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State free file 2. State free file   Filing Status Table of Contents What's New Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Marital StatusDivorced persons. State free file Divorce and remarriage. State free file Annulled marriages. State free file Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. State free file Considered married. State free file Same-sex marriage. State free file Spouse died during the year. State free file Married persons living apart. State free file Single Married Filing JointlyFiling a Joint Return Married Filing SeparatelySpecial Rules Head of HouseholdConsidered Unmarried Keeping Up a Home Qualifying Person Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child What's New Filing status for same-sex married couples. State free file  If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. State free file See Same-sex marriage under Marital Status, later. State free file Introduction This chapter helps you determine which filing status to use. State free file There are five filing statuses. State free file Single. State free file Married Filing Jointly. State free file Married Filing Separately. State free file Head of Household. State free file Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. State free file If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. State free file You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return (chapter 1), your standard deduction (chapter 20), and your tax (chapter 30). State free file You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain deductions and credits. State free file Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information 519 U. State free file S. State free file Tax Guide for Aliens 555 Community Property Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. State free file Unmarried persons. State free file   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. State free file State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. State free file Divorced persons. State free file   If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. State free file Divorce and remarriage. State free file   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. State free file Annulled marriages. State free file    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. State free file You must file Form 1040X, Amended U. State free file S. State free file Individual Income Tax Return, claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and are not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. State free file 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. State free file If you filed your original return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). State free file 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. State free file Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. State free file   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. State free file See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. State free file Married persons. State free file   If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. State free file Considered married. State free file   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. State free file You are married and living together as a married couple. State free file 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. State free file You are married and living apart, but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. State free file You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. State free file Same-sex marriage. State free file   For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. State free file 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. State free file However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes. State free file For more details, see Publication 501. State free file Spouse died during the year. State free file   If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. State free file   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. State free file For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . State free file   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. State free file Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. State free file Married persons living apart. State free file   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. State free file If you qualify to file as head of household instead of married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. State free file Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. State free file See Head of Household , later. State free file Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. State free file To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. State free file Widow(er). State free file   Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. State free file You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. State free file See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. State free file How to file. State free file   You can file Form 1040. State free file If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State free file If, in addition, you have no dependents, and are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. State free file If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. State free file Use the Single column of the Tax Table or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State free file 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. State free file On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. State free file You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. State free file 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. State free file 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. State free file 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). State free file You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. State free file How to file. State free file   If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. State free file If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State free file 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. State free file If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. State free file Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State free file Spouse died. State free file   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. State free file See Spouse died during the year under Marital Status, earlier, for more information. State free file   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. State free file Divorced persons. State free file   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. State free file Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. State free file Accounting period. State free file   Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. State free file See Accounting Periods and Accounting Methods in chapter 1. State free file Joint responsibility. State free file   Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. State free file This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. State free file Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. State free file One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. State free file 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. State free file Divorced taxpayer. State free file   You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. State free file 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. State free file Relief from joint responsibility. State free file   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. State free file You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. State free file   There are three types of relief available. State free file Innocent spouse relief. State free file Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). State free file Equitable relief. State free file    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. State free file Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. State free file Signing a joint return. State free file   For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. State free file Spouse died before signing. State free file   If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. State free file If neither you nor anyone else has yet 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. State free file Spouse away from home. State free file   If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so that it can be filed on time. State free file Injury or disease prevents signing. State free file   If your spouse cannot sign because of disease or injury 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). State free file ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. State free file Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. State free file 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. State free file Signing as guardian of spouse. State free file   If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. State free file Spouse in combat zone. State free file   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. State free file Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. State free file 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. State free file Other reasons spouse cannot sign. State free file    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). State free file Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. State free file You can use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. State free file Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. State free file   Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. State free file However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. State free file S. State free file citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. State free file If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. State free file S. State free file residents for the entire tax year. State free file See chapter 1 of Publication 519. State free file Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. State free file 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. State free file 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. State free file 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 ). State free file This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. State free file 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. State free file The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. State free file See Head of Household , later, for more information. State free file 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. State free file However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). State free file This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. State free file When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. State free file How to file. State free file   If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. State free file 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. State free file You can file Form 1040. State free file If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State free file Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. State free file Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. State free file 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. State free file Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State free file Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. State free file Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. State free file   Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. State free file Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. State free file 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). State free file 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. State free file For more information about these expenses, the credit, and the exclusion, see chapter 32. State free file You cannot take the earned income credit. State free file You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. State free file 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. State free file You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. State free file S. State free file savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. State free file 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. State free file 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. State free file Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). State free file If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. State free file If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. State free file Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. State free file   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. State free file Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). State free file   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. State free file Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. State free file This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. State free file For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct in chapter 17. State free file Rental activity losses. State free file   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. State free file This is called a special allowance. State free file However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. State free file 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. State free file See Limits on Rental Losses in chapter 9. State free file Community property states. State free file   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. State free file See Publication 555. State free file 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. State free file You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. State free file This does not include any extensions. State free file A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. State free file 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. State free file Exception. State free file   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. State free file The personal representative has 1 year from the due date of the return (including extensions) to make the change. State free file See Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators, for more information on filing a return for a decedent. State free file Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. State free file You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. State free file See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. State free file You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. State free file A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). State free file However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. State free file See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. State free file 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. State free file You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. State free file Kidnapped child. State free file   A child may qualify you to file as head of household even if the child has been kidnapped. State free file For more information, see Publication 501. State free file How to file. State free file   If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. State free file If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State free file Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. State free file Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State free file Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. State free file You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. State free file You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). State free file You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. State free file Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. State free file Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. State free file See Temporary absences , under Qualifying Person, later. State free file Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. State free file (See Home of qualifying person , under Qualifying Person, later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. State free file ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. State free file However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child in chapter 3, or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3. State free file The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained under Exemptions for Dependents in chapter 3. State free file 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. State free file See Publication 555 for more information. State free file Nonresident alien spouse. State free file   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. State free file However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. State free file You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. State free file Choice to treat spouse as resident. State free file   You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. State free file See Publication 519. State free file 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. State free file You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 2–1. State free file Worksheet 2-1. State free file 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. State free file Costs you include. State free file   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. State free file   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. State free file However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. State free file Costs you do not include. State free file   Do not include the costs of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. State free file 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. State free file Qualifying Person See Table 2-1 to see who is a qualifying person. State free file Any person not described in Table 2-1 is not a qualifying person. State free file Table 2-1. State free file Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. State free file See the text of this chapter for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. State free file IF the person is your . State free file . State free file . State free file   AND . State free file . State free file . State free file   THEN that person is . State free file . State free file . State free file 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. State free file   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. State free file   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State free file 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. State free file 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State free file qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests)   he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. State free file   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. State free file   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 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. State free file   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State free file 1A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. State free file 2The term “qualifying child” is defined in chapter 3. State free file Note. State free file 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 in chapter 3. State free file 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. State free file 3This 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. State free file 4The term “ qualifying relative ” is defined in chapter 3. State free file 5If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. State free file See Multiple Support Agreement in chapter 3. State free file 6See Special rule for parent . State free file Example 1—child. State free file Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. State free file 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. State free file As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child in chapter 3) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for you to claim head of household filing status. State free file Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. State free file 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. State free file Because he does not meet the age test (explained under Qualifying Child in chapter 3), your son is not your qualifying child. State free file Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3), he is not your qualifying relative. State free file As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. State free file Example 3—girlfriend. State free file Your girlfriend lived with you all year. State free file Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained in chapter 3) 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 in chapter 3. State free file See Table 2-1. State free file Example 4—girlfriend's child. State free file The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. State free file 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 in chapter 3). State free file As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. State free file Home of qualifying person. State free file   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. State free file Special rule for parent. State free file   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. State free file However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. State free file 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. State free file   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. State free file Death or birth. State free file   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the individual who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. State free file If the individual is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. State free file If the individual is anyone else, see Publication 501. State free file Temporary absences. State free file   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. State free file It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. State free file You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. State free file 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. State free file The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. State free file See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. State free file 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. State free file 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. State free file This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). State free file It does not entitle you to file a joint return. State free file How to file. State free file   If you file as qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. State free file If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State free file Check the box on line 5 of either form. State free file Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State free file Eligibility rules. State free file   You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all of the following tests. State free file You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. State free file It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. State free file Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. State free file You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. State free file This does not include a foster child. State free file This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. State free file See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. State free file There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. State free file You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. State free file See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. State free file Example. State free file John's wife died in 2011. State free file John has not remarried. State free file During 2012 and 2013, he continued to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. State free file For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. State free file For 2012 and 2013, he can file as qualifying widower with a dependent child. State free file After 2013 he can file as head of household if he qualifies. State free file Death or birth. State free file    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. State free file 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. State free file Kidnapped child. State free file   A child may qualify you for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, even if the child has been kidnapped. State free file See Publication 501. State free file    As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. State free file Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Understanding Your CP20 Notice

