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Www Ir Gov

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Www Ir Gov

Www ir gov Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. Www ir gov Married persons. Www ir gov Same-sex marriage. Www ir gov Exception. Www ir gov Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. Www ir gov Amended instrument. Www ir gov General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. Www ir gov Individual Retirement Arrangements Property SettlementsTransfer Between Spouses Gift Tax on Property Settlements Sale of Jointly-Owned Property Costs of Getting a Divorce Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Community PropertyCommunity Income Alimony (Community Income) How To Get Tax Help Filing Status Your filing status is used in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and the correct tax. Www ir gov It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. Www ir gov The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. Www ir gov Marital status. Www ir gov   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). Www ir gov If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. Www ir gov For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. Www ir gov Unmarried persons. Www ir gov   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. Www ir gov You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. Www ir gov You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. Www ir gov Exception. Www ir gov If you and your spouse obtain a divorce in one year for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to remarry each other and do so in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals. Www ir gov You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. Www ir gov You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. Www ir gov The statute of limitations generally does not end until 3 years (including extensions) after the date you file your original return or within 2 years after the date you pay the tax. Www ir gov On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. Www ir gov Married persons. Www ir gov   You are married for the whole year if you are separated but you have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. Www ir gov An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. Www ir gov Same-sex marriage. Www ir gov   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. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov For more details, see Publication 501. Www ir gov Exception. Www ir gov   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. Www ir gov See Head of Household , later. Www ir gov Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. Www ir gov If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. Www ir gov You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Www ir gov If both you and your spouse have income, you should usually figure your tax on both a joint return and separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately) to see which gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Www ir gov Nonresident alien. Www ir gov   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. Www ir gov If either of you was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, you can file a joint return only if you agree to treat the nonresident spouse as a resident of the United States. Www ir gov This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov income tax. Www ir gov These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov Tax Guide for Aliens. Www ir gov Signing a joint return. Www ir gov   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. Www ir gov Joint and individual liability. Www ir gov   Both you and your spouse may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Www ir gov This means that one spouse may be held liable for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Www ir gov Divorced taxpayers. Www ir gov   If you are divorced, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return for a tax year ending before your divorce. Www ir gov This responsibility applies even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Www ir gov Relief from joint liability. Www ir gov   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. Www ir gov You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Www ir gov   There are three types of relief available. Www ir gov Innocent spouse relief. Www ir gov Separation of liability, which applies to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date election of this relief is filed. Www ir gov Equitable relief. Www ir gov   Married persons who live in community property states, but who did not file joint returns, may also qualify for relief from liability arising from community property law or for equitable relief. Www ir gov See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. Www ir gov    Each kind of relief has different requirements. Www ir gov You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. Www ir gov Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Www ir gov You can also find information on our website at IRS. Www ir gov gov. Www ir gov Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. Www ir gov   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. Www ir gov This includes your spouse's federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support payments, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan. Www ir gov You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. Www ir gov Injured spouse. Www ir gov   You are an injured spouse if you file a joint return and all or part of your share of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied against your spouse's past-due debts. Www ir gov An injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount. Www ir gov   To be considered an injured spouse, you must: Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments), or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or additional child tax credit on the joint return, and Not be legally obligated to pay the past-due amount. Www ir gov Note. Www ir gov If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). Www ir gov For more information, see Publication 555. Www ir gov    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. Www ir gov If you live in a community property state in which all community property is subject to the debts of either spouse, your entire refund is generally used to pay those debts. Www ir gov   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. Www ir gov Follow the instructions for the form. Www ir gov   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. Www ir gov You should receive your refund within 14 weeks from the date the paper return is filed or within 11 weeks from the date the return is filed electronically. Www ir gov   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. Www ir gov When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. Www ir gov Do not attach the previously filed tax return, but do include copies of all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, for both spouses and any Forms 1099 that show income tax withheld. Www ir gov    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. Www ir gov An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. Www ir gov An innocent spouse uses Form 8857 to request relief from joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse (or former spouse) that were incorrectly reported on or omitted from the joint return. Www ir gov For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. Www ir gov Married Filing Separately If you and your spouse file separate returns, you should each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on your individual return. Www ir gov You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. Www ir gov For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. Www ir gov Community or separate income. Www ir gov   If you live in a community property state and file a separate return, your income may be separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Www ir gov For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. Www ir gov Separate liability. Www ir gov   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. Www ir gov Itemized deductions. Www ir gov   If you and your spouse file separate returns and one of you itemizes deductions, the other spouse cannot use the standard deduction and should also itemize deductions. Www ir gov Table 1. Www ir gov Itemized Deductions on Separate Returns This table shows itemized deductions you can claim on your married filing separate return whether you paid the expenses separately with your own funds or jointly with your spouse. Www ir gov  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. Www ir gov See Community Property. Www ir gov IF you paid . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov AND you . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov   medical expenses   paid with funds deposited in a joint checking account in which you and your spouse have an equal interest     half of the total medical expenses, subject to certain limits, unless you can show that you alone paid the expenses. Www ir gov     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. Www ir gov         file a joint state income tax return and you and your spouse are jointly and individually liable for the full amount of the state income tax     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. Www ir gov         file a joint state income tax return and you  are liable for only your own share of state  income tax     the smaller of: the state income tax you alone paid during the year, or the total state income tax you and your spouse paid during the year multiplied by the following fraction. Www ir gov The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. Www ir gov     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. Www ir gov     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. Www ir gov     casualty loss   have a casualty loss on a home you own  as tenants by the entirety     half of the loss, subject to the deduction limits. Www ir gov Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. Www ir gov 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Www ir gov Dividing itemized deductions. Www ir gov   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. Www ir gov See Table 1, later. Www ir gov Separate returns may give you a higher tax. Www ir gov   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. Www ir gov There is no joint liability. Www ir gov But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. Www ir gov This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. Www ir gov Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. Www ir gov Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. Www ir gov You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. Www ir gov You cannot take the earned income credit. Www ir gov You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Www ir gov You cannot take the credit for higher education expenses (American opportunity and lifetime learning credits), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Www ir gov You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. Www ir gov If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You will have to include in income more (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Www ir gov Your income limits that reduce the child tax credit, the retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are half of the limits for a joint return filer. Www ir gov Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Www ir gov Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. Www ir gov See Itemized deductions , earlier. Www ir gov Joint return after separate returns. Www ir gov   If either you or your spouse (or both of you) file a separate return, you generally can change to a joint return within 3 years from the due date (not including extensions) of the separate return or returns. Www ir gov This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Www ir gov Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. Www ir gov Separate returns after joint return. Www ir gov   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. Www ir gov Exception. Www ir gov   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Www ir gov The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. Www ir gov Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. Www ir gov You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Www ir gov Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. Www ir gov Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. Www ir gov You may be able to claim certain credits (such as the dependent care credit and the earned income credit) you cannot claim if your filing status is married filing separately. Www ir gov Income limits that reduce your child tax credit, retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are higher than the income limits if you claim a filing status of married filing separately. Www ir gov Requirements. Www ir gov   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Www ir gov You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. Www ir gov You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Www ir gov A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Www ir gov However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Www ir gov See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. Www ir gov Considered unmarried. Www ir gov   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Www ir gov You file a separate return. Www ir gov A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Www ir gov You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Www ir gov Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Www ir gov Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Www ir gov See Temporary absences , later. Www ir gov Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Www ir gov (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Www ir gov ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Www ir gov However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rule described later in Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Exemptions for Dependents. Www ir gov The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. Www ir gov    If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (one of the states listed later under Community Property), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Www ir gov See Publication 555 for more information. Www ir gov Nonresident alien spouse. Www ir gov   If your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, and you have not chosen to treat your spouse as a resident alien, you are considered unmarried for head of household purposes. Www ir gov However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Www ir gov You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. Www ir gov Keeping up a home. Www ir gov   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. Www ir gov This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Www ir gov This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. Www ir gov Qualifying person. Www ir gov    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. Www ir gov Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. Www ir gov   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Www ir gov Table 2. Www ir gov Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. Www ir gov See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Www ir gov IF the person is your . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov AND . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov THEN that person is . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov   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. Www ir gov     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. Www ir gov     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Www ir gov 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. Www ir gov 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Www ir gov     qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests) he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. Www ir gov     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. Www ir gov     he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household not a qualifying person. Www ir gov     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Www ir gov   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Www ir gov 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. Www ir gov Note. Www ir gov If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Www ir gov If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child is generally your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. Www ir gov 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Www ir gov See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. Www ir gov 6 See Special rule for parent . Www ir gov Special rule for parent. Www ir gov   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. Www ir gov However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov Death or birth. Www ir gov   If the person for whom you kept up a home was born or died in 2013, you still may be able to file as head of household. Www ir gov If the person is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Www ir gov If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. Www ir gov Temporary absences. Www ir gov   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. Www ir gov It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Www ir gov You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Www ir gov Kidnapped child. Www ir gov   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. Www ir gov You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. Www ir gov The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Www ir gov In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Www ir gov You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Www ir gov   This treatment applies for all years until the earlier of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Www ir gov More information. Www ir gov   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. Www ir gov Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Www ir gov However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Www ir gov There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. Www ir gov If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim his or her personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Www ir gov Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. Www ir gov If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. Www ir gov These are called personal exemptions. Www ir gov Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Www ir gov Joint return. Www ir gov   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Www ir gov   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. Www ir gov Separate return. Www ir gov   If you file a separate return, you can take an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. Www ir gov If your spouse is the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim an exemption for your spouse even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse's exemption. Www ir gov Alimony paid. Www ir gov   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. Www ir gov This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. Www ir gov Divorced or separated spouse. Www ir gov   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Www ir gov This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Www ir gov Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Www ir gov You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Www ir gov The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Www ir gov Table 3 shows the tests that must be met to be either a qualifying child or qualifying relative, plus the additional requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent. Www ir gov For detailed information, see Publication 501. Www ir gov   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Www ir gov If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own exemption on his or her own tax return. Www ir gov This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Www ir gov It is also true if the decedent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. Www ir gov Table 3. Www ir gov Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. Www ir gov This table is only an overview of the rules. Www ir gov For details, see Publication 501. Www ir gov • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Www ir gov • You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is only a claim for refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns. Www ir gov • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov citizen, U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov resident alien, U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Www ir gov 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Www ir gov   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. Www ir gov     2. Www ir gov       3. Www ir gov    4. Www ir gov    5. Www ir gov    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. Www ir gov   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. Www ir gov   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Www ir gov 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Www ir gov   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Www ir gov   1. Www ir gov    2. Www ir gov       3. Www ir gov    4. Www ir gov The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. Www ir gov   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household 2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). Www ir gov   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Www ir gov 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Www ir gov 4 If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Www ir gov See Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person , later, to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Www ir gov     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. Www ir gov 2 Exceptions exist for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Www ir gov 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. Www ir gov 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Www ir gov See Publication 501. Www ir gov 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. Www ir gov For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. Www ir gov Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. Www ir gov However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. Www ir gov Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Www ir gov   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. Www ir gov The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married. Www ir gov The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. Www ir gov The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. Www ir gov Either of the following applies. Www ir gov The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. Www ir gov (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984, see Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009 , later. Www ir gov A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during 2013. Www ir gov See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. Www ir gov Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. Www ir gov   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. Www ir gov The other parent is the noncustodial parent. Www ir gov   If the parents divorced or separated during the year and the child lived with both parents before the separation, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the rest of the year. Www ir gov   A child is treated as living with a parent for a night if the child sleeps: At that parent's home, whether or not the parent is present, or In the company of the parent, when the child does not sleep at a parent's home (for example, the parent and child are on vacation together). Www ir gov Equal number of nights. Www ir gov   If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. Www ir gov December 31. Www ir gov   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. Www ir gov For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. Www ir gov Emancipated child. Www ir gov   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. Www ir gov See Examples 5 and 6 . Www ir gov Absences. Www ir gov    If a child was not with either parent on a particular night (because, for example, the child was staying at a friend's house), the child is treated as living with the parent with whom the child normally would have lived for that night, except for the absence. Www ir gov But if it cannot be determined with which parent the child normally would have lived or if the child would not have lived with either parent that night, the child is treated as not living with either parent that night. Www ir gov Parent works at night. Www ir gov   If, due to a parent's nighttime work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days but not nights with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. Www ir gov On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. Www ir gov Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. Www ir gov You and your child’s other parent are divorced. Www ir gov In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. Www ir gov You are the custodial parent. Www ir gov Example 2 – child is away at camp. Www ir gov In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. Www ir gov In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. Www ir gov During the time she is at camp, she is treated as living with you for 3 weeks and with her other parent, your ex-spouse, for 3 weeks because this is how long she would have lived with each parent if she had not attended summer camp. Www ir gov Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. Www ir gov Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. Www ir gov Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. Www ir gov Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. Www ir gov You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. Www ir gov Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. Www ir gov Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. Www ir gov You become ill and are hospitalized. Www ir gov The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. Www ir gov Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. Www ir gov Example 5 – child emancipated in May. Www ir gov When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. Www ir gov As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. Www ir gov The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Www ir gov Example 6 – child emancipated in August. Www ir gov Your daughter lives with you from January 1, 2013, until May 31, 2013, and lives with her other parent, your ex-spouse, from June 1, 2013, through the end of the year. Www ir gov She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. Www ir gov Because she is treated as not living with either parent beginning on August 1, she is treated as living with you the greater number of nights in 2013. Www ir gov You are the custodial parent. Www ir gov Written declaration. Www ir gov    The custodial parent must use either Form 8332 or a similar statement (containing the same information required by the form) to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. Www ir gov The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. Www ir gov   The exemption can be released for 1 year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. Www ir gov Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. Www ir gov   If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. Www ir gov To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. Www ir gov The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. Www ir gov The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. Www ir gov The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. Www ir gov   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. Www ir gov The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). Www ir gov The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. Www ir gov The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. Www ir gov Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. Www ir gov   If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, a noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child cannot attach pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332. Www ir gov The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. Www ir gov The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. Www ir gov The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. Www ir gov The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. Www ir gov For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. Www ir gov    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. Www ir gov Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. Www ir gov   The custodial parent can revoke a release of claim to exemption that he or she previously released to the noncustodial parent on Form 8332 or a similar statement. Www ir gov In order for the revocation to be effective for 2013, the custodial parent must have given (or made reasonable efforts to give) written notice of the revocation to the noncustodial parent in 2012 or earlier. Www ir gov The custodial parent can use Part III of Form 8332 for this purpose and must attach a copy of the revocation to his or her return for each tax year he or she claims the child as a dependent as a result of the revocation. Www ir gov Remarried parent. Www ir gov   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. Www ir gov Child support under pre-1985 agreement. Www ir gov   All child support payments actually received from the noncustodial parent under a pre-1985 agreement are considered used for the support of the child, even if such amounts are not actually spent for child support. Www ir gov Example. Www ir gov Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. Www ir gov This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. Www ir gov Parents who never married. Www ir gov   The special rule for divorced or separated parents also applies to parents who never married and lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. Www ir gov Alimony. Www ir gov   Payments to your spouse that are includible in his or her gross income as either alimony, separate maintenance payments, or similar payments from an estate or trust, are not treated as a payment for the support of a dependent. Www ir gov Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person If your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else, this special rule does not apply to you and you do not need to read about it. Www ir gov This is also true if your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else except your spouse with whom you file a joint return. Www ir gov If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), earlier, see Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), later. Www ir gov Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Www ir gov (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). Www ir gov Although the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). Www ir gov The exemption for the child. Www ir gov The child tax credit. Www ir gov Head of household filing status. Www ir gov The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Www ir gov The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. Www ir gov The earned income credit. Www ir gov The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. Www ir gov In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. Www ir gov The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. Www ir gov Tiebreaker rules. Www ir gov   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. Www ir gov If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. Www ir gov If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. Www ir gov If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. Www ir gov If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year. Www ir gov If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. Www ir gov If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' total AGI evenly between them; see Publication 501 for details. Www ir gov   Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child. Www ir gov Example 1—separated parents. Www ir gov You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. Www ir gov In August and September, your son lived with you. Www ir gov For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. Www ir gov Your son is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because your son lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, support, and joint return tests for both of you. Www ir gov At the end of the year, you and your husband still were not divorced, legally separated, or separated under a written separation agreement, so the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Www ir gov You and your husband will file separate returns. Www ir gov Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. Www ir gov This means, if your husband does not claim your son as a qualifying child, you can claim your son as a dependent and treat him as a qualifying child for the child tax credit and exclusion for dependent care benefits, if you qualify for each of those tax benefits. Www ir gov However, you cannot claim head of household filing status because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year. Www ir gov And, as a result of your filing status being married filing separately, you cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Www ir gov Example 2—separated parents claim same child. Www ir gov The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. Www ir gov In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Www ir gov This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. Www ir gov If you claimed an exemption, the child tax credit, or the exclusion for dependent care benefits for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to all these tax benefits, unless you have another qualifying child. Www ir gov In addition, because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year, your husband cannot claim head of household filing status. Www ir gov And, as a result of his filing status being married filing separately, he cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Www ir gov Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Www ir gov   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described earlier, only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. Www ir gov However, the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. Www ir gov Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. Www ir gov If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for those tax benefits, the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. Www ir gov Example 1. Www ir gov You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Www ir gov Your AGI is $10,000. Www ir gov Your mother's AGI is $25,000. Www ir gov Your son's father does not live with you or your son. Www ir gov Under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), your son is treated as the qualifying child of his father, who can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child if he meets all the requirements to do so. Www ir gov Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. Www ir gov However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit. Www ir gov You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits, but the boy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother for head of household filing status and the earned income credit because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Www ir gov (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. Www ir gov ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. Www ir gov This means she can claim him for head of household filing status and the earned income credit if she qualifies for each and if you do not claim him as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Www ir gov (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Www ir gov ) Example 2. Www ir gov The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. Www ir gov Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. Www ir gov Example 3. Www ir gov The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Www ir gov Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. Www ir gov You, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Www ir gov The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the earned income credit and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. Www ir gov Phaseout of Exemptions The amount you can claim as a deduction for exemptions is reduced once your adjusted gross income (AGI) goes above a certain level for your filing status. Www ir gov These levels are as follows:    Filing Status AGI Level That Reduces Exemption Amount Married filing separately $150,000 Single 250,000 Head of household 275,000 Married filing jointly 300,000 Qualifying widow(er) 300,000 You must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions by 2% for each $2,500, or part of $2,500 ($1,250 if you are married filing separately), that your AGI exceeds the amount shown above for your filing status. Www ir gov If your AGI exceeds the amount shown above by more than $122,500 ($61,250 if married filing separately), the amount of your deduction for exemptions is reduced to zero. Www ir gov If your AGI exceeds the level for your filing status, use the Deduction for Exemptions Worksheet found in the instructions for Form 1040 or Form 1040NR to figure the amount of your deduction for exemptions. Www ir gov Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. Www ir gov It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. Www ir gov Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. Www ir gov Although this discussion is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. Www ir gov To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. Www ir gov There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. Www ir gov The general requirements that apply to payments regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed and the specific requirements that apply to post-1984 instruments (and, in certain cases, some pre-1985 instruments) are discussed in this publication. Www ir gov See, Instruments Executed Before 1985 , later, if you are looking for information on where to find the specific requirements that apply to pre-1985 instruments. Www ir gov Spouse or former spouse. Www ir gov   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. Www ir gov Divorce or separation instrument. Www ir gov   The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. Www ir gov This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement). Www ir gov Invalid decree. Www ir gov   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. Www ir gov A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. Www ir gov Amended instrument. Www ir gov   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. Www ir gov Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. Www ir gov However, a retroactive amendment to a divorce decree correcting a clerical error to reflect the original intent of the court will generally be effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Www ir gov Example 1. Www ir gov A court order retroactively corrected a mathematical error under your divorce decree to express the original intent to spread the payments over more than 10 years. Www ir gov This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Www ir gov Example 2. Www ir gov Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. Www ir gov To reflect the true intention of the court, a court order retroactively corrected the error by designating a part of the payment as child support. Www ir gov The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Www ir gov Deducting alimony paid. Www ir gov   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. Www ir gov You must file Form 1040. Www ir gov You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. Www ir gov Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. Www ir gov In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Www ir gov If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. Www ir gov Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. Www ir gov Enter your total payments on line 31a. Www ir gov If you do not provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. Www ir gov Reporting alimony received. Www ir gov   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. Www ir gov You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. Www ir gov    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. Www ir gov If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. Www ir gov Withholding on nonresident aliens. Www ir gov   If you are a U. Www ir gov S. Www ir gov citizen or resident alien and you pay alimony to a nonresident alien spouse, you may have to withhold income tax at a rate of 30% on each payment. Www ir gov However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. Www ir gov For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. Www ir gov General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. Www ir gov Payments not alimony. Www ir gov   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Www ir gov Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained later under Community Property , Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. Www ir gov Example. Www ir gov Under your written separation agreement, your spouse lives rent-free in a home you own and you must pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and utilities for the home. Www ir gov Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. Www ir gov Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. Www ir gov If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. Www ir gov Your spouse must report them as income. Www ir gov If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, you can also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring your deductible interest. Www ir gov However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. Www ir gov If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. Www ir gov For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Www ir gov Child support. Www ir gov   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. Www ir gov If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. Www ir gov irs. Www ir gov gov/formspubs. Www ir gov Underpayment. Www ir gov   If both alimony and child support payments are called for by your divorce or separation instrument, and you pay less than the total required, the payments apply first to child support and then to alimony. Www ir gov Example. Www ir gov Your divorce decree calls for you to pay your former spouse $200 a month ($2,400 ($200 x 12) a year) as child support and $150 a month ($1,800 ($150 x 12) a year) as alimony. Www ir gov If you pay the full amount of $4,200 ($2,400 + $1,800) during the year, you can deduct $1,800 as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,800 as alimony received. Www ir gov If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. Www ir gov You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. Www ir gov Payments to a third party. Www ir gov   Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. Www ir gov These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. Www ir gov ), taxes, tuition, etc. Www ir gov The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. Www ir gov Example 1. Www ir gov Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. Www ir gov If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. Www ir gov Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. Www ir gov Example 2. Www ir gov Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. Www ir gov If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. Www ir gov If itemizing deductions, your spouse can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. Www ir gov However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. Www ir gov If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. Www ir gov Life insurance premiums. Www ir gov   Alimony includes premiums you must pay under your divorce or separation instrument for insurance on your life to the extent your spouse owns the policy. Www ir gov Payments for jointly-owned home. Www ir gov   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse or former spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. Www ir gov See Table 4. Www ir gov   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. Www ir gov If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. Www ir gov Table 4. Www ir gov Expenses for a Jointly-Owned Home Use the table below to find how much of your payment is alimony and how much you can claim as an itemized deduction. Www ir gov IF you must pay all of the . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov AND your home is . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . Www ir gov . Www ir gov . Www ir gov   mortgage payments (principal and interest) jointly owned half of the total payments half of the interest as interest expense (if the home is a qualified home). Www ir gov 1   real estate taxes and home insurance held as tenants in common half of the total payments half of the real estate taxes2 and none of the home insurance. Www ir gov     held as tenants by the entirety or in joint tenancy none of the payments all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. Www ir gov 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. Www ir gov  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. Www ir gov Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. Www ir gov Exception for instruments executed before 1985. Www ir gov   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. Www ir gov A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. Www ir gov A temporary divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and incorporated into, or adopted by, a final decree executed after 1984 that: Changes the amount or period of payment, or Adds or deletes any contingency or condition. Www ir gov   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. Www ir gov irs. Www ir gov gov/formspubs. Www ir gov Example 1. Www ir gov In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. Www ir gov In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. Www ir gov The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. Www ir gov The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. Www ir gov Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Www ir gov Example 2. Www ir gov The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. Www ir gov In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. Www ir gov The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Www ir gov Alimony Requirements A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met. Www ir gov The payment is in cash. Www ir gov The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. Www ir gov The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. Www ir gov This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Www ir gov There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. Www ir gov The payment is not treated as child support. Www ir gov Each of these requirements is discussed next. Www ir gov Cash payment requirement. Www ir gov   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. Www ir gov The following do not qualify as alimony. Www ir gov Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). Www ir gov Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. Www ir gov The use of the payer's property. Www ir gov Payments to a third party. Www ir gov   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. Www ir gov See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. Www ir gov   Also, cash payments made to a third party at the written request of your spouse may qualify as alimony if all the following requirements are met. Www ir gov The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. Www ir gov The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. Www ir gov You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. Www ir gov Payments designated as not alimony. Www ir gov   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. Www ir gov You do this by including a provision in your divorce or separation instrument that states the payments are not deductible as alimony by you and are excludable from your spouse's income. Www ir gov For this purpose, any instrument (written statement) signed by both of you that makes this designation and that refers to a previous written separation agreement is treated as a written separation agreement (and therefore a divorce or separation instrument). Www ir gov If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. Www ir gov   Your spouse can exclude the payments from income only if he or she attaches a copy of the instrument designating them as not alimony to his or her return. Www ir gov The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. Www ir gov Spouses cannot be members of the same household. Www ir gov   Payments to your spouse while you are members of the same household are not alimony if you are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Www ir gov A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. Www ir gov   You are not treated as members of the same household if one of you is preparing to leave the household and does leave no later than 1 month after the date of the payment. Www ir gov Exception. Www ir gov   If you are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, a payment under a written separation agreement, support decree, or other court order may qualify as alimony even if you are members of the same household when the payment is made. Www ir gov Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. Www ir gov   If any part of payments you make must continue to be made for any period after your spouse's death, that part of your payments is not alimony whether made before or after the death. Www ir gov If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. Www ir gov   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the
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The Www Ir Gov

Www ir gov Index A Assistance (see Tax help) C Cancellation of indebtedness, Exclusion of Certain Cancellations of Indebtedness by Reason of the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, or Flooding Casualty and theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Charitable contributions, Temporary Suspension of Limits on Charitable Contributions Child tax credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Clean-up costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Copy of tax return, request for, Request for copy of tax return. Www ir gov Credits: Child tax, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Earned income, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education, Education Credits Employee retention, Employee Retention Credit Employer housing, Employer Housing Credit and Exclusion Rehabilitation tax, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit D Demolition costs, Demolition and Clean-up Costs Distributions: Home purchase or construction, Repayment of Qualified Distributions for the Purchase or Construction of a Main Home Qualified disaster recovery assistance, Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution. Www ir gov Repayment of, Repayment of Qualified Disaster Recovery Assistance Distributions Taxation of, Taxation of Qualified Disaster Recovery Assistance Distributions E Earned income credit, Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit Education credits, Education Credits Eligible retirement plan, Eligible retirement plan. Www ir gov Employee retention credit, Employee Retention Credit Employer housing credit, Employer Housing Credit and Exclusion Exemption, additional for housing, Additional Exemption for Housing Individuals Displaced by the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, or Flooding F Federal mortgage subsidy, recapture of, Recapture of Federal Mortgage Subsidy Free tax services, How To Get Tax Help H Help (see Tax help) Hope credit (see Education credits) I Involuntary conversion (see Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain) IRAs and other retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans L Lifetime learning credit (see Education credits) M Mileage reimbursements, charitable volunteers, Mileage Reimbursements to Charitable Volunteers More information (see Tax help) N Net operating losses, Net Operating Losses P Publications (see Tax help) Q Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution, Qualified disaster recovery assistance distribution. Www ir gov Qualified disaster recovery assistance loss, Qualified disaster recovery assistance loss. Www ir gov R Rehabilitation tax credit, Increase in Rehabilitation Tax Credit Relocation, temporary, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Replacement period for nonrecognition of gain, Replacement Period for Nonrecognition of Gain Retirement plan, eligible, Eligible retirement plan. Www ir gov Retirement plans, IRAs and Other Retirement Plans S Standard mileage rate, charitable use, Standard Mileage Rate for Charitable Use of Vehicles T Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Tax return: Request for copy, Request for copy of tax return. Www ir gov Request for transcript, Request for transcript of tax return. Www ir gov Taxpayer Advocate, Contacting your Taxpayer Advocate. Www ir gov Temporary relocation, Tax Relief for Temporary Relocation Theft losses, Casualty and Theft Losses Transcript of tax return, request for, Request for transcript of tax return. Www ir gov TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications