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Do State Taxes

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Do State Taxes

Do state taxes Index A Accelerated death benefits, Accelerated Death Benefits Accounting periods Change in, standard deduction not allowed, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes Accrued leave payment Disability retirement and, Accrued leave payment. Do state taxes Adjusted gross income (AGI), Adjustments to Income Adjustments to income, Adjustments to Income Age Standard deduction for age 65 or older, Higher standard deduction for age (65 or older). Do state taxes Age 65, Qualified Individual American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Do state taxes Annuities, Pensions and Annuities Assistance (see Tax help) B Base amount, social security benefits, Base Amount Benefits Accident or health, Other compensation. Do state taxes Long-term care, Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts No-fault insurance, Other compensation. Do state taxes Sickness and injury, Sickness and Injury Benefits Social security, Are Any of Your Benefits Taxable? Veterans', Veterans' benefits. Do state taxes Bequests, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes Blind persons Standard deduction for, Higher standard deduction for blindness. Do state taxes C Child and dependent care credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit Children Standard deduction for, Standard Deduction for Dependents Chronically ill persons, Chronically ill individual. Do state taxes Chronically ill, defined, Terminally or chronically ill defined. Do state taxes Compensation For services, Compensation for Services Loss or disfigurement, Other compensation. Do state taxes Contributions Foreign employment, Foreign employment contributions. Do state taxes Pension or annuity, Cost. Do state taxes Cost, pension or annuity, Cost. Do state taxes Credit Child and dependent care, Child and Dependent Care Credit Earned income, Earned Income Credit (EIC) The elderly or the disabled, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled Credit for the elderly or the disabled, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled D Death benefit, accelerated, Accelerated Death Benefits Decedents, Dependents. Do state taxes Standard deduction, Decedent's final return. Do state taxes Deductions Generally, Deductions Insurance premiums, Medical Insurance Premiums Itemized, Itemized Deductions Meals and lodging, Meals and Lodging Medical and dental, Medical and Dental Expenses Standard, Standard Deduction Dependents, Dependents. Do state taxes Standard deduction for, Standard Deduction for Dependents Disabilities, individuals with Ownership and use test, Exception to use test for individuals with a disability. Do state taxes Disability Person with, Persons with disabilities. Do state taxes Physician's statement, Physician's statement. Do state taxes Total and permanent, Permanent and total disability. Do state taxes Disability income, Disability Pensions, Other compensation. Do state taxes , Disability income. Do state taxes Distributions, retirement plan, Retirement Plan Distributions Drugs (see Medicines) Dual-status taxpayers Standard deduction, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes E Early distributions, tax, Tax on Early Distributions Earned income credit, Earned Income Credit (EIC) Elderly or disabled credit, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled Elderly persons Standard deduction for age 65 or older, Higher standard deduction for age (65 or older). Do state taxes Employment tax withholding, Reminders Employment taxes, Employment taxes. Do state taxes Endowment proceeds, Endowment Contract Proceeds Estimated tax, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, Estimated Tax, Who Must Make Estimated Tax Payments Excess accumulation, tax on, Tax on Excess Accumulation Exclusion, gain on sale of home, Maximum Amount of Exclusion F Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) payments, Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA). Do state taxes Filing requirements Decedents, Dependents. Do state taxes General requirements, General Requirements Surviving spouse, Surviving spouse. Do state taxes Final return for decedent Standard deduction, Decedent's final return. Do state taxes First-time homebuyer credit Recapture, Repaying the first-time homebuyer credit because you sold your home. Do state taxes Form, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled, Physician's statement. Do state taxes 1099-R, Form 1099-R. Do state taxes , Form 1099-R. Do state taxes 5329, Form 5329. Do state taxes 8853, Accelerated Death Benefits Schedule R, Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled, Physician's statement. Do state taxes W-4P, Withholding. Do state taxes Free tax services, Free help with your tax return. Do state taxes G Gain on sale of home (see Sale of home) General rule, pension or annuity, Pensions and Annuities Gifts, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes H Help (see Tax help) Home care (see Nursing services) Home improvements, Home Improvements Home, sale of, Sale of Home Hospital services, Hospital Services Household help, Household Help I Income Adjustments, Adjustments to Income Disability, Disability Pensions, Disability income. Do state taxes Gross, defined, Gross income. Do state taxes Nontaxable, Taxable and Nontaxable Income Sale of home, Sale of Home Self-employment, Self-employed persons. Do state taxes Taxable, Taxable and Nontaxable Income Individual retirement arrangement (IRA) Adjustments to income, Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) Contributions and Deductions Contributions, Contributions. Do state taxes Deductible contribution, Deductible contribution. Do state taxes Distributions, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) Inheritances, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes Injury benefits, Sickness and Injury Benefits, Cost paid by you. Do state taxes Insurance Accident and health, Other compensation. Do state taxes , Medical Insurance Premiums Benefits, long-term care, Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts Benefits, no-fault insurance, Other compensation. Do state taxes Life insurance proceeds, Life Insurance Proceeds Proceeds paid after death, Life Insurance Proceeds Proceeds paid before death, Accelerated Death Benefits Insurance premiums for retired public safety officers, Insurance Premiums for Retired Public Safety Officers Itemized deductions, Itemized Deductions