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Filing Free State Returns

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Filing Free State Returns

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

Topic 304 - Extensions of Time to File Your Tax Return

There are three ways you can request an automatic extension of time to file a U.S. individual income tax return: (1) you can electronically file Form 4868 (PDF), Application For Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Tax Return; (2) you can pay all or part of your estimated income tax due using a credit or debit card or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS); or (3) you can file a paper Form 4868 by mail.

If you file your Form 4868 electronically you will receive an acknowledgement or confirmation number for your records and you do not need to mail in Form 4868. If you need to pay additional taxes when filing Form 4868 electronically, you may do so through the outside service provider or through e-file. You can refer to your tax software or tax professional for ways to file electronically using e-file services. Several companies offer free filing of Form 4868 through the Free File program that you can access on the IRS.gov website. If you wish to file electronically, be sure to have a copy of last year's tax return. You will be asked to provide the adjusted gross income (AGI) from the return for taxpayer verification.

A second way of requesting an automatic extension of time to file your individual income tax return is to pay part or your entire estimated income tax due by credit card or debit card or by using EFTPS. You may pay by phone or Internet through one of the service providers listed on Form 4868. Each service provider will charge a convenience fee based on the amount of the tax payment. At the completion of the transaction, you will receive a confirmation number for your records.

Finally, you can request an automatic extension of time to file your individual income tax return by completing paper Form 4868 and mailing it to the appropriate address provided on the form.

Please be aware that an extension of time to file is NOT an extension of time to pay.

For information regarding State Government filing, visit State Government Websites.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: January 22, 2014

The Filing Free State Returns

Filing free state returns 4. Filing free state returns   Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver's Credit) Table of Contents What's New Introduction Full-time student. Filing free state returns Adjusted gross income. Filing free state returns Distributions received by spouse. Filing free state returns Testing period. Filing free state returns What's New Modified AGI limit for retirement savings contributions credit increased. Filing free state returns  For 2013, you may be able to claim the retirement savings contributions credit if your modified AGI is not more than: $59,000 if your filing status is married filing jointly, $44,250 if your filing status is head of household, or $29,500 if your filing status is single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er). Filing free state returns Introduction You may be able to take a tax credit if you make eligible contributions (defined later) to a qualified retirement plan, an eligible deferred compensation plan, or an individual retirement arrangement (IRA). Filing free state returns You may be able to take a credit of up to $1,000 (up to $2,000 if filing jointly). Filing free state returns This credit could reduce the federal income tax you pay dollar for dollar. Filing free state returns    Can you claim the credit?   If you make eligible contributions to a qualified retirement plan, an eligible deferred compensation plan, or an IRA, you can claim the credit if all of the following apply. Filing free state returns You were born before January 2, 1996. Filing free state returns You are not a full-time student (explained next). Filing free state returns No one else, such as your parent(s), claims an exemption for you on their tax return. Filing free state returns Your adjusted gross income (defined below) is not more than: $59,000 if your filing status is married filing jointly, $44,250 if your filing status is head of household, or $29,500 if your filing status is single, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er). Filing free state returns Full-time student. Filing free state returns   You are a full-time student if, during some part of each of 5 calendar months (not necessarily consecutive) during the calendar year, you are either: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regularly enrolled body of students in attendance, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by either a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regularly enrolled body of students in attendance, or a state, county, or local government. Filing free state returns You are a full-time student if you are enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full time. Filing free state returns Adjusted gross income. Filing free state returns   This is generally the amount on line 38 of your 2013 Form 1040; line 22 of your 2013 Form 1040A; or line 37 of your 2013 Form 1040NR. Filing free state returns However, you must add to that amount any exclusion or deduction claimed for the year for: Foreign earned income, Foreign housing costs, Income for bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Income from Puerto Rico. Filing free state returns Eligible contributions. Filing free state returns   These include: Contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA, Salary reduction contributions (elective deferrals, including amounts designated as after-tax Roth contributions) to: A 401(k) plan (including a SIMPLE 401(k)), A section 403(b) annuity, An eligible deferred compensation plan of a state or local government (a governmental 457 plan), A SIMPLE IRA plan, or A salary reduction SEP, and Contributions to a section 501(c)(18) plan. Filing free state returns They also include voluntary after-tax employee contributions to a tax-qualified retirement plan or section 403(b) annuity. Filing free state returns For purposes of the credit, an employee contribution will be voluntary as long as it is not required as a condition of employment. Filing free state returns Reducing eligible contributions. Filing free state returns   Reduce your eligible contributions (but not below zero) by the total distributions you received during the testing period (defined later) from any IRA, plan, or annuity included above under Eligible contributions. Filing free state returns Also reduce your eligible contributions by any distribution from a Roth IRA that is not rolled over, even if the distribution is not taxable. Filing free state returns   Do not reduce your eligible contributions by any of the following. Filing free state returns The portion of any distribution which is not includible in income because it is a trustee-to-trustee transfer or a rollover distribution. Filing free state returns Distributions that are taxable as the result of an in-plan rollover to your designated Roth account. Filing free state returns Any distribution that is a return of a contribution to an IRA (including a Roth IRA) made during the year for which you claim the credit if: The distribution is made before the due date (including extensions) of your tax return for that year, You do not take a deduction for the contribution, and The distribution includes any income attributable to the contribution. Filing free state returns Loans from a qualified employer plan treated as a distribution. Filing free state returns Distributions of excess contributions or deferrals (and income attributable to excess contributions and deferrals). Filing free state returns Distributions of dividends paid on stock held by an employee stock ownership plan under section 404(k). Filing free state returns Distributions from an eligible retirement plan that are converted or rolled over to a Roth IRA. Filing free state returns Distributions from a military retirement plan. Filing free state returns Distributions from an inherited IRA by a nonspousal beneficiary. Filing free state returns Distributions received by spouse. Filing free state returns   Any distributions your spouse receives are treated as received by you if you file a joint return with your spouse both for the year of the distribution and for the year for which you claim the credit. Filing free state returns Testing period. Filing free state returns   The testing period consists of the year for which you claim the credit, the period after the end of that year and before the due date (including extensions) for filing your return for that year, and the 2 tax years before that year. Filing free state returns Example. Filing free state returns You and your spouse filed joint returns in 2011 and 2012, and plan to do so in 2013 and 2014. Filing free state returns You received a taxable distribution from a qualified plan in 2011 and a taxable distribution from an eligible deferred compensation plan in 2012. Filing free state returns Your spouse received taxable distributions from a Roth IRA in 2013 and tax-free distributions from a Roth IRA in 2014 before April 15. Filing free state returns You made eligible contributions to an IRA in 2013 and you otherwise qualify for this credit. Filing free state returns You must reduce the amount of your qualifying contributions in 2013 by the total of the distributions you received in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Filing free state returns Maximum eligible contributions. Filing free state returns   After your contributions are reduced, the maximum annual contribution on which you can base the credit is $2,000 per person. Filing free state returns Effect on other credits. Filing free state returns   The amount of this credit will not change the amount of your refundable tax credits. Filing free state returns A refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or the refundable amount of your child tax credit, is an amount that you would receive as a refund even if you did not otherwise owe any taxes. Filing free state returns Maximum credit. Filing free state returns   This is a nonrefundable credit. Filing free state returns The amount of the credit in any year cannot be more than the amount of tax that you would otherwise pay (not counting any refundable credits) in any year. Filing free state returns If your tax liability is reduced to zero because of other nonrefundable credits, such as the credit for child and dependent care expenses, then you will not be entitled to this credit. Filing free state returns How to figure and report the credit. Filing free state returns   The amount of the credit you can get is based on the contributions you make and your credit rate. Filing free state returns Your credit rate can be as low as 10% or as high as 50%. Filing free state returns Your credit rate depends on your income and your filing status. Filing free state returns See Form 8880 to determine your credit rate. Filing free state returns   The maximum contribution taken into account is $2,000 per person. Filing free state returns On a joint return, up to $2,000 is taken into account for each spouse. Filing free state returns   Figure the credit on Form 8880. Filing free state returns Report the credit on line 50 of your Form 1040; line 32 of your Form 1040A; or line 47 of your Form 1040NR and attach Form 8880 to your return. Filing free state returns Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications