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Irstax Publication 970 - Additional Material Table of Contents AppendicesAppendix A. Irstax Illustrated Example of Education Credits Glossary Appendices The following appendices are provided to help you claim the education benefits that will give you the lowest tax. Irstax Appendix A—An illustrated example of education credits, including a filled-in Form 8863 showing how to claim both the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit for 2013. Irstax Appendix B—A chart summarizing some of the major differences between the education tax benefits discussed in this publication. Irstax It is intended only as a guide. Irstax Look in this publication for more complete information. Irstax   Appendix A. Irstax Illustrated Example of Education Credits Dave and Valerie Jones are married and on their 2013 joint tax return they claim exemptions for their two dependent children, Sean (age 21, social security number: 000-00-0001) and Carey (age 18, social security number: 000–00–0002). Irstax Their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) on Form 1040, line 38 is $110,000. Irstax Because Dave and Valerie have unusually high itemized deductions, their taxable income is $10,000 and their tax before credits is $1,000. Irstax Sean enrolled as a full-time graduate student in August 2013 at California State College. Irstax He graduated with his bachelor's degree in 2012 and did not attend school from January 2013 through July 2013. Irstax His parents claimed the Hope Scholarship Credit for Sean for 2008 and the American opportunity credit for Sean for 2010, 2011, and 2012. Irstax Carey enrolled full time as a freshman at the same college in January 2013 to begin working on her bachelor's degree. Irstax In 2013, Dave and Valerie paid $7,000 in tuition for Sean and $8,500 in tuition for Carey. Irstax California State College issued two Forms 1098-T, one for Sean and one for Carey, and sent them to the Joneses' residence. Irstax California State College reports amounts billed in 2013 instead of amounts paid during 2013. Irstax In completing Form 8863, the Joneses use the amounts they paid. Irstax Neither Sean nor Carey has been convicted of a felony for possession or distribution of a controlled substance before the end of 2013. Irstax Dave and Valerie figure their education credits by completing Form 8863. Irstax They begin Form 8863 on page 2 before completing Part I on page 1. Irstax Because the Joneses have two eligible students, they will complete page 2 twice, once for their son, Sean, and once for their daughter, Carey. Irstax The Joneses decide to complete Part III for Carey first, as shown later. Irstax They carry over the amount of $2,500 entered on Part III, line 30, to Part I, line 1. Irstax The Joneses complete a separate Part III for their son Sean. Irstax They check the “Yes” box on line 23, determine that Sean is not eligible for the American opportunity credit, and go to line 31 as instructed. Irstax They figure their line 31 adjusted qualified education expenses for Sean to be $7,000. Irstax Once they have completed Part III for each student, they figure their credits. Irstax The Joneses figure their refundable American opportunity credit of $1,000 by completing Form 8863, Part I, lines 1 through 8. Irstax They enter the amount from line 8, $1,000, on line 66 of their Form 1040. Irstax The Joneses enter $7,000 on Part II, line 10, of Form 8863 and figure their tentative lifetime learning credit for 2013 to be $1,400 (line 12). Irstax They cannot claim the full amount because their MAGI of $110,000 is greater than $107,000. Irstax They enter the reduced amount of $1,190 (figured on Part II, line 18) on the Credit Limit Worksheet, line 1. Irstax The $1,190 is added to their nonrefundable American opportunity credit ($1,500 on line 2 of the Credit Limit Worksheet) for a total nonrefundable credit of $2,690. Irstax The Joneses enter $1,000 on line 7 of the Credit Limit Worksheet, which is the smaller of their tax from line 46 of their Form 1040 (which is $1,000) or the $2,690 on line 3 of the Credit Limit Worksheet. Irstax They enter $1,000 on line 19, Part II of Form 8863 and on line 49 of Form 1040. Irstax This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Irstax Please click the link to view the image. Irstax Form 1098-T Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses Worksheet (Form 8863 instructions) 1. Irstax Total qualified education expenses paid for or on behalf of the student in 2013 for the academic period 8,500 2. Irstax Less adjustments:     a. Irstax Tax-free educational assistance received in 2013 allocable to the academic period   0     b. Irstax Tax-free educational assistance received in 2014 (and before you file your 2013 tax return) allocable to the academic period   0     c. Irstax Refunds of qualified education expenses paid in 2013 if the refund is received in 2013 or in 2014 before you file your 2013 tax return   0   3. Irstax Total adjustments (add lines 2a, 2b, and 2c) 0 4. Irstax Adjusted qualified education expenses. Irstax Subtract line 3 from line 1. Irstax If zero or less, enter -0- 8,500 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Irstax Please click the link to view the image. Irstax Form 1098-T Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses Worksheet (Form 8863 instructions) 1. Irstax Total qualified education expenses paid for or on behalf of the student in 2013 for the academic period 7,000 2. Irstax Less adjustments:     a. Irstax Tax-free educational assistance received in 2013 allocable to the academic period   0     b. Irstax Tax-free educational assistance received in 2014 (and before you file your 2013 tax return) allocable to