Married filing separately One spouse has itemized, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes L Life insurance proceeds, Life Insurance Proceeds Long-term care, Long-Term Care Chronically ill individuals, Chronically ill individual. Do state taxes Maintenance and personal care services, Maintenance and personal care services. Do state taxes Qualified insurance contracts, Qualified long-term care insurance contracts. Do state taxes Qualified services, Qualified long-term care services. Do state taxes Long-term care insurance, Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts Loss or disfigurement compensation, Other compensation. Do state taxes Lump-sum distributions, Lump-sum distributions. Do state taxes Lump-sum election, social security, Lump-Sum Election M Maintenance and personal care services, Maintenance and personal care services. Do state taxes Married filing separately Itemized deductions One spouse has itemized so other must as well, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes Married taxpayers Age 65 or older spouse Standard deduction, Spouse 65 or older or blind. Do state taxes Blind spouse Standard deduction, Spouse 65 or older or blind. Do state taxes Meals and lodging expenses, Meals and Lodging Medical expenses, Medical and Dental Expenses Medicare, Medicare Part A. Do state taxes , Medicare Part B. Do state taxes , Medicare Part D. Do state taxes Benefits, Medicare. Do state taxes Medicines, Medicines Imported, Imported medicines and drugs. Do state taxes Military retirement pay, Military Retirement Pay Minimum distributions, Tax on Excess Accumulation Minimum wage, Substantial gainful activity. Do state taxes Missing children, Reminders Mortgage assistance payments, Mortgage assistance payments. Do state taxes N Nonperiodic distributions, Nonperiodic Distributions Nonqualified use, Period of nonqualified use. Do state taxes Nonresident aliens Standard deduction, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes Nontaxable income, Payments from a state fund for victims of crime. Do state taxes Accident or health insurance benefits, Other compensation. Do state taxes Bequests, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes Generally, Taxable and Nontaxable Income Gifts, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes Inheritances, Gifts and inheritances. Do state taxes Mortgage assistance payments, Mortgage assistance payments. Do state taxes No-fault insurance benefits, Other compensation. Do state taxes Nutrition program for elderly, Nutrition Program for the Elderly. Do state taxes Public assistance payments, Welfare benefits. Do state taxes Sickness and injury benefits, Sickness and Injury Benefits Veterans' benefits, Veterans' benefits. Do state taxes Winter energy use, Payments to reduce cost of winter energy use. Do state taxes Workers' compensation, Workers' Compensation Nursing home, Nursing home. Do state taxes Nursing services, Nursing Services Chronically ill individuals, Chronically ill individual. Do state taxes Nutrition program for elderly, Nutrition Program for the Elderly. Do state taxes O Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits (OASDI), Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits (OASDI). Do state taxes Other items, Other Items Overall limitation, Overall limitation. Do state taxes P Payments, estimated tax, Estimated Tax Pensions, Pensions and Annuities Pensions, disability, Disability Pensions Photographs, missing children, Reminders Physician's statement, disability, Physician's statement. Do state taxes Prepaid insurance premiums, Prepaid insurance premiums. Do state taxes Preparer, paid, Reminders Preparing your return, Return preparation assistance. Do state taxes Profit-sharing plan, Retirement and profit-sharing plans. Do state taxes Public assistance payments, Welfare benefits. Do state taxes Publications (see Tax help) Q Qualified retirement plan, Tax on Early Distributions R Railroad retirement benefits, Railroad Retirement Benefits, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits Repayments Social security benefits, Repayment of Benefits Reporting pension income, How to report. Do state taxes Residence, sale of, Sale of Home Retirement plans, distributions, Retirement Plan Distributions Returns Decedent, Dependents. Do state taxes Executors and administrators, Dependents. Do state taxes Filing requirements, 2013 Filing Requirements Surviving spouse, Surviving spouse. Do state taxes Reverse mortgages, Reverse Mortgages S Salaries (see Compensation) Sale of Home First-time homebuyer credit, Repaying the first-time homebuyer credit because you sold your home. Do state taxes Surviving spouse, Reminders Sale of home, Sale of Home Self-employed, Self-employed persons. Do state taxes Short tax year Change in annual accounting period, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes Sickness and injury benefits, Sickness and Injury Benefits Simplified method, Pensions and Annuities Social security benefits, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits Standard deduction, Standard Deduction Age 65 or older, Higher standard deduction for age (65 or older). Do state taxes Blind persons, Higher standard deduction for blindness. Do state taxes Dependents, Standard Deduction for Dependents Final return of decedent, Decedent's final return. Do state taxes Married filing separately One spouse has itemized, Persons not eligible for the standard deduction. Do state taxes Starting date, annuity, Cost. Do state taxes State fund for victims of crime, Payments from a state fund for victims of crime. Do state taxes Substantial gainful activity, Substantial gainful activity. Do state taxes Surrender of Iife insurance, Surrender of policy for cash. Do state taxes Surviving Spouse, Reminders Surviving spouse, Surviving spouse. Do state taxes Surviving spouse, insurance, Surviving spouse. Do state taxes Survivors of retirees, Survivors of retirees. Do state taxes T Tax Early distributions, Tax on Early Distributions Estimated, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, Estimated Tax Excess accumulation, Tax on Excess Accumulation Tax counseling for the elderly (TCE), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Do state taxes Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Tax option, 10-year, Lump-sum distributions. Do state taxes Tax return preparers, Reminders Taxable income, Taxable and Nontaxable Income Taxation of benefits, Are Any of Your Benefits Taxable? Terminally ill, defined, Terminally or chronically ill defined. Do state taxes Total and permanent disability, defined, Permanent and total disability. Do state taxes Transportation expenses, Transportation TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help U U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes citizen or resident, U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes citizen or resident alien. Do state taxes Unemployment compensation, Unemployment compensation. Do state taxes V Veterans' benefits, Veterans' benefits. Do state taxes Viatical settlement, Accelerated Death Benefits Victims of crime, Payments from a state fund for victims of crime. Do state taxes Volunteer income tax assistance (VITA), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly. Do state taxes Volunteer work, Volunteer work. Do state taxes W Wages (see Compensation) Winter energy use payments, Payments to reduce cost of winter energy use. Do state taxes Withholding Employment tax, Reminders Pensions and annuities, Withholding. Do state taxes Workers' compensation, Workers' Compensation Worksheets, social security, Which worksheet to use. Do state taxes Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications
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The Do State Taxes

Do state taxes 2. Do state taxes   Filing Status Table of Contents What's New Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Marital StatusDivorced persons. Do state taxes Divorce and remarriage. Do state taxes Annulled marriages. Do state taxes Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Do state taxes Considered married. Do state taxes Same-sex marriage. Do state taxes Spouse died during the year. Do state taxes Married persons living apart. Do state taxes Single Married Filing JointlyFiling a Joint Return Married Filing SeparatelySpecial Rules Head of HouseholdConsidered Unmarried Keeping Up a Home Qualifying Person Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child What's New Filing status for same-sex married couples. Do state taxes  If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Do state taxes See Same-sex marriage under Marital Status, later. Do state taxes Introduction This chapter helps you determine which filing status to use. Do state taxes There are five filing statuses. Do state taxes Single. Do state taxes Married Filing Jointly. Do state taxes Married Filing Separately. Do state taxes Head of Household. Do state taxes Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Do state taxes If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. Do state taxes You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return (chapter 1), your standard deduction (chapter 20), and your tax (chapter 30). Do state taxes You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain deductions and credits. Do state taxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information 519 U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes Tax Guide for Aliens 555 Community Property Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. Do state taxes Unmarried persons. Do state taxes   You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Do state taxes State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Do state taxes Divorced persons. Do state taxes   If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. Do state taxes Divorce and remarriage. Do state taxes   If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. Do state taxes Annulled marriages. Do state taxes    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. Do state taxes You must file Form 1040X, Amended U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes Individual Income Tax Return, claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and are not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. Do state taxes Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Do state taxes If you filed your original return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). Do state taxes However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. Do state taxes Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Do state taxes   If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. Do state taxes See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. Do state taxes Married persons. Do state taxes   If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. Do state taxes Considered married. Do state taxes   You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. Do state taxes You are married and living together as a married couple. Do state taxes You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. Do state taxes You are married and living apart, but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Do state taxes You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. Do state taxes Same-sex marriage. Do state taxes   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. Do state taxes 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. Do state taxes 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. Do state taxes For more details, see Publication 501. Do state taxes Spouse died during the year. Do state taxes   If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. Do state taxes   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. Do state taxes For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . Do state taxes   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Do state taxes Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. Do state taxes Married persons living apart. Do state taxes   If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Do state taxes If you qualify to file as head of household instead of married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. Do state taxes Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. Do state taxes See Head of Household , later. Do state taxes Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. Do state taxes To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. Do state taxes Widow(er). Do state taxes   Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. Do state taxes You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. Do state taxes See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. Do state taxes How to file. Do state taxes   You can file Form 1040. Do state taxes If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Do state taxes If, in addition, you have no dependents, and are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Do state taxes If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. Do state taxes Use the Single column of the Tax Table or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Do state taxes Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. Do state taxes On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. Do state taxes You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Do state taxes If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. Do state taxes Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. Do state taxes If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). Do state taxes You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Do state taxes How to file. Do state taxes   If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. Do state taxes If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Do state taxes If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Do state taxes If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. Do state taxes Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Do state taxes Spouse died. Do state taxes   If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Do state taxes See Spouse died during the year under Marital Status, earlier, for more information. Do state taxes   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. Do state taxes Divorced persons. Do state taxes   If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Do state taxes Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. Do state taxes Accounting period. Do state taxes   Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. Do state taxes See Accounting Periods and Accounting Methods in chapter 1. Do state taxes Joint responsibility. Do state taxes   Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Do state taxes This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. Do state taxes Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. Do state taxes One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Do state taxes You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. Do state taxes Divorced taxpayer. Do state taxes   You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. Do state taxes This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Do state taxes Relief from joint responsibility. Do state taxes   In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. Do state taxes You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Do state taxes   There are three types of relief available. Do state taxes Innocent spouse relief. Do state taxes Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). Do state taxes Equitable relief. Do state taxes    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. Do state taxes Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Do state taxes Signing a joint return. Do state taxes   For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. Do state taxes Spouse died before signing. Do state taxes   If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. Do state taxes If neither you nor anyone else has yet been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. Do state taxes Spouse away from home. Do state taxes   If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so that it can be filed on time. Do state taxes Injury or disease prevents signing. Do state taxes   If your spouse cannot sign because of disease or injury and tells you to sign for him or her, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife). Do state taxes ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. Do state taxes Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. Do state taxes The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. Do state taxes Signing as guardian of spouse. Do state taxes   If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. Do state taxes Spouse in combat zone. Do state taxes   You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf Area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. Do state taxes Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. Do state taxes For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Do state taxes Other reasons spouse cannot sign. Do state taxes    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). Do state taxes Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. Do state taxes You can use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. Do state taxes Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. Do state taxes   Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. Do state taxes However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. Do state taxes If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes residents for the entire tax year. Do state taxes See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Do state taxes Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. Do state taxes This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. Do state taxes If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. Do state taxes You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). Do state taxes This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Do state taxes If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. Do state taxes The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. Do state taxes See Head of Household , later, for more information. Do state taxes You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. Do state taxes However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). Do state taxes This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. Do state taxes When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. Do state taxes How to file. Do state taxes   If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. Do state taxes You can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another person. Do state taxes You can file Form 1040. Do state taxes If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Do state taxes Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. Do state taxes Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. Do state taxes If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. Do state taxes Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Do state taxes Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. Do state taxes Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. Do state taxes   Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. Do state taxes Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. Do state taxes You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000). Do state taxes If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. Do state taxes For more information about these expenses, the credit, and the exclusion, see chapter 32. Do state taxes You cannot take the earned income credit. Do state taxes You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Do state taxes You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Do state taxes You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. Do state taxes S. Do state taxes savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. Do state taxes If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Do state taxes The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. Do state taxes Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Do state taxes If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. Do state taxes If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. Do state taxes Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. Do state taxes   If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. Do state taxes Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Do state taxes   You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. Do state taxes Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. Do state taxes This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. Do state taxes For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct in chapter 17. Do state taxes Rental activity losses. Do state taxes   If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income, up to $25,000. Do state taxes This is called a special allowance. Do state taxes However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. Do state taxes Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. Do state taxes See Limits on Rental Losses in chapter 9. Do state taxes Community property states. Do state taxes   If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Do state taxes See Publication 555. Do state taxes Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. Do state taxes You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. Do state taxes This does not include any extensions. Do state taxes A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Do state taxes Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. Do state taxes Exception. Do state taxes   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Do state taxes The personal representative has 1 year from the due date of the return (including extensions) to make the change. Do state taxes See Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators, for more information on filing a return for a decedent. Do state taxes Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Do state taxes You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. Do state taxes See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. Do state taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Do state taxes A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Do state taxes However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Do state taxes See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. Do state taxes If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. Do state taxes You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. Do state taxes Kidnapped child. Do state taxes   A child may qualify you to file as head of household even if the child has been kidnapped. Do state taxes For more information, see Publication 501. Do state taxes How to file. Do state taxes   If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. Do state taxes If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Do state taxes Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. Do state taxes Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Do state taxes Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Do state taxes You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Do state taxes You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). Do state taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Do state taxes Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Do state taxes Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Do state taxes See Temporary absences , under Qualifying Person, later. Do state taxes Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Do state taxes (See Home of qualifying person , under Qualifying Person, later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Do state taxes ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Do state taxes However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child in chapter 3, or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3. Do state taxes The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained under Exemptions for Dependents in chapter 3. Do state taxes If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Do state taxes See Publication 555 for more information. Do state taxes Nonresident alien spouse. Do state taxes   You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. Do state taxes However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Do state taxes You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. Do state taxes Choice to treat spouse as resident. Do state taxes   You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. Do state taxes See Publication 519. Do state taxes Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Do state taxes You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 2–1. Do state taxes Worksheet 2-1. Do state taxes Cost of Keeping Up a Home   Amount You Paid Total Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $ Minus total amount you paid   () Amount others paid   $ If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. Do state taxes Costs you include. Do state taxes   Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Do state taxes   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. Do state taxes However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. Do state taxes Costs you do not include. Do state taxes   Do not include the costs of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. Do state taxes Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. Do state taxes Qualifying Person See Table 2-1 to see who is a qualifying person. Do state taxes Any person not described in Table 2-1 is not a qualifying person. Do state taxes Table 2-1. Do state taxes Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. Do state taxes See the text of this chapter for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Do state taxes IF the person is your . Do state taxes . Do state taxes . Do state taxes   AND . Do state taxes . Do state taxes . Do state taxes   THEN that person is . Do state taxes . Do state taxes . Do state taxes 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. Do state taxes   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. Do state taxes   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Do state taxes 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Do state taxes 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Do state taxes qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests)   he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Do state taxes   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. Do state taxes   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household   not a qualifying person. Do state taxes   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Do state taxes 1A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Do state taxes 2The term “qualifying child” is defined in chapter 3. Do state taxes Note. Do state taxes If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child in chapter 3. Do state taxes If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. Do state taxes 3This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Do state taxes 4The term “ qualifying relative ” is defined in chapter 3. Do state taxes 5If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Do state taxes See Multiple Support Agreement in chapter 3. Do state taxes 6See Special rule for parent . Do state taxes Example 1—child. Do state taxes Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. Do state taxes He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. Do state taxes As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child in chapter 3) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for you to claim head of household filing status. Do state taxes Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. Do state taxes The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. Do state taxes Because he does not meet the age test (explained under Qualifying Child in chapter 3), your son is not your qualifying child. Do state taxes Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3), he is not your qualifying relative. Do state taxes As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Do state taxes Example 3—girlfriend. Do state taxes Your girlfriend lived with you all year. Do state taxes Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained in chapter 3) are met, she is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes because she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3. Do state taxes See Table 2-1. Do state taxes Example 4—girlfriend's child. Do state taxes The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. Do state taxes He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test in chapter 3). Do state taxes As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Do state taxes Home of qualifying person. Do state taxes   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Do state taxes Special rule for parent. Do state taxes   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. Do state taxes However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Do state taxes 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. Do state taxes   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. Do state taxes Death or birth. Do state taxes   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the individual who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Do state taxes If the individual is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Do state taxes If the individual is anyone else, see Publication 501. Do state taxes Temporary absences. Do state taxes   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. Do state taxes It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Do state taxes You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Do state taxes Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. Do state taxes The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. Do state taxes See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. Do state taxes You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. Do state taxes For example, if your spouse died in 2012, and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. Do state taxes This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). Do state taxes It does not entitle you to file a joint return. Do state taxes How to file. Do state taxes   If you file as qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. Do state taxes If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Do state taxes Check the box on line 5 of either form. Do state taxes Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Do state taxes Eligibility rules. Do state taxes   You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all of the following tests. Do state taxes You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. Do state taxes It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. Do state taxes Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. Do state taxes You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. Do state taxes This does not include a foster child. Do state taxes This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. Do state taxes See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. Do state taxes There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. Do state taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Do state taxes See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. Do state taxes Example. Do state taxes John's wife died in 2011. Do state taxes John has not remarried. Do state taxes During 2012 and 2013, he continued to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. Do state taxes For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. Do state taxes For 2012 and 2013, he can file as qualifying widower with a dependent child. Do state taxes After 2013 he can file as head of household if he qualifies. Do state taxes Death or birth. Do state taxes    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Do state taxes You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. Do state taxes Kidnapped child. Do state taxes   A child may qualify you for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, even if the child has been kidnapped. Do state taxes See Publication 501. Do state taxes    As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. Do state taxes Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications