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Handr block free file Publication 504 - Main Content Table of Contents Filing StatusUnmarried persons. Handr block free file Married persons. Handr block free file Same-sex marriage. Handr block free file Exception. Handr block free file Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Phaseout of Exemptions AlimonyInvalid decree. Handr block free file Amended instrument. Handr block free file General Rules Instruments Executed After 1984 Instruments Executed Before 1985 Qualified Domestic Relations OrderRollovers. Handr block free file Individual Retirement Arrangements Property SettlementsTransfer Between Spouses Gift Tax on Property Settlements Sale of Jointly-Owned Property Costs of Getting a Divorce Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Community PropertyCommunity Income Alimony (Community Income) How To Get Tax Help Filing Status Your filing status is used in determining whether you must file a return, your standard deduction, and the correct tax. Handr block free file It may also be used in determining whether you can claim certain other deductions and credits. Handr block free file The filing status you can choose depends partly on your marital status on the last day of your tax year. Handr block free file Marital status. Handr block free file   If you are unmarried, your filing status is single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household or qualifying widow(er). Handr block free file If you are married, your filing status is either married filing a joint return or married filing a separate return. Handr block free file For information about the single and qualifying widow(er) filing statuses, see Publication 501. Handr block free file Unmarried persons. Handr block free file   You are unmarried for the whole year if either of the following applies. Handr block free file You have obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. Handr block free file You must follow your state law to determine if you are divorced or legally separated. Handr block free file Exception. Handr block free file If you and your spouse obtain a divorce in one year for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to remarry each other and do so in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals. Handr block free file You have obtained a decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed. Handr block free file You must file amended returns (Form 1040X, Amended U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file Individual Income Tax Return) for all tax years affected by the annulment that are not closed by the statute of limitations. Handr block free file The statute of limitations generally does not end until 3 years (including extensions) after the date you file your original return or within 2 years after the date you pay the tax. Handr block free file On the amended return you will change your filing status to single or, if you meet certain requirements, head of household. Handr block free file Married persons. Handr block free file   You are married for the whole year if you are separated but you have not obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance by the last day of your tax year. Handr block free file An interlocutory decree is not a final decree. Handr block free file Same-sex marriage. Handr block free file   For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. Handr block free file The term "spouse" includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. Handr block free file However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes. Handr block free file For more details, see Publication 501. Handr block free file Exception. Handr block free file   If you live apart from your spouse, under certain circumstances, you may be considered unmarried and can file as head of household. Handr block free file See Head of Household , later. Handr block free file Married Filing Jointly If you are married, you and your spouse can choose to file a joint return. Handr block free file If you file jointly, you both must include all your income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on that return. Handr block free file You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Handr block free file If both you and your spouse have income, you should usually figure your tax on both a joint return and separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately) to see which gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Handr block free file Nonresident alien. Handr block free file   To file a joint return, at least one of you must be a U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file citizen or resident alien at the end of the tax year. Handr block free file If either of you was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, you can file a joint return only if you agree to treat the nonresident spouse as a resident of the United States. Handr block free file This means that your combined worldwide incomes are subject to U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file income tax. Handr block free file These rules are explained in Publication 519, U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file Tax Guide for Aliens. Handr block free file Signing a joint return. Handr block free file   Both you and your spouse generally must sign the return, or it will not be considered a joint return. Handr block free file Joint and individual liability. Handr block free file   Both you and your spouse may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Handr block free file This means that one spouse may be held liable for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Handr block free file Divorced taxpayers. Handr block free file   If you are divorced, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return for a tax year ending before your divorce. Handr block free file This responsibility applies even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Handr block free file Relief from joint liability. Handr block free file   In some cases, a spouse may be relieved of the tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return. Handr block free file You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Handr block free file   There are three types of relief available. Handr block free file Innocent spouse relief. Handr block free file Separation of liability, which applies to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date election of this relief is filed. Handr block free file Equitable relief. Handr block free file   Married persons who live in community property states, but who did not file joint returns, may also qualify for relief from liability arising from community property law or for equitable relief. Handr block free file See Relief from liability arising from community property law , later, under Community Property. Handr block free file    Each kind of relief has different requirements. Handr block free file You must file Form 8857 to request relief under any of these categories. Handr block free file Publication 971 explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Handr block free file You can also find information on our website at IRS. Handr block free file gov. Handr block free file Tax refund applied to spouse's debts. Handr block free file   The overpayment shown on your joint return may be used to pay the past-due amount of your spouse's debts. Handr block free file This includes your spouse's federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support payments, or a federal nontax debt, such as a student loan. Handr block free file You can get a refund of your share of the overpayment if you qualify as an injured spouse. Handr block free file Injured spouse. Handr block free file   You are an injured spouse if you file a joint return and all or part of your share of the overpayment was, or is expected to be, applied against your spouse's past-due debts. Handr block free file An injured spouse can get a refund for his or her share of the overpayment that would otherwise be used to pay the past-due amount. Handr block free file   To be considered an injured spouse, you must: Have made and reported tax payments (such as federal income tax withheld from wages or estimated tax payments), or claimed a refundable tax credit, such as the earned income credit or additional child tax credit on the joint return, and Not be legally obligated to pay the past-due amount. Handr block free file Note. Handr block free file If the injured spouse's permanent home is in a community property state, then the injured spouse must only meet (2). Handr block free file For more information, see Publication 555. Handr block free file    Refunds that involve community property states must be divided according to local law. Handr block free file If you live in a community property state in which all community property is subject to the debts of either spouse, your entire refund is generally used to pay those debts. Handr block free