We believe you incorrectly claimed one or more deductions or credits. As a result, your refund is less than you expected.


What you need to do

  • Review your notice and compare our changes to your tax return.
  • Complete and return the Response form.

You may want to...

  • Review this notice with your tax preparer.
  • Read about the deduction or credit in Publication 17.
  • Call us for clarification at the number listed on your notice.

Answers to Common Questions

What is the notice telling me?
Based on the information shown on your tax return, it appears you have not met the requirements for claiming one or more deductions or credits. As a result, your refund is less than you expected.

What do I have to do?
Review the requirements for the deduction or credit we adjusted. Return the Response form indicating thereon your agreement or disagreement with the changes we made.

If you feel your tax return was correct as filed, send us the documentation listed on page 2 of the notice to verify you qualify for the exemption or credit.


Tips for next year

Consider filing your taxes electronically. Filing online can help you avoid mistakes and find credits and deductions that you may qualify for. In many cases you can file for free. Learn more about e-file.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 20-Feb-2014

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

 

 

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
     

The State Free File

State free file 4. State free file   General Business Credits Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Business Credits How To Claim the Credit Introduction Your general business credit for the year consists of your carryforward of business credits from prior years plus the total of your current year business credits. State free file In addition, your general business credit for the current year may be increased later by the carryback of business credits from later years. State free file You subtract this credit directly from your tax. State free file Useful Items - You may want to see: Form (and Instructions) 3800 General Business Credit 6251 Alternative Minimum Tax—Individuals See chapter 12 for information about getting publications and forms. State free file Business Credits All of the following credits are part of the general business credit. State free file The form you use to figure each credit is shown in parentheses. State free file You will also have to complete Form 3800. State free file Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit (Form 8911). State free file   This credit applies to the cost of any qualified fuel vehicle refueling property you placed in service. State free file For more information, see Form 8911. State free file Alternative motor vehicle credit (Form 8910). State free file   For more information, see Form 8910. State free file Biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels credit (Form 8864). State free file   For more information, see Form 8864. State free file Biofuel producer credit (Form 6478). State free file    For more information, see Form 6478. State free file Carbon dioxide sequestration credit (Form 8933). State free file   This credit is for carbon dioxide which is captured at a qualified facility and disposed of in a secure geological storage or used in a qualified enhanced oil or natural gas recovery project. State free file For more information, see Form 8933. State free file Credit for employer social security and Medicare taxes paid on certain employee tips (Form 8846). State free file   This credit is generally equal to your (employer's) portion of social security and Medicare taxes paid on tips received by employees of your food and beverage establishment where tipping is customary. State free file The credit applies regardless of whether the food is consumed on or off your business premises. State free file For more information, see Form 8846. State free file Credit for employer differential wage payments (Form 8932). State free file   This credit provides certain small businesses with an incentive to continue to pay wages to an employee performing services on active duty in the uniformed services of the United States for a period of more than 30 days. State free file For more information, see Form 8932. State free file Credit for employer-provided childcare facilities and services (Form 8882). State free file   This credit applies to the qualified expenses you paid for employee childcare and qualified expenses you paid for childcare resource and referral services. State free file For more information, see Form 8882. State free file Credit for increasing research activities (Form 6765). State free file   This credit is designed to encourage businesses to increase the amounts they spend on research and experimental activities, including energy research. State free file For more information, see Form 6765. State free file Credit for small employer health insurance premiums (Form 8941). State free file   This credit applies to the cost of certain health insurance coverage you provide to certain employees. State free file For more information, see Form 8941. State free file Credit for small employer pension plan startup costs (Form 8881). State free file   This credit applies to pension plan startup costs of a new qualified defined benefit or defined contribution plan (including a 401(k) plan), SIMPLE plan, or simplified employee pension. State free file For more information, see Publication 560, Retirement Plans for Small Business (SEP, SIMPLE, and Qualified Plans). State free file Disabled access credit (Form 8826). State free file   This credit is a nonrefundable tax credit for an eligible small business that pays or incurs expenses to provide access to persons who have disabilities. State free file You must pay or incur the expenses to enable your business to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. State free file For more information, see Form 8826. State free file Distilled spirits credit (Form 8906). State free file   This credit is available to distillers and importers of distilled spirits and eligible wholesalers of distilled spirits. State free file For more information, see Form 8906. State free file Empowerment zone employment credit (Form 8844). State free file   You may qualify for this credit if you have employees and are engaged in a business in an empowerment zone for which the credit is available. State free file For more information, see Form 8844. State free file Energy efficient appliance credit (Form 8909). State free file   This credit is available for manufacturers of eligible appliances. State free file For more information, see Form 8909. State free file Energy efficient home credit (Form 8908). State free file   This credit is available for eligible contractors of certain homes sold for use as a residence. State free file For more information, see Form 8908. State free file Indian employment credit (Form 8845). State free file   This credit applies to qualified wages and health insurance costs you paid or incurred for qualified employees. State free file For more information, see Form 8845. State free file Investment credit (Form 3468). State free file   The investment credit is the total of the following credits. State free file Rehabilitation credit. State free file Energy credit. State free file Qualifying advanced coal project credit. State free file Qualifying gasification project credit. State free file Qualifying advanced energy project credit. State free file   For more information, see Form 3468. State free file Low sulfur diesel fuel production credit (Form 8896). State free file    For more information, see Form 8896. State free file Low-income housing credit (Form 8586). State free file   This credit generally applies to each new qualified low-income building placed in service after 1986. State free file For more information, see Form 8586. State free file Mine rescue team training credit (Form 8923). State free file   This credit applies to training program costs you pay or incur for certain mine rescue team employees. State free file For more information, see Form 8923. State free file New markets credit (Form 8874). State free file   This credit is for qualified equity investments made in qualified community development entities. State free file For more information, see Form 8874. State free file Nonconventional source fuel credit (Form 8907). State free file   This credit is for qualified coke and coke gas you produced and sold to an unrelated person during the tax year. State free file For more information, see Form 8907. State free file Orphan drug credit (Form 8820). State free file   This credit applies to qualified expenses incurred in testing certain drugs for rare diseases and conditions. State free file For more information, see Form 8820. State free file Qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle credit (Form 8936). State free file   This credit is for certain new qualified plug-in electric vehicles placed in service during the tax year. State free file For more information, see Form 8936. State free file Qualified railroad track maintenance credit (Form 8900). State free file   This credit applies with respect to qualified railroad track maintenance expenditures paid or incurred during the tax year. State free file For more information, see Form 8900. State free file Renewable electricity, refined coal, and Indian coal production credit (Form 8835). State free file   This credit is for the sale of electricity, refined coal, or Indian coal produced in the United States or U. State free file S. State free file possessions from qualified energy resources at a qualified facility. State free file For more information, see Form 8835. State free file Work opportunity credit (Form 5884). State free file   This credit provides businesses with an incentive to hire individuals from targeted groups that have a particularly high unemployment rate or other special employment needs. State free file For more information, see Form 5884. State free file How To Claim the Credit To claim a general business credit, you will first have to get the forms you need to claim your current year business credits. State free file In addition to the credit form, you also need to file Form 3800. State free file Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications