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H&r Block 1040ez

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H&r Block 1040ez

H&r block 1040ez 8. H&r block 1040ez   Qualified Tuition Program (QTP) Table of Contents Introduction What Is a Qualified Tuition ProgramDesignated beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez Half-time student. H&r block 1040ez How Much Can You Contribute Are Distributions TaxableFiguring the Taxable Portion of a Distribution Additional Tax on Taxable Distributions Rollovers and Other TransfersRollovers Changing the Designated Beneficiary Introduction Qualified tuition programs (QTPs) are also called “529 plans. H&r block 1040ez ” States may establish and maintain programs that allow you to either prepay or contribute to an account for paying a student's qualified education expenses at a postsecondary institution. H&r block 1040ez Eligible educational institutions may establish and maintain programs that allow you to prepay a student's qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez If you prepay tuition, the student (designated beneficiary) will be entitled to a waiver or a payment of qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez You cannot deduct either payments or contributions to a QTP. H&r block 1040ez For information on a specific QTP, you will need to contact the state agency or eligible educational institution that established and maintains it. H&r block 1040ez What is the tax benefit of a QTP. H&r block 1040ez   No tax is due on a distribution from a QTP unless the amount distributed is greater than the beneficiary's adjusted qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez See Are Distributions Taxable , later, for more information. H&r block 1040ez    Even if a QTP is used to finance a student's education, the student or the student's parents still may be eligible to claim the American opportunity credit or the lifetime learning credit. H&r block 1040ez See Coordination With American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits, later. H&r block 1040ez What Is a Qualified Tuition Program A qualified tuition program is a program set up to allow you to either prepay, or contribute to an account established for paying, a student's qualified education expenses at an eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez QTPs can be established and maintained by states (or agencies or instrumentalities of a state) and eligible educational institutions. H&r block 1040ez The program must meet certain requirements. H&r block 1040ez Your state government or the eligible educational institution in which you are interested can tell you whether or not they participate in a QTP. H&r block 1040ez Qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez   These are expenses related to enrollment or attendance at an Eligible educational institution (defined later). H&r block 1040ez As shown in the following list, to be qualified, some of the expenses must be required by the institution and some must be incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time. H&r block 1040ez See Half-time student , later. H&r block 1040ez The following expenses must be required for enrollment or attendance of a Designated beneficiary (defined later) at an eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez Tuition and fees. H&r block 1040ez Books, supplies, and equipment. H&r block 1040ez Expenses for special needs services needed by a special needs beneficiary must be incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez Expenses for room and board must be incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time. H&r block 1040ez The expense for room and board qualifies only to the extent that it is not more than the greater of the following two amounts. H&r block 1040ez The allowance for room and board, as determined by the eligible educational institution, that was included in the cost of attendance (for federal financial aid purposes) for a particular academic period and living arrangement of the student. H&r block 1040ez The actual amount charged if the student is residing in housing owned or operated by the eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez You will need to contact the eligible educational institution for qualified room and board costs. H&r block 1040ez    For tax years after 2010, the purchase of computer technology or equipment is only a qualified education expense if the computer technology or equipment is required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible institution. H&r block 1040ez Designated beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez   The designated beneficiary is generally the student (or future student) for whom the QTP is intended to provide benefits. H&r block 1040ez The designated beneficiary can be changed after participation in the QTP begins. H&r block 1040ez If a state or local government or certain tax-exempt organizations purchase an interest in a QTP as part of a scholarship program, the designated beneficiary is the person who receives the interest as a scholarship. H&r block 1040ez Half-time student. H&r block 1040ez   A student is enrolled “at least half-time” if he or she is enrolled for at least half the full-time academic workload for the course of study the student is pursuing, as determined under the standards of the school where the student is enrolled. H&r block 1040ez Eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez   For purposes of a QTP, this is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U. H&r block 1040ez S. H&r block 1040ez Department of Education. H&r block 1040ez It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. H&r block 1040ez The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution. H&r block 1040ez   Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U. H&r block 1040ez S. H&r block 1040ez Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. H&r block 1040ez   How Much Can You Contribute Contributions to a QTP on behalf of any beneficiary cannot be more than the amount necessary to provide for the qualified education expenses of the beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez There are no income restrictions on the individual contributors. H&r block 1040ez You can contribute to both a QTP and a Coverdell ESA in the same year for the same designated beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez   Are Distributions Taxable The part of a distribution representing the amount paid or contributed to a QTP does not have to be included in income. H&r block 1040ez This is a return of the investment in the plan. H&r block 1040ez The designated beneficiary generally does not have to include in income any earnings distributed from a QTP if the total distribution is less than or equal to adjusted qualified education expenses (defined under Figuring the Taxable Portion of a Distribution , later). H&r block 1040ez Earnings and return of investment. H&r block 1040ez    You will receive a Form 1099-Q, from each of the programs from which you received a QTP distribution in 2013. H&r block 1040ez The amount of your gross distribution (box 1) shown on each form will be divided between your earnings (box 2) and your basis, or return of investment (box 3). H&r block 1040ez Form 1099-Q should be sent to you by January 31, 2014. H&r block 1040ez Figuring the Taxable Portion of a Distribution To determine if total distributions for the year are more or less than the amount of qualified education expenses, you must compare the total of all QTP distributions for the tax year to the adjusted qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez Adjusted qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez   This amount is the total qualified education expenses reduced by any tax-free educational assistance. H&r block 1040ez Tax-free educational assistance includes: The tax-free part of scholarships and fellowships (see Tax-Free Scholarships and Fellowships in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Veterans' educational assistance (see Veterans' Benefits in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Pell grants (see Pell Grants and Other Title IV Need-Based Education Grants in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Employer-provided educational assistance (see chapter 11, Employer-Provided Educational Assistance ), and Any other nontaxable (tax-free) payments (other than gifts or inheritances) received as educational assistance. H&r block 1040ez Taxable earnings. H&r block 1040ez   Use the following steps to figure the taxable part. H&r block 1040ez Multiply the total distributed earnings shown in box 2 of Form 1099-Q by a fraction. H&r block 1040ez The numerator is the adjusted qualified education expenses paid during the year and the denominator is the total amount distributed during the year. H&r block 1040ez Subtract the amount figured in (1) from the total distributed earnings. H&r block 1040ez The result is the amount the beneficiary must include in income. H&r block 1040ez Report it on Form 1040 or Form 1040NR, line 21. H&r block 1040ez Example 1. H&r block 1040ez In 2007, Sara Clarke's parents opened a savings account for her with a QTP maintained by their state government. H&r block 1040ez Over the years they contributed $18,000 to the account. H&r block 1040ez The total balance in the account was $27,000 on the date the distribution was made. H&r block 1040ez In the summer of 2013, Sara enrolled in college and had $8,300 of qualified education expenses for the rest of the year. H&r block 1040ez She paid her college expenses from the following sources. H&r block 1040ez   Gift from parents $1,600     Partial tuition scholarship (tax-free) 3,100     QTP distribution 5,300           Before Sara can determine the taxable part of her QTP distribution, she must reduce her total qualified education expenses by any tax-free educational assistance. H&r block 1040ez   Total qualified education expenses $8,300     Minus: Tax-free educational assistance −3,100     Equals: Adjusted qualified  education expenses (AQEE) $5,200   Since the remaining expenses ($5,200) are less than the QTP distribution, part of the earnings will be taxable. H&r block 1040ez Sara's Form 1099-Q shows that $950 of the QTP distribution is earnings. H&r block 1040ez Sara figures the taxable part of the distributed earnings as follows. H&r block 1040ez   1. H&r block 1040ez $950 (earnings) × $5,200 AQEE  $5,300 distribution           =$932 (tax-free earnings)     2. H&r block 1040ez $950 (earnings)−$932 (tax-free earnings)     =$18 (taxable earnings)  Sara must include $18 in income (Form 1040, line 21) as distributed QTP earnings not used for adjusted qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez Coordination With American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits An American opportunity or lifetime learning credit (education credit) can be claimed in the same year the beneficiary takes a tax-free distribution from a QTP, as long as the same expenses are not used for both benefits. H&r block 1040ez This means that after the beneficiary reduces qualified education expenses by tax-free educational assistance, he or she must further reduce them by the expenses taken into account in determining the credit. H&r block 1040ez Example 2. H&r block 1040ez Assume the same facts as in Example 1 , except that Sara's parents claimed an American opportunity credit of $2,500 (based on $4,000 expenses). H&r block 1040ez   Total qualified education expenses $8,300     Minus: Tax-free educational assistance −3,100     Minus: Expenses taken into account  in figuring American opportunity credit −4,000     Equals: Adjusted