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1040 Easy Form

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1040 Easy Form

1040 easy form Publication 554 - Additional Material Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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  • BBB Warns of an Email Phishing Scam
    The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new email scam designed to steal your money. Be on the lookout for an email claiming to be from someone you know who is stuck in another country. They are asking you to give them a loan to pay for their hotel bills and airfare home and request that you respond via email.
  • Beware of Osama Bin Laden Email Phishing Schemes
    The death of Osama bin Laden has garnered attention and interest around the world. Unfortunately, major news events like this one often bring a wave of phishing scams designed to collect your personal or financial information without your knowledge. Phishing scammers use email or malicious websites to solicit information by posing as a trustworthy source. For example, a scam may send an email that looks like it's from a reputable news organization with links to photos or video when, in fact, it takes you to a malicious website or downloads harmful viruses onto your computer.
  • Don't Open Bogus Email that Claims to Come From the FTC
    A bogus email is circulating that says it is from the Federal Trade Commission, referencing a 'complaint' filed with the FTC against the email's recipient. The email includes links and an attachment that download a virus. As with any suspicious email, the FTC warns recipients not to click on links within the email and not to open any attachments.
  • E-mail Claiming to Be From the FDIC
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of a fraudulent e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The subject line of the e- mail states: 'check your Bank Deposit Insurance Coverage.' The e-mail tells recipients that, 'You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account. Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets.'
  • E-mails Containing Threats and Extortion
    The Internet Crime Complaint Center has recently received information concerning spam e-mails from 1wayout@myway.com threatening to assassinate the recipient unless the recipient pays several thousand dollars to the sender of the email. The subject claims to have been following the victim for some time and was supposedly hired to kill the victim by a friend of the victim. The subject threatens to carry out the assassination if the victim goes to the police and requests the victim to respond quickly and provide their telephone number.
  • FTC Warns Consumers About Bogus E-Mail That Claims to Be From Agency
    Consumers, including corporate and banking executives, appear to be targets of a bogus e-mail supposedly sent by the Federal Trade Commission but actually sent by third parties hoping to install spyware on computers. The bogus e-mail poses as an acknowledgment of a complaint filed by the recipient, and includes an attachment. Consumers who open the attachment to this e-mail unleash malicious spyware onto their computer.
  • Gmail Phishing Attack
    US-CERT is aware of public reports of a phishing attack that specifically targets US government and military officials' Gmail accounts. The attack arrives via an email sent from a spoofed address of an individual or agency known to the targeted user. The email contains a "view download" link that leads to a fake Gmail login page. The login information is then sent to an attacker.
  • Mass Marketing Fraud
    A few decades ago, mass marketing fraud - the kind that exploits mass communication techniques like bulk mail or telemarketing - was relatively low-tech and mostly a regional crime problem targeting victims nearby. These days, it's a different story. Thanks to the Internet, criminals and crime groups can also target victims halfway around the world, blasting out spam e-mails by the millions and setting up phony but realistic websites to lure people in.
  • Sham Site Is a Scam: There Is No "National Do Not E-mail Registry"
    Have you submitted your e-mail address to a "National Do Not E-mail Registry" that promises to reduce the amount of spam (unsolicited e-mail) you receive? If so, you are the victim of a scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The web site at "unsub.us" mimics the language, look, and navigation of the Web site for the National Do Not Call Registry, a legitimate free service of the federal government. The "unsub.us" site is not run or authorized by the FTC and is concerned that the "unsub.us" site could be part of a high-tech scam that uses a deceptive Web site to trick consumers into disclosing their e-mail address or other sensitive personal information.
  • Spammers Continue to Abuse the Names of Top Government Executives by Misusing the Name of the United States Attorney General
    As with previous spam attacks, which have included the names of high- ranking FBI executives and names of various government agencies, a new version misuses the name of the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder. The current spam alleges that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were informed the e-mail recipient is allegedly involved in money laundering and terrorist-related activities. To avoid legal prosecution, the recipient must obtain a certificate from the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman at a cost of $370.

The 1040 Easy Form

1040 easy form Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. 1040 easy form Married persons. 1040 easy form Same-sex marriage. 1040 easy form Exception. 1040 easy form Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. 1040 easy form Amended instrument. 1040 easy form General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. 1040 easy form Individual Retirement Arrangements Property SettlementsTransfer Between Spouses Gift Tax on Property Settlements Sale of Jointly-Owned Property Costs of Getting a Divorce Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Community PropertyCommunity Income Alimony (Community Income) How To Get Tax Help Filing Status Your filing status is used in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and the correct tax. 1040 easy form It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. 1040 easy form The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. 1040 easy form Marital status. 1040 easy form   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). 1040 easy form If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. 1040 easy form For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form Unmarried persons. 1040 easy form   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. 1040 easy form You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 1040 easy form You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. 1040 easy form Exception. 1040 easy form If you and your spouse obtain a divorce in one year for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to remarry each other and do so in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals. 1040 easy form You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. 1040 easy form You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. 1040 easy form The statute of limitations generally does not end until 3 years (including extensions) after the date you file your original return or within 2 years after the date you pay the tax. 1040 easy form On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. 1040 easy form Married persons. 1040 easy form   You are married for the whole year if you are separated but you have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 1040 easy form An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. 1040 easy form Same-sex marriage. 1040 easy form   For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. 1040 easy form The term "spouse" includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. 1040 easy form However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes. 1040 easy form For more details, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form Exception. 1040 easy form   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. 1040 easy form See Head of Household , later. 1040 easy form Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. 1040 easy form If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. 1040 easy form You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 1040 easy form If both you and your spouse have income, you should usually figure your tax on both a joint return and separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately) to see which gives the two of you the lower combined tax. 1040 easy form Nonresident alien. 1040 easy form   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. 1040 easy form If either of you was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, you can file a joint return only if you agree to treat the nonresident spouse as a resident of the United States. 1040 easy form This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form income tax. 1040 easy form These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form Tax Guide for Aliens. 1040 easy form Signing a joint return. 1040 easy form   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. 1040 easy form Joint and individual liability. 1040 easy form   Both you and your spouse may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. 1040 easy form This means that one spouse may be held liable for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. 1040 easy form Divorced taxpayers. 1040 easy form   If you are divorced, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return for a tax year ending before your divorce. 1040 easy form This responsibility applies even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. 1040 easy form Relief from joint liability. 1040 easy form   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. 1040 easy form You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 1040 easy form   There are three types of relief available. 1040 easy form Innocent spouse relief. 1040 easy form Separation of liability, which applies to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date election of this relief is filed. 1040 easy form Equitable relief. 1040 easy form   Married persons who live in community property states, but who did not file joint returns, may also qualify for relief from liability arising from community property law or for equitable relief. 1040 easy form See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. 1040 easy form    Each kind of relief has different requirements. 1040 easy form You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 1040 easy form Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 1040 easy form You can also find information on our website at IRS. 1040 easy form gov. 1040 easy form Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. 1040 easy form   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. 1040 easy form This includes your spouse's federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support payments, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan. 1040 easy form You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. 1040 easy form Injured spouse. 1040 easy form   You are an injured spouse if you file a joint return and all or part of your share of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied against your spouse's past-due debts. 1040 easy form An injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount. 1040 easy form   To be considered an injured spouse, you must: Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments), or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or additional child tax credit on the joint return, and Not be legally obligated to pay the past-due amount. 1040 easy form Note. 1040 easy form If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). 1040 easy form For more information, see Publication 555. 1040 easy form    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. 1040 easy form If you live in a community property state in which all community property is subject to the debts of either spouse, your entire refund is generally used to pay those debts. 1040 easy form   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. 1040 easy form Follow the instructions for the form. 1040 easy form   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. 1040 easy form You should receive your refund within 14 weeks from the date the paper return is filed or within 11 weeks from the date the return is filed electronically. 1040 easy form   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. 1040 easy form When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. 1040 easy form Do not attach the previously filed tax return, but do include copies of all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, for both spouses and any Forms 1099 that show income tax withheld. 1040 easy form    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. 