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Online Tax Preparation

Online tax preparation Publication 501 - Main Content Table of Contents Who Must FileSelf-employed persons. Online tax preparation Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers Dependents Other Situations Who Should File Filing StatusMarital Status Single Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child ExemptionsForm 1040EZ filers. Online tax preparation Form 1040A filers. Online tax preparation Form 1040 filers. Online tax preparation More information. Online tax preparation Personal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Qualifying Child Qualifying Relative Phaseout of Exemptions Social Security Numbers for DependentsBorn and died in 2013. Online tax preparation Taxpayer identification numbers for aliens. Online tax preparation Taxpayer identification numbers for adoptees. Online tax preparation Standard DeductionStandard Deduction Amount Standard Deduction for Dependents Who Should Itemize How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Who Must File If you are a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends on your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent. Online tax preparation For details, see Table 1 and Table 2. Online tax preparation You also must file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Online tax preparation The filing requirements apply even if you owe no tax. Online tax preparation Table 1. Online tax preparation 2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation AND at the end of 2013 you were. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation * THEN file a return if your gross income was at least. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation ** single under 65  $10,000 65 or older $11,500 head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 married, filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 married, filing separately any age  $3,900 qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born before January 2, 1949, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2013. Online tax preparation ** Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Online tax preparation Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Online tax preparation If (a) or (b) applies, see the Form 1040 instructions to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Online tax preparation Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Online tax preparation Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Online tax preparation But in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Online tax preparation *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. Online tax preparation You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file a return but fail to do so. Online tax preparation If you willfully fail to file a return, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. Online tax preparation For information on what form to use — Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040 — see the instructions for your tax return. Online tax preparation Gross income. Online tax preparation    Gross income is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Online tax preparation If you are married and live with your spouse in a community property state, half of any income defined by state law as community income may be considered yours. Online tax preparation For a list of community property states, see Community property states under Married Filing Separately, later. Online tax preparation Self-employed persons. Online tax preparation    If you are self-employed in a business that provides services (where products are not a factor), your gross income from that business is the gross receipts. Online tax preparation If you are self-employed in a business involving manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, your gross income from that business is the total sales minus the cost of goods sold. Online tax preparation In either case, you must add any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. Online tax preparation    You must file Form 1040 if you owe any self-employment tax. Online tax preparation Filing status. Online tax preparation    Your filing status generally depends on whether you are single or married. Online tax preparation Whether you are single or married is determined at the end of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. Online tax preparation Filing status is discussed in detail later in this publication. Online tax preparation Age. Online tax preparation    Age is a factor in determining if you must file a return only if you are 65 or older at the end of your tax year. Online tax preparation For 2013, you are 65 or older if you were born before January 2, 1949. Online tax preparation Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers You must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1. Online tax preparation Dependents should see Table 2 instead. Online tax preparation Deceased Persons You must file an income tax return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. Online tax preparation You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. Online tax preparation The decedent met the filing requirements described in this publication at the time of his or her death. Online tax preparation For more information, see Final Income Tax Return for Decedent — Form 1040 in Publication 559. Online tax preparation Table 2. Online tax preparation 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See Exemptions for Dependents to find out if you are a dependent. Online tax preparation If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. Online tax preparation  In this table, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. Online tax preparation It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Online tax preparation Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Online tax preparation Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. Online tax preparation If your gross income was $3,900 or more, you usually cannot be claimed as a dependent unless you are a qualifying child. Online tax preparation For details, see Exemptions for Dependents. Online tax preparation Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Online tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Online tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Online tax preparation Your earned income was more than $6,100. Online tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. Online tax preparation     □ Yes. Online tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Online tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of—  $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation     Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Online tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Online tax preparation Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Online tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Online tax preparation Your earned income was more than $6,100. Online tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750 plus $350. Online tax preparation     □ Yes. Online tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Online tax preparation Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Online tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). Online tax preparation     U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you earned or received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. Online tax preparation For more information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Online tax preparation Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. Online tax preparation This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. Online tax preparation If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the whole year, your U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. Online tax preparation It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or any U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation agency. Online tax preparation If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation tax, you must reduce your standard deduction, which reduces the amount of income you can have before you must file a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation income tax return. Online tax preparation For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Possessions. Online tax preparation Individuals With Income From U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation federal income tax return. Online tax preparation In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual possession government. Online tax preparation See Publication 570 for more information. Online tax preparation Dependents A person who is a dependent may still have to file a return. Online tax preparation It depends on his or her earned income, unearned income, and gross income. Online tax preparation For details, see Table 2. Online tax preparation A dependent must also file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Online tax preparation Responsibility of parent. Online tax preparation    If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. Online tax preparation If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. Online tax preparation ” Earned income. Online tax preparation    Earned income includes salaries, wages, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform. Online tax preparation Earned income (only for purposes of filing requirements and the standard deduction) also includes any part of a scholarship that you must include in your gross income. Online tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more information on taxable and nontaxable scholarships. Online tax preparation Child's earnings. Online tax preparation    Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. Online tax preparation This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. Online tax preparation But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. Online tax preparation Unearned income. Online tax preparation    Unearned income includes income such as interest, dividends, and capital gains. Online tax preparation Trust distributions of interest, dividends, capital gains, and survivor annuities are also considered unearned income. Online tax preparation Election to report child's unearned income on parent's return. Online tax preparation    You may be able to include your child's interest and dividend income on your tax return. Online tax preparation If you do this, your child will not have to file a return. Online tax preparation To make this election, all of the following conditions must be met. Online tax preparation Your child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a student) at the end of 2013. Online tax preparation (A child born on January 1, 1995, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child unless the child was a student. Online tax preparation Similarly, a child born on January 1, 1990, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child. Online tax preparation ) Your child had gross income only from interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends). Online tax preparation The interest and dividend income was less than $10,000. Online tax preparation Your child is required to file a return for 2013 unless you make this election. Online tax preparation Your child does not file a joint return for 2013. Online tax preparation No estimated tax payment was made for 2013 and no 2012 overpayment was applied to 2013 under your child's name and social security number. Online tax preparation No federal income tax was withheld from your child's income under the backup withholding rules. Online tax preparation You are the parent whose return must be used when making the election to report your child's unearned income. Online tax preparation   For more information, see Form 8814 and Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in Publication 929. Online tax preparation Other Situations You may have to file a tax return even if your gross income is less than the amount shown in Table 1 or Table 2 for your filing status. Online tax preparation See Table 3 for those other situations when you must file. Online tax preparation Table 3. Online tax preparation Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return If any of the four conditions listed below applied to you for 2013, you must file a return. Online tax preparation 1. Online tax preparation You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. Online tax preparation   a. Online tax preparation Alternative minimum tax. Online tax preparation (See Form 6251. Online tax preparation )   b. Online tax preparation Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. Online tax preparation (See Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. Online tax preparation ) But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. Online tax preparation   c. Online tax preparation Social security or Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer (see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income) or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes (see Form 8919). Online tax preparation   d. Online tax preparation Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional tax on health savings accounts. Online tax preparation (See Publication 531, Publication 969, and the Form 1040 instructions for line 60. Online tax preparation )   e. Online tax preparation Household employment taxes. Online tax preparation But if you are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself. Online tax preparation   f. Online tax preparation Recapture taxes. Online tax preparation (See the Form 1040 instructions for lines 44, 59b, and 60. Online tax preparation ) 2. Online tax preparation You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions. Online tax preparation 3. Online tax preparation You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. Online tax preparation (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Online tax preparation ) 4. Online tax preparation You had wages of $108. Online tax preparation 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. Online tax preparation (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Online tax preparation ) Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. Online tax preparation For example, you should file if one of the following applies. Online tax preparation You had income tax withheld from your pay. Online tax preparation You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax. Online tax preparation You qualify for the earned income credit. Online tax preparation See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information. Online tax preparation You qualify for the additional child tax credit. Online tax preparation See the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A) for more information. Online tax preparation You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. Online tax preparation See Form 8863, Education Credits. Online tax preparation You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. Online tax preparation For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit. Online tax preparation You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. Online tax preparation See Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels. Online tax preparation Form 1099-B received. Online tax preparation    Even if you are not required to file a return, you should consider filing if all of the following apply. Online tax preparation You received a Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions (or substitute statement). Online tax preparation The amount in box 2a of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement), when added to your other gross income, means you have to file a tax return because of the filing requirement in Table 1 or Table 2 that applies to you. Online tax preparation Box 3 of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement) is blank. Online tax preparation In this case, filing a return may keep you from getting a notice from the IRS. Online tax preparation Filing Status You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return, your standard deduction (discussed later), and your tax. Online tax preparation You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain other deductions and credits. Online tax preparation There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Online tax preparation If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. Online tax preparation Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. Online tax preparation Unmarried persons. Online tax preparation    You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Online tax preparation   State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Online tax preparation Divorced persons. Online tax preparation    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. Online tax preparation Divorce and remarriage. Online tax preparation    If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. Online tax preparation Annulled marriages. Online tax preparation    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. Online tax preparation You must file amended returns (Form 1040X) claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. Online tax preparation Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Online tax preparation If you filed your original tax return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). Online tax preparation However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. Online tax preparation Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Online tax preparation    If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. Online tax preparation See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. Online tax preparation Married persons. Online tax preparation    If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. Online tax preparation Considered married. Online tax preparation    You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. Online tax preparation You are married and living together. Online tax preparation You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. Online tax preparation You are married and living apart but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Online tax preparation You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. Online tax preparation Same-sex marriage. Online tax preparation    For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are 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. Online tax preparation 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. Online tax preparation However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not called a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not married for federal tax purposes. Online tax preparation   The word “state” as used here includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation territories and possessions. Online tax preparation It means any domestic jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Online tax preparation The term “foreign country” means any foreign jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Online tax preparation   If individuals of the same sex are married, they generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. Online tax preparation However, if they did not live together during the last 6 months of the year, one or both of them may be able to use the head of household filing status, as explained later. Online tax preparation   For more details, see Answers to Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals of the Same Sex Who Are Married Under State Law on IRS. Online tax preparation gov. Online tax preparation Spouse died during the year. Online tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. Online tax preparation   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. Online tax preparation For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . Online tax preparation   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Online tax preparation Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. Online tax preparation Married persons living apart. Online tax preparation    If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Online tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household instead of as married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. Online tax preparation Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. Online tax preparation See Head of Household , later. Online tax preparation Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. Online tax preparation To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. Online tax preparation Widow(er). Online tax preparation    Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. Online tax preparation You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. Online tax preparation See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. Online tax preparation How to file. Online tax preparation    You can file Form 1040. Online tax preparation If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Online tax preparation If, in addition, you have no dependents, are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Online tax preparation If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. Online tax preparation Use the Single column of the Tax Table, or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Online tax preparation Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. Online tax preparation On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. Online tax preparation You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Online tax preparation If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. Online tax preparation Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. Online tax preparation If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). Online tax preparation You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Online tax preparation How to file. Online tax preparation    If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. Online tax preparation If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Online tax preparation If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Online tax preparation If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. Online tax preparation Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table, or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Online tax preparation Spouse died. Online tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Online tax preparation See Spouse died during the year , under Married persons, earlier. Online tax preparation   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. Online tax preparation Divorced persons. Online tax preparation    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Online tax preparation Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. Online tax preparation Accounting period. Online tax preparation    Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. Online tax preparation Joint responsibility. Online tax preparation    Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Online tax preparation This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. Online tax preparation Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. Online tax preparation One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Online tax preparation   You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. Online tax preparation Divorced taxpayer. Online tax preparation    You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. Online tax preparation This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Online tax preparation Relief from joint responsibility. Online tax preparation    In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. Online tax preparation You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Online tax preparation   There are three types of relief available. Online tax preparation Innocent spouse relief. Online tax preparation Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). Online tax preparation Equitable relief. Online tax preparation    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. Online tax preparation Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains the kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Online tax preparation Signing a joint return. Online tax preparation    For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. Online tax preparation Spouse died before signing. Online tax preparation    If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. Online tax preparation If neither you nor anyone else has been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. Online tax preparation Spouse away from home. Online tax preparation    If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so it can be filed on time. Online tax preparation Injury or disease prevents signing. Online tax preparation    If your spouse cannot sign because of injury or disease and tells you to sign for him or her, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife). Online tax preparation ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. Online tax preparation Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. Online tax preparation The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. Online tax preparation Signing as guardian of spouse. Online tax preparation    If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. Online tax preparation Spouse in combat zone. Online tax preparation    You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. Online tax preparation Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. Online tax preparation For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Online tax preparation Other reasons spouse cannot sign. Online tax preparation    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). Online tax preparation Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. Online tax preparation You can use Form 2848. Online tax preparation Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. Online tax preparation    Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. Online tax preparation However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. Online tax preparation If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation residents for the entire tax year. Online tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Online tax preparation Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. Online tax preparation This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. Online tax preparation If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. Online tax preparation You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). Online tax preparation This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Online tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. Online tax preparation The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. Online tax preparation See Head of Household , later, for more information. Online tax preparation You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. Online tax preparation However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). Online tax preparation This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. Online tax preparation When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. Online tax preparation How to file. Online tax preparation    If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. Online tax preparation You can claim 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 person. Online tax preparation   You can file Form 1040. Online tax preparation If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Online tax preparation Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. Online tax preparation Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. Online tax preparation If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. Online tax preparation Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Online tax preparation Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. Online tax preparation Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. Online tax preparation Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. Online tax preparation Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. Online tax preparation You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000 on a joint return). Online tax preparation If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. Online tax preparation See Joint Return Test in Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, for more information. Online tax preparation You cannot take the earned income credit. Online tax preparation You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Online tax preparation You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Online tax preparation You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. Online tax preparation 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 must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Online tax preparation The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. Online tax preparation Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Online tax preparation If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. Online tax preparation If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. Online tax preparation Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. Online tax preparation    If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. Online tax preparation Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Online tax preparation    You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. Online tax preparation Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. Online tax preparation This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. Online tax preparation For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct? in chapter 1 of Publication 590. Online tax preparation Rental activity losses. Online tax preparation    If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income up to $25,000. Online tax preparation This is called a special allowance. Online tax preparation However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. Online tax preparation Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. Online tax preparation See Rental Activities in Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. Online tax preparation Community property states. Online tax preparation    If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Online tax preparation See Publication 555, Community Property. Online tax preparation Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. Online tax preparation You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. Online tax preparation This does not include any extensions. Online tax preparation A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Online tax preparation Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. Online tax preparation Exception. Online tax preparation    A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Online tax preparation The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the return to make the change. Online tax preparation See Publication 559 for more information on filing income tax returns for a decedent. Online tax preparation Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Online tax preparation You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Online tax preparation See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. Online tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Online tax preparation A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Online tax preparation However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Online tax preparation See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. Online tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. Online tax preparation You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. Online tax preparation How to file. Online tax preparation    If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. Online tax preparation If you have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Online tax preparation Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. Online tax preparation Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Online tax preparation Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Online tax preparation You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Online tax preparation You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). Online tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Online tax preparation Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Online tax preparation Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Online tax preparation See Temporary absences , later. Online tax preparation Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Online tax preparation (See Home of qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Online tax preparation ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Online tax preparation However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described later in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative. Online tax preparation The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents . Online tax preparation If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Online tax preparation See Publication 555 for more information. Online tax preparation Nonresident alien spouse. Online tax preparation    You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. Online tax preparation However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Online tax preparation You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. Online tax preparation Choice to treat spouse as resident. Online tax preparation    You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. Online tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Online tax preparation Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Online tax preparation You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 1. Online tax preparation Worksheet 1. Online tax preparation Cost of Keeping Up a Home         Amount You  Paid Total  Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $       Minus total amount you paid   ()       Amount others paid   $       If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. Online tax preparation Costs you include. Online tax preparation    Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Online tax preparation   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. Online tax preparation However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. Online tax preparation Costs you do not include. Online tax preparation    Do not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. Online tax preparation Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. Online tax preparation Qualifying Person See Table 4 to see who is a qualifying person. Online tax preparation Any person not described in Table 4 is not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation Example 1—child. Online tax preparation Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. Online tax preparation He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. Online tax preparation As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child , later) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Online tax preparation Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. Online tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. Online tax preparation Because he does not meet the age test (explained later under Qualifying Child), your son is not your qualifying child. Online tax preparation Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative), he is not your qualifying relative. Online tax preparation As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Online tax preparation Example 3—girlfriend. Online tax preparation Your girlfriend lived with you all year. Online tax preparation Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained later) are met, she is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes because she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . Online tax preparation See Table 4. Online tax preparation Example 4—girlfriend's child. Online tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. Online tax preparation He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test , later). Online tax preparation As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Online tax preparation Home of qualifying person. Online tax preparation    Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Online tax preparation Special rule for parent. Online tax preparation    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. Online tax preparation However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Online tax preparation 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. Online tax preparation   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. Online tax preparation Death or birth. Online tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the qualifying person who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Online tax preparation To qualify you for head of household filing status, the qualifying person (as defined in Table 4) must be one of the following. Online tax preparation Your qualifying child or qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Online tax preparation Your parent for whom you paid, for the entire part of the year he or she was alive, more than half the cost of keeping up the home he or she lived in. Online tax preparation Example. Online tax preparation You are unmarried. Online tax preparation Your mother, for whom you can claim an exemption, lived in an apartment by herself. Online tax preparation She died on September 2. Online tax preparation The cost of the upkeep of her apartment for the year until her death was $6,000. Online tax preparation You paid $4,000 and your brother paid $2,000. Online tax preparation Your brother made no other payments towards your mother's support. Online tax preparation Your mother had no income. Online tax preparation Because you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up your mother's apartment from January 1 until her death, and you can claim an exemption for her, you can file as a head of household. Online tax preparation Temporary absences. Online tax preparation    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. Online tax preparation It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Online tax preparation You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Online tax preparation Kidnapped child. Online tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. Online tax preparation You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. Online tax preparation The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Online tax preparation In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Online tax preparation You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Online tax preparation   This treatment applies for all years until the earliest 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. Online tax preparation Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. Online tax preparation The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. Online tax preparation See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. Online tax preparation You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. Online tax preparation For example, if your spouse died in 2012 and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. Online tax preparation The rules for using this filing status are explained in detail here. Online tax preparation This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). Online tax preparation It does not entitle you to file a joint return. Online tax preparation How to file. Online tax preparation    If you file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. Online tax preparation If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Online tax preparation Check the box on line 5 of either form. Online tax preparation Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Online tax preparation Table 4. Online tax preparation Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Online tax preparation IF the person is your . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation   AND . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation   THEN that person is . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation 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. Online tax preparation   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. Online tax preparation   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Online tax preparation 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests). Online tax preparation   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 , later, and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Online tax preparation   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, 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. Online tax preparation   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation 1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Online tax preparation 2 The term “qualifying child” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Online tax preparation Note: 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 Qualifying Child, later. Online tax preparation If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is 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. Online tax preparation 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. Online tax preparation 4 The term “qualifying relative” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Online tax preparation 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Online tax preparation See Multiple Support Agreement . Online tax preparation 6 See Special rule for parent . Online tax preparation Eligibility rules. Online tax preparation    You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all the following tests. Online tax preparation You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. Online tax preparation It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. Online tax preparation Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. Online tax preparation You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. Online tax preparation This does not include a foster child. Online tax preparation This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. Online tax preparation See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. Online tax preparation There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. Online tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Online tax preparation See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. Online tax preparation Example. Online tax preparation John's wife died in 2011. Online tax preparation John has not remarried. Online tax preparation He has continued during 2012 and 2013 to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. Online tax preparation For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. Online tax preparation For 2012 and 2013, he can file as a qualifying widower with a dependent child. Online tax preparation After 2013, he can file as head of household if he qualifies. Online tax preparation Death or birth. Online tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Online tax preparation You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. Online tax preparation Kidnapped child. Online tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child even if the child who qualifies you for this filing status has been kidnapped. Online tax preparation You can claim qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all the following statements are true. Online tax preparation The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Online tax preparation In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Online tax preparation You would have qualified for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Online tax preparation As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. Online tax preparation Exemptions Exemptions reduce your taxable income. Online tax preparation You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Online tax preparation If you are entitled to two exemptions for 2013, you can deduct $7,800 ($3,900 × 2). Online tax preparation But you may lose the benefit of part or all of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. Online tax preparation See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Online tax preparation Types of exemptions. Online tax preparation    There are two types of exemptions you may be able to take: Personal exemptions for yourself and your spouse, and Exemptions for dependents (dependency exemptions). Online tax preparation While each is worth the same amount ($3,900 for 2013), different rules, discussed later, apply to each type. Online tax preparation Dependent cannot claim a personal exemption. Online tax preparation    If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Online tax preparation How to claim exemptions. Online tax preparation    How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file. Online tax preparation Form 1040EZ filers. Online tax preparation    If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction and entered on line 5. Online tax preparation Form 1040A filers. Online tax preparation    If you file Form 1040A, complete lines 6a through 6d. Online tax preparation The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Online tax preparation Also complete line 26. Online tax preparation Form 1040 filers. Online tax preparation    If you file Form 1040, complete lines 6a through 6d. Online tax preparation The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Online tax preparation Also complete line 42. Online tax preparation If your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Online tax preparation U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen or resident alien. Online tax preparation    If you are a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen, U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation resident alien, U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation national (defined later) or a resident of Canada or Mexico, you may qualify for any of the exemptions discussed here. Online tax preparation Nonresident aliens. Online tax preparation    Generally, if you are a nonresident alien (other than a resident of Canada or Mexico, or certain residents of India or Korea), you can qualify for only one personal exemption for yourself. Online tax preparation You cannot claim exemptions for a spouse or dependents. Online tax preparation   These restrictions do not apply if you are a nonresident alien married to a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen or resident alien and have chosen to be treated as a resident of the United States. Online tax preparation More information. Online tax preparation    For more information on exemptions if you are a nonresident alien, see chapter 5 in Publication 519. Online tax preparation Dual-status taxpayers. Online tax preparation    If you have been both a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same tax year, you should see Publication 519 for information on determining your exemptions. Online tax preparation Personal Exemptions You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. Online tax preparation If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. Online tax preparation These are called personal exemptions. Online tax preparation Your Own Exemption You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Online tax preparation If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent. Online tax preparation Your Spouse's Exemption Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Online tax preparation Joint return. Online tax preparation    On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Online tax preparation Separate return. Online tax preparation    If you file a separate return, you can claim 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. Online tax preparation This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. Online tax preparation You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation tax purposes and satisfy the other conditions listed above. Online tax preparation Head of household. Online tax preparation    If you qualify for head of household filing status because you are considered unmarried, you can claim an exemption for your spouse if the conditions described in the preceding paragraph are satisfied. Online tax preparation   To claim the exemption for your spouse, check the box on line 6b of Form 1040 or Form 1040A and enter the name of your spouse in the space to the right of the box. Online tax preparation Enter the SSN or ITIN of your spouse in the space provided at the top of Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Online tax preparation Death of spouse. Online tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year and you file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse, you generally can claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just explained in Joint return . Online tax preparation If you file a separate return for the year, you may be able to claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just described in Separate return . Online tax preparation   If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse. Online tax preparation   If you are a surviving spouse without gross income and you remarry in the year your spouse died, you can be claimed as an exemption on both the final separate return of your deceased spouse and the separate return of your new spouse for that year. Online tax preparation If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return. Online tax preparation Divorced or separated spouse. Online tax preparation    If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Online tax preparation This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Online tax preparation Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Online tax preparation You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Online tax preparation The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Online tax preparation The terms “ qualifying child ” and “ qualifying relative ” are defined later. Online tax preparation You can claim an exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met. Online tax preparation Dependent taxpayer test. Online tax preparation Joint return test. Online tax preparation Citizen or resident test. Online tax preparation These three tests are explained in detail later. Online tax preparation All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5. Online tax preparation Table 5. Online tax preparation Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent This table is only an overview of the rules. Online tax preparation For details, see the rest of this publication. Online tax preparation You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Online tax preparation   You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid. Online tax preparation   You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen, U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation resident alien, U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Online tax preparation 1  You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Online tax preparation   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 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. Online tax preparation   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. Online tax preparation   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Online tax preparation 2  The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Online tax preparation   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Online tax preparation  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. Online tax preparation See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person described later to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Online tax preparation The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Online tax preparation   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 , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). Online tax preparation   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Online tax preparation 3  You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Online tax preparation 4  1 There is an exception for certain adopted children. Online tax preparation 2 There are exceptions 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. Online tax preparation 3 There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop. Online tax preparation 4 There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Online tax preparation Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Online tax preparation If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Online tax preparation This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Online tax preparation It is also true if the dependent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. Online tax preparation Housekeepers, maids, or servants. Online tax preparation    If these people work for you, you cannot claim exemptions for them. Online tax preparation Child tax credit. Online tax preparation    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. Online tax preparation For more information, see the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A). Online tax preparation Dependent Taxpayer Test If you can be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Online tax preparation Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent. Online tax preparation If you are filing a joint return and your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by someone else, you and your spouse cannot claim any dependents on your joint return. Online tax preparation Joint Return Test You generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return. Online tax preparation Exception. Online tax preparation    You can claim an exemption for a person who files a joint return if that person and his or her spouse file the joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Online tax preparation Example 1—child files joint return. Online tax preparation You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Online tax preparation He earned $25,000 for the year. Online tax preparation The couple files a joint return. Online tax preparation You cannot take an exemption for your daughter. Online tax preparation Example 2—child files joint return only as claim for refund of withheld tax. Online tax preparation Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Online tax preparation Neither is required to file a tax return. Online tax preparation They do not have a child. Online tax preparation Taxes were taken out of their pay so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Online tax preparation The exception to the joint return test applies, so you are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for each of them just because they file a joint return. Online tax preparation You can claim exemptions for each of them if all the other tests to do so are met. Online tax preparation Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Online tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Online tax preparation He and his wife are not required to file a tax return. Online tax preparation However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Online tax preparation Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to get a refund of income
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Change of Address – Online Forms

Are you moving? Report your change of address to continue receiving mail and government benefits. We list the change of address forms online, so you can find everything you need in one place, including the USPS (U.S. Postal Service) form.


U.S. Postal Service: Forward Your Mail

  • Change Your Address Online  – Change your address online for a $1 fee if you have a credit card and valid e-mail address. You can also print the form and then mail or deliver it to your local post office to change your address for free. After changing your address, the U.S. Postal Service will forward your mail to your new address for up to one year.
  • Locate a Post Office  – Find your local post office to pick up or drop off a change of address form.

Other Federal Agencies

  • Internal Revenue Service (PDF)  – Change your address with the IRS if you are expecting a tax refund or other mail. You can also change your address with the IRS by writing your new address in the appropriate boxes on your tax return when you file.
  • Social Security Administration  – If you receive benefits or have Medicare, you can use your mySocialSecurity account to report a change of address. If you don't receive benefits, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (PDF)  – Change your address if you are a veteran who receives benefit payments or you wish to update your records.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  – If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is required to register with USCIS, then you need to let them know if you move.

State Agencies

  • Driver's License  – Contact your state if you need to change your address on your driver's license or motor vehicle registration.
  • Voter Registration  – Contact your state's election office if you want to change your address on your voter registration record.

The Online Tax Preparation

Online tax preparation 1. Online tax preparation   2013 Filing Requirements Table of Contents General RequirementsSelf-employed persons. Online tax preparation Decedents If income tax was withheld from your pay, or if you qualify for the earned income credit, the additional child tax credit, the health coverage tax credit, or the American opportunity credit, you should file a return to get a refund even if you are not otherwise required to file a return. Online tax preparation Do not file a federal income tax return if you do not meet the filing requirements and are not due a refund. Online tax preparation If you need assistance to determine if you need to file a federal income tax return for 2013, go to IRS. Online tax preparation gov and use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA). Online tax preparation You can find the ITA by going to IRS. Online tax preparation gov and entering “interactive tax assistant” in the search box. Online tax preparation Open the ITA and click on Do I Need to File a Tax Return under Topics by Category. Online tax preparation General Requirements If you are a U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizen or resident alien, you must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1-1. Online tax preparation For other filing requirements, see your tax return instructions or Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information. Online tax preparation If you were a nonresident alien at any time during the year, the filing requirements that apply to you may be different from those that apply to U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation citizens. Online tax preparation See Publication 519, U. Online tax preparation S. Online tax preparation Tax Guide for Aliens. Online tax preparation Table 1-1. Online tax preparation 2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers Note. Online tax preparation You must file a return if your gross income was at least the amount shown in the last column. Online tax preparation IF your filing status is. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation AND at the end of 2013 you were*. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation THEN file a return if your gross income** was at least. Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation . Online tax preparation Single under 65 $10,000 65 or older $11,500 Head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 Married filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 Married filing separately any age $3,900 Qualifying widow(er)  with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born before January 2, 1949, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2013. Online tax preparation ** Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Online tax preparation It also includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Online tax preparation Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Online tax preparation But in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Online tax preparation Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing separately and you lived with your spouse at any time in 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Online tax preparation If (a) or (b) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Online tax preparation *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. Online tax preparation Gross income. Online tax preparation   Gross income is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Online tax preparation If you are married and live with your spouse in a community property state, half of any income defined by state law as community income may be considered yours. Online tax preparation The community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Online tax preparation A registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California generally must report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her domestic partner. Online tax preparation For more information about community property, see Publication 555, Community Property. Online tax preparation   For more information on what to include in gross income, see chapter 2. Online tax preparation Self-employed persons. Online tax preparation    If you are self-employed in a business that provides services (where the production, purchase, or sale of merchandise is not an income-producing factor), gross income from that business is the gross receipts. Online tax preparation   If you are self-employed in a business involving manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, gross income from that business is the total sales minus the cost of goods sold. Online tax preparation Then, to this figure, you add any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. Online tax preparation See Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business, for more information. Online tax preparation Dependents. Online tax preparation   If you could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer (that is, you meet the dependency tests in Publication 501), special filing requirements apply. Online tax preparation See Publication 501. Online tax preparation Decedents A personal representative of a decedent's estate can be an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the decedent's property. Online tax preparation If you are acting as the personal representative of a person who died during the year, you may have to file a final return for that decedent. Online tax preparation You also have other duties, such as notifying the IRS that you are acting as the personal representative. Online tax preparation Form 56, Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship, is available for this purpose. Online tax preparation When you file a return for the decedent, either as the personal representative or as the surviving spouse, you should write “DECEASED,” the decedent's name, and the date of death across the top of the tax return. Online tax preparation If no personal representative has been appointed by the due date for filing the return, the surviving spouse (on a joint return) should sign the return and write in the signature area “Filing as surviving spouse. Online tax preparation ” For more information, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators. Online tax preparation Surviving spouse. Online tax preparation   If you are the surviving spouse, the year your spouse died is the last year for which you can file a joint return with that spouse. Online tax preparation After that, if you do not remarry, you must file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, head of household, or single. Online tax preparation For more information about each of these filing statuses, see Publication 501. Online tax preparation   If you remarry before the end of the year in which your spouse died, a final joint return with the deceased spouse cannot be filed. Online tax preparation You can, however, file a joint return with your new spouse. Online tax preparation In that case, the filing status of your deceased spouse for his or her final return is married filing separately. Online tax preparation The level of income that requires you to file an income tax return changes when your filing status changes (see Table 1-1). Online tax preparation Even if you and your deceased spouse were not required to file a return for several years, you may have to file a return for tax years after the year of death. Online tax preparation For example, if your filing status changes from filing jointly in 2012 to single in 2013 because of the death of your spouse, and your gross income is $17,500 for both years, you must file a return for 2013 even though you did not have to file a return for 2012. Online tax preparation Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications