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This application will help you determine if your pension or annuity payment from an employer sponsored retirement plan is taxable.  This application does not address Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

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The Free File Taxes

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