1040 easy form An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. 1040 easy form An innocent spouse uses Form 8857 to request relief from joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse (or former spouse) that were incorrectly reported on or omitted from the joint return. 1040 easy form For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. 1040 easy form Married Filing Separately If you and your spouse file separate returns, you should each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on your individual return. 1040 easy form You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. 1040 easy form For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. 1040 easy form Community or separate income. 1040 easy form   If you live in a community property state and file a separate return, your income may be separate income or community income for income tax purposes. 1040 easy form For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. 1040 easy form Separate liability. 1040 easy form   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. 1040 easy form Itemized deductions. 1040 easy form   If you and your spouse file separate returns and one of you itemizes deductions, the other spouse cannot use the standard deduction and should also itemize deductions. 1040 easy form Table 1. 1040 easy form Itemized Deductions on Separate Returns This table shows itemized deductions you can claim on your married filing separate return whether you paid the expenses separately with your own funds or jointly with your spouse. 1040 easy form  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. 1040 easy form See Community Property. 1040 easy form IF you paid . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form AND you . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form   medical expenses   paid with funds deposited in a joint checking account in which you and your spouse have an equal interest     half of the total medical expenses, subject to certain limits, unless you can show that you alone paid the expenses. 1040 easy form     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 1040 easy form         file a joint state income tax return and you and your spouse are jointly and individually liable for the full amount of the state income tax     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 1040 easy form         file a joint state income tax return and you  are liable for only your own share of state  income tax     the smaller of: the state income tax you alone paid during the year, or the total state income tax you and your spouse paid during the year multiplied by the following fraction. 1040 easy form The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. 1040 easy form     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. 1040 easy form     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. 1040 easy form     casualty loss   have a casualty loss on a home you own  as tenants by the entirety     half of the loss, subject to the deduction limits. 1040 easy form Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. 1040 easy form 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 1040 easy form Dividing itemized deductions. 1040 easy form   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. 1040 easy form See Table 1, later. 1040 easy form Separate returns may give you a higher tax. 1040 easy form   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. 1040 easy form There is no joint liability. 1040 easy form But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. 1040 easy form This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. 1040 easy form Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. 1040 easy form Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. 1040 easy form You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. 1040 easy form You cannot take the earned income credit. 1040 easy form You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 1040 easy form You cannot take the credit for higher education expenses (American opportunity and lifetime learning credits), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. 1040 easy form You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 1040 easy form If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You will have to include in income more (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. 1040 easy form Your income limits that reduce the child tax credit, the retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are half of the limits for a joint return filer. 1040 easy form Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 1040 easy form Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. 1040 easy form See Itemized deductions , earlier. 1040 easy form Joint return after separate returns. 1040 easy form   If either you or your spouse (or both of you) file a separate return, you generally can change to a joint return within 3 years from the due date (not including extensions) of the separate return or returns. 1040 easy form This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 1040 easy form Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. 1040 easy form Separate returns after joint return. 1040 easy form   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. 1040 easy form Exception. 1040 easy form   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. 1040 easy form The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. 1040 easy form Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. 1040 easy form You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 1040 easy form Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 1040 easy form Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 1040 easy form You may be able to claim certain credits (such as the dependent care credit and the earned income credit) you cannot claim if your filing status is married filing separately. 1040 easy form Income limits that reduce your child tax credit, retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are higher than the income limits if you claim a filing status of married filing separately. 1040 easy form Requirements. 1040 easy form   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 1040 easy form You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. 1040 easy form You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 1040 easy form A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 1040 easy form However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 1040 easy form See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. 1040 easy form Considered unmarried. 1040 easy form   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 1040 easy form You file a separate return. 1040 easy form A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 1040 easy form You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 1040 easy form Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 1040 easy form Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 1040 easy form See Temporary absences , later. 1040 easy form Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 1040 easy form (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 1040 easy form ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 1040 easy form However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rule described later in Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Exemptions for Dependents. 1040 easy form The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. 1040 easy form    If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (one of the states listed later under Community Property), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. 1040 easy form See Publication 555 for more information. 1040 easy form Nonresident alien spouse. 1040 easy form   If your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, and you have not chosen to treat your spouse as a resident alien, you are considered unmarried for head of household purposes. 1040 easy form However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 1040 easy form You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. 1040 easy form Keeping up a home. 1040 easy form   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. 1040 easy form This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 1040 easy form This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. 1040 easy form Qualifying person. 1040 easy form    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. 1040 easy form Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 1040 easy form Table 2. 1040 easy form Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. 1040 easy form See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 1040 easy form IF the person is your . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form AND . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form THEN that person is . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form   qualifying child (such as a son, daughter, or grandchild who lived with you more than half the year and meets certain other tests)2 he or she is single a qualifying person, whether or not you can claim an exemption for the person. 1040 easy form     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. 1040 easy form     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 1040 easy form 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form     qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests) he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 1040 easy form     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form     he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 1040 easy form 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. 1040 easy form Note. 1040 easy form If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Exemptions for Dependents, later. 1040 easy form If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child is generally your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. 1040 easy form 3 This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. 1040 easy form 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. 1040 easy form 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. 1040 easy form See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. 1040 easy form 6 See Special rule for parent . 1040 easy form Special rule for parent. 1040 easy form   If your qualifying person is your father or mother, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if your father or mother does not live with you. 1040 easy form However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 1040 easy form Also, you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for the entire year for your father or mother. 1040 easy form You are keeping up a main home for your father or mother if you pay more than half the cost of keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly. 1040 easy form Death or birth. 1040 easy form   If the person for whom you kept up a home was born or died in 2013, you still may be able to file as head of household. 1040 easy form If the person is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. 1040 easy form If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form Temporary absences. 1040 easy form   You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. 1040 easy form It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 1040 easy form You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 1040 easy form Kidnapped child. 1040 easy form   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 1040 easy form You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 1040 easy form The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. 1040 easy form In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 1040 easy form You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 1040 easy form   This treatment applies for all years until the earlier of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. 1040 easy form More information. 1040 easy form   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 1040 easy form However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 1040 easy form There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. 1040 easy form If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim his or her personal exemption on his or her own tax return. 1040 easy form Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. 1040 easy form If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. 1040 easy form These are called personal exemptions. 1040 easy form Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 1040 easy form Joint return. 1040 easy form   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 1040 easy form   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. 1040 easy form Separate return. 1040 easy form   If you file a separate return, you can take an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. 1040 easy form If your spouse is the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim an exemption for your spouse even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse's exemption. 1040 easy form Alimony paid. 1040 easy form   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. 1040 easy form This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. 1040 easy form Divorced or separated spouse. 1040 easy form   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 1040 easy form This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 1040 easy form Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 1040 easy form You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 1040 easy form The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 1040 easy form Table 3 shows the tests that must be met to be either a qualifying child or qualifying relative, plus the additional requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent. 1040 easy form For detailed information, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 1040 easy form If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own exemption on his or her own tax return. 1040 easy form This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 1040 easy form It is also true if the decedent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. 1040 easy form Table 3. 1040 easy form Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. 1040 easy form This table is only an overview of the rules. 1040 easy form For details, see Publication 501. 1040 easy form • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 1040 easy form • You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is only a claim for refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns. 1040 easy form • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form citizen, U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form resident alien, U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 1040 easy form 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 1040 easy form   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. 1040 easy form     2. 1040 easy form       3. 1040 easy form    4. 1040 easy form    5. 1040 easy form    The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. 1040 easy form   The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled. 1040 easy form   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 1040 easy form 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 1040 easy form   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). 1040 easy form   1. 1040 easy form    2. 1040 easy form       3. 1040 easy form    4. 1040 easy form The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. 1040 easy form   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household 2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). 1040 easy form   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 1040 easy form 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 1040 easy form 4 If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form See Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person , later, to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. 1040 easy form 2 Exceptions exist for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 1040 easy form 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. 1040 easy form 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 1040 easy form See Publication 501. 1040 easy form You may be entitled to a child tax credit for each qualifying child who was under age 17 at the end of the year if you claimed an exemption for that child. 1040 easy form For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. 1040 easy form Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. 1040 easy form However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. 1040 easy form Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 1040 easy form   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. 1040 easy form The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married. 1040 easy form The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. 1040 easy form The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. 1040 easy form Either of the following applies. 1040 easy form The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. 1040 easy form (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984, see Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009 , later. 1040 easy form A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during 2013. 1040 easy form See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. 1040 easy form Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. 1040 easy form   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. 1040 easy form The other parent is the noncustodial parent. 1040 easy form   If the parents divorced or separated during the year and the child lived with both parents before the separation, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the rest of the year. 1040 easy form   A child is treated as living with a parent for a night if the child sleeps: At that parent's home, whether or not the parent is present, or In the company of the parent, when the child does not sleep at a parent's home (for example, the parent and child are on vacation together). 1040 easy form Equal number of nights. 1040 easy form   If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. 1040 easy form December 31. 1040 easy form   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. 1040 easy form For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. 1040 easy form Emancipated child. 1040 easy form   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. 1040 easy form See Examples 5 and 6 . 1040 easy form Absences. 1040 easy form    If a child was not with either parent on a particular night (because, for example, the child was staying at a friend's house), the child is treated as living with the parent with whom the child normally would have lived for that night, except for the absence. 1040 easy form But if it cannot be determined with which parent the child normally would have lived or if the child would not have lived with either parent that night, the child is treated as not living with either parent that night. 1040 easy form Parent works at night. 1040 easy form   If, due to a parent's nighttime work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days but not nights with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. 1040 easy form On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. 1040 easy form Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. 1040 easy form You and your child’s other parent are divorced. 1040 easy form In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. 1040 easy form You are the custodial parent. 1040 easy form Example 2 – child is away at camp. 1040 easy form In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. 1040 easy form In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. 1040 easy form During the time she is at camp, she is treated as living with you for 3 weeks and with her other parent, your ex-spouse, for 3 weeks because this is how long she would have lived with each parent if she had not attended summer camp. 1040 easy form Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. 1040 easy form Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. 1040 easy form Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. 1040 easy form Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. 1040 easy form You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. 1040 easy form Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. 1040 easy form Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. 1040 easy form You become ill and are hospitalized. 1040 easy form The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. 1040 easy form Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. 1040 easy form Example 5 – child emancipated in May. 1040 easy form When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. 1040 easy form As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. 1040 easy form The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 1040 easy form Example 6 – child emancipated in August. 1040 easy form Your daughter lives with you from January 1, 2013, until May 31, 2013, and lives with her other parent, your ex-spouse, from June 1, 2013, through the end of the year. 1040 easy form She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. 1040 easy form Because she is treated as not living with either parent beginning on August 1, she is treated as living with you the greater number of nights in 2013. 1040 easy form You are the custodial parent. 1040 easy form Written declaration. 1040 easy form    The custodial parent must use either Form 8332 or a similar statement (containing the same information required by the form) to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. 1040 easy form The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. 1040 easy form   The exemption can be released for 1 year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. 1040 easy form Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. 1040 easy form   If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. 1040 easy form To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. 1040 easy form The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. 1040 easy form The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. 1040 easy form The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. 1040 easy form   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. 1040 easy form The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). 1040 easy form The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. 1040 easy form The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. 1040 easy form Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. 1040 easy form   If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, a noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child cannot attach pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332. 1040 easy form The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. 1040 easy form The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. 1040 easy form The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. 1040 easy form The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. 1040 easy form For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. 1040 easy form    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. 1040 easy form Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. 1040 easy form   The custodial parent can revoke a release of claim to exemption that he or she previously released to the noncustodial parent on Form 8332 or a similar statement. 1040 easy form In order for the revocation to be effective for 2013, the custodial parent must have given (or made reasonable efforts to give) written notice of the revocation to the noncustodial parent in 2012 or earlier. 1040 easy form The custodial parent can use Part III of Form 8332 for this purpose and must attach a copy of the revocation to his or her return for each tax year he or she claims the child as a dependent as a result of the revocation. 1040 easy form Remarried parent. 1040 easy form   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. 1040 easy form Child support under pre-1985 agreement. 1040 easy form   All child support payments actually received from the noncustodial parent under a pre-1985 agreement are considered used for the support of the child, even if such amounts are not actually spent for child support. 1040 easy form Example. 1040 easy form Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. 1040 easy form This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. 1040 easy form Parents who never married. 1040 easy form   The special rule for divorced or separated parents also applies to parents who never married and lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. 1040 easy form Alimony. 1040 easy form   Payments to your spouse that are includible in his or her gross income as either alimony, separate maintenance payments, or similar payments from an estate or trust, are not treated as a payment for the support of a dependent. 1040 easy form Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person If your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else, this special rule does not apply to you and you do not need to read about it. 1040 easy form This is also true if your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else except your spouse with whom you file a joint return. 1040 easy form If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), earlier, see Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), later. 1040 easy form Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. 1040 easy form (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). 1040 easy form Although the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). 1040 easy form The exemption for the child. 1040 easy form The child tax credit. 1040 easy form Head of household filing status. 1040 easy form The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 1040 easy form The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. 1040 easy form The earned income credit. 1040 easy form The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. 1040 easy form In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. 1040 easy form The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. 1040 easy form Tiebreaker rules. 1040 easy form   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. 1040 easy form If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. 1040 easy form If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. 1040 easy form If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. 1040 easy form If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year. 1040 easy form If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. 1040 easy form If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' total AGI evenly between them; see Publication 501 for details. 1040 easy form   Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form Example 1—separated parents. 1040 easy form You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. 1040 easy form In August and September, your son lived with you. 1040 easy form For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. 1040 easy form Your son is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because your son lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, support, and joint return tests for both of you. 1040 easy form At the end of the year, you and your husband still were not divorced, legally separated, or separated under a written separation agreement, so the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 1040 easy form You and your husband will file separate returns. 1040 easy form Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form This means, if your husband does not claim your son as a qualifying child, you can claim your son as a dependent and treat him as a qualifying child for the child tax credit and exclusion for dependent care benefits, if you qualify for each of those tax benefits. 1040 easy form However, you cannot claim head of household filing status because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year. 1040 easy form And, as a result of your filing status being married filing separately, you cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. 1040 easy form Example 2—separated parents claim same child. 1040 easy form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. 1040 easy form If you claimed an exemption, the child tax credit, or the exclusion for dependent care benefits for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to all these tax benefits, unless you have another qualifying child. 1040 easy form In addition, because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year, your husband cannot claim head of household filing status. 1040 easy form And, as a result of his filing status being married filing separately, he cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. 1040 easy form Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 1040 easy form   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described earlier, only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. 1040 easy form However, the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. 1040 easy form Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. 1040 easy form If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for those tax benefits, the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. 1040 easy form Example 1. 1040 easy form You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 1040 easy form Your AGI is $10,000. 1040 easy form Your mother's AGI is $25,000. 1040 easy form Your son's father does not live with you or your son. 1040 easy form Under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), your son is treated as the qualifying child of his father, who can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child if he meets all the requirements to do so. 1040 easy form Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. 1040 easy form However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit. 1040 easy form You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits, but the boy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother for head of household filing status and the earned income credit because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. 