidnapped child. 540ez form   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 540ez form You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 540ez form 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. 540ez form In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 540ez form You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 540ez form   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. 540ez form More information. 540ez form   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. 540ez form Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 540ez form However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 540ez form There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. 540ez form If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. 540ez form These are called personal exemptions. 540ez form Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 540ez form Joint return. 540ez form   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 540ez form   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. 540ez form Separate return. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Alimony paid. 540ez form   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. 540ez form This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. 540ez form Divorced or separated spouse. 540ez form   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 540ez form This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 540ez form Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 540ez form You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 540ez form The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 540ez form 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. 540ez form For detailed information, see Publication 501. 540ez form   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 540ez form 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. 540ez form This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Table 3. 540ez form Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. 540ez form This table is only an overview of the rules. 540ez form For details, see Publication 501. 540ez form • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 540ez form • 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. 540ez form • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form citizen, U. 540ez form S. 540ez form resident alien, U. 540ez form S. 540ez form national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 540ez form 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 540ez form   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. 540ez form     2. 540ez form       3. 540ez form    4. 540ez form    5. 540ez form    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. 540ez form   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. 540ez form   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 540ez form 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 540ez form   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). 540ez form   1. 540ez form    2. 540ez form       3. 540ez form    4. 540ez form The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. 540ez form   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). 540ez form   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 540ez form 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. 540ez form 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 540ez form See Publication 501. 540ez form 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. 540ez form For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. 540ez form 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. 540ez form However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. 540ez form Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 540ez form   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. 540ez form 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. 540ez form The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. 540ez form The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. 540ez form Either of the following applies. 540ez form 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. 540ez form (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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. 540ez form Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. 540ez form   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. 540ez form The other parent is the noncustodial parent. 540ez form   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. 540ez form   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). 540ez form Equal number of nights. 540ez form   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. 540ez form December 31. 540ez form   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. 540ez form For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. 540ez form Emancipated child. 540ez form   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. 540ez form See Examples 5 and 6 . 540ez form Absences. 540ez form    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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Parent works at night. 540ez form   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. 540ez form On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. 540ez form Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. 540ez form You and your child’s other parent are divorced. 540ez form In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. 540ez form You are the custodial parent. 540ez form Example 2 – child is away at camp. 540ez form In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. 540ez form In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. 540ez form Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. 540ez form Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. 540ez form Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. 540ez form You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. 540ez form Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. 540ez form Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. 540ez form You become ill and are hospitalized. 540ez form The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. 540ez form Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. 540ez form Example 5 – child emancipated in May. 540ez form When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. 540ez form As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. 540ez form The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 540ez form Example 6 – child emancipated in August. 540ez form 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. 540ez form She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You are the custodial parent. 540ez form Written declaration. 540ez form    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. 540ez form The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. 540ez form   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. 540ez form To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. 540ez form The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. 540ez form The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. 540ez form The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. 540ez form   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. 540ez form The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). 540ez form The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. 540ez form The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. 540ez form Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. 540ez form   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. 540ez form The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. 540ez form The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. 540ez form The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. 540ez form The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. 540ez form For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. 540ez form    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. 540ez form Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Remarried parent. 540ez form   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. 540ez form Child support under pre-1985 agreement. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Example. 540ez form Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. 540ez form This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. 540ez form Parents who never married. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Alimony. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. 540ez form (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). 540ez form 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). 540ez form The exemption for the child. 540ez form The child tax credit. 540ez form Head of household filing status. 540ez form The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 540ez form The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. 540ez form The earned income credit. 540ez form The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. 540ez form In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. 540ez form The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. 540ez form Tiebreaker rules. 540ez form   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. 540ez form If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Example 1—separated parents. 540ez form You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. 540ez form In August and September, your son lived with you. 540ez form For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form You and your husband will file separate returns. 540ez form Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Example 2—separated parents claim same child. 