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

1. Get Answers

Your online questions are customized to your unique tax situation.

2. Maximize your Refund

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

3. E-File for FREE

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

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

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

File Form 1040ez

H&r OnlineFile Federal And State Taxes FreeState Tax ReturnsFree Online Tax FilingAarp State Tax Filing For Seniors1040ez Free FileH&r Block TaxIrs Amended Return Instructions2011 Tax FormsWww Irs Gov1040ez State Tax Form2011 1040 FormInformation About Tax Returns For StudentsFederal Tax Return 2012How To Do Tax Amendment1040a 2012Vita Tax LocationsAmended TaxIncome Tax DeadlineEz Form 2010File 1040x Free2011 Free Efile TaxesFree State And Federal Tax ReturnMilitary Tax Deductions 20111040 Ez For 20112012 1040ez FormH&r BlaockTurbotax Business Fed E File 2012File An Amended Tax ReturnFree Tax Preparation For SeniorsOnline FilingTax Penalty UnderpaymentHow Can I File 2010 TaxesWhere Can I Get Form 1040x20131040ezTax Form 1040a 2012Hr Block OnlineWhere To File Amended 1040xTax Debt HelpFile An Amended Tax Return For 2012

File Form 1040ez

File form 1040ez Publication 596 - Main Content Table of Contents Chapter 1—Rules for EveryoneRule 1—Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limits Rule 2—You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) Rule 3—Your Filing Status Cannot Be Married Filing Separately Rule 4—You Must Be a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Citizen or Resident Alien All Year Rule 5—You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less Rule 7—You Must Have Earned Income Chapter 2—Rules If You Have a Qualifying ChildRule 8—Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Rule 9—Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used by More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Rule 10—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Chapter 3—Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying ChildRule 11—You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 Rule 12—You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person Rule 13—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Rule 14—You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Chapter 4—Figuring and Claiming the EICRule 15—Earned Income Limits IRS Will Figure the EIC for You How To Figure the EIC Yourself Schedule EIC Chapter 5—Disallowance of the EICForm 8862 Are You Prohibited From Claiming the EIC for a Period of Years? Chapter 6—Detailed ExamplesExample 1—Sharon Rose Example 2—Cynthia and Jerry Grey Chapter 1—Rules for Everyone This chapter discusses Rules 1 through 7. File form 1040ez You must meet all seven rules to qualify for the earned income credit. File form 1040ez If you do not meet all seven rules, you cannot get the credit and you do not need to read the rest of the publication. File form 1040ez If you meet all seven rules in this chapter, then read either chapter 2 or chapter 3 (whichever applies) for more rules you must meet. File form 1040ez Rule 1—Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) Limits Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Adjusted gross income (AGI). File form 1040ez   AGI is the amount on line 4 of Form 1040EZ, line 22 of Form 1040A, or line 38 of Form 1040. File form 1040ez   If your AGI is equal to or more than the applicable limit listed above, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez You do not need to read the rest of this publication. File form 1040ez Example—AGI is more than limit. File form 1040ez Your AGI is $38,550, you are single, and you have one qualifying child. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC because your AGI is not less than $37,870. File form 1040ez However, if your filing status was married filing jointly, you might be able to claim the EIC because your AGI is less than $43,210. File form 1040ez Community property. File form 1040ez   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), and live in a state that has community property laws, your AGI includes that portion of both your and your spouse's wages that you are required to include in gross income. File form 1040ez This is different from the community property rules that apply under Rule 7. File form 1040ez Rule 2—You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) To claim the EIC, you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have a valid SSN issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). File form 1040ez Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC also must have a valid SSN. File form 1040ez (See Rule 8 if you have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez ) If your social security card (or your spouse's, if filing a joint return) says “Not valid for employment” and your SSN was issued so that you (or your spouse) could get a federally funded benefit, you cannot get the EIC. File form 1040ez An example of a federally funded benefit is Medicaid. File form 1040ez If you have a card with the legend “Not valid for employment” and your immigration status has changed so that you are now a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new social security card without the legend. File form 1040ez If you get the new card after you have already filed your return, you can file an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Individual Income Tax Return, to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez citizen. File form 1040ez   If you were a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez citizen when you received your SSN, you have a valid SSN. File form 1040ez Valid for work only with INS authorization or DHS authorization. File form 1040ez   If your social security card reads “Valid for work only with INS authorization” or “Valid for work only with DHS authorization,” you have a valid SSN, but only if that authorization is still valid. File form 1040ez SSN missing or incorrect. File form 1040ez   If an SSN for you or your spouse is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, you may not get the EIC. File form 1040ez Other taxpayer identification number. File form 1040ez   You cannot get the EIC if, instead of an SSN, you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). File form 1040ez ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to noncitizens who cannot get an SSN. File form 1040ez No SSN. File form 1040ez   If you do not have a valid SSN, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Getting an SSN. File form 1040ez   If you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) do not have an SSN, you can apply for one by filing Form SS-5 with the SSA. File form 1040ez You can get Form SS-5 online at www. File form 1040ez socialsecurity. File form 1040ez gov, from your local SSA office, or by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. File form 1040ez Filing deadline approaching and still no SSN. File form 1040ez   If the filing deadline is approaching and you still do not have an SSN, you have two choices. File form 1040ez Request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return. File form 1040ez You can get this extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Individual Income Tax Return. File form 1040ez For more information, see the instructions for Form 4868. File form 1040ez File the return on time without claiming the EIC. File form 1040ez After receiving the SSN, file an amended return, Form 1040X, claiming the EIC. File form 1040ez Attach a filled-in Schedule EIC, Earned Income Credit, if you have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Rule 3—Your Filing Status Cannot Be “Married Filing Separately” If you are married, you usually must file a joint return to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Your filing status cannot be “Married filing separately. File form 1040ez ” Spouse did not live with you. File form 1040ez   If you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as head of household, instead of married filing separately. File form 1040ez In that case, you may be able to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez For detailed information about filing as head of household, see Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. File form 1040ez Rule 4—You Must Be a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Citizen or Resident Alien All Year If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you cannot claim the earned income credit unless your filing status is married filing jointly. File form 1040ez You can use that filing status only if one spouse is a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez resident. File form 1040ez If you make this choice, you and your spouse are taxed on your worldwide income. File form 1040ez If you need more information on making this choice, get Publication 519, U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Tax Guide for Aliens. File form 1040ez If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and your filing status is not married filing jointly, enter “No” on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040) or in the space to the left of line 38a (Form 1040A). File form 1040ez Rule 5—You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ You cannot claim the earned income credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. File form 1040ez You file these forms to exclude income earned in foreign countries from your gross income, or to deduct or exclude a foreign housing amount. File form 1040ez U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez possessions are not foreign countries. File form 1040ez See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for more detailed information. File form 1040ez Rule 6—Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less You cannot claim the earned income credit unless your investment income is $3,300 or less. File form 1040ez If your investment income is more than $3,300, you cannot claim the credit. File form 1040ez Form 1040EZ. File form 1040ez   If you file Form 1040EZ, your investment income is the total of the amount on line 2 and the amount of any tax-exempt interest you wrote to the right of the words “Form 1040EZ” on line 2. File form 1040ez Form 1040A. File form 1040ez   If you file Form 1040A, your investment income is the total of the amounts on lines 8a (taxable interest), 8b (tax-exempt interest), 9a (ordinary dividends), and 10 (capital gain distributions) on that form. File form 1040ez Form 1040. File form 1040ez   If you file Form 1040, use Worksheet 1 in this chapter to figure your investment income. File form 1040ez    Worksheet 1. File form 1040ez Investment Income If You Are Filing Form 1040 Use this worksheet to figure investment income for the earned income credit when you file Form 1040. File form 1040ez Interest and Dividends         1. File form 1040ez Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8a 1. File form 1040ez   2. File form 1040ez Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 8b, plus any amount on Form 8814, line 1b 2. File form 1040ez   3. File form 1040ez Enter any amount from Form 1040, line 9a 3. File form 1040ez   4. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 21, that is from Form 8814 if you are filing that form to report your child's interest and dividend income on your return. File form 1040ez (If your child received an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, use Worksheet 2 in this chapter to figure the amount to enter on this line. File form 1040ez ) 4. File form 1040ez   Capital Gain Net Income         5. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 1040, line 13. File form 1040ez If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0- 5. File form 1040ez       6. File form 1040ez Enter any gain from Form 4797, Sales of Business Property, line 7. File form 1040ez If the amount on that line is a loss, enter -0-. File form 1040ez (But, if you completed lines 8 and 9 of Form 4797, enter the amount from line 9 instead. File form 1040ez ) 6. File form 1040ez       7. File form 1040ez Substract line 6 of this worksheet from line 5 of this worksheet. File form 1040ez (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. File form 1040ez ) 7. File form 1040ez   Royalties and Rental Income From Personal Property         8. File form 1040ez Enter any royalty income from Schedule E, line 23b, plus any income from the rental of personal property shown on Form 1040, line 21 8. File form 1040ez       9. File form 1040ez Enter any expenses from Schedule E, line 20, related to royalty income, plus any expenses from the rental of personal property deducted on Form 1040, line 36 9. File form 1040ez       10. File form 1040ez Subtract the amount on line 9 of this worksheet from the amount on line 8. File form 1040ez (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. File form 1040ez ) 10. File form 1040ez   Passive Activities         11. File form 1040ez Enter the total of any net income from passive activities (such as income included on Schedule E, line 26, 29a (col. File form 1040ez (g)), 34a (col. File form 1040ez (d)), or 40). File form 1040ez (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12. File form 1040ez ) 11. File form 1040ez       12. File form 1040ez Enter the total of any losses from passive activities (such as losses included on Schedule E, line 26, 29b (col. File form 1040ez (f)), 34b (col. File form 1040ez (c)), or 40). File form 1040ez (See instructions below for lines 11 and 12. File form 1040ez ) 12. File form 1040ez       13. File form 1040ez Combine the amounts on lines 11 and 12 of this worksheet. File form 1040ez (If the result is less than zero, enter -0-. File form 1040ez ) 13. File form 1040ez   14. File form 1040ez Add the amounts on lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 13. File form 1040ez Enter the total. File form 1040ez This is your investment income 14. File form 1040ez   15. File form 1040ez Is the amount on line 14 more than $3,300? ❑ Yes. File form 1040ez You cannot take the credit. File form 1040ez  ❑ No. File form 1040ez Go to Step 3 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b to find out if you can take the credit (unless you are using this publication to find out if you can take the credit; in that case, go to Rule 7, next). File form 1040ez       Instructions for lines 11 and 12. File form 1040ez In figuring the amount to enter on lines 11 and 12, do not take into account any royalty income (or loss) included on line 26 of Schedule E or any amount included in your earned income. File form 1040ez To find out if the income on line 26 or line 40 of Schedule E is from a passive activity, see the Schedule E instructions. File form 1040ez If any of the rental real estate income (or loss) included on Schedule E, line 26, is not from a passive activity, print “NPA” and the amount of that income (or loss) on the dotted line next to line 26. File form 1040ez Worksheet 2. File form 1040ez Worksheet for Line 4 of Worksheet 1 Complete this worksheet only if Form 8814 includes an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend. File form 1040ez Note. File form 1040ez Fill out a separate Worksheet 2 for each Form 8814. File form 1040ez     1. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2a 1. File form 1040ez   2. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 2b 2. File form 1040ez   3. File form 1040ez Subtract line 2 from line 1 3. File form 1040ez   4. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 1a 4. File form 1040ez   5. File form 1040ez Add lines 3 and 4 5. File form 1040ez   6. File form 1040ez Enter the amount of the child's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend 6. File form 1040ez   7. File form 1040ez Divide line 6 by line 5. File form 1040ez Enter the result as a decimal (rounded to at least three places) 7. File form 1040ez   8. File form 1040ez Enter the amount from Form 8814, line 12 8. File form 1040ez   9. File form 1040ez Multiply line 7 by line 8 9. File form 1040ez   10. File form 1040ez Subtract line 9 from line 8. File form 1040ez Enter the result on line 4 of Worksheet 1 10. File form 1040ez     (If filing more than one Form 8814, enter on line 4 of Worksheet 1 the total of the amounts on line 10 of all Worksheets 2. File form 1040ez )     Example—completing Worksheet 2. File form 1040ez Your 10-year-old child has taxable interest income of $400, an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend of $1,000, and ordinary dividends of $1,100, of which $500 are qualified dividends. File form 1040ez You choose to report this income on your return. File form 1040ez You enter $400 on line 1a of Form 8814, $2,100 ($1,000 + $1,100) on line 2a, and $500 on line 2b. File form 1040ez After completing lines 4 through 11, you enter $400 on line 12 of Form 8814 and line 21 of Form 1040. File form 1040ez On Worksheet 2, you enter $2,100 on line 1, $500 on line 2, $1,600 on line 3, $400 on line 4, $2,000 on line 5, $1,000 on line 6, 0. File form 1040ez 500 on line 7, $400 on line 8, $200 on line 9, and $200 on line 10. File form 1040ez You then enter $200 on line 4 of Worksheet 1. File form 1040ez Rule 7—You Must Have Earned Income This credit is called the “earned income” credit because, to qualify, you must work and have earned income. File form 1040ez If you are married and file a joint return, you meet this rule if at least one spouse works and has earned income. File form 1040ez If you are an employee, earned income includes all the taxable income you get from your employer. File form 1040ez Rule 15 has information that will help you figure the amount of your earned income. File form 1040ez If you are self-employed or a statutory employee, you will figure your earned income on EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions. File form 1040ez Earned Income Earned income includes all of the following types of income. File form 1040ez Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay. File form 1040ez Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. File form 1040ez Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. File form 1040ez But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income, as explained later in this chapter. File form 1040ez Net earnings from self-employment. File form 1040ez Gross income received as a statutory employee. File form 1040ez Wages, salaries, and tips. File form 1040ez    Wages, salaries, and tips you receive for working are reported to you on Form W-2, in box 1. File form 1040ez You should report these on line 1 (Form 1040EZ) or line 7 (Forms 1040A and 1040). File form 1040ez Nontaxable combat pay election. File form 1040ez   You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. File form 1040ez The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown on your Form W-2, in box 12, with code Q. File form 1040ez Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC. File form 1040ez For details, see Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4. File form 1040ez Net earnings from self-employment. File form 1040ez   You may have net earnings from self-employment if: You own your own business, or You are a minister or member of a religious order. File form 1040ez Minister's housing. File form 1040ez   The rental value of a home or a housing allowance provided to a minister as part of the minister's pay generally is not subject to income tax but is included in net earnings from self-employment. File form 1040ez For that reason, it is included in earned income for the EIC (except in the cases described in Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029 , below). File form 1040ez Statutory employee. File form 1040ez   You are a statutory employee if you receive a Form W-2 on which the “Statutory employee” box (box 13) is checked. File form 1040ez You report your income and expenses as a statutory employee on Schedule C or C-EZ (Form 1040). File form 1040ez Strike benefits. File form 1040ez   Strike benefits paid by a union to its members are earned income. File form 1040ez Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029 This section is for persons who have an approved: Form 4361, Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners, or Form 4029, Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits. File form 1040ez Each approved form exempts certain income from social security taxes. File form 1040ez Each form is discussed here in terms of what is or is not earned income for the EIC. File form 1040ez Form 4361. File form 1040ez   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4361, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties as an employee count as earned income. File form 1040ez This includes wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation. File form 1040ez A nontaxable housing allowance or the nontaxable rental value of a home is not earned income. File form 1040ez Also, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties, but not as an employee, do not count as earned income. File form 1040ez Examples include fees for performing marriages and honoraria for delivering speeches. File form 1040ez Form 4029. File form 1040ez   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4029, all wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation count as earned income. File form 1040ez However, amounts you received as a self-employed individual do not count as earned income. File form 1040ez Also, in figuring earned income, do not subtract losses on Schedule C, C-EZ, or F from wages on line 7 of Form 1040. File form 1040ez Disability Benefits If you retired on disability, taxable benefits you receive under your employer's disability retirement plan are considered earned income until you reach minimum retirement age. File form 1040ez Minimum retirement age generally is the earliest age at which you could have received a pension or annuity if you were not disabled. File form 1040ez You must report your taxable disability payments on line 7 of either Form 1040 or Form 1040A until you reach minimum retirement age. File form 1040ez Beginning on the day after you reach minimum retirement age, payments you receive are taxable as a pension and are not considered earned income. File form 1040ez Report taxable pension payments on Form 1040, lines 16a and 16b, or Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b. File form 1040ez Disability insurance payments. File form 1040ez   Payments you received from a disability insurance policy that you paid the premiums for are not earned income. File form 1040ez It does not matter whether you have reached minimum retirement age. File form 1040ez If this policy is through your employer, the amount may be shown in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code “J. File form 1040ez ” Income That Is Not Earned Income Examples of items that are not earned income include interest and dividends, pensions and annuities, social security and railroad retirement benefits (including disability benefits), alimony and child support, welfare benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation (insurance), nontaxable foster care payments, and veterans' benefits, including VA rehabilitation payments. File form 1040ez Do not include any of these items in your earned income. File form 1040ez Earnings while an inmate. File form 1040ez   Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income when figuring the earned income credit. File form 1040ez This includes amounts for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. File form 1040ez Workfare payments. File form 1040ez   Nontaxable workfare payments are not earned income for the EIC. File form 1040ez These are cash payments certain people receive from a state or local agency that administers public assistance programs funded under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in return for certain work activities such as (1) work experience activities (including remodeling or repairing public housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available, or (2) community service program activities. File form 1040ez Community property. File form 1040ez   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3), 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 those laws. File form 1040ez That amount is not earned income for the EIC, even though you must include it in your gross income on your income tax return. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. File form 1040ez   If you are a registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California, the same rules apply. File form 1040ez Your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your partner. File form 1040ez Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned. File form 1040ez For details, see Publication 555. File form 1040ez Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. File form 1040ez   If you were receiving social security retirement benefits or social security disability benefits at the time you received any CRP payments, your CRP payments are not earned income for the EIC. File form 1040ez Nontaxable military pay. File form 1040ez   Nontaxable pay for members of the Armed Forces is not considered earned income for the EIC. File form 1040ez Examples of nontaxable military pay are combat pay, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). File form 1040ez See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more information. File form 1040ez    Combat pay. File form 1040ez You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the EIC. File form 1040ez See Nontaxable combat pay in chapter 4. File form 1040ez Chapter 2—Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child If you have met all the rules in chapter 1, use this chapter to see if you have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This chapter discusses Rules 8 through 10. File form 1040ez You must meet all three of those rules, in addition to the rules in chapters 1 and 4, to qualify for the earned income credit with a qualifying child. File form 1040ez You must file Form 1040 or Form 1040A to claim the EIC with a qualifying child. File form 1040ez (You cannot file Form 1040EZ. File form 1040ez ) You also must complete Schedule EIC and attach it to your return. File form 1040ez If you meet all the rules in chapter 1 and this chapter, read chapter 4 to find out what to do next. File form 1040ez No qualifying child. File form 1040ez   If you do not meet Rule 8, you do not have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Read chapter 3 to find out if you can get the earned income credit without a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Rule 8—Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Your child is a qualifying child if your child meets four tests. File form 1040ez The fours tests are: Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint return. File form 1040ez The four tests are illustrated in Figure 1. File form 1040ez The paragraphs that follow contain more information about each test. File form 1040ez Relationship Test To be your qualifying child, a child must be your: Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild), or Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your niece or nephew). File form 1040ez The following definitions clarify the relationship test. File form 1040ez Adopted child. File form 1040ez   An adopted child is always treated as your own child. File form 1040ez The term “adopted child” includes a child who was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. File form 1040ez Foster child. File form 1040ez   For the EIC, a person is your foster child if the child is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. File form 1040ez (An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency. File form 1040ez It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state. File form 1040ez In addition, it includes an Indian tribal government or an organization authorized by an Indian tribal government to place Indian children. File form 1040ez ) Example. File form 1040ez Debbie, who is 12 years old, was placed in your care 2 years ago by an authorized agency responsible for placing children in foster homes. File form 1040ez Debbie is your foster child. File form 1040ez Figure 1. File form 1040ez Tests for Qualifying Child Please click here for the text description of the image. File form 1040ez Conditions for Qualifying Child Age Test Your child must be: Under age 19 at the end of 2013 and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), Under age 24 at the end of 2013, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly, or Permanently and totally disabled at any time during 2013, regardless of age. File form 1040ez The following examples and definitions clarify the age test. File form 1040ez Example 1—child not under age 19. File form 1040ez Your son turned 19 on December 10. File form 1040ez Unless he was permanently and totally disabled or a student, he is not a qualifying child because, at the end of the year, he was not under age 19. File form 1040ez Example 2—child not younger than you or your spouse. File form 1040ez Your 23-year-old brother, who is a full-time student and unmarried, lives with you and your spouse. File form 1040ez He is not disabled. File form 1040ez Both you and your spouse are 21 years old, and you file a joint return. File form 1040ez Your brother is not your qualifying child because he is not younger than you or your spouse. File form 1040ez Example 3—child younger than your spouse but not younger than you. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 2 except that your spouse is 25 years old. File form 1040ez Because your brother is younger than your spouse, he is your qualifying child, even though he is not younger than you. File form 1040ez Student defined. File form 1040ez   To qualify as a student, your child must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months during the calendar year: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regular student body at the school, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or a state, county, or local government. File form 1040ez   The 5 calendar months need not be consecutive. File form 1040ez   A full-time student is a student who is enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full-time attendance. File form 1040ez School defined. File form 1040ez   A school can be an elementary school, junior or senior high school, college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school. File form 1040ez However, on-the-job training courses, correspondence schools, and schools offering courses only through the Internet do not count as schools for the EIC. File form 1040ez Vocational high school students. File form 1040ez   Students who work in co-op jobs in private industry as a part of a school's regular course of classroom and practical training are considered full-time students. File form 1040ez Permanently and totally disabled. File form 1040ez   Your child is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply. File form 1040ez He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. File form 1040ez A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death. File form 1040ez Residency Test Your child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half of 2013. File form 1040ez The following definitions clarify the residency test. File form 1040ez United States. File form 1040ez   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. File form 1040ez It does not include Puerto Rico or U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez possessions such as Guam. File form 1040ez Homeless shelter. File form 1040ez   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. File form 1040ez You do not need a traditional home. File form 1040ez For example, if your child lived with you for more than half the year in one or more homeless shelters, your child meets the residency test. File form 1040ez Military personnel stationed outside the United States. File form 1040ez   U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. File form 1040ez Extended active duty. File form 1040ez   Extended active duty means you are called or ordered to duty for an indefinite period or for a period of more than 90 days. File form 1040ez Once you begin serving your extended active duty, you are still considered to have been on extended active duty even if you do not serve more than 90 days. File form 1040ez Birth or death of child. File form 1040ez    child who was born or died in 2013 is treated as having lived with you for more than half of 2013 if your home was the child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive in 2013. File form 1040ez Temporary absences. File form 1040ez   Count time that you or your child is away from home on a temporary absence due to a special circumstance as time the child lived with you. File form 1040ez Examples of a special circumstance include illness, school attendance, business, vacation, military service, and detention in a juvenile facility. File form 1040ez Kidnapped child. File form 1040ez   A kidnapped child is treated as living with you for more than half of the year if the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the date of the kidnapping. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez This treatment applies for all years until the child is returned. File form 1040ez However, the last year this treatment can apply is the earlier of: The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. File form 1040ez   If your qualifying child has been kidnapped and meets these requirements, enter “KC,” instead of a number, on line 6 of Schedule EIC. File form 1040ez Joint Return Test To meet this test, the child cannot file a joint return for the year. File form 1040ez Exception. File form 1040ez   An exception to the joint return test applies if your child and his or her spouse file a joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez Example 1—child files joint return. File form 1040ez You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. File form 1040ez He earned $25,000 for the year. File form 1040ez The couple files a joint return. File form 1040ez Because your daughter and her husband file a joint return, she is not your qualifying child. File form 1040ez Example 2—child files joint return to get refund of tax withheld. File form 1040ez Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. File form 1040ez They do not have a child. File form 1040ez Neither is required to file a tax return. File form 1040ez Taxes were taken out of their pay, so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. File form 1040ez The exception to the joint return test applies, so your son may be your qualifying child if all the other tests are met. File form 1040ez Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. File form 1040ez He and his wife are not required to file a tax return, but they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. File form 1040ez Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez The exception to the joint return test does not apply, so your son is not your qualifying child. File form 1040ez Married child. File form 1040ez   Even if your child does not file a joint return, if your child was married at the end of the year, he or she cannot be your qualifying child unless: You can claim an exemption for the child, or The reason you cannot claim an exemption for the child is that you let the child's other parent claim the exemption under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described later. File form 1040ez    Social security number. File form 1040ez Your qualifying child must have a valid social security number (SSN), unless the child was born and died in 2013 and you attach to your return a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records showing a live birth. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC on the basis of a qualifying child if: The qualifying child's SSN is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, The qualifying child's social security card says “Not valid for employment” and was issued for use in getting a federally funded benefit, or Instead of an SSN, the qualifying child has: An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), which is issued to a noncitizen who cannot get an SSN, or An adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), issued to adopting parents who cannot get an SSN for the child being adopted until the adoption is final. File form 1040ez   If you have more than one qualifying child and only one has a valid SSN, you can use only that child to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez For more information about SSNs, see Rule 2. File form 1040ez Rule 9—Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used by More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Sometimes a child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. File form 1040ez However, only one of these persons can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Only that person can use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). File form 1040ez The exemption for the child. File form 1040ez The child tax credit. File form 1040ez Head of household filing status. File form 1040ez The credit for child and dependent care expenses. File form 1040ez The exclusion for dependent care benefits. File form 1040ez The EIC. File form 1040ez The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. File form 1040ez In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. File form 1040ez The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. File form 1040ez The tiebreaker rules, which follow, explain who, if anyone, can claim the EIC when more than one person has the same qualifying child. File form 1040ez However, the tiebreaker rules do not apply if the other person is your spouse and you file a joint return. File form 1040ez Tiebreaker rules. File form 1040ez   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the six tax benefits just listed, the following tiebreaker rules apply. File form 1040ez If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. File form 1040ez If the parents file a joint return together and can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parents. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by treating the parents' total AGI as divided evenly between them. File form 1040ez See Example 8. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez See Examples 1 through 13. File form 1040ez   If you cannot claim the EIC because your qualifying child is treated under the tiebreaker rules as the qualifying child of another person for 2013, you may be able to take the EIC using a different qualifying child, but you cannot take the EIC using the rules in chapter 3 for people who do not have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez If the other person cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez   If you and someone else have the same qualifying child but the other person cannot claim the EIC because he or she is not eligible or his or her earned income or AGI is too high, you may be able to treat the child as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez See Examples 6 and 7. File form 1040ez But you cannot treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the EIC if the other person uses the child to claim any of the other six tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter. File form 1040ez Examples. File form 1040ez    The following examples may help you in determining whether you can claim the EIC when you and someone else have the same qualifying child. File form 1040ez Example 1—child lived with parent and grandparent. File form 1040ez You and your 2-year-old son Jimmy lived with your mother all year. File form 1040ez You are 25 years old, unmarried, and your AGI is $9,000. File form 1040ez Your only income was $9,000 from a part-time job. File form 1040ez Your mother's only income was $20,000 from her job, and her AGI is $20,000. File form 1040ez Jimmy's father did not live with you or Jimmy. File form 1040ez The special rule explained later for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. File form 1040ez Jimmy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. File form 1040ez However, only one of you can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and the other tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter for which that person qualifies). File form 1040ez He is not a qualifying child of anyone else, including his father. File form 1040ez If you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which she qualifies). File form 1040ez Example 2—parent has higher AGI than grandparent. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your AGI is $25,000. File form 1040ez Because your mother's AGI is not higher than yours, she cannot claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Only you can claim him. File form 1040ez Example 3—two persons claim same child. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez In this case, you as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC and the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. File form 1040ez The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier unless she has another qualifying child. File form 1040ez Example 4—qualifying children split between two persons. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you also have two other young children who are qualifying children of both you and your mother. File form 1040ez Only one of you can claim each child. File form 1040ez However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours, you can allow your mother to claim one or more of the children. File form 1040ez For example, if you claim one child, your mother can claim the other two. File form 1040ez Example 5—taxpayer who is a qualifying child. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you are only 18 years old. File form 1040ez This means you are a qualifying child of your mother. File form 1040ez Because of Rule 10, discussed next, you cannot claim the EIC and cannot claim your son as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Only your mother may be able to treat Jimmy as a qualifying child to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez If your mother meets all the other requirements for claiming the EIC and you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim both you and Jimmy as qualifying children for the EIC. File form 1040ez Example 6—grandparent with too much earned income to claim EIC. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your mother earned $50,000 from her job. File form 1040ez Because your mother's earned income is too high for her to claim the EIC, only you can claim the EIC using your son. File form 1040ez Example 7—parent with too much earned income to claim EIC. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you earned $50,000 from your job and your AGI is $50,500. File form 1040ez Your earned income is too high for you to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez But your mother cannot claim the EIC either, because her AGI is not higher than yours. File form 1040ez Example 8—child lived with both parents and grandparent. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and Jimmy's father are married to each other, live with Jimmy and your mother, and have AGI of $30,000 on a joint return. File form 1040ez If you and your husband do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim him instead. File form 1040ez Even though the AGI on your joint return, $30,000, is more than your mother's AGI of $20,000, for this purpose half of the joint AGI can be treated as yours and half as your husband's. File form 1040ez In other words, each parent's AGI can be treated as $15,000. File form 1040ez Example 9—separated parents. File form 1040ez You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son Joey lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. File form 1040ez In August and September, Joey lived with you. File form 1040ez For the rest of the year, Joey lived with your husband, who is Joey's father. File form 1040ez Joey is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because he lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, and joint return tests for both of you. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez You and your husband will file separate returns. File form 1040ez Your husband agrees to let you treat Joey as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This means, if your husband does not claim Joey as a qualifying child for any of the tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for any tax benefit listed earlier for which you qualify. File form 1040ez However, your filing status is married filing separately, so you cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. File form 1040ez See Rule 3. File form 1040ez Example 10—separated parents claim same child. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 9 except that you and your husband both claim Joey as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat Joey as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). File form 1040ez However, your husband's filing status is married filing separately, so he cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. File form 1040ez See Rule 3. File form 1040ez Example 11—unmarried parents. File form 1040ez You, your 5-year-old son, and your son's father lived together all year. File form 1040ez You and your son's father are not married. File form 1040ez Your son is a qualifying child of both you and his father because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and his father. File form 1040ez Your earned income and AGI are $12,000, and your son's father's earned income and AGI are $14,000. File form 1040ez Neither of you had any other income. File form 1040ez Your son's father agrees to let you treat the child as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This means, if your son's father does not claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. File form 1040ez Example 12—unmarried parents claim same child. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 11 except that you and your son's father both claim your son as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez In this case, only your son's father will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This is because his AGI, $14,000, is more than your AGI, $12,000. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). File form 1040ez Example 13—child did not live with a parent. File form 1040ez You and your 7-year-old niece, your sister's child, lived with your mother all year. File form 1040ez You are 25 years old, and your AGI is $9,300. File form 1040ez Your only income was from a part-time job. File form 1040ez Your mother's AGI is $15,000. File form 1040ez Her only income was from her job. File form 1040ez Your niece's parents file jointly, have an AGI of less than $9,000, and do not live with you or their child. File form 1040ez Your niece is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because she meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. File form 1040ez However, only your mother can treat her as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez This is because your mother's AGI, $15,000, is more than your AGI, $9,300. File form 1040ez Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). File form 1040ez   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent (for purposes of claiming an exemption and the child tax credit, but not for the EIC) if all of the following statements are true. File form 1040ez 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 time during the last 6 months of 2013, whether or not they are or were married. File form 1040ez The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. File form 1040ez The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of 2013. File form 1040ez Either of the following statements is true. File form 1040ez The custodial parent signs Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches the form or statement to his or her return. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2013. File form 1040ez For details, see Publication 501. File form 1040ez Also see Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), next. File form 1040ez Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). File form 1040ez   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule just described for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. File form 1040ez However, the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for the EIC and other tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter. File form 1040ez If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for these benefits, then the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Example 1. File form 1040ez You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. File form 1040ez Your AGI is $10,000. File form 1040ez Your mother’s AGI is $25,000. File form 1040ez Your son's father did not live with you or your son. File form 1040ez Under the Special rule for 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. File form 1040ez 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 EIC. File form 1040ez You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits. File form 1040ez If you do not claim your son as a qualifying child, your mother can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and head of household filing status, if she qualifies for these tax benefits. File form 1040ez Example 2. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. File form 1040ez Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. File form 1040ez Example 3. File form 1040ez 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 EIC. File form 1040ez Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. File form 1040ez You as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC. File form 1040ez The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. File form 1040ez Rule 10—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. File form 1040ez ) if all of the following statements are true. File form 1040ez You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. File form 1040ez Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. File form 1040ez You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. File form 1040ez You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. File form 1040ez You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). File form 1040ez For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8. File form 1040ez If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Put “No” beside line 64a (Form 1040) or line 38a (Form 1040A). File form 1040ez Example. File form 1040ez You and your daughter lived with your mother all year. File form 1040ez You are 22 years old, unmarried, and attended a trade school full time. File form 1040ez You had a part-time job and earned $5,700. File form 1040ez You had no other income. File form 1040ez Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother. File form 1040ez She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. File form 1040ez Because you are your mother's qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Child of person not required to file a return. File form 1040ez   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you met the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez Example 1—return not required. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in the last example except your mother had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. File form 1040ez As a result, you are not your mother's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. File form 1040ez Example 2—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your mother had wages of $1,500 and had income tax withheld from her wages. File form 1040ez She files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and does not claim the EIC or any other tax credits or deductions. File form 1040ez As a result, you are not your mother's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. File form 1040ez Example 3—return filed to get EIC. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your mother claimed the EIC on her return. File form 1040ez Since she filed the return to get the EIC, she is not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld. File form 1040ez As a result, you are your mother's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Chapter 3—Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child Use this chapter if you do not have a qualifying child and have met all the rules in chapter 1. File form 1040ez This chapter discusses Rules 11 through 14. File form 1040ez You must meet all four of those rules, in addition to the rules in chapters 1 and 4, to qualify for the earned income credit without a qualifying child. File form 1040ez You can file Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ to claim the EIC without a qualifying child. File form 1040ez If you meet all the rules in chapter 1 and this chapter, read chapter 4 to find out what to do next. File form 1040ez If you have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez   If you meet Rule 8, you have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez If you meet Rule 8 and do not claim the EIC with a qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC without a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Rule 11—You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 You must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. File form 1040ez If you are married filing a joint return, either you or your spouse must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. File form 1040ez It does not matter which spouse meets the age test, as long as one of the spouses does. File form 1040ez You meet the age test if you were born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. File form 1040ez If you are married filing a joint return, you meet the age test if either you or your spouse was born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. File form 1040ez If neither you nor your spouse meets the age test, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez Death of spouse. File form 1040ez   If you are filing a joint return with your spouse who died in 2013, you meet the age test if your spouse was at least age 25 but under age 65 at the time of death. File form 1040ez Example 1. File form 1040ez You are age 28 and unmarried. File form 1040ez You meet the age test. File form 1040ez Example 2—spouse meets age test. File form 1040ez You are married and filing a joint return. File form 1040ez You are age 23 and your spouse is age 27. File form 1040ez You meet the age test because your spouse is at least age 25 but under age 65. File form 1040ez Example 3—spouse dies in 2013. File form 1040ez You are married and filing a joint return with your spouse who died in August 2013. File form 1040ez You are age 67. File form 1040ez Your spouse would have become age 65 in November 2013. File form 1040ez Because your spouse was under age 65 when she died, you meet the age test. File form 1040ez Rule 12—You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person If you are not filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked box 6a on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You did not check the “You” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $10,000 on that line. File form 1040ez If you are filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked both box 6a and box 6b on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You and your spouse did not check either the “You” box or the “Spouse” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $20,000 on that line. File form 1040ez If you are not sure whether someone else can claim you as a dependent, get Publication 501 and read the rules for claiming a dependent. File form 1040ez If someone else can claim you as a dependent on his or her return, but does not, you still cannot claim the credit. File form 1040ez Example 1. File form 1040ez In 2013, you were age 25, single, and living at home with your parents. File form 1040ez You worked and were not a student. File form 1040ez You earned $7,500. File form 1040ez Your parents cannot claim you as a dependent. File form 1040ez When you file your return, you claim an exemption for yourself by not checking the You box on line 5 of your Form 1040EZ and by entering $10,000 on that line. File form 1040ez You meet this rule. File form 1040ez You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements. File form 1040ez Example 2. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1, except that you earned $2,000. File form 1040ez Your parents can claim you as a dependent but decide not to. File form 1040ez You do not meet this rule. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the credit because your parents could have claimed you as a dependent. File form 1040ez Joint returns. File form 1040ez   You generally cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person if you are married and file a joint return. File form 1040ez   However, another person may be able to claim you as a dependent if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez But neither you nor your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by another person if you claim the EIC on your joint return. File form 1040ez Example 1—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. File form 1040ez You are 26 years old. File form 1040ez You and your wife live with your parents and had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. File form 1040ez Neither you nor your wife is required to file a tax return. File form 1040ez You do not have a child. File form 1040ez Taxes were taken out of your pay so you file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. File form 1040ez Your parents are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for you just because you filed a joint return. File form 1040ez They can claim exemptions for you and your wife if all the other tests to do so are met. File form 1040ez Example 2—return filed to get EIC. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1except no taxes were taken out of your pay. File form 1040ez Also, you and your wife are not required to file a tax return, but you file a joint return to claim an EIC of $63 and get a refund of that amount. File form 1040ez Because claiming the EIC is your reason for filing the return, you are not filing it only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez Your parents cannot claim an exemption for either you or your wife. File form 1040ez Rule 13—You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. File form 1040ez ) if all of the following statements are true. File form 1040ez You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. File form 1040ez Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. File form 1040ez You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. File form 1040ez You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. File form 1040ez You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). File form 1040ez For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8. File form 1040ez If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez Example. File form 1040ez You lived with your mother all year. File form 1040ez You are age 26, unmarried, and permanently and totally disabled. File form 1040ez Your only income was from a community center where you went three days a week to answer telephones. File form 1040ez You earned $5,000 for the year and provided more than half of your own support. File form 1040ez Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother for the EIC. File form 1040ez She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. File form 1040ez Because you are a qualifying child of your mother, you cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Joint returns. File form 1040ez   You generally cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you are married and file a joint return. File form 1040ez   However, you may be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you and your spouse file a joint return merely to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez But neither you nor your spouse can be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you claim the EIC on your joint return. File form 1040ez Child of person not required to file a return. File form 1040ez   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. File form 1040ez Example 1—return not required. File form 1040ez You lived all year with your father. File form 1040ez You are 27 years old, unmarried, permanently and totally disabled, and earned $13,000. File form 1040ez You have no other income, no children, and provided more than half of your own support. File form 1040ez Your father had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. File form 1040ez As a result, you are not your father's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. File form 1040ez Example 2—return filed to get refund of tax withheld. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your father had wages of $1,500 and had income tax withheld from his wages. File form 1040ez He files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and does not claim the EIC or any other tax credits or deductions. File form 1040ez As a result, you are not your father's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. File form 1040ez Example 3—return filed to get EIC. File form 1040ez The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your father claimed the EIC on his return. File form 1040ez Since he filed the return to get the EIC, he is not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld. File form 1040ez As a result, you are your father's qualifying child. File form 1040ez You cannot claim the EIC. File form 1040ez Rule 14—You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Your home (and your spouse's, if filing a joint return) must have been in the United States for more than half the year. File form 1040ez If it was not, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez United States. File form 1040ez   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. File form 1040ez It does not include Puerto Rico or U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez possessions such as Guam. File form 1040ez Homeless shelter. File form 1040ez   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. File form 1040ez You do not need a traditional home. File form 1040ez If you lived in one or more homeless shelters in the United States for more than half the year, you meet this rule. File form 1040ez Military personnel stationed outside the United States. File form 1040ez   U. File form 1040ez S. File form 1040ez military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty (defined in chapter 2) are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. File form 1040ez Chapter 4—Figuring and Claiming the EIC You must meet one more rule to claim the EIC. File form 1040ez You need to know the amount of your earned income to see if you meet the rule in this chapter. File form 1040ez You also need to know that amount to figure your EIC. File form 1040ez Rule 15—Earned Income Limits Your earned income must be less than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. File form 1040ez Earned Income Earned income generally means wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee pay, and net earnings from self-employment. File form 1040ez Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. File form 1040ez Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. File form 1040ez But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income. File form 1040ez Earned income is explained in detail in Rule 7 in chapter 1. File form 1040ez Figuring earned income. File form 1040ez   If you are self-employed, a statutory employee, or a member of the clergy or a church employee who files Schedule SE (Form 1040), you will figure your earned income when you fill out Part 4 of EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions. File form 1040ez   Otherwise, figure your earned income by using the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b or the Form 1040A instructions for lines 38a and 38b, or the worksheet in Step 2 of the Form 1040EZ instructions for lines 8a and 8b. File form 1040ez   When using one of those worksheets to figure your earned income, you will start with the amount on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez You will then reduce that amount by any amount included on that line and described in the following list. File form 1040ez Scholarship or fellowship grants not reported on a Form W-2. File form 1040ez A scholarship or fellowship grant that was not reported to you on a Form W-2 is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. File form 1040ez Inmate's income. File form 1040ez Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income for the earned income credit. File form 1040ez This includes amounts received for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. File form 1040ez If you received any amount for work done while an inmate in a penal institution and that amount is included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “PRI” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez Pension or annuity from deferred compensation plans. File form 1040ez A pension or annuity from a nonqualified deferred compensation plan or a nongovernmental section 457 plan is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. File form 1040ez If you received such an amount and it was included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “DFC” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). File form 1040ez This amount may be reported in box 11 of your Form W-2. File form 1040ez If you received such an amount but box 11 is blank, contact your employer for the amount received as a pension or an annuity. File form 1040ez Clergy. File form 1040ez   If you are a member of the clergy who files Schedule SE and the amount on line 2 of that schedule includes an amount that was also re
Español

Family, Home, and Community Podcasts from the U.S. Government

Government podcasts on topics such as recalls, food safety, weather, home energy conservation, and census data.

The File Form 1040ez

File form 1040ez 18. File form 1040ez   Alimony Table of Contents IntroductionSpouse or former spouse. File form 1040ez Divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez Useful Items - You may want to see: General RulesMortgage payments. File form 1040ez Taxes and insurance. File form 1040ez Other payments to a third party. File form 1040ez Instruments Executed After 1984Payments to a third party. File form 1040ez Exception. File form 1040ez Substitute payments. File form 1040ez Specifically designated as child support. File form 1040ez Contingency relating to your child. File form 1040ez Clearly associated with a contingency. File form 1040ez How To Deduct Alimony Paid How To Report Alimony Received Recapture Rule Introduction This chapter discusses the rules that apply if you pay or receive alimony. File form 1040ez It covers the following topics. File form 1040ez What payments are alimony. File form 1040ez What payments are not alimony, such as child support. File form 1040ez How to deduct alimony you paid. File form 1040ez How to report alimony you received as income. File form 1040ez Whether you must recapture the tax benefits of alimony. File form 1040ez Recapture means adding back in your income all or part of a deduction you took in a prior year. File form 1040ez Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. File form 1040ez Although this chapter is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. File form 1040ez To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. File form 1040ez Different requirements generally apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. File form 1040ez This chapter discusses the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. File form 1040ez If you need the rules for payments under pre-1985 instruments, get and keep a copy of the 2004 version of Publication 504. File form 1040ez That was the last year the information on pre-1985 instruments was included in Publication 504. File form 1040ez Use Table 18-1 in this chapter as a guide to determine whether certain payments are considered alimony. File form 1040ez Definitions. File form 1040ez   The following definitions apply throughout this chapter. File form 1040ez Spouse or former spouse. File form 1040ez   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. File form 1040ez Divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez 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). File form 1040ez Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. File form 1040ez Payments not alimony. File form 1040ez   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. File form 1040ez Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained under Community Property in Publication 504, Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. File form 1040ez Payments to a third party. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. File form 1040ez ), taxes, tuition, etc. File form 1040ez The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. File form 1040ez Life insurance premiums. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez Payments for jointly-owned home. File form 1040ez   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. File form 1040ez Mortgage payments. File form 1040ez   If you must pay all the mortgage payments (principal and interest) on a jointly-owned home, and they otherwise qualify as alimony, you can deduct one-half of the total payments as alimony. File form 1040ez If you itemize deductions and the home is a qualified home, you can claim one-half of the interest in figuring your deductible interest. File form 1040ez Your spouse must report one-half of the payments as alimony received. File form 1040ez If your spouse itemizes deductions and the home is a qualified home, he or she can claim one-half of the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. File form 1040ez Taxes and insurance. File form 1040ez   If you must pay all the real estate taxes or insurance on a home held as tenants in common, you can deduct one-half of these payments as alimony. File form 1040ez Your spouse must report one-half of these payments as alimony received. File form 1040ez If you and your spouse itemize deductions, you can each claim one-half of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. File form 1040ez    If your home is held as tenants by the entirety or joint tenants, none of your payments for taxes or insurance are alimony. File form 1040ez But if you itemize deductions, you can claim all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. File form 1040ez Other payments to a third party. File form 1040ez   If you made other third-party payments, see Publication 504 to see whether any part of the payments qualifies as alimony. File form 1040ez Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. File form 1040ez Exception for instruments executed before 1985. File form 1040ez   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. File form 1040ez A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, get the 2004 version of Publication 504 at www. File form 1040ez irs. File form 1040ez gov/pub504. File form 1040ez Example 1. File form 1040ez In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. File form 1040ez In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. File form 1040ez The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. File form 1040ez The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. File form 1040ez Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. File form 1040ez Example 2. File form 1040ez Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. File form 1040ez In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. File form 1040ez The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. File form 1040ez Alimony requirements. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez The payment is in cash. File form 1040ez The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. File form 1040ez Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are not members of the same household. File form 1040ez There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. File form 1040ez The payment is not treated as child support. File form 1040ez Each of these requirements is discussed below. File form 1040ez Cash payment requirement. File form 1040ez   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. File form 1040ez The following do not qualify as alimony. File form 1040ez Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). File form 1040ez Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. File form 1040ez The use of the payer's property. File form 1040ez Payments to a third party. File form 1040ez   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. File form 1040ez See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. File form 1040ez The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. File form 1040ez You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. File form 1040ez Payments designated as not alimony. File form 1040ez   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. File form 1040ez 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. File form 1040ez 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). File form 1040ez If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. File form 1040ez Spouses cannot be members of the same household. File form 1040ez    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. File form 1040ez A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez Exception. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez Table 18-1. File form 1040ez Alimony Requirements (Instruments Executed After 1984) Payments ARE alimony if all of the following are true: Payments are NOT alimony if any of the following are true: Payments are required by a divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez Payments are not required by a divorce or separation instrument. File form 1040ez Payer and recipient spouse do not file a joint return with each other. File form 1040ez Payer and recipient spouse file a joint return with each other. File form 1040ez Payment is in cash (including checks or money orders). File form 1040ez Payment is: Not in cash, A noncash property settlement, Spouse's part of community income, or To keep up the payer's property. File form 1040ez Payment is not designated in the instrument as not alimony. File form 1040ez Payment is designated in the instrument as not alimony. File form 1040ez Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are not members of the same household. File form 1040ez Spouses legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance are members of the same household. File form 1040ez Payments are not required after death of the recipient spouse. File form 1040ez Payments are required after death of the recipient spouse. File form 1040ez Payment is not treated as child support. File form 1040ez Payment is treated as child support. File form 1040ez These payments are deductible by the payer and includible in income by the recipient. File form 1040ez These payments are neither deductible by the payer nor includible in income by the recipient. File form 1040ez Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. File form 1040ez   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. File form 1040ez If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. File form 1040ez   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the death of your spouse if, for example, the liability for continued payments would end under state law. File form 1040ez Example. File form 1040ez You must pay your former spouse $10,000 in cash each year for 10 years. File form 1040ez Your divorce decree states that the payments will end upon your former spouse's death. File form 1040ez You must also pay your former spouse or your former spouse's estate $20,000 in cash each year for 10 years. File form 1040ez The death of your spouse would not terminate these payments under state law. File form 1040ez The $10,000 annual payments may qualify as alimony. File form 1040ez The $20,000 annual payments that do not end upon your former spouse's death are not alimony. File form 1040ez Substitute payments. File form 1040ez   If you must make any payments in cash or property after your spouse's death as a substitute for continuing otherwise qualifying payments before the death, the otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. File form 1040ez To the extent that your payments begin, accelerate, or increase because of the death of your spouse, otherwise qualifying payments you made may be treated as payments that were not alimony. File form 1040ez Whether or not such payments will be treated as not alimony depends on all the facts and circumstances. File form 1040ez Example 1. File form 1040ez Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse $30,000 annually. File form 1040ez The payments will stop at the end of 6 years or upon your former spouse's death, if earlier. File form 1040ez Your former spouse has custody of your minor children. File form 1040ez The decree provides that if any child is still a minor at your spouse's death, you must pay $10,000 annually to a trust until the youngest child reaches the age of majority. File form 1040ez The trust income and corpus (principal) are to be used for your children's benefit. File form 1040ez These facts indicate that the payments to be made after your former spouse's death are a substitute for $10,000 of the $30,000 annual payments. File form 1040ez Of each of the $30,000 annual payments, $10,000 is not alimony. File form 1040ez Example 2. File form 1040ez Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse $30,000 annually. File form 1040ez The payments will stop at the end of 15 years or upon your former spouse's death, if earlier. File form 1040ez The decree provides that if your former spouse dies before the end of the 15-year period, you must pay the estate the difference between $450,000 ($30,000 × 15) and the total amount paid up to that time. File form 1040ez For example, if your spouse dies at the end of the tenth year, you must pay the estate $150,000 ($450,000 − $300,000). File form 1040ez These facts indicate that the lump-sum payment to be made after your former spouse's death is a substitute for the full amount of the $30,000 annual payments. File form 1040ez None of the annual payments are alimony. File form 1040ez The result would be the same if the payment required at death were to be discounted by an appropriate interest factor to account for the prepayment. File form 1040ez Child support. File form 1040ez   A payment that is specifically designated as child support or treated as specifically designated as child support under your divorce or separation instrument is not alimony. File form 1040ez The amount of child support may vary over time. File form 1040ez Child support payments are not deductible by the payer and are not taxable to the recipient. File form 1040ez Specifically designated as child support. File form 1040ez   A payment will be treated as specifically designated as child support to the extent that the payment is reduced either: On the happening of a contingency relating to your child, or At a time that can be clearly associated with the contingency. File form 1040ez A payment may be treated as specifically designated as child support even if other separate payments are specifically designated as child support. File form 1040ez Contingency relating to your child. File form 1040ez   A contingency relates to your child if it depends on any event relating to that child. File form 1040ez It does not matter whether the event is certain or likely to occur. File form 1040ez Events relating to your child include the child's: Becoming employed, Dying, Leaving the household, Leaving school, Marrying, or Reaching a specified age or income level. File form 1040ez Clearly associated with a contingency. File form 1040ez   Payments that would otherwise qualify as alimony are presumed to be reduced at a time clearly associated with the happening of a contingency relating to your child only in the following situations. File form 1040ez The payments are to be reduced not more than 6 months before or after the date the child will reach 18, 21, or local age of majority. File form 1040ez The payments are to be reduced on two or more occasions that occur not more than 1 year before or after a different one of your children reaches a certain age from 18 to 24. File form 1040ez This certain age must be the same for each child, but need not be a whole number of years. File form 1040ez In all other situations, reductions in payments are not treated as clearly associated with the happening of a contingency relating to your child. File form 1040ez   Either you or the IRS can overcome the presumption in the two situations above. File form 1040ez This is done by showing that the time at which the payments are to be reduced was determined independently of any contingencies relating to your children. File form 1040ez For example, if you can show that the period of alimony payments is customary in the local jurisdiction, such as a period equal to one-half of the duration of the marriage, you can overcome the presumption and may be able to treat the amount as alimony. File form 1040ez How To Deduct Alimony Paid You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. File form 1040ez You must file Form 1040. File form 1040ez You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. File form 1040ez Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. File form 1040ez In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). File form 1040ez If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. File form 1040ez Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. File form 1040ez Enter your total payments on line 31a. File form 1040ez You must provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN. File form 1040ez If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. File form 1040ez For more information on SSNs and ITINs, see Social Security Number (SSN) in chapter 1. File form 1040ez How To Report Alimony Received Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11. File form 1040ez You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. File form 1040ez You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. File form 1040ez If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. File form 1040ez Recapture Rule If your alimony payments decrease or end during the first 3 calendar years, you may be subject to the recapture rule. File form 1040ez If you are subject to this rule, you have to include in income in the third year part of the alimony payments you previously deducted. File form 1040ez Your spouse can deduct in the third year part of the alimony payments he or she previously included in income. File form 1040ez The 3-year period starts with the first calendar year you make a payment qualifying as alimony under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written separation agreement. File form 1040ez Do not include any time in which payments were being made under temporary support orders. File form 1040ez The second and third years are the next 2 calendar years, whether or not payments are made during those years. File form 1040ez The reasons for a reduction or end of alimony payments that can require a recapture include: A change in your divorce or separation instrument, A failure to make timely payments, A reduction in your ability to provide support, or A reduction in your spouse's support needs. File form 1040ez When to apply the recapture rule. File form 1040ez   You are subject to the recapture rule in the third year if the alimony you pay in the third year decreases by more than $15,000 from the second year or the alimony you pay in the second and third years decreases significantly from the alimony you pay in the first year. File form 1040ez   When you figure a decrease in alimony, do not include the following amounts. File form 1040ez Payments made under a temporary support order. File form 1040ez Payments required over a period of at least 3 calendar years that vary because they are a fixed part of your income from a business or property, or from compensation for employment or self-employment. File form 1040ez Payments that decrease because of the death of either spouse or the remarriage of the spouse receiving the payments before the end of the third year. File form 1040ez Figuring the recapture. File form 1040ez   You can use Worksheet 1 in Publication 504 to figure recaptured alimony. File form 1040ez Including the recapture in income. File form 1040ez   If you must include a recapture amount in income, show it on Form 1040, line 11 (“Alimony received”). File form 1040ez Cross out “received” and enter “recapture. File form 1040ez ” On the dotted line next to the amount, enter your spouse's last name and SSN or ITIN. File form 1040ez Deducting the recapture. File form 1040ez   If you can deduct a recapture amount, show it on Form 1040, line 31a (“Alimony paid”). File form 1040ez Cross out “paid” and enter “recapture. File form 1040ez ” In the space provided, enter your spouse's SSN or ITIN. File form 1040ez Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications