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2012 1040a Tax Forms

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2012 1040a Tax Forms

2012 1040a tax forms Publication 15-B - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments What's New Reminders Introduction Future Developments For the latest information about developments related to Publication 15-B, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/pub15b. 2012 1040a tax forms What's New Cents-per-mile rule. 2012 1040a tax forms  The business mileage rate for 2014 is 56 cents per mile. 2012 1040a tax forms You may use this rate to reimburse an employee for business use of a personal vehicle, and under certain conditions, you may use the rate under the cents-per-mile rule to value the personal use of a vehicle you provide to an employee. 2012 1040a tax forms See Cents-Per-Mile Rule in section 3. 2012 1040a tax forms Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit. 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms  For 2014, the monthly exclusion for qualified parking is $250 and the monthly exclusion for commuter highway vehicle transportation and transit passes is $130. 2012 1040a tax forms See Qualified Transportation Benefits in section 2. 2012 1040a tax forms Same-sex Marriage. 2012 1040a tax forms  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. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see Revenue Ruling 2013-17, 2013-38 I. 2012 1040a tax forms R. 2012 1040a tax forms B. 2012 1040a tax forms 201, available at www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/irb/2013-38_IRB/ar07. 2012 1040a tax forms html. 2012 1040a tax forms Notice 2013-61 provides special administrative procedures for employers to make claims for refund or adjustments of overpayments of social security and Medicare taxes with respect to certain same-sex spouse benefits before expiration of the period of limitations. 2012 1040a tax forms Notice 2013-61, 2013-44 I. 2012 1040a tax forms R. 2012 1040a tax forms B. 2012 1040a tax forms 432, is available at www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/irb/2013-44_IRB/ar10. 2012 1040a tax forms html. 2012 1040a tax forms Recent changes to certain rules for cafeteria plans. 2012 1040a tax forms  Notice 2013-71, 2013-47 I. 2012 1040a tax forms R. 2012 1040a tax forms B. 2012 1040a tax forms 532, available at www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/irb/2013-47_IRB/ar10. 2012 1040a tax forms html, discusses recent changes to the “use-or-lose” rule for health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and clarifies the transitional rule for 2013-2014 non-calendar year salary reduction elections. 2012 1040a tax forms See Notice 2013-71 for details on these changes. 2012 1040a tax forms Reminders $2,500 limit on a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA). 2012 1040a tax forms  For plan years beginning after December 31, 2012, a cafeteria plan may not allow an employee to request salary reduction contributions for a health FSA in excess of $2,500. 2012 1040a tax forms For plan years beginning after December 31, 2013, the limit is unchanged at $2,500. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see Cafeteria Plans in section 1. 2012 1040a tax forms Additional Medicare Tax withholding. 2012 1040a tax forms  In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. 2012 1040a tax forms 45%, you must withhold a 0. 2012 1040a tax forms 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. 2012 1040a tax forms You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. 2012 1040a tax forms Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. 2012 1040a tax forms There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. 2012 1040a tax forms All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. 2012 1040a tax forms Unless otherwise noted, references to Medicare tax include Additional Medicare Tax. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information on what wages are subject to Medicare tax, see Table 2-1, later, and the chart, Special Rules for Various Types of Services and Payments, in section 15 of Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS. 2012 1040a tax forms gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box. 2012 1040a tax forms Photographs of missing children. 2012 1040a tax forms  The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 2012 1040a tax forms Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. 2012 1040a tax forms You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. 2012 1040a tax forms Introduction This publication supplements Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, and Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. 2012 1040a tax forms It contains information for employers on the employment tax treatment of fringe benefits. 2012 1040a tax forms Comments and suggestions. 2012 1040a tax forms   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. 2012 1040a tax forms   You can write to us at the following address:  Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. 2012 1040a tax forms NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. 2012 1040a tax forms Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. 2012 1040a tax forms   You can also send us comments from www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/formspubs. 2012 1040a tax forms Click on More Information and then click on Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. 2012 1040a tax forms   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. 2012 1040a tax forms Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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American Holidays

Americans celebrate a variety of federal holidays and other national observances.


Federal Holidays

Find the dates for this year's federal holidays.

Federal law establishes the following public holidays for federal employees. If the holiday falls during the weekend, it may be observed on a different day.

Many government offices are closed on federal holidays and some private businesses may close as well. If you plan to visit a government office on or around a federal holiday, you should contact them to determine when they will be open. Find contact information for government departments and agencies.

New Year's Day

New Year's Day is January 1. The celebration of this holiday begins the night before, when Americans gather to wish each other a happy and prosperous coming year. Many Americans make New Year's resolutions. See the New Year's resolutions that are popular every year.

Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January. The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was an African-American clergyman who is recognized for his tireless efforts to win civil rights for all people through nonviolent means.

Washington's Birthday

Washington's Birthday is observed the third Monday of February in honor George Washington, the first President of the United States. This date is commonly called Presidents' Day and many groups honor the legacy of past presidents on this date.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a observed the last Monday of May. It originally honored the people killed in the American Civil War, but has become a day on which the American dead of all wars are remembered.

Independence Day

Independence Day is July 4. This holiday honors the nation's birthday - the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is a day of picnics and patriotic parades, a night of concerts, and fireworks.

Labor Day

Labor Day is the first Monday of September. This holiday honors the nation's working people, typically with parades. For most Americans it marks the end of the summer vacation season and the start of the school year.

Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a celebrated on the second Monday in October. The day commemorates October 12, 1492, when Italian navigator Christopher Columbus landed in the New World. The holiday was first proclaimed in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11. This holiday was originally called Armistice Day and established to honor Americans who had served in World War I. It now honors veterans of all wars in which the U.S. has fought. Veterans' organizations hold parades, and the president places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Many regard this event as the nation's first Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving feast became a national tradition and almost always includes some of the foods served at the first feast: roast turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is a celebrated on December 25. Christmas is a Christian holiday marking the birth of the Christ Child. Decorating houses and yards with lights, putting up Christmas trees, giving gifts, and sending greeting cards have become holiday traditions even for many non-Christian Americans. Find tips to help celebrate.

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Other Celebrations and Observances

There are many commonly observed celebrations in the United States that are not federal holidays. Some of these observances honor groups of people, such as National African American History Month and Women's History Month, or causes, such as National Oceans Month and National Substance Abuse Prevention Month. Many of these holidays and observances are proclaimed by the President ever year. View recent Presidential proclamations.

These are some of the most popular American celebrations and observances that occur every year.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is February 2 and has been celebrated since 1887. On Groundhog Day, crowds gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see if groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow after emerging from his burrow, thus predicting six more weeks of winter weather.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14. The day was named after an early Christian martyr, and on Valentine's Day, Americans give presents like candy or flowers to the ones they love. The first mass-produced valentine cards were sold in the 1840s.

Earth Day

Earth Day is observed on April 22. First celebrated in 1970 in the United States, it inspired national legislation such as the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Earth Day is designed to promote ecology, encourage respect for life on earth, and highlight concern over pollution of the soil, air, and water.

Arbor Day

National Arbor Day was proclaimed as the last Friday in April by President Richard Nixon in 1970. A number of state Arbor Days are observed at other times of the year to coincide with the best tree planting weather. The observance began in 1872, when Nebraska settlers and homesteaders were urged to plant trees on the largely treeless plains.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1914 that started the holiday. He asked Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers on this day. Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day, following President William McKinley's habit of always wearing a white carnation, his mother's favorite flower.

Flag Day

Flag Day, celebrated June 14, has been a presidentially proclaimed observance since 1916. Although Flag Day is not a federal holiday, Americans are encouraged to display the flag outside their homes and businesses on this day to honor the history and heritage the American flag represents.

Father's Day

Father's Day celebrates fathers every third Sunday of June. Father's Day began in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, when a daughter requested a special day to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his children after his wife died. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Patriot Day

September 11, 2001, was a defining moment in American history. On that day, terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners to strike targets in the United States. Nearly 3,000 people died as a consequence of the attacks. Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance is observed on September 11 in honor of the victims of these attacks.

Halloween

Halloween is celebrated on October 31. On Halloween, American children dress up in funny or scary costumes and go "trick or treating" by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The neighbors are expected to respond by giving them small gifts of candy or money.

Pearl Harbor Day

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is December 7. In 1994, Congress designated this national observance to honor the more than 2,400 military service personnel who died on this date in 1941, during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japanese forces. The attack on Pearl Harbor caused the United States to enter World War II.

Ethnic and Religious Holidays

Various ethnic and religious groups in America celebrate days with special meaning to them even though these are not national holidays. For example, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter, Jews observe their high holy days in September, Muslims celebrate Ramadan, and African Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. There are many other religious and ethnic celebrations in the United States.

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The 2012 1040a Tax Forms

2012 1040a tax forms Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. 2012 1040a tax forms Married persons. 2012 1040a tax forms Same-sex marriage. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception. 2012 1040a tax forms Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. 2012 1040a tax forms Amended instrument. 2012 1040a tax forms General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. 2012 1040a tax forms The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. 2012 1040a tax forms Marital status. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). 2012 1040a tax forms If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. 2012 1040a tax forms For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms Unmarried persons. 2012 1040a tax forms   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. 2012 1040a tax forms You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. 2012 1040a tax forms You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. 2012 1040a tax forms You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. 2012 1040a tax forms Married persons. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. 2012 1040a tax forms Same-sex marriage. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms For more details, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. 2012 1040a tax forms See Head of Household , later. 2012 1040a tax forms Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. 2012 1040a tax forms You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Nonresident alien. 2012 1040a tax forms   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms income tax. 2012 1040a tax forms These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms Tax Guide for Aliens. 2012 1040a tax forms Signing a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms Joint and individual liability. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Divorced taxpayers. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Relief from joint liability. 2012 1040a tax forms   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. 2012 1040a tax forms   There are three types of relief available. 2012 1040a tax forms Innocent spouse relief. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Equitable relief. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. 2012 1040a tax forms    Each kind of relief has different requirements. 2012 1040a tax forms You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. 2012 1040a tax forms Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. 2012 1040a tax forms You can also find information on our website at IRS. 2012 1040a tax forms gov. 2012 1040a tax forms Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. 2012 1040a tax forms   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms Injured spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Note. 2012 1040a tax forms If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see Publication 555. 2012 1040a tax forms    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. 2012 1040a tax forms Follow the instructions for the form. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. 2012 1040a tax forms When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. 2012 1040a tax forms An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. 2012 1040a tax forms For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. 2012 1040a tax forms Community or separate income. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. 2012 1040a tax forms Separate liability. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. 2012 1040a tax forms Itemized deductions. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Table 1. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. 2012 1040a tax forms See Community Property. 2012 1040a tax forms IF you paid . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms AND you . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. 2012 1040a tax forms         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. 2012 1040a tax forms         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. 2012 1040a tax forms The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. 2012 1040a tax forms     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. 2012 1040a tax forms     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. 2012 1040a tax forms     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. 2012 1040a tax forms Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. 2012 1040a tax forms 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2012 1040a tax forms Dividing itemized deductions. 2012 1040a tax forms   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms See Table 1, later. 2012 1040a tax forms Separate returns may give you a higher tax. 2012 1040a tax forms   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. 2012 1040a tax forms There is no joint liability. 2012 1040a tax forms But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. 2012 1040a tax forms Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot take the earned income credit. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). 2012 1040a tax forms Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. 2012 1040a tax forms See Itemized deductions , earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms Joint return after separate returns. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms Separate returns after joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception. 2012 1040a tax forms   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. 2012 1040a tax forms The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. 2012 1040a tax forms Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. 2012 1040a tax forms You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2012 1040a tax forms Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2012 1040a tax forms Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Requirements. 2012 1040a tax forms   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. 2012 1040a tax forms You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. 2012 1040a tax forms You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). 2012 1040a tax forms However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. 2012 1040a tax forms See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms Considered unmarried. 2012 1040a tax forms   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. 2012 1040a tax forms You file a separate return. 2012 1040a tax forms A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. 2012 1040a tax forms Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. 2012 1040a tax forms Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. 2012 1040a tax forms See Temporary absences , later. 2012 1040a tax forms Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. 2012 1040a tax forms (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. 2012 1040a tax forms ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. 2012 1040a tax forms    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. 2012 1040a tax forms See Publication 555 for more information. 2012 1040a tax forms Nonresident alien spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. 2012 1040a tax forms You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. 2012 1040a tax forms Keeping up a home. 2012 1040a tax forms   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. 2012 1040a tax forms This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. 2012 1040a tax forms Qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a tax forms Table 2. 2012 1040a tax forms Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. 2012 1040a tax forms See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms IF the person is your . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms AND . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms THEN that person is . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms     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. 2012 1040a tax forms     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms     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. 2012 1040a tax forms     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms Note. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. 2012 1040a tax forms 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. 2012 1040a tax forms See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms 6 See Special rule for parent . 2012 1040a tax forms Special rule for parent. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Death or birth. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms Temporary absences. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. 2012 1040a tax forms You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. 2012 1040a tax forms Kidnapped child. 2012 1040a tax forms   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. 2012 1040a tax forms You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. 2012 1040a tax forms You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms More information. 2012 1040a tax forms   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. 2012 1040a tax forms However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. 2012 1040a tax forms There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. 2012 1040a tax forms If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms These are called personal exemptions. 2012 1040a tax forms Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. 2012 1040a tax forms Joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. 2012 1040a tax forms Separate return. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Alimony paid. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. 2012 1040a tax forms Divorced or separated spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. 2012 1040a tax forms This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. 2012 1040a tax forms Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. 2012 1040a tax forms You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. 2012 1040a tax forms The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms For detailed information, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Table 3. 2012 1040a tax forms Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. 2012 1040a tax forms This table is only an overview of the rules. 2012 1040a tax forms For details, see Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. 2012 1040a tax forms • 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. 2012 1040a tax forms • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms citizen, U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms resident alien, U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. 2012 1040a tax forms 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. 2012 1040a tax forms   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. 2012 1040a tax forms     2. 2012 1040a tax forms       3. 2012 1040a tax forms    4. 2012 1040a tax forms    5. 2012 1040a tax forms    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. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a tax forms 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms   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). 2012 1040a tax forms   1. 2012 1040a tax forms    2. 2012 1040a tax forms       3. 2012 1040a tax forms    4. 2012 1040a tax forms The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. 2012 1040a tax forms   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). 2012 1040a tax forms   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. 2012 1040a tax forms 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. 2012 1040a tax forms 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. 2012 1040a tax forms See Publication 501. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. 2012 1040a tax forms Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2012 1040a tax forms   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. 2012 1040a tax forms The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a tax forms Either of the following applies. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms (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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. 2012 1040a tax forms Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. 2012 1040a tax forms   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. 2012 1040a tax forms The other parent is the noncustodial parent. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms   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). 2012 1040a tax forms Equal number of nights. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms December 31. 2012 1040a tax forms   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. 2012 1040a tax forms For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. 2012 1040a tax forms Emancipated child. 2012 1040a tax forms   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. 2012 1040a tax forms See Examples 5 and 6 . 2012 1040a tax forms Absences. 2012 1040a tax forms    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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Parent works at night. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. 2012 1040a tax forms You and your child’s other parent are divorced. 2012 1040a tax forms In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. 2012 1040a tax forms You are the custodial parent. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 2 – child is away at camp. 2012 1040a tax forms In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. 2012 1040a tax forms In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. 2012 1040a tax forms Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. 2012 1040a tax forms Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. 2012 1040a tax forms You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. 2012 1040a tax forms Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. 2012 1040a tax forms You become ill and are hospitalized. 2012 1040a tax forms The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. 2012 1040a tax forms Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 5 – child emancipated in May. 2012 1040a tax forms When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. 2012 1040a tax forms As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. 2012 1040a tax forms The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 6 – child emancipated in August. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You are the custodial parent. 2012 1040a tax forms Written declaration. 2012 1040a tax forms    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. 2012 1040a tax forms The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. 2012 1040a tax forms The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. 2012 1040a tax forms The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. 2012 1040a tax forms The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. 2012 1040a tax forms   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. 2012 1040a tax forms The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). 2012 1040a tax forms The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. 2012 1040a tax forms The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. 2012 1040a tax forms Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. 2012 1040a tax forms The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. 2012 1040a tax forms The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. 2012 1040a tax forms The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. 2012 1040a tax forms For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. 2012 1040a tax forms    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. 2012 1040a tax forms Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Remarried parent. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. 2012 1040a tax forms Child support under pre-1985 agreement. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example. 2012 1040a tax forms Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. 2012 1040a tax forms This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. 2012 1040a tax forms Parents who never married. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. 2012 1040a tax forms (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). 2012 1040a tax forms 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). 2012 1040a tax forms The exemption for the child. 2012 1040a tax forms The child tax credit. 2012 1040a tax forms Head of household filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms The credit for child and dependent care expenses. 2012 1040a tax forms The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. 2012 1040a tax forms The earned income credit. 2012 1040a tax forms The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. 2012 1040a tax forms The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms Tiebreaker rules. 2012 1040a tax forms   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. 2012 1040a tax forms If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1—separated parents. 2012 1040a tax forms You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. 2012 1040a tax forms In August and September, your son lived with you. 2012 1040a tax forms For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms You and your husband will file separate returns. 2012 1040a tax forms Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 2—separated parents claim same child. 2012 1040a tax forms The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. 2012 1040a tax forms This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1. 2012 1040a tax forms You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2012 1040a tax forms Your AGI is $10,000. 2012 1040a tax forms Your mother's AGI is $25,000. 2012 1040a tax forms Your son's father does not live with you or your son. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. 2012 1040a tax forms ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. 2012 1040a tax forms ) Example 2. 2012 1040a tax forms The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. 2012 1040a tax forms Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 3. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. 2012 1040a tax forms It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. 2012 1040a tax forms Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. 2012 1040a tax forms There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Spouse or former spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms Divorce or separation instrument. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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). 2012 1040a tax forms Invalid decree. 2012 1040a tax forms   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. 2012 1040a tax forms A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. 2012 1040a tax forms Amended instrument. 2012 1040a tax forms   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. 2012 1040a tax forms Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 2. 2012 1040a tax forms Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. 2012 1040a tax forms Deducting alimony paid. 2012 1040a tax forms   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. 2012 1040a tax forms You must file Form 1040. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. 2012 1040a tax forms Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. 2012 1040a tax forms In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). 2012 1040a tax forms If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. 2012 1040a tax forms Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. 2012 1040a tax forms Enter your total payments on line 31a. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Reporting alimony received. 2012 1040a tax forms   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. 2012 1040a tax forms You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. 2012 1040a tax forms    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. 2012 1040a tax forms If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. 2012 1040a tax forms Withholding on nonresident aliens. 2012 1040a tax forms   If you are a U. 2012 1040a tax forms S. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. 2012 1040a tax forms General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. 2012 1040a tax forms Payments not alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. 2012 1040a tax forms If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms Your spouse must report them as income. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. 2012 1040a tax forms If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2012 1040a tax forms For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. 2012 1040a tax forms Child support. 2012 1040a tax forms   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. 2012 1040a tax forms If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/formspubs. 2012 1040a tax forms Underpayment. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Example. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. 2012 1040a tax forms You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. 2012 1040a tax forms Payments to a third party. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. 2012 1040a tax forms ), taxes, tuition, etc. 2012 1040a tax forms The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1. 2012 1040a tax forms Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. 2012 1040a tax forms If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. 2012 1040a tax forms Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 2. 2012 1040a tax forms Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. 2012 1040a tax forms Life insurance premiums. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Payments for jointly-owned home. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms See Table 4. 2012 1040a tax forms   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms Table 4. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms IF you must pay all of the . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms AND your home is . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms . 2012 1040a tax forms   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). 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms     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. 2012 1040a tax forms 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. 2012 1040a tax forms  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. 2012 1040a tax forms Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception for instruments executed before 1985. 2012 1040a tax forms   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. 2012 1040a tax forms A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. 2012 1040a tax forms irs. 2012 1040a tax forms gov/formspubs. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 1. 2012 1040a tax forms In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. 2012 1040a tax forms In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. 2012 1040a tax forms The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. 2012 1040a tax forms Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2012 1040a tax forms Example 2. 2012 1040a tax forms The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. 2012 1040a tax forms The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms The payment is in cash. 2012 1040a tax forms The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. 2012 1040a tax forms This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. 2012 1040a tax forms There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms The payment is not treated as child support. 2012 1040a tax forms Each of these requirements is discussed next. 2012 1040a tax forms Cash payment requirement. 2012 1040a tax forms   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms The following do not qualify as alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). 2012 1040a tax forms Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. 2012 1040a tax forms The use of the payer's property. 2012 1040a tax forms Payments to a third party. 2012 1040a tax forms   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. 2012 1040a tax forms Payments designated as not alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms 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. 2012 1040a tax forms 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). 2012 1040a tax forms If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. 2012 1040a tax forms Spouses cannot be members of the same household. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Exception. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. 2012 1040a tax forms   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. 2012 1040a tax forms If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. 2012 1040a tax forms   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the