the academic period   0     c. Irstax Refunds of qualified education expenses paid in 2013 if the refund is received in 2013 or in 2014 before you file your 2013 tax return   0   3. Irstax Total adjustments (add lines 2a, 2b, and 2c) 0 4. Irstax Adjusted qualified education expenses. Irstax Subtract line 3 from line 1. Irstax If zero or less, enter -0- 7,000 Credit Limit Worksheet (Form 8863 instructions) Nonrefundable Credit Worksheet 1. Irstax Enter the amount from Form 8863, line 18 1. Irstax 1,190 2. Irstax Enter the amount from Form 8863, line 9 2. Irstax 1,500 3. Irstax Add lines 1 and 2 3. Irstax 2,690 4. Irstax Enter the amount from: Form 1040, line 46; or Form 1040A, line 28 4. Irstax 1,000 5. Irstax Enter the amount from either: Form 1040, lines 47 and 48, and the amount from Schedule R included on Form 1040, line 53; or Form 1040A, lines 29 and 30 5. Irstax 0 6. Irstax Subtract line 5 from line 4 6. Irstax 1,000 7. Irstax   Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 6 here and on Form 8863, line 19 7. Irstax 1,000 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Irstax Please click the link to view the image. Irstax Form 8863 for Dave and Valerie Jones This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Irstax Please click the link to view the image. Irstax Carey Jones page 2 This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Irstax Please click the link to view the image. Irstax Filled-in Form 8863 Jones page 2 Appendix B. Irstax Highlights of Education Tax Benefits for Tax Year 2013 This chart highlights some differences among the benefits discussed in this publication. Irstax See the text for definitions and details. Irstax Do not rely on this chart alone. Irstax    Caution:You generally cannot claim more than one benefit for the same education expense. Irstax   Scholarships,  Fellowships, Grants, and  Tuition  Reductions American Opportunity Credit Lifetime Learning Credit Student Loan Interest Deduction Tuition and Fees Deduction Coverdell ESA† Qualified Tuition Program (QTP)† Education Exception to Additional Tax on Early IRA Distributions† Education Savings Bond Program† Employer- Provided Educational Assistance† Business Deduction for Work-Related Education What is your  benefit? Amounts received may not be taxable   Credits can reduce the amount of tax you have to pay. Irstax    40% of the credit may be refundable (limited to $1,000 per student). Irstax Credits can reduce amount of tax you must pay Can deduct interest paid Can deduct expenses Earnings not  taxed Earnings not taxed No 10%  additional tax on early distribution Interest not taxed Employer benefits not taxed Can deduct expenses What is the annual limit? None $2,500 credit per student $2,000 credit per tax return     $2,500 deduction $4,000 deduction $2,000 contribution per beneficiary None Amount of qualified  education expenses Amount of qualified  education expenses $5,250 exclusion Amount of qualifying work-related education expenses What expenses  qualify besides  tuition and required enrollment fees? Course-related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment Course-related books, supplies, and equipment Amounts paid for required books, etc. Irstax , that must be paid to the educational institution, etc. Irstax , are required fees Books Supplies Equipment  Room & board  Transportation  Other necessary expenses  None Books Supplies Equipment  Expenses for special needs services  Payments to QTP  Higher education: Room & board if  at least half-time  student  Elem/sec (K–12) education: Tutoring Room & board Uniforms Transportation Computer  access Supplementary expenses Books Supplies Equipment  Room & board if  at least half-time student  Expenses for special needs services Books Supplies Equipment  Room & board if  at least half-time student  Expenses for special needs services Payments to Coverdell ESA  Payments to QTP Books Supplies Equipment Transportation  Travel  Other necessary expenses   Scholarships,  Fellowships, Grants, and  Tuition  Reductions American Opportunity Credit Lifetime Learning Credit Student Loan Interest Deduction Tuition and Fees Deduction Coverdell ESA† Qualified Tuition Program (QTP)† Education Exception to Additional Tax on Early IRA Distributions† Education Savings Bond Program† Employer- Provided Educational Assistance† Business Deduction for Work-Related Education What education qualifies? Undergraduate & graduate  K–12 Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate  Courses to acquire or improve job skills    Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate  K–12 Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate Undergraduate & graduate Required by employer or law to keep present job, salary, status  Maintain or improve job skills What are some of the other  conditions that  apply? Must be in degree or vocational program  Payment of tuition and required fees must be allowed under the grant Can be claimed for only 4 tax years (which includes years Hope Scholarship Credit claimed)  Must be enrolled at least half-time in degree program  No felony drug conviction(s)  Must not have completed first 4 years of postsecondary education before end of preceding tax year. Irstax   No other conditions Must have been at least half-time  student in degree program Cannot claim both deduction & education credit for same student in same year Assets must be distributed at age 30 unless special  needs beneficiary No other conditions No other conditions Applies only to qualified series  EE bonds issued after 1989 or series I bonds No other conditions Cannot be to  meet minimum educational requirements of present trade/business  Cannot qualify  you for new trade/business   In what income  range do benefits  phase out? No phaseout $80,000 – $90,000  $160,000 – $180,000 for joint returns $53,000 – $63,000  $107,000 – $127,000 for joint returns $60,000 – $75,000  $125,000 –  $155,000 for  joint returns  $60,000 – $80,000  $130,000 –  $160,000 for  joint returns  $95,000 – $110,000  $190,000 – $220,000 for  joint returns No phaseout No phaseout   No phaseout No phaseout † Any nontaxable distribution is limited to the amount that does not exceed qualified education expenses. Irstax Glossary The education benefits included in this publication were enacted over many years, leading to a number of common terms being defined differently from one benefit to the next. Irstax For example, an eligible educational institution means one thing when determining if earnings from a Coverdell education savings account are not taxable and something else when determining if a scholarship or fellowship is not taxable. Irstax For each term listed below that has more than one definition, the definition for each education benefit is listed. Irstax Academic period:   A semester, trimester, quarter, or other period of study (such as a summer school session) as reasonably determined by an educational institution. Irstax If an educational institution uses credit hours or clock hours and does not have academic terms, each payment period can be treated as an academic period. Irstax Adjusted qualified education expenses (AQEE):    Qualified education expenses (defined later) reduced by any tax-free educational assistance, such as a tax-free scholarship or employer-provided educational assistance. Irstax They must also be reduced by any qualified education expenses deducted elsewhere on your return, used to determine an education credit or other benefit, or used to determine a tax-free distribution. Irstax For information on a specific benefit, see the appropriate chapter in this publication. Irstax Candidate for a degree:   A student who meets either of the following requirements. Irstax Attends a primary or secondary school or pursues a degree at a college or university, or Attends an accredited educational institution that is authorized to provide: A program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's or higher degree, or A program of training to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Irstax Designated beneficiary:   The individual named in the document creating the account/plan who is to receive the benefit of the funds in the account/plan. Irstax Eligible educational institution:    American opportunity credit. Irstax Any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education. Irstax It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. Irstax Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Irstax Any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education. Irstax It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. Irstax Also included is any public, private, or religious school that provides elementary or secondary education (kindergarten through grade 12), as determined under state law. Irstax Education savings bond program. Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax IRA, early distributions from. Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Lifetime learning credit. Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Qualified tuition program (QTP). Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Scholarships and fellowships. Irstax An institution that maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of students in attendance at the place where it carries on its educational activities. Irstax Student loan, cancellation of. Irstax Same as Scholarships and fellowships in this category. Irstax Student loan interest deduction. Irstax Any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education. Irstax It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. Irstax Also included is an institution that conducts an internship or residency program leading to a degree or certificate from an institution of higher education, a hospital, or a health care facility that offers postgraduate training. Irstax Tuition and fees deduction. Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Eligible student:    American opportunity credit. Irstax A student who meets all of the following requirements for the tax year for which the credit is being determined. Irstax Did not have expenses that were used to figure an American opportunity or Hope Scholarship Credit in any 4 earlier tax years. Irstax Had not completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education (generally the freshman through senior years). Irstax For at least one academic period beginning in the tax year, was enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Was free of any federal or state felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance as of the end of the tax year. Irstax Lifetime learning credit. Irstax A student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Student loan interest deduction. Irstax A student who was enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a postsecondary degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Tuition and fees deduction. Irstax A student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Half-time student:   A student who is enrolled for at least half the full-time academic work load for the course of study the student is pursuing, as determined under the standards of the school where the student is enrolled. Irstax Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI):    American opportunity credit. Irstax Adjusted gross income (AGI) as figured on the federal income tax return, modified by adding back any: Foreign earned income exclusion, Foreign housing exclusion, Foreign housing deduction, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of Puerto Rico. Irstax Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Education savings bond program. Irstax Adjusted gross income (AGI) as figured on the federal income tax return without taking into account any savings bond interest exclusion and modified by adding back any: Foreign earned income exclusion, Foreign housing exclusion, Foreign housing deduction, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of American Samoa, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of Puerto Rico, Exclusion for adoption benefits received under an employer's adoption assistance program, Deduction for student loan interest, Deduction for tuition and fees, and Deduction for domestic production activities. Irstax Lifetime learning credit. Irstax Same as American opportunity credit in this category. Irstax Student loan interest deduction. Irstax Adjusted gross income (AGI) as figured on the federal income tax return without taking into account any student loan interest deduction, tuition and fees deduction, or domestic production activities deduction, and modified by adding back any: Foreign earned income exclusion, Foreign housing exclusion, Foreign housing deduction, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of Puerto Rico. Irstax Tuition and fees deduction. Irstax Adjusted gross income (AGI) as figured on the federal income tax return without taking into account any tuition and fees deduction, or domestic production activities deduction, and modified by adding back any: Foreign earned income exclusion, Foreign housing exclusion, Foreign housing deduction, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of Puerto Rico. Irstax Phaseout:   The amount of credit or deduction allowed is reduced when modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is greater than a specified amount of income. Irstax Qualified education expenses:   See pertinent chapter for specific items. Irstax    American opportunity credit. Irstax Tuition and certain related expenses (including student activity fees) required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study are included even if not purchased from the educational institution. Irstax Does not include expenses for room and board. Irstax Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies (including noncredit courses) that are not part of the student's postsecondary degree program. Irstax Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Irstax Expenses related to or required for enrollment or attendance of the designated beneficiary at an eligible elementary, secondary, or postsecondary school. Irstax Many specialized expenses included for K–12. Irstax Also includes expenses for special needs services and contribution to qualified tuition program (QTP). Irstax Education savings bond program. Irstax Tuition and fees required to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution. Irstax Also includes contributions to a qualified tuition program (QTP) or Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Irstax Does not include expenses for room and board. Irstax Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies that are not part of a degree or certificate granting program. Irstax IRA, early distributions from. Irstax Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, plus certain limited costs of room and board for students who are enrolled at least half-time. Irstax Also includes expenses for special needs services incurred by or for special needs students in connection with their enrollment or attendance. Irstax Lifetime learning credit. Irstax Tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Irstax Does not include expenses for room and board. Irstax Does not include expenses for courses involving sports, games, or hobbies (including noncredit courses) that are not part of the student's postsecondary degree program, unless taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills. Irstax Qualified tuition program (QTP). Irstax Tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution, plus certain limited costs of room and board for students who are enrolled at least half-time. Irstax Includes expenses for special needs services and computer access. Irstax Scholarships and fellowships. Irstax Expenses for tuition and fees required to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution, and course-related expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment that are required for the courses at the eligible educational institution. Irstax Course-related items must be required of all students in the course of instruction. Irstax Student loan interest deduction. Irstax Total costs of attending an eligible educational institution, including graduate school (however, limitations may apply to the cost of room and board allowed). Irstax Tuition and fees deduction. Irstax Tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Irstax Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Irstax Recapture:   To include as income on your current year's return an amount allowed as a deduction in a prior year. Irstax To include as tax on your current year's return an amount allowed as a credit in a prior year. Irstax Rollover:   A tax-free distribution to you of cash or other assets from a tax-favored plan that you contribute to another tax-favored plan. Irstax Transfer:   A movement of funds in a tax-favored plan from one trustee directly to another, either at your request or at the trustee's request. Irstax Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program awards scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics, and engineering.

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