1040 easy form (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. 1040 easy form ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. 1040 easy form This means she can claim him for head of household filing status and the earned income credit if she qualifies for each and if you do not claim him as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 1040 easy form (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 1040 easy form ) Example 2. 1040 easy form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. 1040 easy form Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. 1040 easy form Example 3. 1040 easy form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 1040 easy form Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. 1040 easy form You, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. 1040 easy form The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the earned income credit and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. 1040 easy form Phaseout of Exemptions The amount you can claim as a deduction for exemptions is reduced once your adjusted gross income (AGI) goes above a certain level for your filing status. 1040 easy form These levels are as follows:    Filing Status AGI Level That Reduces Exemption Amount Married filing separately $150,000 Single 250,000 Head of household 275,000 Married filing jointly 300,000 Qualifying widow(er) 300,000 You must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions by 2% for each $2,500, or part of $2,500 ($1,250 if you are married filing separately), that your AGI exceeds the amount shown above for your filing status. 1040 easy form If your AGI exceeds the amount shown above by more than $122,500 ($61,250 if married filing separately), the amount of your deduction for exemptions is reduced to zero. 1040 easy form If your AGI exceeds the level for your filing status, use the Deduction for Exemptions Worksheet found in the instructions for Form 1040 or Form 1040NR to figure the amount of your deduction for exemptions. 1040 easy form Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. 1040 easy form It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. 1040 easy form Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. 1040 easy form Although this discussion is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. 1040 easy form To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. 1040 easy form There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. 1040 easy form The general requirements that apply to payments regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed and the specific requirements that apply to post-1984 instruments (and, in certain cases, some pre-1985 instruments) are discussed in this publication. 1040 easy form See, Instruments Executed Before 1985 , later, if you are looking for information on where to find the specific requirements that apply to pre-1985 instruments. 1040 easy form Spouse or former spouse. 1040 easy form   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. 1040 easy form Divorce or separation instrument. 1040 easy form   The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. 1040 easy form This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement). 1040 easy form Invalid decree. 1040 easy form   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. 1040 easy form A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. 1040 easy form Amended instrument. 1040 easy form   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. 1040 easy form Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. 1040 easy form However, a retroactive amendment to a divorce decree correcting a clerical error to reflect the original intent of the court will generally be effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 1040 easy form Example 1. 1040 easy form A court order retroactively corrected a mathematical error under your divorce decree to express the original intent to spread the payments over more than 10 years. 1040 easy form This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 1040 easy form Example 2. 1040 easy form Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. 1040 easy form To reflect the true intention of the court, a court order retroactively corrected the error by designating a part of the payment as child support. 1040 easy form The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 1040 easy form Deducting alimony paid. 1040 easy form   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. 1040 easy form You must file Form 1040. 1040 easy form You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. 1040 easy form Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. 1040 easy form In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 1040 easy form If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. 1040 easy form Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. 1040 easy form Enter your total payments on line 31a. 1040 easy form If you do not provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. 1040 easy form Reporting alimony received. 1040 easy form   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. 1040 easy form You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. 1040 easy form    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. 1040 easy form If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. 1040 easy form Withholding on nonresident aliens. 1040 easy form   If you are a U. 1040 easy form S. 1040 easy form citizen or resident alien and you pay alimony to a nonresident alien spouse, you may have to withhold income tax at a rate of 30% on each payment. 1040 easy form However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. 1040 easy form For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. 1040 easy form General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. 1040 easy form Payments not alimony. 1040 easy form   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. 1040 easy form Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained later under Community Property , Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. 1040 easy form Example. 1040 easy form Under your written separation agreement, your spouse lives rent-free in a home you own and you must pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and utilities for the home. 1040 easy form Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. 1040 easy form Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. 1040 easy form If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. 1040 easy form Your spouse must report them as income. 1040 easy form If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, you can also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring your deductible interest. 1040 easy form However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. 1040 easy form If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 1040 easy form For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 1040 easy form Child support. 1040 easy form   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. 1040 easy form If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 1040 easy form irs. 1040 easy form gov/formspubs. 1040 easy form Underpayment. 1040 easy form   If both alimony and child support payments are called for by your divorce or separation instrument, and you pay less than the total required, the payments apply first to child support and then to alimony. 1040 easy form Example. 1040 easy form Your divorce decree calls for you to pay your former spouse $200 a month ($2,400 ($200 x 12) a year) as child support and $150 a month ($1,800 ($150 x 12) a year) as alimony. 1040 easy form If you pay the full amount of $4,200 ($2,400 + $1,800) during the year, you can deduct $1,800 as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,800 as alimony received. 1040 easy form If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. 1040 easy form You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. 1040 easy form Payments to a third party. 1040 easy form   Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. 1040 easy form These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. 1040 easy form ), taxes, tuition, etc. 1040 easy form The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. 1040 easy form Example 1. 1040 easy form Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. 1040 easy form If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. 1040 easy form Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. 1040 easy form Example 2. 1040 easy form Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. 1040 easy form If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. 1040 easy form If itemizing deductions, your spouse can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. 1040 easy form However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 1040 easy form If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 1040 easy form Life insurance premiums. 1040 easy form   Alimony includes premiums you must pay under your divorce or separation instrument for insurance on your life to the extent your spouse owns the policy. 1040 easy form Payments for jointly-owned home. 1040 easy form   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse or former spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. 1040 easy form See Table 4. 1040 easy form   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. 1040 easy form If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 1040 easy form Table 4. 1040 easy form Expenses for a Jointly-Owned Home Use the table below to find how much of your payment is alimony and how much you can claim as an itemized deduction. 1040 easy form IF you must pay all of the . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form AND your home is . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form . 1040 easy form   mortgage payments (principal and interest) jointly owned half of the total payments half of the interest as interest expense (if the home is a qualified home). 1040 easy form 1   real estate taxes and home insurance held as tenants in common half of the total payments half of the real estate taxes2 and none of the home insurance. 1040 easy form     held as tenants by the entirety or in joint tenancy none of the payments all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. 1040 easy form 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. 1040 easy form  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. 1040 easy form Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. 1040 easy form Exception for instruments executed before 1985. 1040 easy form   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. 1040 easy form A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. 1040 easy form A temporary divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and incorporated into, or adopted by, a final decree executed after 1984 that: Changes the amount or period of payment, or Adds or deletes any contingency or condition. 1040 easy form   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 1040 easy form irs. 1040 easy form gov/formspubs. 1040 easy form Example 1. 1040 easy form In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. 1040 easy form In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. 1040 easy form The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. 1040 easy form The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. 1040 easy form Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 1040 easy form Example 2. 1040 easy form The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. 1040 easy form In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. 1040 easy form The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 1040 easy form Alimony Requirements A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met. 1040 easy form The payment is in cash. 1040 easy form The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. 1040 easy form The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. 1040 easy form This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 1040 easy form There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. 1040 easy form The payment is not treated as child support. 1040 easy form Each of these requirements is discussed next. 1040 easy form Cash payment requirement. 1040 easy form   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. 1040 easy form The following do not qualify as alimony. 1040 easy form Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). 1040 easy form Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. 1040 easy form The use of the payer's property. 1040 easy form Payments to a third party. 1040 easy form   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. 1040 easy form See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. 1040 easy form   Also, cash payments made to a third party at the written request of your spouse may qualify as alimony if all the following requirements are met. 1040 easy form The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. 1040 easy form The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. 1040 easy form You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. 1040 easy form Payments designated as not alimony. 1040 easy form   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. 1040 easy form You do this by including a provision in your divorce or separation instrument that states the payments are not deductible as alimony by you and are excludable from your spouse's income. 1040 easy form For this purpose, any instrument (written statement) signed by both of you that makes this designation and that refers to a previous written separation agreement is treated as a written separation agreement (and therefore a divorce or separation instrument). 1040 easy form If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. 1040 easy form   Your spouse can exclude the payments from income only if he or she attaches a copy of the instrument designating them as not alimony to his or her return. 1040 easy form The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. 1040 easy form Spouses cannot be members of the same household. 1040 easy form   Payments to your spouse while you are members of the same household are not alimony if you are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 1040 easy form A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. 1040 easy form   You are not treated as members of the same household if one of you is preparing to leave the household and does leave no later than 1 month after the date of the payment. 1040 easy form Exception. 1040 easy form   If you are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, a payment under a written separation agreement, support decree, or other court order may qualify as alimony even if you are members of the same household when the payment is made. 1040 easy form Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. 1040 easy form   If any part of payments you make must continue to be made for any period after your spouse's death, that part of your payments is not alimony whether made before or after the death. 1040 easy form If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. 1040 easy form   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the