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H & r block free tax filing Publication 587 - Main Content Table of Contents Qualifying for a DeductionExclusive Use Regular Use Trade or Business Use Principal Place of Business Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers Separate Structure Figuring the DeductionUsing Actual Expenses Using the Simplified Method Daycare Facility Standard meal and snack rates. H & r block free tax filing Sale or Exchange of Your HomeGain on Sale Depreciation Basis Adjustment Reporting the Sale More Information Business Furniture and EquipmentListed Property Property Bought for Business Use Personal Property Converted to Business Use Recordkeeping Where To DeductSelf-Employed Persons Employees Partners How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your HomeInstructions for the Worksheet Worksheets To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home (Simplified Method) Instructions for the Simplified Method Worksheet Instructions for the Daycare Facility Worksheet Instructions for the Area Adjustment Worksheet Qualifying for a Deduction Generally, you cannot deduct items related to your home, such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, utilities, maintenance, rent, depreciation, or property insurance, as business expenses. H & r block free tax filing However, you may be able to deduct expenses related to the business use of part of your home if you meet specific requirements. H & r block free tax filing Even then, the deductible amount of these types of expenses may be limited. H & r block free tax filing Use this section and Figure A, later, to decide if you can deduct expenses for the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing To qualify to deduct expenses for business use of your home, you must use part of your home: Exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business (defined later), Exclusively and regularly as a place where you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of your trade or business, In the case of a separate structure which is not attached to your home, in connection with your trade or business, On a regular basis for certain storage use (see Storage of inventory or product samples , later), For rental use (see Publication 527), or As a daycare facility (see Daycare Facility , later). H & r block free tax filing Additional tests for employee use. H & r block free tax filing   If you are an employee and you use a part of your home for business, you may qualify for a deduction for its business use. H & r block free tax filing You must meet the tests discussed earlier plus: Your business use must be for the convenience of your employer, and You must not rent any part of your home to your employer and use the rented portion to perform services as an employee for that employer. H & r block free tax filing If the use of the home office is merely appropriate and helpful, you cannot deduct expenses for the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing Exclusive Use To qualify under the exclusive use test, you must use a specific area of your home only for your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing The area used for business can be a room or other separately identifiable space. H & r block free tax filing The space does not need to be marked off by a permanent partition. H & r block free tax filing You do not meet the requirements of the exclusive use test if you use the area in question both for business and for personal purposes. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing You are an attorney and use a den in your home to write legal briefs and prepare clients' tax returns. H & r block free tax filing Your family also uses the den for recreation. H & r block free tax filing The den is not used exclusively in your trade or business, so you cannot claim a deduction for the business use of the den. H & r block free tax filing Exceptions to Exclusive Use You do not have to meet the exclusive use test if either of the following applies. H & r block free tax filing You use part of your home for the storage of inventory or product samples (discussed next). H & r block free tax filing You use part of your home as a daycare facility, discussed later under Daycare Facility . H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing With the exception of these two uses, any portion of the home used for business purposes must meet the exclusive use test. H & r block free tax filing Storage of inventory or product samples. H & r block free tax filing    If you use part of your home for storage of inventory or product samples, you can deduct expenses for the business use of your home without meeting the exclusive use test. H & r block free tax filing However, you must meet all the following tests. H & r block free tax filing You sell products at wholesale or retail as your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing You keep the inventory or product samples in your home for use in your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing Your home is the only fixed location of your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing You use the storage space on a regular basis. H & r block free tax filing The space you use is a separately identifiable space suitable for storage. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing Your home is the only fixed location of your business of selling mechanics' tools at retail. H & r block free tax filing You regularly use half of your basement for storage of inventory and product samples. H & r block free tax filing You sometimes use the area for personal purposes. H & r block free tax filing The expenses for the storage space are deductible even though you do not use this part of your basement exclusively for business. H & r block free tax filing Regular Use To qualify under the regular use test, you must use a specific area of your home for business on a regular basis. H & r block free tax filing Incidental or occasional business use is not regular use. H & r block free tax filing You must consider all facts and circumstances in determining whether your use is on a regular basis. H & r block free tax filing Trade or Business Use To qualify under the trade-or-business-use test, you must use part of your home in connection with a trade or business. H & r block free tax filing If you use your home for a profit-seeking activity that is not a trade or business, you cannot take a deduction for its business use. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing You use part of your home exclusively and regularly to read financial periodicals and reports, clip bond coupons, and carry out similar activities related to your own investments. H & r block free tax filing You do not make investments as a broker or dealer. H & r block free tax filing So, your activities are not part of a trade or business and you cannot take a deduction for the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing Principal Place of Business You can have more than one business location, including your home, for a single trade or business. H & r block free tax filing To qualify to deduct the expenses for the business use of your home under the principal place of business test, your home must be your principal place of business for that trade or business. H & r block free tax filing To determine whether your home is your principal place of business, you must consider: The relative importance of the activities performed at each place where you conduct business, and The amount of time spent at each place where you conduct business. H & r block free tax filing Your home office will qualify as your principal place of business if you meet the following requirements. H & r block free tax filing You use it exclusively and regularly for administrative or management activities of your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing You have no other fixed location where you conduct substantial administrative or management activities of your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing If, after considering your business locations, your home cannot be identified as your principal place of business, you cannot deduct home office expenses. H & r block free tax filing However, see the later discussions under Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers and Separate Structure for other ways to qualify to deduct home office expenses. H & r block free tax filing Administrative or management activities. H & r block free tax filing   There are many activities that are administrative or managerial in nature. H & r block free tax filing The following are a few examples. H & r block free tax filing Billing customers, clients, or patients. H & r block free tax filing Keeping books and records. H & r block free tax filing Ordering supplies. H & r block free tax filing Setting up appointments. H & r block free tax filing Forwarding orders or writing reports. H & r block free tax filing Administrative or management activities performed at other locations. H & r block free tax filing   The following activities performed by you or others will not disqualify your home office from being your principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing You have others conduct your administrative or management activities at locations other than your home. H & r block free tax filing (For example, another company does your billing from its place of business. H & r block free tax filing ) You conduct administrative or management activities at places that are not fixed locations of your business, such as in a car or a hotel room. H & r block free tax filing You occasionally conduct minimal administrative or management activities at a fixed location outside your home. H & r block free tax filing You conduct substantial nonadministrative or nonmanagement business activities at a fixed location outside your home. H & r block free tax filing (For example, you meet with or provide services to customers, clients, or patients at a fixed location of the business outside your home. H & r block free tax filing ) You have suitable space to conduct administrative or management activities outside your home, but choose to use your home office for those activities instead. H & r block free tax filing Please click here for the text description of the image. H & r block free tax filing Can you deduct business use of the home expenses? Example 1. H & r block free tax filing John is a self-employed plumber. H & r block free tax filing Most of John's time is spent at customers' homes and offices installing and repairing plumbing. H & r block free tax filing He has a small office in his home that he uses exclusively and regularly for the administrative or management activities of his business, such as phoning customers, ordering supplies, and keeping his books. H & r block free tax filing John writes up estimates and records of work completed at his customers' premises. H & r block free tax filing He does not conduct any substantial administrative or management activities at any fixed location other than his home office. H & r block free tax filing John does not do his own billing. H & r block free tax filing He uses a local bookkeeping service to bill his customers. H & r block free tax filing John's home office qualifies as his principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. H & r block free tax filing He uses the home office for the administrative or managerial activities of his plumbing business and he has no other fixed location where he conducts these administrative or managerial activities. H & r block free tax filing His choice to have his billing done by another company does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing He meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so he can deduct expenses (subject to certain limitations, explained later) for the business use of his home. H & r block free tax filing Example 2. H & r block free tax filing Pamela is a self-employed sales representative for several different product lines. H & r block free tax filing She has an office in her home that she uses exclusively and regularly to set up appointments and write up orders and other reports for the companies whose products she sells. H & r block free tax filing She occasionally writes up orders and sets up appointments from her hotel room when she is away on business overnight. H & r block free tax filing Pamela's business is selling products to customers at various locations throughout her territory. H & r block free tax filing To make these sales, she regularly visits customers to explain the available products and take orders. H & r block free tax filing Pamela's home office qualifies as her principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. H & r block free tax filing She conducts administrative or management activities there and she has no other fixed location where she conducts substantial administrative or management activities. H & r block free tax filing The fact that she conducts some administrative or management activities in her hotel room (not a fixed location) does not disqualify her home office from being her principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing She meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so she can deduct expenses (subject to certain limitations, explained later) for the business use of her home. H & r block free tax filing Example 3. H & r block free tax filing Paul is a self-employed anesthesiologist. H & r block free tax filing He spends the majority of his time administering anesthesia and postoperative care in three local hospitals. H & r block free tax filing One of the hospitals provides him with a small shared office where he could conduct administrative or management activities. H & r block free tax filing Paul very rarely uses the office the hospital provides. H & r block free tax filing He uses a room in his home that he has converted to an office. H & r block free tax filing He uses this room exclusively and regularly to conduct all the following activities. H & r block free tax filing Contacting patients, surgeons, and hospitals regarding scheduling. H & r block free tax filing Preparing for treatments and presentations. H & r block free tax filing Maintaining billing records and patient logs. H & r block free tax filing Satisfying continuing medical education requirements. H & r block free tax filing Reading medical journals and books. H & r block free tax filing Paul's home office qualifies as his principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. H & r block free tax filing He conducts administrative or management activities for his business as an anesthesiologist there and he has no other fixed location where he conducts substantial administrative or management activities for this business. H & r block free tax filing His choice to use his home office instead of the one provided by the hospital does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing His performance of substantial nonadministrative or nonmanagement activities at fixed locations outside his home also does not disqualify his home office from being his principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing He meets all the qualifications, including principal place of business, so he can deduct expenses (subject to certain limitations, explained later) for the business use of his home. H & r block free tax filing Example 4. H & r block free tax filing Kathleen is employed as a teacher. H & r block free tax filing She is required to teach and meet with students at the school and to grade papers and tests. H & r block free tax filing The school provides her with a small office where she can work on her lesson plans, grade papers and tests, and meet with parents and students. H & r block free tax filing The school does not require her to work at home. H & r block free tax filing Kathleen prefers to use the office she has set up in her home and does not use the one provided by the school. H & r block free tax filing She uses this home office exclusively and regularly for the administrative duties of her teaching job. H & r block free tax filing Kathleen must meet the convenience-of-the-employer test, even if her home qualifies as her principal place of business for deducting expenses for its use. H & r block free tax filing Her employer provides her with an office and does not require her to work at home, so she does not meet the convenience-of-the-employer test and cannot claim a deduction for the business use of her home. H & r block free tax filing More Than One Trade or Business The same home office can be the principal place of business for two or more separate business activities. H & r block free tax filing Whether your home office is the principal place of business for more than one business activity must be determined separately for each of your trade or business activities. H & r block free tax filing You must use the home office exclusively and regularly for one or more of the following purposes. H & r block free tax filing As the principal place of business for one or more of your trades or businesses. H & r block free tax filing As a place to meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in the normal course of one or more of your trades or businesses. H & r block free tax filing If your home office is a separate structure, in connection with one or more of your trades or businesses. H & r block free tax filing You can use your home office for more than one business activity, but you cannot use it for any nonbusiness (i. H & r block free tax filing e. H & r block free tax filing , personal) activities. H & r block free tax filing If you are an employee, any use of the home office in connection with your employment must be for the convenience of your employer. H & r block free tax filing See Rental to employer , later, if you rent part of your home to your employer. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing Tracy White is employed as a teacher. H & r block free tax filing Her principal place of work is the school, which provides her office space to do her school work. H & r block free tax filing She also has a mail order jewelry business. H & r block free tax filing All her work in the jewelry business is done in her home office and the office is used exclusively for that business. H & r block free tax filing If she meets all the other tests, she can deduct expenses for the business use of her home for the jewelry business. H & r block free tax filing If Tracy also uses the office for work related to her teaching, she must meet the exclusive use test for both businesses to qualify for the deduction. H & r block free tax filing As an employee, Tracy must also meet the convenience-of-the-employer test to qualify for the deduction. H & r block free tax filing She does not meet this test for her work as a teacher, so she cannot claim a deduction for the business use of her home for either activity. H & r block free tax filing Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers If you meet or deal with patients, clients, or customers in your home in the normal course of your business, even though you also carry on business at another location, you can deduct your expenses for the part of your home used exclusively and regularly for business if you meet both the following tests. H & r block free tax filing You physically meet with patients, clients, or customers on your premises. H & r block free tax filing Their use of your home is substantial and integral to the conduct of your business. H & r block free tax filing Doctors, dentists, attorneys, and other professionals who maintain offices in their homes generally will meet this requirement. H & r block free tax filing Using your home for occasional meetings and telephone calls will not qualify you to deduct expenses for the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing The part of your home you use exclusively and regularly to meet patients, clients, or customers does not have to be your principal place of business. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing June Quill, a self-employed attorney, works 3 days a week in her city office. H & r block free tax filing She works 2 days a week in her home office used only for business. H & r block free tax filing She regularly meets clients there. H & r block free tax filing Her home office qualifies for a business deduction because she meets clients there in the normal course of her business. H & r block free tax filing Separate Structure You can deduct expenses for a separate free-standing structure, such as a studio, workshop, garage, or barn, if you use it exclusively and regularly for your business. H & r block free tax filing The structure does not have to be your principal place of business or a place where you meet patients, clients, or customers. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing John Berry operates a floral shop in town. H & r block free tax filing He grows the plants for his shop in a greenhouse behind his home. H & r block free tax filing He uses the greenhouse exclusively and regularly in his business, so he can deduct the expenses for its use, subject to certain limitations, explained later. H & r block free tax filing Figuring the Deduction After you determine that you meet the tests under Qualifying for a Deduction , you can begin to figure how much you can deduct. H & r block free tax filing When figuring the amount you can deduct for the business use of your home, you will use either your actual expenses or a simplified method. H & r block free tax filing Electing to use the simplified method. H & r block free tax filing   The simplified method is an alternative to the calculation, allocation, and substantiation of actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing You choose whether or not to figure your deduction using the simplified method each taxable year. H & r block free tax filing See Using the Simplified Method , later. H & r block free tax filing Rental to employer. H & r block free tax filing   If you rent part of your home to your employer and you use the rented part in performing services for your employer as an employee, your deduction for the business use of your home is limited. H & r block free tax filing You can deduct mortgage interest, qualified mortgage insurance premiums, real estate taxes, and personal casualty losses for the rented part, subject to any limitations. H & r block free tax filing However, you cannot deduct otherwise allowable trade or business expenses, business casualty losses, or depreciation related to the use of your home (or use the simplified method as an alternative to deducting these actual expenses) in performing services for your employer. H & r block free tax filing Using Actual Expenses If you do not or cannot elect to use the simplified method for a home, you will figure your deduction for that home using your actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing You will also need to figure the percentage of your home used for business and the limit on the deduction. H & r block free tax filing If you are an employee or a partner, or you use your home in your farming business and you file Schedule F (Form 1040), you can use the Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home, near the end of this publication, to help you figure your deduction. H & r block free tax filing If you use your home in a trade or business and you file Schedule C (Form 1040), you will use Form 8829 to figure your deduction. H & r block free tax filing Part-year use. H & r block free tax filing   You cannot deduct expenses for the business use of your home incurred during any part of the year you did not use your home for business purposes. H & r block free tax filing For example, if you begin using part of your home for business on July 1, and you meet all the tests from that date until the end of the year, consider only your expenses for the last half of the year in figuring your allowable deduction. H & r block free tax filing Expenses related to tax-exempt income. H & r block free tax filing   Generally, you cannot deduct expenses that are related to tax-exempt allowances. H & r block free tax filing However, if you receive a tax-exempt parsonage allowance or a tax-exempt military allowance, your expenses for mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deductible under the normal rules. H & r block free tax filing No deduction is allowed for other expenses related to the tax-exempt allowance. H & r block free tax filing   If your housing is provided free of charge and the value of the housing is tax exempt, you cannot deduct the rental value of any portion of the housing. H & r block free tax filing Actual Expenses You must divide the expenses of operating your home between personal and business use. H & r block free tax filing The part of a home operating expense you can use to figure your deduction depends on both of the following. H & r block free tax filing Whether the expense is direct, indirect, or unrelated. H & r block free tax filing The percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing Table 1, next, describes the types of expenses you may have and the extent to which they are deductible. H & r block free tax filing Table 1. H & r block free tax filing Types of Expenses  Expense  Description  Deductibility Direct Expenses only for  the business part  of your home. H & r block free tax filing Deductible in full. H & r block free tax filing *   Examples:  Painting or repairs  only in the area  used for business. H & r block free tax filing Exception: May be only partially  deductible in a daycare facility. H & r block free tax filing See Daycare Facility , later. H & r block free tax filing Indirect Expenses for  keeping up and running your  entire home. H & r block free tax filing Deductible based on the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing *   Examples:  Insurance, utilities, and  general repairs. H & r block free tax filing   Unrelated Expenses only for  the parts of your  home not used  for business. H & r block free tax filing Not deductible. H & r block free tax filing   Examples:  Lawn care or painting  a room not used  for business. H & r block free tax filing   *Subject to the deduction limit, discussed later. H & r block free tax filing Form 8829 and the Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home have separate columns for direct and indirect expenses. H & r block free tax filing Certain expenses are deductible whether or not you use your home for business. H & r block free tax filing If you qualify to deduct business use of the home expenses, use the business percentage of these expenses to figure your total business use of the home deduction. H & r block free tax filing These expenses include the following. H & r block free tax filing Real estate taxes. H & r block free tax filing Qualified mortgage insurance premiums. H & r block free tax filing Deductible mortgage interest. H & r block free tax filing Casualty losses. H & r block free tax filing Other expenses are deductible only if you use your home for business. H & r block free tax filing You can use the business percentage of these expenses to figure your total business use of the home deduction. H & r block free tax filing These expenses generally include (but are not limited to) the following. H & r block free tax filing Depreciation (covered under Depreciating Your Home , later). H & r block free tax filing Insurance. H & r block free tax filing Rent paid for the use of property you do not own but use in your trade or business. H & r block free tax filing Repairs. H & r block free tax filing Security system. H & r block free tax filing Utilities and services. H & r block free tax filing Real estate taxes. H & r block free tax filing   To figure the business part of your real estate taxes, multiply the real estate taxes paid by the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing   For more information on the deduction for real estate taxes, see Publication 530, Tax Information for Homeowners. H & r block free tax filing Deductible mortgage interest. H & r block free tax filing   To figure the business part of your deductible mortgage interest, multiply this interest by the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing You can include interest on a second mortgage in this computation. H & r block free tax filing If your total mortgage debt is more than $1,000,000 or your home equity debt is more than $100,000, your deduction may be limited. H & r block free tax filing For more information on what interest is deductible, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. H & r block free tax filing Qualified mortgage insurance premiums. H & r block free tax filing   To figure the business part of your qualified mortgage insurance premiums, multiply the premiums by the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing You can include premiums for insurance on a second mortgage in this computation. H & r block free tax filing If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000 ($50,000 if your filing status is married filing separately), your deduction may be limited. H & r block free tax filing For more information, see Publication 936, and Line 13 in the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing Casualty losses. H & r block free tax filing    If you have a casualty loss on your home that you use for business, treat the casualty loss as a direct expense, an indirect expense, or an unrelated expense, depending on the property affected. H & r block free tax filing A direct expense is the loss on the portion of the property you use only in your business. H & r block free tax filing Use the entire loss to figure the business use of the home deduction. H & r block free tax filing An indirect expense is the loss on property you use for both business and personal purposes. H & r block free tax filing Use only the business portion to figure the deduction. H & r block free tax filing An unrelated expense is the loss on property you do not use in your business. H & r block free tax filing Do not use any of the loss to figure the deduction. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing You meet the rules to take a deduction for an office in your home that is 10% of the total area of your house. H & r block free tax filing A storm damages your roof. H & r block free tax filing This is an indirect expense as the roof is part of the whole house and is considered to be used both for business and personal purposes. H & r block free tax filing You would complete Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts, to report your loss. H & r block free tax filing You complete both section A (Personal Use Property) and section B (Business and Income-Producing Property) as your home is used both for business and personal purposes. H & r block free tax filing Since you use 90% of your home for personal purposes, use 90% of the cost or adjusted basis of your home, insurance or other reimbursement, and fair market value, both before and after the storm, to figure the amounts to enter on lines 2, 3, 5, and 6 of Form 4684. H & r block free tax filing Since you use 10% of your home for business purposes, use 10% of the cost or adjusted basis of your home, insurance or other reimbursement, and fair market value, both before and after the storm, to figure the amounts to enter on lines 20, 21, 23, and 24 of Form 4684. H & r block free tax filing Forms and worksheets to use. H & r block free tax filing   If you are filing Schedule C (Form 1040), get Form 8829 and follow the instructions for casualty losses. H & r block free tax filing If you are an employee or a partner, or you file Schedule F (Form 1040), use the Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home, near the end of this publication. H & r block free tax filing You will also need to get Form 4684. H & r block free tax filing More information. H & r block free tax filing   For more information on casualty losses, see Publication 547, Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts. H & r block free tax filing Insurance. H & r block free tax filing   You can deduct the cost of insurance that covers the business part of your home. H & r block free tax filing However, if your insurance premium gives you coverage for a period that extends past the end of your tax year, you can deduct only the business percentage of the part of the premium that gives you coverage for your tax year. H & r block free tax filing You can deduct the business percentage of the part that applies to the following year in that year. H & r block free tax filing Rent. H & r block free tax filing   If you rent the home you occupy and meet the requirements for business use of the home, you can deduct part of the rent you pay. H & r block free tax filing To figure your deduction, multiply your rent payments by the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing   If you own your home, you cannot deduct the fair rental value of your home. H & r block free tax filing However, see Depreciating Your Home , later. H & r block free tax filing Repairs. H & r block free tax filing   The cost of repairs that relate to your business, including labor (other than your own labor), is a deductible expense. H & r block free tax filing For example, a furnace repair benefits the entire home. H & r block free tax filing If you use 10% of your home for business, you can deduct 10% of the cost of the furnace repair. H & r block free tax filing   Repairs keep your home in good working order over its useful life. H & r block free tax filing Examples of common repairs are patching walls and floors, painting, wallpapering, repairing roofs and gutters, and mending leaks. H & r block free tax filing However, repairs are sometimes treated as a permanent improvement and are not deductible. H & r block free tax filing See Permanent improvements , later, under Depreciating Your Home. H & r block free tax filing Security system. H & r block free tax filing   If you install a security system that protects all the doors and windows in your home, you can deduct the business part of the expenses you incur to maintain and monitor the system. H & r block free tax filing You also can take a depreciation deduction for the part of the cost of the security system relating to the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing Utilities and services. H & r block free tax filing   Expenses for utilities and services, such as electricity, gas, trash removal, and cleaning services, are primarily personal expenses. H & r block free tax filing However, if you use part of your home for business, you can deduct the business part of these expenses. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the business percentage for utilities is the same as the percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing Telephone. H & r block free tax filing   The basic local telephone service charge, including taxes, for the first telephone line into your home (i. H & r block free tax filing e. H & r block free tax filing , landline) is a nondeductible personal expense. H & r block free tax filing However, charges for business long-distance phone calls on that line, as well as the cost of a second line into your home used exclusively for business, are deductible business expenses. H & r block free tax filing Do not include these expenses as a cost of using your home for business. H & r block free tax filing Deduct these charges separately on the appropriate form or schedule. H & r block free tax filing For example, if you file Schedule C (Form 1040), deduct these expenses on line 25, Utilities (instead of line 30, Expenses for business use of your home). H & r block free tax filing Depreciating Your Home If you own your home and qualify to deduct expenses for its business use, you can claim a deduction for depreciation. H & r block free tax filing Depreciation is an allowance for the wear and tear on the part of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing You cannot depreciate the cost or value of the land. H & r block free tax filing You recover its cost when you sell or otherwise dispose of the property. H & r block free tax filing Before you figure your depreciation deduction, you need to know the following information. H & r block free tax filing The month and year you started using your home for business. H & r block free tax filing The adjusted basis and fair market value of your home (excluding land) at the time you began using it for business. H & r block free tax filing The cost of any improvements before and after you began using the property for business. H & r block free tax filing The percentage of your home used for business. H & r block free tax filing See Business Percentage , later. H & r block free tax filing Adjusted basis defined. H & r block free tax filing   The adjusted basis of your home is generally its cost, plus the cost of any permanent improvements you made to it, minus any casualty losses or depreciation deducted in earlier tax years. H & r block free tax filing For a discussion of adjusted basis, see Publication 551. H & r block free tax filing Permanent improvements. H & r block free tax filing   A permanent improvement increases the value of property, adds to its life, or gives it a new or different use. H & r block free tax filing Examples of improvements are replacing electric wiring or plumbing, adding a new roof or addition, paneling, or remodeling. H & r block free tax filing    You must carefully distinguish between repairs and improvements. H & r block free tax filing See Repairs , earlier, under Actual Expenses. H & r block free tax filing You also must keep accurate records of these expenses. H & r block free tax filing These records will help you decide whether an expense is a deductible or a capital (added to the basis) expense. H & r block free tax filing However, if you make repairs as part of an extensive remodeling or restoration of your home, the entire job is an improvement. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing You buy an older home and fix up two rooms as a beauty salon. H & r block free tax filing You patch the plaster on the ceilings and walls, paint, repair the floor, install an outside door, and install new wiring, plumbing, and other equipment. H & r block free tax filing Normally, the patching, painting, and floor work are repairs and the other expenses are permanent improvements. H & r block free tax filing However, because the work gives your property a new use, the entire remodeling job is a permanent improvement and its cost is added to the basis of the property. H & r block free tax filing You cannot deduct any portion of it as a repair expense. H & r block free tax filing Adjusting for depreciation deducted in earlier years. H & r block free tax filing   Decrease the basis of your property by the depreciation you deducted, or could have deducted, on your tax returns under the method of depreciation you properly selected. H & r block free tax filing If you deducted less depreciation than you could have under the method you selected, decrease the basis by the amount you could have deducted under that method. H & r block free tax filing If you did not deduct any depreciation, decrease the basis by the amount you could have deducted. H & r block free tax filing   If you deducted more depreciation than you should have, decrease your basis by the amount you should have deducted, plus the part of the excess depreciation you deducted that actually decreased your tax liability for any year. H & r block free tax filing   If you deducted the incorrect amount of depreciation, see Publication 946. H & r block free tax filing Fair market value defined. H & r block free tax filing   The fair market value of your home is the price at which the property would change hands between a buyer and a seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all necessary facts. H & r block free tax filing Sales of similar property, on or about the date you begin using your home for business, may be helpful in determining the property's fair market value. H & r block free tax filing Figuring the depreciation deduction for the current year. H & r block free tax filing   If you began using your home for business before 2013, continue to use the same depreciation method you used in past tax years. H & r block free tax filing   If you began using your home for business for the first time in 2013, depreciate the business part as nonresidential real property under the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS). H & r block free tax filing Under MACRS, nonresidential real property is depreciated using the straight line method over 39 years. H & r block free tax filing For more information on MACRS and other methods of depreciation, see Publication 946. H & r block free tax filing   To figure the depreciation deduction, you must first figure the part of the cost of your home that can be depreciated (depreciable basis). H & r block free tax filing The depreciable basis is figured by multiplying the percentage of your home used for business by the smaller of the following. H & r block free tax filing The adjusted basis of your home (excluding land) on the date you began using your home for business. H & r block free tax filing The fair market value of your home (excluding land) on the date you began using your home for business. H & r block free tax filing Depreciation table. H & r block free tax filing   If 2013 was the first year you used your home for business, you can figure your 2013 depreciation for the business part of your home by using the appropriate percentage from the following table. H & r block free tax filing Table 2. H & r block free tax filing MACRS Percentage Table for 39-Year Nonresidential Real Property Month First Used for Business Percentage To Use 1 2. H & r block free tax filing 461% 2 2. H & r block free tax filing 247% 3 2. H & r block free tax filing 033% 4 1. H & r block free tax filing 819% 5 1. H & r block free tax filing 605% 6 1. H & r block free tax filing 391% 7 1. H & r block free tax filing 177% 8 0. H & r block free tax filing 963% 9 0. H & r block free tax filing 749% 10 0. H & r block free tax filing 535% 11 0. H & r block free tax filing 321% 12 0. H & r block free tax filing 107%   Multiply the depreciable basis of the business part of your home by the percentage from the table for the first month you use your home for business. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 946 for the percentages for the remaining tax years of the recovery period. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing In May, George Miller began to use one room in his home exclusively and regularly to meet clients. H & r block free tax filing This room is 8% of the square footage of his home. H & r block free tax filing He bought the home in 2003 for $125,000. H & r block free tax filing He determined from his property tax records that his adjusted basis in the house (exclusive of land) is $115,000. H & r block free tax filing In May, the house had a fair market value of $165,000. H & r block free tax filing He multiplies his adjusted basis of $115,000 (which is less than the fair market value) by 8%. H & r block free tax filing The result is $9,200, his depreciable basis for the business part of the house. H & r block free tax filing George files his return based on the calendar year. H & r block free tax filing May is the 5th month of his tax year. H & r block free tax filing He multiplies his depreciable basis of $9,200 by 1. H & r block free tax filing 605% (. H & r block free tax filing 01605), the percentage from the table for the 5th month. H & r block free tax filing His depreciation deduction is $147. H & r block free tax filing 66. H & r block free tax filing Depreciating permanent improvements. H & r block free tax filing   Add the costs of permanent improvements made before you began using your home for business to the basis of your property. H & r block free tax filing Depreciate these costs as part of the cost of your home as explained earlier. H & r block free tax filing The costs of improvements made after you begin using your home for business (that affect the business part of your home, such as a new roof) are depreciated separately. H & r block free tax filing Multiply the cost of the improvement by the business-use percentage and depreciate the result over the recovery period that would apply to your home if you began using it for business at the same time as the improvement. H & r block free tax filing For improvements made this year, the recovery period is 39 years. H & r block free tax filing For the percentage to use for the first year, see Table 2, earlier. H & r block free tax filing For more information on recovery periods, see Publication 946. H & r block free tax filing Business Percentage To find the business percentage, compare the size of the part of your home that you use for business to your whole house. H & r block free tax filing Use the resulting percentage to figure the business part of the expenses for operating your entire home. H & r block free tax filing You can use any reasonable method to determine the business percentage. H & r block free tax filing The following are two commonly used methods for figuring the percentage. H & r block free tax filing Divide the area (length multiplied by the width) used for business by the total area of your home. H & r block free tax filing If the rooms in your home are all about the same size, you can divide the number of rooms used for business by the total number of rooms in your home. H & r block free tax filing Example 1. H & r block free tax filing Your office is 240 square feet (12 feet × 20 feet). H & r block free tax filing Your home is 1,200 square feet. H & r block free tax filing Your office is 20% (240 ÷ 1,200) of the total area of your home. H & r block free tax filing Your business percentage is 20%. H & r block free tax filing Example 2. H & r block free tax filing You use one room in your home for business. H & r block free tax filing Your home has 10 rooms, all about equal size. H & r block free tax filing Your office is 10% (1 ÷ 10) of the total area of your home. H & r block free tax filing Your business percentage is 10%. H & r block free tax filing Use lines 1-7 of Form 8829, or lines 1-3 on the Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home (near the end of this publication) to figure your business percentage. H & r block free tax filing Deduction Limit If your gross income from the business use of your home equals or exceeds your total business expenses (including depreciation), you can deduct all your business expenses related to the use of your home. H & r block free tax filing If your gross income from the business use of your home is less than your total business expenses, your deduction for certain expenses for the business use of your home is limited. H & r block free tax filing Your deduction of otherwise nondeductible expenses, such as insurance, utilities, and depreciation of your home (with depreciation of your home taken last), that are allocable to the business, is limited to the gross income from the business use of your home minus the sum of the following. H & r block free tax filing The business part of expenses you could deduct even if you did not use your home for business (such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty and theft losses that are allowable as itemized deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040)). H & r block free tax filing These expenses are discussed in detail under Actual Expenses , earlier. H & r block free tax filing The business expenses that relate to the business activity in the home (for example, business phone, supplies, and depreciation on equipment), but not to the use of the home itself. H & r block free tax filing If you are self-employed, do not include in (2) above your deduction for one-half of your self-employment tax. H & r block free tax filing Carryover of unallowed expenses. H & r block free tax filing   If your deductions are greater than the current year's limit, you can carry over the excess to the next year in which you use actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing They are subject to the deduction limit for that year, whether or not you live in the same home during that year. H & r block free tax filing Figuring the deduction limit and carryover. H & r block free tax filing   If you are an employee or a partner, or you file Schedule F (Form 1040), use the Worksheet To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home, near the end of this publication. H & r block free tax filing If you file Schedule C (Form 1040), figure your deduction limit and carryover on Form 8829. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing You meet the requirements for deducting expenses for the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing You use 20% of your home for business. H & r block free tax filing In 2013, your business expenses and the expenses for the business use of your home are deducted from your gross income in the following order. H & r block free tax filing    Gross income from business $6,000 Minus:   Deductible mortgage interest and real estate taxes (20%) 3,000 Business expenses not related to the use of your home (100%) (business phone, supplies, and depreciation on equipment) 2,000 Deduction limit $1,000 Minus other expenses allocable to business use of home:   Maintenance, insurance, and utilities (20%) 800 Depreciation allowed (20% = $1,600 allowable, but subject to balance of deduction limit) 200 Other expenses up to the deduction limit $1,000 Depreciation carryover to 2014 ($1,600 − $200) (subject to deduction limit in 2014) $1,400   You can deduct all of the business part of your deductible mortgage interest and real estate taxes ($3,000). H & r block free tax filing You also can deduct all of your business expenses not related to the use of your home ($2,000). H & r block free tax filing Additionally, you can deduct all of the business part of your expenses for maintenance, insurance, and utilities, because the total ($800) is less than the $1,000 deduction limit. H & r block free tax filing Your deduction for depreciation for the business use of your home is limited to $200 ($1,000 minus $800) because of the deduction limit. H & r block free tax filing You can carry over the $1,400 balance and add it to your depreciation for 2014, subject to your deduction limit in 2014. H & r block free tax filing More than one place of business. H & r block free tax filing   If part of the gross income from your trade or business is from the business use of part of your home and part is from a place other than your home, you must determine the part of your gross income from the business use of your home before you figure the deduction limit. H & r block free tax filing In making this determination, consider the time you spend at each location, the business investment in each location, and any other relevant facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing If your home office qualifies as your principal place of business, you can deduct your daily transportation costs between your home and another work location in the same trade or business. H & r block free tax filing For more information on transportation costs, see Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. H & r block free tax filing Using the Simplified Method The simplified method is an alternative to the calculation, allocation, and substantiation of actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing In most cases, you will figure your deduction by multiplying $5, the prescribed rate, by the area of your home used for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing The area you use to figure your deduction is limited to 300 square feet. H & r block free tax filing See Simplified Amount , later, for information about figuring the amount of the deduction. H & r block free tax filing For more information about the simplified method, see Revenue Procedure 2013-13, 2013-06 I. H & r block free tax filing R. H & r block free tax filing B. H & r block free tax filing 478, available at www. H & r block free tax filing irs. H & r block free tax filing gov/irb/2013-06_IRB/ar09. H & r block free tax filing html. H & r block free tax filing Actual expenses and depreciation of your home. H & r block free tax filing   If you elect to use the simplified method, you cannot deduct any actual expenses for the business except for business expenses that are not related to the use of the home. H & r block free tax filing You also cannot deduct any depreciation (including any additional first-year depreciation) or section 179 expense for the portion of the home that is used for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing The depreciation deduction allowable for that portion of the home is deemed to be zero for a year you use the simplified method. H & r block free tax filing If you figure your deduction for business use of the home using actual expenses in a subsequent year, you will have to use the appropriate optional depreciation table for MACRS to figure your depreciation. H & r block free tax filing More information. H & r block free tax filing   For more information about claiming depreciation in a subsequent year, see Revenue Procedure 2013-13, 2013-06 I. H & r block free tax filing R. H & r block free tax filing B. H & r block free tax filing 478, available at www. H & r block free tax filing irs. H & r block free tax filing gov/irb/2013-06_IRB/ar09. H & r block free tax filing html. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 946 for the optional depreciation tables Although you cannot deduct any depreciation or section 179 expense for the portion of your home used for a qualified business use, you may still claim depreciation or the section 179 expense deduction on other assets used in the business (for example, furniture and equipment). H & r block free tax filing Expenses deductible without regard to business use. H & r block free tax filing   When using the simplified method, treat as personal expenses those business expenses related to the use of the home that are deductible without regard to whether there is a qualified business use of the home. H & r block free tax filing These expenses include mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and casualty losses, subject to any limitations. H & r block free tax filing See Where To Deduct , later. H & r block free tax filing If you also rent part of your home, you must still allocate these expenses between rental use and personal use (for this purpose, personal use includes business use reported using the simplified method). H & r block free tax filing No deduction of carryover of actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing   If you used actual expenses to figure your deduction for business use of the home in a prior year and your deduction was limited, you cannot deduct the disallowed amount carried over from the prior year during a year you figure your deduction using the simplified method. H & r block free tax filing Instead, you will continue to carry over the disallowed amount to the next year that you use actual expenses to figure your deduction. H & r block free tax filing Electing the Simplified Method You choose whether or not to figure your deduction using the simplified method each taxable year. H & r block free tax filing Make the election for a home by using the simplified method to figure the deduction for the qualified business use of that home on a timely filed, original federal income tax return. H & r block free tax filing An election for a taxable year, once made, is irrevocable. H & r block free tax filing A change from using the simplified method in one year to actual expenses in a succeeding taxable year, or vice-versa, is not a change in method of accounting and does not require the consent of the Commissioner. H & r block free tax filing Shared use. H & r block free tax filing   If you share your home with someone else who also uses the home in a business that qualifies for this deduction, each of you make your own election. H & r block free tax filing More than one qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing   If you conduct more than one business that qualifies for this deduction in your home, your election to use the simplified method applies to all your qualified business uses of that home. H & r block free tax filing More than one home. H & r block free tax filing   If you used more than one home during the year (for example, you moved during the year), you can elect to use the simplified method for only one of the homes. H & r block free tax filing You must figure the deduction for any other home using actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing Simplified Amount Your deduction for the qualified business use of a home is the sum of each amount you figure for a separate qualified business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing To figure your deduction for the business use of a home using the simplified method, you will need to know the following information for each qualified business use of the home. H & r block free tax filing The allowable area of your home used in conducting the business. H & r block free tax filing If you did not conduct the business for the entire year in the home or the area changed during the year, you will need to know the allowable area you used and the number of days you conducted the business for each month. H & r block free tax filing The gross income from the business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing The amount of the business expenses that are not related to the use of your home. H & r block free tax filing If the qualified business use is for a daycare facility that uses space in your home on a regular (but not exclusive) basis, you will also need to know the percentage of time that part of your home is used for daycare. H & r block free tax filing To figure the amount you can deduct for qualified business use of your home using the simplified method, follow these 3 steps. H & r block free tax filing Multiply the allowable area by $5 (or less than $5 if the qualified business use is for a daycare that uses space in your home on a regular, but not exclusive, basis). H & r block free tax filing See Allowable area and Space used regularly for daycare , later. H & r block free tax filing Subtract the expenses from the business that are not related to the use of the home from the gross income related to the business use of the home. H & r block free tax filing If these expenses are greater than the gross income from the business use of the home, then you cannot take a deduction for this business use of the home. H & r block free tax filing See Gross income limitation , later. H & r block free tax filing Take the smaller of the amounts from (1) and (2). H & r block free tax filing This is the amount you can deduct for this qualified business use of your home using the simplified method. H & r block free tax filing If you are an employee or a partner, or you use your home in your farming business and file Schedule F (Form 1040), you can use the Simplified Method Worksheet, near the end of this publication, to help you figure your deduction. H & r block free tax filing If you use your home in a trade or business and you file Schedule C (Form 1040), you will use the Simplified Method Worksheet in your Instructions for Schedule C to figure your deduction. H & r block free tax filing Allowable area. H & r block free tax filing   In most cases, the allowable area is the smaller of the actual area (in square feet) of your home used in conducting the business and 300 square feet. H & r block free tax filing Your allowable area may be smaller if you conducted the business as a qualified joint venture with your spouse, the area used by the business was shared with another qualified business use, you used the home for the business for only part of the year, or the area used by the business changed during the year. H & r block free tax filing You can use the Area Adjustment Worksheet (for simplified method), near the end of this publication, to help you figure your allowable area for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing Area used by a qualified joint venture. H & r block free tax filing   If the qualified business use of the home is also a qualified joint venture, you and your spouse will figure the deduction for the business use separately. H & r block free tax filing Split the actual area used in conducting business between you and your spouse in the same manner you split your other tax attributes. H & r block free tax filing Then, each spouse will figure the allowable area separately. H & r block free tax filing For more information about qualified joint ventures, see Qualified Joint Venture in the Instructions for Schedule C. H & r block free tax filing Shared use. H & r block free tax filing   If you share your home with someone else who uses the home to conduct business that also qualifies for this deduction, you may not include the same square feet to figure your deduction as the other person. H & r block free tax filing You must allocate the shared space between you and the other person in a reasonable manner. H & r block free tax filing Example. H & r block free tax filing Kristin and Lindsey are roommates. H & r block free tax filing Kristin uses 300 square feet of their home for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing Lindsey uses 200 square feet of their home for a separate qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing The qualified business uses share 100 square feet. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the portion that they do not share, Kristin and Lindsey can both claim 50 of the 100 square feet or divide the 100 square feet between them in any reasonable manner. H & r block free tax filing If divided evenly, Kristin could claim 250 square feet using the simplified method and Lindsey could claim 150 square feet. H & r block free tax filing More than one qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing   If you conduct more than one business qualifying for the deduction, you are limited to a maximum of 300 square feet for all of the businesses. H & r block free tax filing Allocate the actual square footage used (up to the maximum of 300 square feet) among your qualified business uses in a reasonable manner. H & r block free tax filing However, do not allocate more square feet to a qualified business use than you actually use for that business. H & r block free tax filing Rental use. H & r block free tax filing   The simplified method does not apply to rental use. H & r block free tax filing A rental use that qualifies for the deduction must be figured using actual expenses. H & r block free tax filing If the rental use and a qualified business use share the same area, you will have to allocate the actual area used between the two uses. H & r block free tax filing You cannot use the same area to figure a deduction for the qualified business use as you are using to figure the deduction for the rental use. H & r block free tax filing Part-year use or area changes. H & r block free tax filing   If your qualified business use was for a portion of the taxable year (for example, a seasonal business or a business that begins during the taxable year) or you changed the square footage of your qualified business use, your deduction is limited to the average monthly allowable square footage. H & r block free tax filing You calculate the average monthly allowable square footage by adding the amount of allowable square feet you used in each month and dividing the sum by 12. H & r block free tax filing When determining the average monthly allowable square footage, you cannot take more than 300 square feet into account for any one month. H & r block free tax filing Additionally, if your qualified business use was less than 15 days in a month, you must use -0- for that month. H & r block free tax filing Example 1. H & r block free tax filing Andy files his federal income tax return on a calendar year basis. H & r block free tax filing On July 20, he began using 420 square feet of his home for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing He continued to use the 420 square feet until the end of the year. H & r block free tax filing His average monthly allowable square footage is 125 square feet, which is figured using 300 square feet for each month August through December divided by the number of months in the taxable year ((0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300)/12). H & r block free tax filing Example 2. H & r block free tax filing Amy files her federal income tax return on a calendar year basis. H & r block free tax filing On April 20, she began using 100 square feet of her home for a qualified business use. H & r block free tax filing On August 5, she expanded the area of her qualified use to 330 square feet. H & r block free tax filing Amy continued to use the 330 square feet until the end of the year. H & r block free tax filing Her average monthly allowable square footage is 150 square feet, which is figured using 100 square feet for May through July and 300 square feet for August through December divided by the number of months in the taxable year ((0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 100 + 100 +100 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 + 300)/12). H & r block free tax filing Gross income limitation. H & r block free tax filing   Your deduction for business use of the home is limited to an amount equal to the gross income derived from the qualified business use of the home reduced by the business deductions that are unrelated to the use of your home. H & r block free tax filing If the business deductions that are unrelated to the use of your home are greater than the gross income derived from the qualified business use of your home, then you cannot take a deduction for this qualified business use of your home. H & r block free tax filing Business expenses not related to use of the home. H & r block free tax filing   These expenses relate to the business activity in the home, but not to the use of the home itself. H & r block free tax filing You can still deduct business expenses that are unrelated to the use of the home. H & r block free tax filing See Where To Deduct , later. H & r block free tax filing Examples of business expenses that are unrelated to the use of the home are advertising, wages, supplies, dues, and depreciation for equipment. H & r block free tax filing Space used regularly for daycare. H & r block free tax filing   If you do not use the area of your home exclusively for daycare, you must reduce the prescribed rate (maximum $5 per square foot) before figuring your deduction. H & r block free tax filing The reduced rate will equal the prescribed rate times a fraction. H & r block free tax filing The numerator of the fraction is the number of hours that the space was used during the year for daycare and the denominator is the total number of hours during the year that the space was available for all uses. H & r block free tax filing You can use the Daycare Facility Worksheet (for simplified method), near the end of this publication, to help you figure the reduced rate. H & r block free tax filing    If you used at least 300 square feet for daycare regularly and exclusively during the year, then you do not need to reduce the prescribed rate or complete the Daycare Facility Worksheet. H & r block free tax filing Daycare Facility If you use space in your home on a regular basis for providing daycare, you may be able to claim a deduction for that part of your home even if you use the same space for nonbusiness purposes. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for this exception to the exclusive use rule, you must meet both of the following requirements. H & r block free tax filing You must be in the trade or business of providing daycare for children, persons age 65 or older, or persons who are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. H & r block free tax filing You must have applied for, been granted, or be exempt from having, a license, certification, registration, or approval as a daycare center or as a family or group daycare home under state law. H & r block free tax filing You do not meet this requirement if your application was rejected or your license or other authorization was revoked. H & r block free tax filing Figuring the deduction. H & r block free tax filing   If you elect to use the simplified method for your home, figure your deduction as described earlier in Using the Simplified Method under Figuring the Deduction. H & r block free tax filing    If you are figuring your deduction using actual expenses and you regularly use part of your home for daycare, figure what part is used for daycare, as explained in Business Percentage , earlier, under Figuring the Deduction. H & r block free tax filing If you also use that part exclusively for daycare, deduct all the allocable expenses, subject to the deduction limit, as explained earlier. H & r block free tax filing   If the use of part of your home as a daycare facility is regular, but not exclusive, you must figure the percentage of time that part of your home is used for daycare. H & r block free tax filing A room that is available for use throughout each business day and that you regularly use in your business is considered to be used for daycare throughout each business day. H & r block free tax filing You do not have to keep records to show the specific hours the area was used for business. H & r block free tax filing You can use the area occasionally for personal reasons. H & r block free tax filing However, a room you use only occasionally for business does not qualify for the deduction. H & r block free tax filing To find the percentage of time you actually use your home for business, compare the total time used for business to the total time that part of your home can be used for all purposes. H & r block free tax filing You can compare the hours of business use in a week with the number of hours in a week (168). H & r block free tax filing Or you can compare the hours of business use for the year with the number of hours in the year (8,760 in 2013). H & r block free tax filing If you started or stopped using your home for daycare in 2013, you must prorate the number of hours based on the number of days the home was available for daycare. H & r block free tax filing Example 1. H & r block free tax filing Mary Lake used her basement to operate a daycare business for children. H & r block free tax filing She figures the business percentage of the basement as follows. H & r block free tax filing Square footage of the basement Square footage of her home = 1,600 3,200 = 50%           She used the basement for daycare an average of 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 50 weeks a year. H & r block free tax filing During the other 12 hours a day, the family could use the basement. H & r block free tax filing She figures the percentage of time the basement was used for daycare as follows. H & r block free tax filing Number of hours used for daycare (12 x 5 x 50) Total number of hours in the year (24 x 365) = 3,000 8,760 = 34. H & r block free tax filing 25%           Mary can deduct 34. H & r block free tax filing 25% of any direct expenses for the basement. H & r block free tax filing However, because her indirect expenses are for the entire house, she can deduct only 17. H & r block free tax filing 13% of the indirect expenses. H & r block free tax filing She figures the percentage for her indirect expenses as follows. H & r block free tax filing Business percentage of the basement 50% Multiplied by: Percentage of time used for daycare × 34. H & r block free tax filing 25% Percentage for indirect expenses 17. H & r block free tax filing 13% Mary completes Form 8829, Part I, figuring the percentage of her home used for business, including the percentage of time the basement was used. H & r block free tax filing In Part II, Mary figures her deductible expenses. H & r block free tax filing She uses the following information to complete Part II. H & r block free tax filing Gross income from her daycare business $50,000 Expenses not related to the business use of the home $25,000 Tentative profit $25,000 Rent $8,400 Utilities $850 Painting the basement $500 Mary enters her tentative profit, $25,000, on line 8. H & r block free tax filing (This figure is the same as the amount on line 29 of her Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing ) The expenses she paid for rent and utilities relate to her entire home. H & r block free tax filing Therefore, she enters the amount paid for rent on line 18, column (b), and the amount paid for utilities on line 20, column (b). H & r block free tax filing She shows the total of these expenses on line 22, column (b). H & r block free tax filing For line 23, she multiplies the amount on line 22, column (b) by the percentage on line 7 and enters the result, $1,585. H & r block free tax filing Mary paid $500 to have the basement painted. H & r block free tax filing The painting is a direct expense. H & r block free tax filing However, because she did not use the basement exclusively for daycare, she must multiply $500 by the percentage of time the basement was used for daycare (34. H & r block free tax filing 25% – line 6). H & r block free tax filing She enters $171 (34. H & r block free tax filing 25% × $500) on line 19, column (a). H & r block free tax filing She adds line 22, column (a), and line 23 and enters $1,756 ($171 + $1,585) on line 25. H & r block free tax filing This is less than her deduction limit (line 15), so she can deduct the entire amount. H & r block free tax filing She follows the instructions to complete the rest of Part II and enters $1,756 on lines 33 and 35. H & r block free tax filing She then carries the $1,756 to line 30 of her Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing Example 2. H & r block free tax filing Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that Mary also has another room that was available each business day for children to take naps in. H & r block free tax filing Although she did not keep a record of the number of hours the room was actually used for naps, it was used for part of each business day. H & r block free tax filing Since the room was available for business use during regular operating hours each business day and was used regularly in the business, it is considered used for daycare throughout each business day. H & r block free tax filing The basement and room are 60% of the total area of her home. H & r block free tax filing In figuring her expenses, 34. H & r block free tax filing 25% of any direct expenses for the basement and room are deductible. H & r block free tax filing In addition, 20. H & r block free tax filing 55% (34. H & r block free tax filing 25% × 60%) of her indirect expenses are deductible. H & r block free tax filing Example 3. H & r block free tax filing Assume the same facts as in Example 1 except that Mary stopped using her home for a daycare facility on June 24, 2013. H & r block free tax filing She used the basement for daycare an average of 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, but for only 25 weeks of the year. H & r block free tax filing During the other 12 hours a day, the family could still use the basement. H & r block free tax filing She figures the percentage of time the basement was used for business as follows. H & r block free tax filing Number of hours used for daycare (12 x 5 x 25) Total number of hours during period used (24 x 175) = 1,500 4,200 = 35. H & r block free tax filing 71%           Mary can deduct 35. H & r block free tax filing 71% of any direct expenses for the basement. H & r block free tax filing However, because her indirect expenses are for the entire house, she can deduct only 17. H & r block free tax filing 86% of the indirect expenses. H & r block free tax filing She figures the percentage for her indirect expenses as follows. H & r block free tax filing Business percentage of the basement 50% Multiplied by: Percentage of time used for daycare × 35. H & r block free tax filing 71% Percentage for indirect expenses 17. H & r block free tax filing 86% Meals. H & r block free tax filing   If you provide food for your daycare recipients, do not include the expense as a cost of using your home for business. H & r block free tax filing Claim it as a separate deduction on your Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing You can never deduct the cost of food consumed by you or your family. H & r block free tax filing You can deduct as a business expense 100% of the actual cost of food consumed by your daycare recipients (see Standard meal and snack rates , later, for an optional method for eligible children) and generally only 50% of the cost of food consumed by your employees. H & r block free tax filing However, you can deduct 100% of the cost of food consumed by your employees if its value can be excluded from their wages as a de minimis fringe benefit. H & r block free tax filing For more information on meals that meet these requirements, see Meals in chapter 2 of Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits. H & r block free tax filing   If you deduct the actual cost of food for your daycare business, keep a separate record (with receipts) of your family's food costs. H & r block free tax filing   Reimbursements you receive from a sponsor under the Child and Adult Care Food Program of the Department of Agriculture are taxable only to the extent they exceed your expenses for food for eligible children. H & r block free tax filing If your reimbursements are more than your expenses for food, show the difference as income in Part I of Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing If your food expenses are greater than the reimbursements, show the difference as an expense in Part V of Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing Do not include payments or expenses for your own children if they are eligible for the program. H & r block free tax filing Follow this procedure even if you receive a Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, reporting a payment from the sponsor. H & r block free tax filing Standard meal and snack rates. H & r block free tax filing   If you qualify as a family daycare provider, you can use the standard meal and snack rates, instead of actual costs, to compute the deductible cost of meals and snacks provided to eligible children. H & r block free tax filing For these purposes: A family daycare provider is a person engaged in the business of providing family daycare. H & r block free tax filing Family daycare is childcare provided to eligible children in the home of the family daycare provider. H & r block free tax filing The care must be non-medical, not involve a transfer of legal custody, and generally last less than 24 hours each day. H & r block free tax filing Eligible children are minor children receiving family daycare in the home of the family daycare provider. H & r block free tax filing Eligible children do not include children who are full-time or part-time residents in the home where the childcare is provided or children whose parents or guardians are residents of the same home. H & r block free tax filing Eligible children do not include children who receive daycare services for personal reasons of the provider. H & r block free tax filing For example, if a provider provides daycare services for a relative as a favor to that relative, that child is not an eligible child. H & r block free tax filing   You can compute the deductible cost of each meal and snack you actually purchased and served to an eligible child during the time period you provided family daycare using the standard meal and snack rates shown in Table 3, later. H & r block free tax filing You can use the standard meal and snack rates for a maximum of one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and three snacks per eligible child per day. H & r block free tax filing If you receive reimbursement for a particular meal or snack, you can deduct only the portion of the applicable standard meal or snack rate that is more than the amount of the reimbursement. H & r block free tax filing   You can use either the standard meal and snack rates or actual costs to calculate the deductible cost of food provided to eligible children in the family daycare for any particular tax year. H & r block free tax filing If you choose to use the standard meal and snack rates for a particular tax year, you must use the rates for all your deductible food costs for eligible children during that tax year. H & r block free tax filing However, if you use the standard meal and snack rates in any tax year, you can use actual costs to compute the deductible cost of food in any other tax year. H & r block free tax filing   If you use the standard meal and snack rates, you must maintain records to substantiate the computation of the total amount deducted for the cost of food provided to eligible children. H & r block free tax filing The records kept should include the name of each child, dates and hours of attendance in the daycare, and the type and quantity of meals and snacks served. H & r block free tax filing This information can be recorded in a log similar to the one shown in Exhibit A, near the end of this publication. H & r block free tax filing   The standard meal and snack rates include beverages, but do not include non-food supplies used for food preparation, service, or storage, such as containers, paper products, or utensils. H & r block free tax filing These expenses can be claimed as a separate deduction on your Schedule C (Form 1040). H & r block free tax filing     Table 3. H & r block free tax filing Standard Meal and Snack Rates1 Location of Family Daycare Provider Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack States other than Alaska an
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The H & R Block Free Tax Filing

H & r block free tax filing Publication 971 - Additional Material Table of Contents How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs). H & r block free tax filing Questions & AnswersThis section answers questions commonly asked by taxpayers about innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What is joint and several liability? . H & r block free tax filing How can I get relief from joint and several liability? . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? . H & r block free tax filing What are erroneous items? . H & r block free tax filing What is an understated tax? . H & r block free tax filing Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for separation of liability relief? . H & r block free tax filing Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for equitable relief? . H & r block free tax filing How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? . H & r block free tax filing How do I request relief? . H & r block free tax filing When should I file Form 8857? . H & r block free tax filing Where should I file Form 8857? . H & r block free tax filing I am currently undergoing an examination of my return. H & r block free tax filing How do I request innocent spouse relief? . H & r block free tax filing What if the IRS has given me notice that it will levy my account for the tax liability and I decide to request relief? . H & r block free tax filing What is injured spouse relief? . H & r block free tax filing What is joint and several liability? When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes both you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. H & r block free tax filing This is called joint and several liability. H & r block free tax filing Joint and several liability applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to the income, deductions, or credits of your spouse or former spouse. H & r block free tax filing You remain jointly and severally liable for taxes, and the IRS still can collect from you, even if you later divorce and the divorce decree states that your former spouse will be solely responsible for the tax. H & r block free tax filing There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing ” Each type has different requirements. H & r block free tax filing They are explained separately below. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H & r block free tax filing For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H & r block free tax filing IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H & r block free tax filing You have a $500 understated tax. H & r block free tax filing No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing How can I get relief from joint and several liability? There are three types of relief for filers of joint returns: “innocent spouse relief,” “separation of liability relief,” and “equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing ” Each type has different requirements. H & r block free tax filing They are explained separately below. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H & r block free tax filing For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H & r block free tax filing IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H & r block free tax filing You have a $500 understated tax. H & r block free tax filing No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for innocent spouse relief? To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You must have filed a joint return which has an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing The understated tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H & r block free tax filing For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H & r block free tax filing IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H & r block free tax filing You have a $500 understated tax. H & r block free tax filing No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What are “erroneous items”? Erroneous items are any deductions, credits, or bases that are incorrectly stated on the return, and any income that is not properly reported on the return. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H & r block free tax filing For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H & r block free tax filing IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H & r block free tax filing You have a $500 understated tax. H & r block free tax filing No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What is an “understated tax”? You have an understated tax if the IRS determined that your total tax should be more than the amount actually shown on your return. H & r block free tax filing For example, you reported total tax on your 2008 return of $2,500. H & r block free tax filing IRS determined in an audit of your 2008 return that the total tax should be $3,000. H & r block free tax filing You have a $500 understated tax. H & r block free tax filing No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing Will I qualify for innocent spouse relief in any situation where there is an understated tax? No. H & r block free tax filing There are many situations in which you may owe tax that is related to your spouse (or former spouse), but not be eligible for innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing For example, you and your spouse file a joint return on which you report $10,000 of income and deductions, but you knew that your spouse was not reporting $5,000 of dividends. H & r block free tax filing You are not eligible for innocent spouse relief because you have knowledge of the understated tax. H & r block free tax filing Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for separation of liability relief? Under this type of relief, you allocate (separate) the understated tax (plus interest and penalties) on your joint return between you and your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing The understated tax allocated to you is generally the amount you are responsible for. H & r block free tax filing To qualify for separation of liability relief, you must have filed a joint return and meet either of the following requirements at the time you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing You are no longer married to, or are legally separated from, the spouse with whom you filed the joint return for which you are requesting relief. H & r block free tax filing (Under this rule, you are no longer married if you are widowed. H & r block free tax filing ) You were not a member of the same household as the spouse with whom you filed the joint return at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date you file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing In addition to the above requirements, you must file a Form 8857 within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing Why would a request for separation of liability relief be denied? Even if you meet the requirements listed earlier, a request for separation of liability relief will not be granted in the following situations. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that you and your spouse (or former spouse) transferred assets to one another as part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing The IRS proves that at the time you signed your joint return, you had actual knowledge of any erroneous items giving rise to the deficiency that are allocable to your spouse (or former spouse). H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) transferred property to you to avoid tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing What are the rules for equitable relief? Equitable relief is only available if you meet all of the following conditions. H & r block free tax filing You do not qualify for innocent spouse relief, separation of liability relief, or relief from liability arising from community property law. H & r block free tax filing You have an understated tax or underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing See Note later. H & r block free tax filing You did not pay the tax. H & r block free tax filing However, see Refunds , earlier, for exceptions. H & r block free tax filing The IRS determines that it is unfair to hold you liable for the understated or underpaid tax taking into account all the facts and circumstances. H & r block free tax filing You and your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer assets to one another as a part of a fraudulent scheme. H & r block free tax filing Your spouse (or former spouse) did not transfer property to you for the main purpose of avoiding tax or the payment of tax. H & r block free tax filing You did not file or fail to file your return with the intent to commit fraud. H & r block free tax filing The income tax liability for which you seek relief is attributable to your spouse (or former spouse) with whom you filed the joint return. H & r block free tax filing For exceptions to this condition, see item (8) under Conditions for Getting Equitable Relief , earlier. H & r block free tax filing You timely file Form 8857 as explained earlier in Exception for equitable relief under How To Request Relief. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing Unlike innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, if you qualify for equitable relief, you can also get relief from an underpaid tax. H & r block free tax filing (An underpaid tax is tax that is properly shown on the return, but has not been paid. H & r block free tax filing ) Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or resume collecting from you. H & r block free tax filing The 10-year period will be increased by the amount of time your request for relief was pending plus 60 days. H & r block free tax filing See Publication 594 for more information. H & r block free tax filing Injured spouse relief is different from innocent spouse relief. H & r block free tax filing When a joint return is filed and the refund is used to pay one spouse's past-due federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan, the other spouse may be considered an injured spouse. H & r block free tax filing The injured spouse can get back his or her share of the joint overpayment using Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. H & r block free tax filing You are considered an injured spouse if: You are not legally obligated to pay the past-due amount, and You meet any of the following conditions: You made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withholding or estimated tax payments). H & r block free tax filing You had earned income (such as wages, salaries, or self-employment income) and claimed the earned income credit or the additional child tax credit. H & r block free tax filing You claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the health coverage tax credit or the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. H & r block free tax filing Note. H & r block free tax filing If your residence was in a community property state at any time during the year, you may file Form 8379 even if only item (1) above applies. H & r block free tax filing . H & r block free tax filing How do state community property laws affect my ability to qualify for relief? Community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. H & r block free tax filing Generally, community property laws require you to allocate community income and expenses equally between both spouses. H & r block free tax filing However, community property laws are not taken into account in determining whether an item belongs to you or to your spouse (or former spouse) for purposes of requesting any relief from liability. H & r block free tax filing      File Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to ask the IRS for relief. H & r block free tax filing You must file an additional Form 8857 if you are requesting relief for more than three years. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting innocent spouse relief or separation of liability relief, file Form 8857 no later than two years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activities against you after July 22, 1998. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting equitable relief, see Exception for equitable relief. H & r block free tax filing under How To Request Relief, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing If you are requesting relief from liability arising from community property law, see How and When To Request Relief under Community Property Laws, earlier, for when to file Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Use the address or fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing File Form 8857 at the address or send it to the fax number shown in the Instructions for Form 8857. H & r block free tax filing Do not file it with the employee assigned to examine your return. H & r block free tax filing Generally, the IRS has 10 years to collect an amount you owe. H & r block free tax filing This is the collection statute of limitations. H & r block free tax filing By law, the IRS is not allowed to collect from you after the 10-year period ends. H & r block free tax filing If you request relief for any tax year, the IRS cannot collect from you for that year while your request is pending. H & r block free tax filing But interest and penalties continue to accrue. H & r block free tax filing Your request is generally considered pending from the date the IRS receives your Form 8857 until the date your request is resolved. H & r block free tax filing This includes the time the Tax Court is considering your request. H & r block free tax filing After your case is resolved, the IRS can begin or