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2011 1040a

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2011 1040a

2011 1040a Publication 575 - Additional Material Table of Contents Worksheet A. 2011 1040a Simplified Method 1. 2011 1040a Enter the total pension or annuity payments received this year. 2011 1040a Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16a; Form 1040A, line 12a; or Form 1040NR, line 17a 1. 2011 1040a   2. 2011 1040a Enter your cost in the plan (contract) at the annuity starting date plus any death benefit exclusion. 2011 1040a * See Cost (Investment in the Contract) , earlier 2. 2011 1040a   Note: If your annuity starting date was before this year and you completed this worksheet last year, skip line 3 and enter the amount from line 4 of last year's worksheet on line 4 below (even if the amount of your pension or annuity has changed). 2011 1040a Otherwise, go to line 3. 2011 1040a   3. 2011 1040a Enter the appropriate number from Table 1 below. 2011 1040a But if your annuity starting date was after 1997 and the payments are for your life and that of your beneficiary, enter the appropriate number from Table 2 below. 2011 1040a 3. 2011 1040a   4. 2011 1040a Divide line 2 by the number on line 3 4. 2011 1040a   5. 2011 1040a Multiply line 4 by the number of months for which this year's payments were made. 2011 1040a If your annuity starting date was before 1987, enter this amount on line 8 below and skip lines 6, 7, 10, and 11. 2011 1040a Otherwise, go to line 6 5. 2011 1040a   6. 2011 1040a Enter any amounts previously recovered tax free in years after 1986. 2011 1040a This is the amount shown on line 10 of your worksheet for last year 6. 2011 1040a   7. 2011 1040a Subtract line 6 from line 2 7. 2011 1040a   8. 2011 1040a Enter the smaller of line 5 or line 7 8. 2011 1040a   9. 2011 1040a Taxable amount for year. 2011 1040a Subtract line 8 from line 1. 2011 1040a Enter the result, but not less than zero. 2011 1040a Also, add this amount to the total for Form 1040, line 16b; Form 1040A, line 12b; or Form 1040NR, line 17b. 2011 1040a  Note: If your Form 1099-R shows a larger taxable amount, use the amount figured on this line instead. 2011 1040a If you are a retired public safety officer, see Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers , earlier, before entering an amount on your tax return 9. 2011 1040a   10. 2011 1040a Was your annuity starting date before 1987? □ Yes. 2011 1040a STOP. 2011 1040a Do not complete the rest of this worksheet. 2011 1040a  □ No. 2011 1040a Add lines 6 and 8. 2011 1040a This is the amount you have recovered tax free through 2013. 2011 1040a You will need this number if you need to fill out this worksheet next year 10. 2011 1040a   11. 2011 1040a Balance of cost to be recovered. 2011 1040a Subtract line 10 from line 2. 2011 1040a If zero, you will not have to complete this worksheet next year. 2011 1040a The payments you receive next year will generally be fully taxable 11. 2011 1040a   * A death benefit exclusion (up to $5,000) applied to certain benefits received by employees who died before August 21, 1996. 2011 1040a Table 1 for Line 3 Above   IF the age at  annuity starting date was . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a         AND your annuity starting date was—     BEFORE November 19, 1996,  enter on line 3 . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a AFTER November 18, 1996,  enter on line 3 . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a   55 or under 300 360   56-60 260 310   61-65 240 260   66-70 170 210   71 or over 120 160 Table 2 for Line 3 Above   IF the combined ages at annuity starting date were . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a   THEN enter on line 3 . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a         110 or under   410         111-120   360         121-130   310         131-140   260         141 or over   210       Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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The 2011 1040a

2011 1040a Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. 2011 1040a Married persons. 2011 1040a Same-sex marriage. 2011 1040a Exception. 2011 1040a Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. 2011 1040a Amended instrument. 2011 1040a General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. 2011 1040a The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. 2011 1040a Marital status. 2011 1040a   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). 2011 1040a If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. 2011 1040a For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a Unmarried persons. 2011 1040a   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. 2011 1040a You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 2011 1040a You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. 2011 1040a Exception. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. 2011 1040a You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. 2011 1040a Married persons. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. 2011 1040a Same-sex marriage. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a For more details, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a Exception. 2011 1040a   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. 2011 1040a See Head of Household , later. 2011 1040a Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. 2011 1040a If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. 2011 1040a You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Nonresident alien. 2011 1040a   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a income tax. 2011 1040a These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a Tax Guide for Aliens. 2011 1040a Signing a joint return. 2011 1040a   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. 2011 1040a Joint and individual liability. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Divorced taxpayers. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Relief from joint liability. 2011 1040a   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. 2011 1040a You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 2011 1040a   There are three types of relief available. 2011 1040a Innocent spouse relief. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Equitable relief. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. 2011 1040a    Each kind of relief has different requirements. 2011 1040a You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 2011 1040a Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 2011 1040a You can also find information on our website at IRS. 2011 1040a gov. 2011 1040a Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. 2011 1040a   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. 2011 1040a Injured spouse. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Note. 2011 1040a If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). 2011 1040a For more information, see Publication 555. 2011 1040a    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. 2011 1040a Follow the instructions for the form. 2011 1040a   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. 2011 1040a When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. 2011 1040a An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. 2011 1040a For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. 2011 1040a Community or separate income. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. 2011 1040a Separate liability. 2011 1040a   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. 2011 1040a Itemized deductions. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Table 1. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. 2011 1040a See Community Property. 2011 1040a IF you paid . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a AND you . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 2011 1040a         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. 2011 1040a         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. 2011 1040a The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. 2011 1040a     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. 2011 1040a     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. 2011 1040a     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. 2011 1040a Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. 2011 1040a 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2011 1040a Dividing itemized deductions. 2011 1040a   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. 2011 1040a See Table 1, later. 2011 1040a Separate returns may give you a higher tax. 2011 1040a   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. 2011 1040a There is no joint liability. 2011 1040a But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. 2011 1040a This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. 2011 1040a Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. 2011 1040a Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2011 1040a You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. 2011 1040a You cannot take the earned income credit. 2011 1040a You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 2011 1040a Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2011 1040a See Itemized deductions , earlier. 2011 1040a Joint return after separate returns. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2011 1040a Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. 2011 1040a Separate returns after joint return. 2011 1040a   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. 2011 1040a Exception. 2011 1040a   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. 2011 1040a The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. 2011 1040a Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. 2011 1040a You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2011 1040a Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2011 1040a Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Requirements. 2011 1040a   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 2011 1040a You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. 2011 1040a You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2011 1040a A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 2011 1040a However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 2011 1040a See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. 2011 1040a Considered unmarried. 2011 1040a   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 2011 1040a You file a separate return. 2011 1040a A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2011 1040a You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 2011 1040a Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 2011 1040a Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 2011 1040a See Temporary absences , later. 2011 1040a Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 2011 1040a (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 2011 1040a ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. 2011 1040a    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. 2011 1040a See Publication 555 for more information. 2011 1040a Nonresident alien spouse. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2011 1040a You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. 2011 1040a Keeping up a home. 2011 1040a   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. 2011 1040a This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 2011 1040a This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. 2011 1040a Qualifying person. 2011 1040a    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. 2011 1040a Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 2011 1040a Table 2. 2011 1040a Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. 2011 1040a See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 2011 1040a IF the person is your . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a AND . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a THEN that person is . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. 2011 1040a     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 2011 1040a 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a     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. 2011 1040a     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a     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. 2011 1040a     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 2011 1040a 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. 2011 1040a Note. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. 2011 1040a 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. 2011 1040a See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. 2011 1040a 6 See Special rule for parent . 2011 1040a Special rule for parent. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Death or birth. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a Temporary absences. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 2011 1040a You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 2011 1040a Kidnapped child. 2011 1040a   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 2011 1040a You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 2011 1040a You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a More information. 2011 1040a   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 2011 1040a However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 2011 1040a There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. 2011 1040a If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. 2011 1040a These are called personal exemptions. 2011 1040a Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 2011 1040a Joint return. 2011 1040a   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 2011 1040a   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. 2011 1040a Separate return. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Alimony paid. 2011 1040a   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. 2011 1040a This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. 2011 1040a Divorced or separated spouse. 2011 1040a   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 2011 1040a This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 2011 1040a Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 2011 1040a You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 2011 1040a The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a For detailed information, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Table 3. 2011 1040a Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. 2011 1040a This table is only an overview of the rules. 2011 1040a For details, see Publication 501. 2011 1040a • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2011 1040a • 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. 2011 1040a • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a citizen, U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a resident alien, U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 2011 1040a 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 2011 1040a   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. 2011 1040a     2. 2011 1040a       3. 2011 1040a    4. 2011 1040a    5. 2011 1040a    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. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 2011 1040a 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 2011 1040a   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). 2011 1040a   1. 2011 1040a    2. 2011 1040a       3. 2011 1040a    4. 2011 1040a The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. 2011 1040a   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). 2011 1040a   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 2011 1040a 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. 2011 1040a 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 2011 1040a See Publication 501. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. 2011 1040a Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2011 1040a   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. 2011 1040a The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. 2011 1040a Either of the following applies. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a (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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. 2011 1040a Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. 2011 1040a   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. 2011 1040a The other parent is the noncustodial parent. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a   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). 2011 1040a Equal number of nights. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a December 31. 2011 1040a   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. 2011 1040a For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. 2011 1040a Emancipated child. 2011 1040a   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. 2011 1040a See Examples 5 and 6 . 2011 1040a Absences. 2011 1040a    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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Parent works at night. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. 2011 1040a Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. 2011 1040a You and your child’s other parent are divorced. 2011 1040a In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. 2011 1040a You are the custodial parent. 2011 1040a Example 2 – child is away at camp. 2011 1040a In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. 2011 1040a In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. 2011 1040a Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. 2011 1040a Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. 2011 1040a Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. 2011 1040a You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. 2011 1040a Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. 2011 1040a Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. 2011 1040a You become ill and are hospitalized. 2011 1040a The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. 2011 1040a Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. 2011 1040a Example 5 – child emancipated in May. 2011 1040a When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. 2011 1040a As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. 2011 1040a The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 2011 1040a Example 6 – child emancipated in August. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You are the custodial parent. 2011 1040a Written declaration. 2011 1040a    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. 2011 1040a The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. 2011 1040a The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. 2011 1040a The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. 2011 1040a The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. 2011 1040a   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. 2011 1040a The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). 2011 1040a The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. 2011 1040a The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. 2011 1040a Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. 2011 1040a The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. 2011 1040a The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. 2011 1040a The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. 2011 1040a For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. 2011 1040a    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. 2011 1040a Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Remarried parent. 2011 1040a   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. 2011 1040a Child support under pre-1985 agreement. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Example. 2011 1040a Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. 2011 1040a This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. 2011 1040a Parents who never married. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Alimony. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. 2011 1040a (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). 2011 1040a 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). 2011 1040a The exemption for the child. 2011 1040a The child tax credit. 2011 1040a Head of household filing status. 2011 1040a The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2011 1040a The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. 2011 1040a The earned income credit. 2011 1040a The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. 2011 1040a In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. 2011 1040a The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. 2011 1040a Tiebreaker rules. 2011 1040a   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. 2011 1040a If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Example 1—separated parents. 2011 1040a You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. 2011 1040a In August and September, your son lived with you. 2011 1040a For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a You and your husband will file separate returns. 2011 1040a Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Example 2—separated parents claim same child. 2011 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. 2011 1040a In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. 2011 1040a This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Example 1. 2011 1040a You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2011 1040a Your AGI is $10,000. 2011 1040a Your mother's AGI is $25,000. 2011 1040a Your son's father does not live with you or your son. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. 2011 1040a ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2011 1040a ) Example 2. 2011 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. 2011 1040a Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. 2011 1040a Example 3. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. 2011 1040a It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. 2011 1040a Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. 2011 1040a There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Spouse or former spouse. 2011 1040a   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. 2011 1040a Divorce or separation instrument. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a 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). 2011 1040a Invalid decree. 2011 1040a   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. 2011 1040a A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. 2011 1040a Amended instrument. 2011 1040a   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. 2011 1040a Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Example 1. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2011 1040a Example 2. 2011 1040a Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2011 1040a Deducting alimony paid. 2011 1040a   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. 2011 1040a You must file Form 1040. 2011 1040a You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. 2011 1040a Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. 2011 1040a In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 2011 1040a If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. 2011 1040a Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. 2011 1040a Enter your total payments on line 31a. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Reporting alimony received. 2011 1040a   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. 2011 1040a You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. 2011 1040a    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. 2011 1040a If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. 2011 1040a Withholding on nonresident aliens. 2011 1040a   If you are a U. 2011 1040a S. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. 2011 1040a For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. 2011 1040a General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. 2011 1040a Payments not alimony. 2011 1040a   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Example. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. 2011 1040a Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. 2011 1040a If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. 2011 1040a Your spouse must report them as income. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. 2011 1040a If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2011 1040a For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2011 1040a Child support. 2011 1040a   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. 2011 1040a If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2011 1040a irs. 2011 1040a gov/formspubs. 2011 1040a Underpayment. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Example. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. 2011 1040a You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. 2011 1040a Payments to a third party. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. 2011 1040a ), taxes, tuition, etc. 2011 1040a The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. 2011 1040a Example 1. 2011 1040a Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. 2011 1040a If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. 2011 1040a Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. 2011 1040a Example 2. 2011 1040a Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. 2011 1040a If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2011 1040a If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2011 1040a Life insurance premiums. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Payments for jointly-owned home. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a See Table 4. 2011 1040a   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. 2011 1040a If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2011 1040a Table 4. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a IF you must pay all of the . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a AND your home is . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a . 2011 1040a   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). 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a     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. 2011 1040a 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. 2011 1040a  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. 2011 1040a Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. 2011 1040a Exception for instruments executed before 1985. 2011 1040a   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. 2011 1040a A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2011 1040a irs. 2011 1040a gov/formspubs. 2011 1040a Example 1. 2011 1040a In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. 2011 1040a In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. 2011 1040a The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. 2011 1040a The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. 2011 1040a Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2011 1040a Example 2. 2011 1040a The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. 2011 1040a In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. 2011 1040a The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a The payment is in cash. 2011 1040a The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. 2011 1040a The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. 2011 1040a This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 2011 1040a There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. 2011 1040a The payment is not treated as child support. 2011 1040a Each of these requirements is discussed next. 2011 1040a Cash payment requirement. 2011 1040a   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. 2011 1040a The following do not qualify as alimony. 2011 1040a Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). 2011 1040a Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. 2011 1040a The use of the payer's property. 2011 1040a Payments to a third party. 2011 1040a   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. 2011 1040a See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. 2011 1040a The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. 2011 1040a You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. 2011 1040a Payments designated as not alimony. 2011 1040a   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. 2011 1040a 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. 2011 1040a 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). 2011 1040a If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. 2011 1040a Spouses cannot be members of the same household. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Exception. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. 2011 1040a   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. 2011 1040a If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. 2011 1040a   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the