540ez form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. 540ez form In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. 540ez form This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Example 1. 540ez form You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 540ez form Your AGI is $10,000. 540ez form Your mother's AGI is $25,000. 540ez form Your son's father does not live with you or your son. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. 540ez form ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. 540ez form 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. 540ez form (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 540ez form ) Example 2. 540ez form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. 540ez form Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. 540ez form Example 3. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. 540ez form It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. 540ez form Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. 540ez form 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. 540ez form To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. 540ez form There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Spouse or former spouse. 540ez form   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. 540ez form Divorce or separation instrument. 540ez form   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. 540ez form 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). 540ez form Invalid decree. 540ez form   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. 540ez form A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. 540ez form Amended instrument. 540ez form   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. 540ez form Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Example 1. 540ez form 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. 540ez form This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 540ez form Example 2. 540ez form Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. 540ez form 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. 540ez form The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 540ez form Deducting alimony paid. 540ez form   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. 540ez form You must file Form 1040. 540ez form You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. 540ez form Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. 540ez form In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 540ez form If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. 540ez form Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. 540ez form Enter your total payments on line 31a. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Reporting alimony received. 540ez form   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. 540ez form You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. 540ez form    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. 540ez form If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. 540ez form Withholding on nonresident aliens. 540ez form   If you are a U. 540ez form S. 540ez form 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. 540ez form However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. 540ez form For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. 540ez form General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. 540ez form Payments not alimony. 540ez form   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Example. 540ez form 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. 540ez form Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. 540ez form Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. 540ez form If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. 540ez form Your spouse must report them as income. 540ez form 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. 540ez form However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. 540ez form If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 540ez form For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 540ez form Child support. 540ez form   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. 540ez form If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 540ez form irs. 540ez form gov/formspubs. 540ez form Underpayment. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Example. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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. 540ez form If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. 540ez form You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. 540ez form Payments to a third party. 540ez form   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. 540ez form These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. 540ez form ), taxes, tuition, etc. 540ez form The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. 540ez form Example 1. 540ez form Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. 540ez form If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. 540ez form Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. 540ez form Example 2. 540ez form Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. 540ez form If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. 540ez form 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. 540ez form However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 540ez form If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 540ez form Life insurance premiums. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Payments for jointly-owned home. 540ez form   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. 540ez form See Table 4. 540ez form   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. 540ez form If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 540ez form Table 4. 540ez form 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. 540ez form IF you must pay all of the . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form AND your home is . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . 540ez form . 540ez form . 540ez form   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). 540ez form 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. 540ez form     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. 540ez form 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. 540ez form  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. 540ez form Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. 540ez form Exception for instruments executed before 1985. 540ez form   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. 540ez form A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. 540ez form 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. 540ez form   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 540ez form irs. 540ez form gov/formspubs. 540ez form Example 1. 540ez form In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. 540ez form In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. 540ez form The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. 540ez form The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. 540ez form Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 540ez form Example 2. 540ez form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. 540ez form In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. 540ez form The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 540ez form 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. 540ez form The payment is in cash. 540ez form The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. 540ez form The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. 540ez form This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 540ez form There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. 540ez form The payment is not treated as child support. 540ez form Each of these requirements is discussed next. 540ez form Cash payment requirement. 540ez form   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. 540ez form The following do not qualify as alimony. 540ez form Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). 540ez form Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. 540ez form The use of the payer's property. 540ez form Payments to a third party. 540ez form   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. 540ez form See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. 540ez form   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. 540ez form The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. 540ez form The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. 540ez form You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. 540ez form Payments designated as not alimony. 540ez form   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. 540ez form 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. 540ez form 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). 540ez form If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. 540ez form   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. 540ez form The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. 540ez form Spouses cannot be members of the same household. 540ez form   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. 540ez form A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Exception. 540ez form   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. 540ez form Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. 540ez form   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. 540ez form If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. 540ez form   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the