qualified  education expenses (AQEE) $1,200           The taxable part of the distribution is figured as follows. H&r block 1040ez   1. H&r block 1040ez $950 (earnings) × $1,200 AQEE  $5,300 distribution           =$215 (tax-free earnings)     2. H&r block 1040ez $950 (earnings)−$215 (tax-free earnings)     =$735 (taxable earnings)       Sara must include $735 in income (Form 1040, line 21). H&r block 1040ez This represents distributed earnings not used for adjusted qualified education expenses. H&r block 1040ez Coordination With Coverdell ESA Distributions If a designated beneficiary receives distributions from both a QTP and a Coverdell ESA in the same year, and the total of these distributions is more than the beneficiary's adjusted qualified higher education expenses, the expenses must be allocated between the distributions. H&r block 1040ez For purposes of this allocation, disregard any qualified elementary and secondary education expenses. H&r block 1040ez Example 3. H&r block 1040ez Assume the same facts as in Example 2 , except that instead of receiving a $5,300 distribution from her QTP, Sara received $4,600 from that account and $700 from her Coverdell ESA. H&r block 1040ez In this case, Sara must allocate her $1,200 of adjusted qualified higher education expenses (AQHEE) between the two distributions. H&r block 1040ez   $1,200 AQHEE × $700 ESA distribution  $5,300 total distribution = $158 AQHEE (ESA)     $1,200 AQHEE × $4,600 QTP distribution  $5,300 total distribution = $1,042 AQHEE (QTP)   Sara then figures the taxable portion of her Coverdell ESA distribution based on qualified higher education expenses of $158, and the taxable portion of her QTP distribution based on the other $1,042. H&r block 1040ez Note. H&r block 1040ez If you are required to allocate your expenses between Coverdell ESA and QTP distributions, and you have adjusted qualified elementary and secondary education expenses, see the examples in chapter 7, Coverdell Education Savings Account under Coordination With Qualified Tuition Program (QTP) Distributions . H&r block 1040ez Coordination With Tuition and Fees Deduction. H&r block 1040ez   A tuition and fees deduction can be claimed in the same year the beneficiary takes a tax-free distribution from a QTP, as long as the same expenses are not used for both benefits. H&r block 1040ez Losses on QTP Investments If you have a loss on your investment in a QTP account, you may be able to take the loss on your income tax return. H&r block 1040ez You can take the loss only when all amounts from that account have been distributed and the total distributions are less than your unrecovered basis. H&r block 1040ez Your basis is the total amount of contributions to that QTP account. H&r block 1040ez You claim the loss as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 23 (Schedule A (Form 1040NR), line 9), subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit. H&r block 1040ez If you have distributions from more than one QTP account during a year, you must combine the information (amount of distribution, basis, etc. H&r block 1040ez ) from all such accounts in order to determine your taxable earnings for the year. H&r block 1040ez By doing this, the loss from one QTP account reduces the distributed earnings (if any) from any other QTP accounts. H&r block 1040ez Example 1. H&r block 1040ez In 2013, Taylor received a final distribution of $1,000 from QTP #1. H&r block 1040ez His unrecovered basis in that account before the distribution was $3,000. H&r block 1040ez If Taylor itemizes his deductions, he can claim the $2,000 loss on Schedule A (Form 1040). H&r block 1040ez Example 2. H&r block 1040ez Assume the same facts as in Example 1 , except that Taylor also had a distribution of $9,000 from QTP #2, giving him total distributions for 2013 of $10,000. H&r block 1040ez His total basis in these distributions was $4,500 ($3,000 for QTP #1 and $1,500 for QTP #2). H&r block 1040ez Taylor's adjusted qualified education expenses for 2013 totaled $6,000. H&r block 1040ez In order to figure his taxable earnings, Taylor combines the two accounts and determines his taxable earnings as follows. H&r block 1040ez   1. H&r block 1040ez $10,000 (total distribution)−$4,500 (basis portion of distribution)     = $5,500 (earnings included in distribution)   2. H&r block 1040ez $5,500 (earnings) x $6,000 AQEE  $10,000 distribution           =$3,300 (tax-free earnings)     3. H&r block 1040ez $5,500 (earnings)−$3,300 (tax-free earnings)     =$2,200 (taxable earnings)                 Taylor must include $2,200 in income on Form 1040, line 21. H&r block 1040ez Because Taylor's accounts must be combined, he cannot deduct his $2,000 loss (QTP #1) on Schedule A (Form 1040). H&r block 1040ez Instead, the $2,000 loss reduces the total earnings that were distributed, thereby reducing his taxable earnings. H&r block 1040ez Additional Tax on Taxable Distributions Generally, if you receive a taxable distribution, you also must pay a 10% additional tax on the amount included in income. H&r block 1040ez Exceptions. H&r block 1040ez   The 10% additional tax does not apply to distributions: Paid to a beneficiary (or to the estate of the designated beneficiary) on or after the death of the designated beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez Made because the designated beneficiary is disabled. H&r block 1040ez A person is considered to be disabled if he or she shows proof that he or she cannot do any substantial gainful activity because of his or her physical or mental condition. H&r block 1040ez A physician must determine that his or her condition can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration. H&r block 1040ez Included in income because the designated beneficiary received: A tax-free scholarship or fellowship (see Tax-Free Scholarships and Fellowships in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Veterans' educational assistance (see Veterans' Benefits in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Employer-provided educational assistance (see chapter 11, Employer-Provided Educational Assistance ), or Any other nontaxable (tax-free) payments (other than gifts or inheritances) received as educational assistance. H&r block 1040ez Made on account of the attendance of the designated beneficiary at a U. H&r block 1040ez S. H&r block 1040ez military academy (such as the USNA at Annapolis). H&r block 1040ez This exception applies only to the extent that the amount of the distribution does not exceed the costs of advanced education (as defined in section 2005(d)(3) of title 10 of the U. H&r block 1040ez S. H&r block 1040ez Code) attributable to such attendance. H&r block 1040ez Included in income only because the qualified education expenses were taken into account in determining the American opportunity or lifetime learning credit (see Coordination With American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits , earlier. H&r block 1040ez ) Exception (3) applies only to the extent the distribution is not more than the scholarship, allowance, or payment. H&r block 1040ez Figuring the additional tax. H&r block 1040ez    Use Part II of Form 5329, to figure any additional tax. H&r block 1040ez Report the amount on Form 1040, line 58, or Form 1040NR, line 56. H&r block 1040ez Rollovers and Other Transfers Assets can be rolled over or transferred from one QTP to another. H&r block 1040ez In addition, the designated beneficiary can be changed without transferring accounts. H&r block 1040ez Rollovers Any amount distributed from a QTP is not taxable if it is rolled over to another QTP for the benefit of the same beneficiary or for the benefit of a member of the beneficiary's family (including the beneficiary's spouse). H&r block 1040ez An amount is rolled over if it is paid to another QTP within 60 days after the date of the distribution. H&r block 1040ez Do not report qualifying rollovers (those that meet the above criteria) anywhere on Form 1040 or 1040NR. H&r block 1040ez These are not taxable distributions. H&r block 1040ez Members of the beneficiary's family. H&r block 1040ez   For these purposes, the beneficiary's family includes the beneficiary's spouse and the following other relatives of the beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, adopted child, or a descendant of any of them. H&r block 1040ez Brother, sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. H&r block 1040ez Father or mother or ancestor of either. H&r block 1040ez Stepfather or stepmother. H&r block 1040ez Son or daughter of a brother or sister. H&r block 1040ez Brother or sister of father or mother. H&r block 1040ez Son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law. H&r block 1040ez The spouse of any individual listed above. H&r block 1040ez First cousin. H&r block 1040ez Example. H&r block 1040ez When Aaron graduated from college last year he had $5,000 left in his QTP. H&r block 1040ez He wanted to give this money to his younger brother, who was in junior high school. H&r block 1040ez In order to avoid paying tax on the distribution of the amount remaining in his account, Aaron contributed the same amount to his brother's QTP within 60 days of the distribution. H&r block 1040ez If the rollover is to another QTP for the same beneficiary, only one rollover is allowed within 12 months of a previous transfer to any QTP for that designated beneficiary. H&r block 1040ez Changing the Designated Beneficiary There are no income tax consequences if the designated beneficiary of an account is changed to a member of the beneficiary's family. H&r block 1040ez See Members of the beneficiary's family , earlier. H&r block 1040ez Example. H&r block 1040ez Assume the same situation as in the last example. H&r block 1040ez Instead of closing his QTP and paying the distribution into his brother's QTP, Aaron could have instructed the trustee of his account to simply change the name of the beneficiary on his account to that of his brother. H&r block 1040ez Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Should I itemize?

You should itemize deductions if your total deductions are more than the standard deduction amount. Also, if your standard deduction is zero, you should itemize any deductions you have if:

  • You are married and filing a separate return, and your spouse itemizes deductions,
  • You are filing a tax return for a short tax year because of a change in your annual accounting period, or
  • You are a nonresident or dual-status alien during the year. You are considered a dual-status alien if you were both a nonresident and resident alien during the year.

NOTE: If you are a nonresident alien who is married to a U.S. citizen or resident at the end of the year, you can choose to be treated as a U.S. resident. (See Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.) If you make this choice, you can take the standard deduction.

When to itemize

You may benefit from itemizing your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you:

  • Do not qualify for the standard deduction, or the amount you can claim is limited,
  • Had large uninsured medical and dental expenses during the year,
  • Paid interest and taxes on your home,
  • Had large unreimbursed employee business expenses or other miscellaneous deductions,
  • Had large uninsured casualty or theft losses,
  • Made large contributions to qualified charities, or
  • Have total itemized deductions that are more than the standard deduction to which you otherwise are entitled.

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Tax Tips

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 12-Nov-2013

The H&r Block 1040ez

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