file   If you are an injured spouse, you must file Form 8379 to have your portion of the overpayment refunded to you. Handr block free file Follow the instructions for the form. Handr block free file   If you have not filed your joint return and you know that your joint refund will be offset, file Form 8379 with your return. Handr block free file You should receive your refund within 14 weeks from the date the paper return is filed or within 11 weeks from the date the return is filed electronically. Handr block free file   If you filed your joint return and your joint refund was offset, file Form 8379 by itself. Handr block free file When filed after offset, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive your refund. Handr block free file Do not attach the previously filed tax return, but do include copies of all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, for both spouses and any Forms 1099 that show income tax withheld. Handr block free file    An injured spouse claim is different from an innocent spouse relief request. Handr block free file An injured spouse uses Form 8379 to request an allocation of the tax overpayment attributed to each spouse. Handr block free file An innocent spouse uses Form 8857 to request relief from joint liability for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse (or former spouse) that were incorrectly reported on or omitted from the joint return. Handr block free file For information on innocent spouses, see Relief from joint liability, earlier. Handr block free file Married Filing Separately If you and your spouse file separate returns, you should each report only your own income, exemptions, deductions, and credits on your individual return. Handr block free file You can file a separate return even if only one of you had income. Handr block free file For information on exemptions you can claim on your separate return, see Exemptions , later. Handr block free file Community or separate income. Handr block free file   If you live in a community property state and file a separate return, your income may be separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Handr block free file For more information, see Community Income under Community Property, later. Handr block free file Separate liability. Handr block free file   If you and your spouse file separately, you each are responsible only for the tax due on your own return. Handr block free file Itemized deductions. Handr block free file   If you and your spouse file separate returns and one of you itemizes deductions, the other spouse cannot use the standard deduction and should also itemize deductions. Handr block free file Table 1. Handr block free file Itemized Deductions on Separate Returns This table shows itemized deductions you can claim on your married filing separate return whether you paid the expenses separately with your own funds or jointly with your spouse. Handr block free file  Caution: If you live in a community property state, these rules do not apply. Handr block free file See Community Property. Handr block free file IF you paid . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file AND you . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file THEN you can deduct on your separate federal return. Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file   medical expenses   paid with funds deposited in a joint checking account in which you and your spouse have an equal interest     half of the total medical expenses, subject to certain limits, unless you can show that you alone paid the expenses. Handr block free file     state income tax   file a separate state income tax return     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. Handr block free file         file a joint state income tax return and you and your spouse are jointly and individually liable for the full amount of the state income tax     the state income tax you alone paid during the year. Handr block free file         file a joint state income tax return and you  are liable for only your own share of state  income tax     the smaller of: the state income tax you alone paid during the year, or the total state income tax you and your spouse paid during the year multiplied by the following fraction. Handr block free file The numerator is your gross income and the denominator  is your combined gross income. Handr block free file     property tax   paid the tax on property held as tenants by the entirety     the property tax you alone paid. Handr block free file     mortgage interest   paid the interest on a qualified home1 held  as tenants by the entirety     the mortgage interest you alone paid. Handr block free file     casualty loss   have a casualty loss on a home you own  as tenants by the entirety     half of the loss, subject to the deduction limits. Handr block free file Neither spouse may report the total casualty loss. Handr block free file 1 For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Handr block free file Dividing itemized deductions. Handr block free file   You may be able to claim itemized deductions on a separate return for certain expenses that you paid separately or jointly with your spouse. Handr block free file See Table 1, later. Handr block free file Separate returns may give you a higher tax. Handr block free file   Some married couples file separate returns because each wants to be responsible only for his or her own tax. Handr block free file There is no joint liability. Handr block free file But in almost all instances, if you file separate returns, you will pay more combined federal tax than you would with a joint return. Handr block free file This is because the following special rules apply if you file a separate return. Handr block free file Your tax rate generally will be higher than it would be on a joint return. Handr block free file Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax will be half of that allowed a joint return filer. Handr block free file You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases. Handr block free file You cannot take the earned income credit. Handr block free file You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Handr block free file You cannot take the credit for higher education expenses (American opportunity and lifetime learning credits), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Handr block free file You cannot exclude the interest from qualified savings bonds that you used for higher education expenses. Handr block free file If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You will have to include in income more (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Handr block free file Your income limits that reduce the child tax credit, the retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are half of the limits for a joint return filer. Handr block free file Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Handr block free file Your basic standard deduction, if allowable, is half of that allowed a joint return filer. Handr block free file See Itemized deductions , earlier. Handr block free file Joint return after separate returns. Handr block free file   If either you or your spouse (or both of you) file a separate return, you generally can change to a joint return within 3 years from the due date (not including extensions) of the separate return or returns. Handr block free file This applies to a return either of you filed claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Handr block free file Use Form 1040X to change your filing status. Handr block free file Separate returns after joint return. Handr block free file   After the due date of your return, you and your spouse cannot file separate returns if you previously filed a joint return. Handr block free file Exception. Handr block free file   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Handr block free file The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the joint return to make the change. Handr block free file Head of Household Filing as head of household has the following advantages. Handr block free file You can claim the standard deduction even if your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Handr block free file Your standard deduction is higher than is allowed if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. Handr block free file Your tax rate usually will be lower than it is if you claim a filing status of single or married filing separately. Handr block free file You may be able to claim certain credits (such as the dependent care credit and the earned income credit) you cannot claim if your filing status is married filing separately. Handr block free file Income limits that reduce your child tax credit, retirement savings contributions credit, itemized deductions, and the deduction for personal exemptions are higher than the income limits if you claim a filing status of married filing separately. Handr block free file Requirements. Handr block free file   You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Handr block free file You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. Handr block free file You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Handr block free file A “qualifying person” lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Handr block free file However, if the “qualifying person” is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Handr block free file See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying person. Handr block free file Considered unmarried. Handr block free file   You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Handr block free file You file a separate return. Handr block free file A separate return includes a return claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Handr block free file You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Handr block free file Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Handr block free file Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Handr block free file See Temporary absences , later. Handr block free file Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Handr block free file (See Qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Handr block free file ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Handr block free file However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rule described later in Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Exemptions for Dependents. Handr block free file The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are shown later in Table 3. Handr block free file    If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (one of the states listed later under Community Property), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Handr block free file See Publication 555 for more information. Handr block free file Nonresident alien spouse. Handr block free file   If your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year, and you have not chosen to treat your spouse as a resident alien, you are considered unmarried for head of household purposes. Handr block free file However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Handr block free file You must have another qualifying person and meet the other requirements to file as head of household. Handr block free file Keeping up a home. Handr block free file   You are keeping up a home only if you pay more than half the cost of its upkeep for the year. Handr block free file This includes rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Handr block free file This does not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation for any member of the household. Handr block free file Qualifying person. Handr block free file    Table 2, later, shows who can be a qualifying person. Handr block free file Any person not described in Table 2 is not a qualifying person. Handr block free file   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Handr block free file Table 2. Handr block free file Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. Handr block free file See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Handr block free file IF the person is your . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file AND . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file THEN that person is . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file   qualifying child (such as a son, daughter, or grandchild who lived with you more than half the year and meets certain other tests)2 he or she is single a qualifying person, whether or not you can claim an exemption for the person. Handr block free file     he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her a qualifying person. Handr block free file     he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Handr block free file 3     qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. Handr block free file 6     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Handr block free file     qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests) he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5 a qualifying person. Handr block free file     he or she did not live with you more than half the year not a qualifying person. Handr block free file     he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household not a qualifying person. Handr block free file     you cannot claim an exemption for him or her not a qualifying person. Handr block free file   1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Handr block free file 2 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying child. Handr block free file Note. Handr block free file If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Handr block free file If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child is generally your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. Handr block free file 3 This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Handr block free file 4 See Table 3, later, for the tests that must be met to be a qualifying relative. Handr block free file 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Handr block free file See Multiple Support Agreement in Publication 501. Handr block free file 6 See Special rule for parent . Handr block free file Special rule for parent. Handr block free file   If your qualifying person is your father or mother, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if your father or mother does not live with you. Handr block free file However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Handr block free file Also, you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for the entire year for your father or mother. Handr block free file You are keeping up a main home for your father or mother if you pay more than half the cost of keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly. Handr block free file Death or birth. Handr block free file   If the person for whom you kept up a home was born or died in 2013, you still may be able to file as head of household. Handr block free file If the person is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Handr block free file If the person is anyone else, see Publication 501. Handr block free file Temporary absences. Handr block free file   You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. Handr block free file It must be reasonable to assume that the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Handr block free file You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Handr block free file Kidnapped child. Handr block free file   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. Handr block free file You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. Handr block free file The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Handr block free file In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Handr block free file You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Handr block free file   This treatment applies for all years until the earlier of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Handr block free file More information. Handr block free file   For more information on filing as head of household, see Publication 501. Handr block free file Exemptions You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Handr block free file However, if your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Handr block free file There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents. Handr block free file If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim his or her personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Handr block free file Personal Exemptions You can claim your own exemption unless someone else can claim it. Handr block free file If you are married, you may be able to take an exemption for your spouse. Handr block free file These are called personal exemptions. Handr block free file Exemption for Your Spouse Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Handr block free file Joint return. Handr block free file   On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Handr block free file   If your spouse had any gross income, you can claim his or her exemption only if you file a joint return. Handr block free file Separate return. Handr block free file   If you file a separate return, you can take an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. Handr block free file If your spouse is the dependent of another taxpayer, you cannot claim an exemption for your spouse even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse's exemption. Handr block free file Alimony paid. Handr block free file   If you paid alimony to your spouse, you cannot take an exemption for your spouse. Handr block free file This is because alimony is gross income to the spouse who received it. Handr block free file Divorced or separated spouse. Handr block free file   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Handr block free file This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Handr block free file Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Handr block free file You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Handr block free file The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Handr block free file Table 3 shows the tests that must be met to be either a qualifying child or qualifying relative, plus the additional requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent. Handr block free file For detailed information, see Publication 501. Handr block free file   Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Handr block free file If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own exemption on his or her own tax return. Handr block free file This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Handr block free file It is also true if the decedent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. Handr block free file Table 3. Handr block free file Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. Handr block free file This table is only an overview of the rules. Handr block free file For details, see Publication 501. Handr block free file • You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Handr block free file • You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is only a claim for refund and there would be no tax liability for either spouse on separate returns. Handr block free file • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file citizen, U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file resident alien, U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Handr block free file 1 • You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Handr block free file   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child   Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative 1. Handr block free file     2. Handr block free file       3. Handr block free file    4. Handr block free file    5. Handr block free file    The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. Handr block free file   The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled. Handr block free file   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Handr block free file 2   The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Handr block free file   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only as a claim for refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Handr block free file   1. Handr block free file    2. Handr block free file       3. Handr block free file    4. Handr block free file The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of anyone else. Handr block free file   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in Publication 501 or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household 2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). Handr block free file   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Handr block free file 3   You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Handr block free file 4 If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Handr block free file See Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person , later, to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Handr block free file     1 Exception exists for certain adopted children. Handr block free file 2 Exceptions exist for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Handr block free file 3 Exception exists for persons who are disabled and have income from a sheltered workshop. Handr block free file 4 Exceptions exist for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Handr block free file See Publication 501. Handr block free file You may be entitled to a child tax credit for each qualifying child who was under age 17 at the end of the year if you claimed an exemption for that child. Handr block free file For more information, see the instructions for your tax return if you file Form 1040A or 1040. Handr block free file Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. Handr block free file However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the special rule (discussed next) applies. Handr block free file Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Handr block free file   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. Handr block free file The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married. Handr block free file The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. Handr block free file The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. Handr block free file Either of the following applies. Handr block free file The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. Handr block free file (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984, see Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009 , later. Handr block free file A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during 2013. Handr block free file See Child support under pre-1985 agreement , later. Handr block free file Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. Handr block free file   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. Handr block free file The other parent is the noncustodial parent. Handr block free file   If the parents divorced or separated during the year and the child lived with both parents before the separation, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the rest of the year. Handr block free file   A child is treated as living with a parent for a night if the child sleeps: At that parent's home, whether or not the parent is present, or In the company of the parent, when the child does not sleep at a parent's home (for example, the parent and child are on vacation together). Handr block free file Equal number of nights. Handr block free file   If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. Handr block free file December 31. Handr block free file   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. Handr block free file For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. Handr block free file Emancipated child. Handr block free file   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. Handr block free file See Examples 5 and 6 . Handr block free file Absences. Handr block free file    If a child was not with either parent on a particular night (because, for example, the child was staying at a friend's house), the child is treated as living with the parent with whom the child normally would have lived for that night, except for the absence. Handr block free file But if it cannot be determined with which parent the child normally would have lived or if the child would not have lived with either parent that night, the child is treated as not living with either parent that night. Handr block free file Parent works at night. Handr block free file   If, due to a parent's nighttime work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days but not nights with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. Handr block free file On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. Handr block free file Example 1 – child lived with one parent greater number of nights. Handr block free file You and your child’s other parent are divorced. Handr block free file In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 156 nights. Handr block free file You are the custodial parent. Handr block free file Example 2 – child is away at camp. Handr block free file In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. Handr block free file In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. Handr block free file During the time she is at camp, she is treated as living with you for 3 weeks and with her other parent, your ex-spouse, for 3 weeks because this is how long she would have lived with each parent if she had not attended summer camp. Handr block free file Example 3 – child lived same number of days with each parent. Handr block free file Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. Handr block free file Your adjusted gross income is $40,000. Handr block free file Your ex-spouse's adjusted gross income is $25,000. Handr block free file You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher adjusted gross income. Handr block free file Example 4 – child is at parent’s home but with other parent. Handr block free file Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. Handr block free file You become ill and are hospitalized. Handr block free file The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. Handr block free file Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. Handr block free file Example 5 – child emancipated in May. Handr block free file When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. Handr block free file As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. Handr block free file The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Handr block free file Example 6 – child emancipated in August. Handr block free file Your daughter lives with you from January 1, 2013, until May 31, 2013, and lives with her other parent, your ex-spouse, from June 1, 2013, through the end of the year. Handr block free file She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. Handr block free file Because she is treated as not living with either parent beginning on August 1, she is treated as living with you the greater number of nights in 2013. Handr block free file You are the custodial parent. Handr block free file Written declaration. Handr block free file    The custodial parent must use either Form 8332 or a similar statement (containing the same information required by the form) to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. Handr block free file The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. Handr block free file   The exemption can be released for 1 year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. Handr block free file Divorce decree or separation agreement that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009. Handr block free file   If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. Handr block free file To be able to do this, the decree or agreement must state all three of the following. Handr block free file The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. Handr block free file The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. Handr block free file The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. Handr block free file   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her return. Handr block free file The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). Handr block free file The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. Handr block free file The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. Handr block free file Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. Handr block free file   If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, a noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child cannot attach pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332. Handr block free file The custodial parent must sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. Handr block free file The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent's claim to the child's exemption. Handr block free file The noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. Handr block free file The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. Handr block free file For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. Handr block free file    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. Handr block free file Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. Handr block free file   The custodial parent can revoke a release of claim to exemption that he or she previously released to the noncustodial parent on Form 8332 or a similar statement. Handr block free file In order for the revocation to be effective for 2013, the custodial parent must have given (or made reasonable efforts to give) written notice of the revocation to the noncustodial parent in 2012 or earlier. Handr block free file The custodial parent can use Part III of Form 8332 for this purpose and must attach a copy of the revocation to his or her return for each tax year he or she claims the child as a dependent as a result of the revocation. Handr block free file Remarried parent. Handr block free file   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. Handr block free file Child support under pre-1985 agreement. Handr block free file   All child support payments actually received from the noncustodial parent under a pre-1985 agreement are considered used for the support of the child, even if such amounts are not actually spent for child support. Handr block free file Example. Handr block free file Under a pre-1985 agreement, the noncustodial parent provides $1,200 for the child's support. Handr block free file This amount is considered support provided by the noncustodial parent even if the $1,200 was actually spent on things other than support. Handr block free file Parents who never married. Handr block free file   The special rule for divorced or separated parents also applies to parents who never married and lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. Handr block free file Alimony. Handr block free file   Payments to your spouse that are includible in his or her gross income as either alimony, separate maintenance payments, or similar payments from an estate or trust, are not treated as a payment for the support of a dependent. Handr block free file Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person If your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else, this special rule does not apply to you and you do not need to read about it. Handr block free file This is also true if your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else except your spouse with whom you file a joint return. Handr block free file If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), earlier, see Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), later. Handr block free file Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Handr block free file (For a description of these tests, see list items 1 through 5 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3). Handr block free file Although the child meets the conditions to be a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). Handr block free file The exemption for the child. Handr block free file The child tax credit. Handr block free file Head of household filing status. Handr block free file The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Handr block free file The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. Handr block free file The earned income credit. Handr block free file The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. Handr block free file In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. Handr block free file The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. Handr block free file Tiebreaker rules. Handr block free file   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. Handr block free file If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. Handr block free file If the parents do not file a joint return together but both parents claim the child as a qualifying child, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent with whom the child lived for the longer period of time during the year. Handr block free file If the child lived with each parent for the same amount of time, the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year. Handr block free file If no parent can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year. Handr block free file If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. Handr block free file If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' total AGI evenly between them; see Publication 501 for details. Handr block free file   Subject to these tiebreaker rules, you and the other person may be able to choose which of you claims the child as a qualifying child. Handr block free file Example 1—separated parents. Handr block free file You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. Handr block free file In August and September, your son lived with you. Handr block free file For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. Handr block free file Your son is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because your son lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, support, and joint return tests for both of you. Handr block free file At the end of the year, you and your husband still were not divorced, legally separated, or separated under a written separation agreement, so the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Handr block free file You and your husband will file separate returns. Handr block free file Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. Handr block free file This means, if your husband does not claim your son as a qualifying child, you can claim your son as a dependent and treat him as a qualifying child for the child tax credit and exclusion for dependent care benefits, if you qualify for each of those tax benefits. Handr block free file However, you cannot claim head of household filing status because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year. Handr block free file And, as a result of your filing status being married filing separately, you cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Handr block free file Example 2—separated parents claim same child. Handr block free file The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. Handr block free file In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Handr block free file This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. Handr block free file If you claimed an exemption, the child tax credit, or the exclusion for dependent care benefits for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to all these tax benefits, unless you have another qualifying child. Handr block free file In addition, because you and your husband did not live apart the last 6 months of the year, your husband cannot claim head of household filing status. Handr block free file And, as a result of his filing status being married filing separately, he cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Handr block free file Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Handr block free file   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described earlier, only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. Handr block free file However, the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. Handr block free file Only the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for those four tax benefits. Handr block free file If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for those tax benefits, the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. Handr block free file Example 1. Handr block free file You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Handr block free file Your AGI is $10,000. Handr block free file Your mother's AGI is $25,000. Handr block free file Your son's father does not live with you or your son. Handr block free file Under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), your son is treated as the qualifying child of his father, who can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child if he meets all the requirements to do so. Handr block free file Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. Handr block free file However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit. Handr block free file You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits, but the boy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother for head of household filing status and the earned income credit because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Handr block free file (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. Handr block free file ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. Handr block free file This means she can claim him for head of household filing status and the earned income credit if she qualifies for each and if you do not claim him as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Handr block free file (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Handr block free file ) Example 2. Handr block free file The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. Handr block free file Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. Handr block free file Example 3. Handr block free file The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Handr block free file Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. Handr block free file You, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Handr block free file The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the earned income credit and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. Handr block free file Phaseout of Exemptions The amount you can claim as a deduction for exemptions is reduced once your adjusted gross income (AGI) goes above a certain level for your filing status. Handr block free file These levels are as follows:    Filing Status AGI Level That Reduces Exemption Amount Married filing separately $150,000 Single 250,000 Head of household 275,000 Married filing jointly 300,000 Qualifying widow(er) 300,000 You must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions by 2% for each $2,500, or part of $2,500 ($1,250 if you are married filing separately), that your AGI exceeds the amount shown above for your filing status. Handr block free file If your AGI exceeds the amount shown above by more than $122,500 ($61,250 if married filing separately), the amount of your deduction for exemptions is reduced to zero. Handr block free file If your AGI exceeds the level for your filing status, use the Deduction for Exemptions Worksheet found in the instructions for Form 1040 or Form 1040NR to figure the amount of your deduction for exemptions. Handr block free file Alimony Alimony is a payment to or for a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation instrument. Handr block free file It does not include voluntary payments that are not made under a divorce or separation instrument. Handr block free file Alimony is deductible by the payer and must be included in the spouse's or former spouse's income. Handr block free file Although this discussion is generally written for the payer of the alimony, the recipient can use the information to determine whether an amount received is alimony. Handr block free file To be alimony, a payment must meet certain requirements. Handr block free file There are some differences between the requirements that apply to payments under instruments executed after 1984 and to payments under instruments executed before 1985. Handr block free file The general requirements that apply to payments regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed and the specific requirements that apply to post-1984 instruments (and, in certain cases, some pre-1985 instruments) are discussed in this publication. Handr block free file See, Instruments Executed Before 1985 , later, if you are looking for information on where to find the specific requirements that apply to pre-1985 instruments. Handr block free file Spouse or former spouse. Handr block free file   Unless otherwise stated, the term “spouse” includes former spouse. Handr block free file Divorce or separation instrument. Handr block free file   The term “divorce or separation instrument” means: A decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to that decree, A written separation agreement, or A decree or any type of court order requiring a spouse to make payments for the support or maintenance of the other spouse. Handr block free file This includes a temporary decree, an interlocutory (not final) decree, and a decree of alimony pendente lite (while awaiting action on the final decree or agreement). Handr block free file Invalid decree. Handr block free file   Payments under a divorce decree can be alimony even if the decree's validity is in question. Handr block free file A divorce decree is valid for tax purposes until a court having proper jurisdiction holds it invalid. Handr block free file Amended instrument. Handr block free file   An amendment to a divorce decree may change the nature of your payments. Handr block free file Amendments are not ordinarily retroactive for federal tax purposes. Handr block free file However, a retroactive amendment to a divorce decree correcting a clerical error to reflect the original intent of the court will generally be effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Handr block free file Example 1. Handr block free file A court order retroactively corrected a mathematical error under your divorce decree to express the original intent to spread the payments over more than 10 years. Handr block free file This change also is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Handr block free file Example 2. Handr block free file Your original divorce decree did not fix any part of the payment as child support. Handr block free file To reflect the true intention of the court, a court order retroactively corrected the error by designating a part of the payment as child support. Handr block free file The amended order is effective retroactively for federal tax purposes. Handr block free file Deducting alimony paid. Handr block free file   You can deduct alimony you paid, whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. Handr block free file You must file Form 1040. Handr block free file You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR. Handr block free file Enter the amount of alimony you paid on Form 1040, line 31a. Handr block free file In the space provided on line 31b, enter your spouse's social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Handr block free file If you paid alimony to more than one person, enter the SSN or ITIN of one of the recipients. Handr block free file Show the SSN or ITIN and amount paid to each other recipient on an attached statement. Handr block free file Enter your total payments on line 31a. Handr block free file If you do not provide your spouse's SSN or ITIN, you may have to pay a $50 penalty and your deduction may be disallowed. Handr block free file Reporting alimony received. Handr block free file   Report alimony you received as income on Form 1040, line 11, or on Schedule NEC (Form 1040NR), line 12. Handr block free file You cannot use Form 1040A, 1040EZ, or 1040NR-EZ. Handr block free file    You must give the person who paid the alimony your SSN or ITIN. Handr block free file If you do not, you may have to pay a $50 penalty. Handr block free file Withholding on nonresident aliens. Handr block free file   If you are a U. Handr block free file S. Handr block free file citizen or resident alien and you pay alimony to a nonresident alien spouse, you may have to withhold income tax at a rate of 30% on each payment. Handr block free file However, many tax treaties provide for an exemption from withholding for alimony payments. Handr block free file For more information, see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities. Handr block free file General Rules The following rules apply to alimony regardless of when the divorce or separation instrument was executed. Handr block free file Payments not alimony. Handr block free file   Not all payments under a divorce or separation instrument are alimony. Handr block free file Alimony does not include: Child support, Noncash property settlements, Payments that are your spouse's part of community income, as explained later under Community Property , Payments to keep up the payer's property, or Use of the payer's property. Handr block free file Example. Handr block free file Under your written separation agreement, your spouse lives rent-free in a home you own and you must pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, repairs, and utilities for the home. Handr block free file Because you own the home and the debts are yours, your payments for the mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance, and repairs are not alimony. Handr block free file Neither is the value of your spouse's use of the home. Handr block free file If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments for utilities as alimony. Handr block free file Your spouse must report them as income. Handr block free file If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, you can also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring your deductible interest. Handr block free file However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, later. Handr block free file If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. Handr block free file For more information on a qualified home and deductible mortgage interest, see Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction. Handr block free file Child support. Handr block free file   To determine whether a payment is child support, see the discussion under Instruments Executed After 1984 , later. Handr block free file If your divorce or separation agreement was executed before 1985, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. Handr block free file irs. Handr block free file gov/formspubs. Handr block free file Underpayment. Handr block free file   If both alimony and child support payments are called for by your divorce or separation instrument, and you pay less than the total required, the payments apply first to child support and then to alimony. Handr block free file Example. Handr block free file Your divorce decree calls for you to pay your former spouse $200 a month ($2,400 ($200 x 12) a year) as child support and $150 a month ($1,800 ($150 x 12) a year) as alimony. Handr block free file If you pay the full amount of $4,200 ($2,400 + $1,800) during the year, you can deduct $1,800 as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,800 as alimony received. Handr block free file If you pay only $3,600 during the year, $2,400 is child support. Handr block free file You can deduct only $1,200 ($3,600 – $2,400) as alimony and your former spouse must report $1,200 as alimony received. Handr block free file Payments to a third party. Handr block free file   Cash payments, checks, or money orders to a third party on behalf of your spouse under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can be alimony, if they otherwise qualify. Handr block free file These include payments for your spouse's medical expenses, housing costs (rent, utilities, etc. Handr block free file ), taxes, tuition, etc. Handr block free file The payments are treated as received by your spouse and then paid to the third party. Handr block free file Example 1. Handr block free file Under your divorce decree, you must pay your former spouse's medical and dental expenses. Handr block free file If the payments otherwise qualify, you can deduct them as alimony on your return. Handr block free file Your former spouse must report them as alimony received and can include them in figuring deductible medical expenses. Handr block free file Example 2. Handr block free file Under your separation agreement, you must pay the real estate taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance premiums on a home owned by your spouse. Handr block free file If they otherwise qualify, you can deduct the payments as alimony on your return, and your spouse must report them as alimony received. Handr block free file If itemizing deductions, your spouse can deduct the real estate taxes and, if the home is a qualified home, also include the interest on the mortgage in figuring deductible interest. Handr block free file However, if you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. Handr block free file If you owned the home jointly with your spouse, see Table 4. Handr block free file Life insurance premiums. Handr block free file   Alimony includes premiums you must pay under your divorce or separation instrument for insurance on your life to the extent your spouse owns the policy. Handr block free file Payments for jointly-owned home. Handr block free file   If your divorce or separation instrument states that you must pay expenses for a home owned by you and your spouse or former spouse, some of your payments may be alimony. Handr block free file See Table 4. Handr block free file   However, if your spouse owned the home, see Example 2 under Payments to a third party, earlier. Handr block free file If you owned the home, see the example under Payments not alimony , earlier. Handr block free file Table 4. Handr block free file Expenses for a Jointly-Owned Home Use the table below to find how much of your payment is alimony and how much you can claim as an itemized deduction. Handr block free file IF you must pay all of the . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file AND your home is . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file THEN you can deduct and your spouse (or former spouse) must include as alimony . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file AND you can claim as an itemized deduction . Handr block free file . Handr block free file . Handr block free file   mortgage payments (principal and interest) jointly owned half of the total payments half of the interest as interest expense (if the home is a qualified home). Handr block free file 1   real estate taxes and home insurance held as tenants in common half of the total payments half of the real estate taxes2 and none of the home insurance. Handr block free file     held as tenants by the entirety or in joint tenancy none of the payments all of the real estate taxes and none of the home insurance. Handr block free file 1 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the interest if the home is a qualified home. Handr block free file  2 Your spouse (or former spouse) can deduct the other half of the real estate taxes. Handr block free file Instruments Executed After 1984 The following rules for alimony apply to payments under divorce or separation instruments executed after 1984. Handr block free file Exception for instruments executed before 1985. Handr block free file   There are two situations where the rules for instruments executed after 1984 apply to instruments executed before 1985. Handr block free file A divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and then modified after 1984 to specify that the after-1984 rules will apply. Handr block free file A temporary divorce or separation instrument executed before 1985 and incorporated into, or adopted by, a final decree executed after 1984 that: Changes the amount or period of payment, or Adds or deletes any contingency or condition. Handr block free file   For the rules for alimony payments under pre-1985 instruments not meeting these exceptions, see the 2004 revision of Publication 504 available at www. Handr block free file irs. Handr block free file gov/formspubs. Handr block free file Example 1. Handr block free file In November 1984, you and your former spouse executed a written separation agreement. Handr block free file In February 1985, a decree of divorce was substituted for the written separation agreement. Handr block free file The decree of divorce did not change the terms for the alimony you pay your former spouse. Handr block free file The decree of divorce is treated as executed before 1985. Handr block free file Alimony payments under this decree are not subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Handr block free file Example 2. Handr block free file The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the decree of divorce changed the amount of the alimony. Handr block free file In this example, the decree of divorce is not treated as executed before 1985. Handr block free file The alimony payments are subject to the rules for payments under instruments executed after 1984. Handr block free file Alimony Requirements A payment to or for a spouse under a divorce or separation instrument is alimony if the spouses do not file a joint return with each other and all the following requirements are met. Handr block free file The payment is in cash. Handr block free file The instrument does not designate the payment as not alimony. Handr block free file The spouses are not members of the same household at the time the payments are made. Handr block free file This requirement applies only if the spouses are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Handr block free file There is no liability to make any payment (in cash or property) after the death of the recipient spouse. Handr block free file The payment is not treated as child support. Handr block free file Each of these requirements is discussed next. Handr block free file Cash payment requirement. Handr block free file   Only cash payments, including checks and money orders, qualify as alimony. Handr block free file The following do not qualify as alimony. Handr block free file Transfers of services or property (including a debt instrument of a third party or an annuity contract). Handr block free file Execution of a debt instrument by the payer. Handr block free file The use of the payer's property. Handr block free file Payments to a third party. Handr block free file   Cash payments to a third party under the terms of your divorce or separation instrument can qualify as cash payments to your spouse. Handr block free file See Payments to a third party under General Rules, earlier. Handr block free file   Also, cash payments made to a third party at the written request of your spouse may qualify as alimony if all the following requirements are met. Handr block free file The payments are in lieu of payments of alimony directly to your spouse. Handr block free file The written request states that both spouses intend the payments to be treated as alimony. Handr block free file You receive the written request from your spouse before you file your return for the year you made the payments. Handr block free file Payments designated as not alimony. Handr block free file   You and your spouse can designate that otherwise qualifying payments are not alimony. Handr block free file You do this by including a provision in your divorce or separation instrument that states the payments are not deductible as alimony by you and are excludable from your spouse's income. Handr block free file For this purpose, any instrument (written statement) signed by both of you that makes this designation and that refers to a previous written separation agreement is treated as a written separation agreement (and therefore a divorce or separation instrument). Handr block free file If you are subject to temporary support orders, the designation must be made in the original or a later temporary support order. Handr block free file   Your spouse can exclude the payments from income only if he or she attaches a copy of the instrument designating them as not alimony to his or her return. Handr block free file The copy must be attached each year the designation applies. Handr block free file Spouses cannot be members of the same household. Handr block free file   Payments to your spouse while you are members of the same household are not alimony if you are legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Handr block free file A home you formerly shared is considered one household, even if you physically separate yourselves in the home. Handr block free file   You are not treated as members of the same household if one of you is preparing to leave the household and does leave no later than 1 month after the date of the payment. Handr block free file Exception. Handr block free file   If you are not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, a payment under a written separation agreement, support decree, or other court order may qualify as alimony even if you are members of the same household when the payment is made. Handr block free file Liability for payments after death of recipient spouse. Handr block free file   If any part of payments you make must continue to be made for any period after your spouse's death, that part of your payments is not alimony whether made before or after the death. Handr block free file If all of the payments would continue, then none of the payments made before or after the death are alimony. Handr block free file   The divorce or separation instrument does not have to expressly state that the payments cease upon the
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The Handr Block Free File

Handr block free file Index A Accelerated death benefits, Accelerated Death Benefits, Accelerated death benefits. Handr block free file Archer MSA, HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA, HSA, Archer MSA, or a Medicare Advantage MSA. Handr block free file Assistance (see Tax help) Astronauts Tax forgiveness, Astronauts B Basis Inherited property, Basis of Inherited Property Joint interest property, Joint interest. Handr block free file Qualified joint interest, Qualified joint interest. Handr block free file Beneficiary Basis of property, Basis of Inherited Property Character of distributions, Character of Distributions Excess deductions, Excess deductions. Handr block free file Income received, Other Items of Income Liability, estate's income tax, Liability of the beneficiary. Handr block free file Nonresident alien, Nonresident alien beneficiary. Handr block free file Reporting distributions, How and When To Report Successor, Successor beneficiary. Handr block free file Treatment of distributions, Distributions to Beneficiaries Unused loss carryovers, Unused loss carryovers. Handr block free file Bequest Defined, Bequest Property received, Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances C Claim, credit or refund, Claim for Credit or Refund Combat zone, Combat Zone Comments, Comments and suggestions. Handr block free file Coverdell education savings account (ESA), Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA), Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Handr block free file Credit Child tax, Child tax credit. Handr block free file Earned income, Earned income credit. Handr block free file Elderly or disabled, Credit for the elderly or the disabled. Handr block free file Final return for decedent, Credits General business, General business tax credit. Handr block free file D Death benefits Accelerated, Accelerated Death Benefits, Accelerated death benefits. Handr block free file Public safety officers, Death benefits. Handr block free file Decedent Final return, Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040 Income in respect of, Income in Respect of a Decedent Deductions Estate tax, Estate Tax Deduction In respect of decedent, Deductions in Respect of a Decedent Medical expenses, Medical Expenses Standard, Standard Deduction Distributable net income, Distributable net income. Handr block free file Distributions Deduction, Income Distribution Deduction Limit on deduction, Tax-exempt income not deductible. Handr block free file Not treated as bequests, Distributions not treated as bequests. Handr block free file Property, in kind, Property distributed in kind. Handr block free file E Education savings account, Coverdell, Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA), Coverdell education savings account (ESA). Handr block free file Estate Income tax return, Income Tax Return of an Estate— Form 1041 Insolvent, Insolvent estate. Handr block free file Period of administration, Period of Administration Tax deduction, Estate Tax Deduction Termination, Termination of Estate Transfer of unused deductions, Transfer of Unused Deductions to Beneficiaries Estate tax deduction, Estate Tax Deduction Estimated tax, Estimated tax. Handr block free file , Transfer of Credit for Estimated Tax Payments Example Comprehensive, Comprehensive Example Decedent's final return, Final Return for Decedent—Form 1040 Estate's tax return, Income Tax Return of an Estate—Form 1041 Exemption Estate's tax return, Exemption Deduction Final return for decedent, Exemptions Expenses Accrued, Accrued expenses. Handr block free file Administration, Administration Expenses Deductions in respect of decedent, Deductions in Respect of a Decedent Funeral, Funeral and Medical Expenses Medical, Medical Expenses, Medical and dental expenses of a decedent. Handr block free file Extension to file Form 1041, Extension of time to file. Handr block free file F Fiduciary relationship, Notice of fiduciary relationship. Handr block free file Filing requirements Decedent's final return, Filing Requirements Estate's tax return, Filing Requirements Final return for decedent Credits, Credits Exemption and deductions, Exemptions and Deductions Filing requirements, Filing Requirements Income to include, Income To Include Joint return, Joint Return Name, address, and signature, Name, Address, and Signature Other taxes, Other Taxes Payments, Payments of Tax When and where to file, When and Where To File Who must file, Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040 Form 1040NR, Nonresident Alien, Filing Requirements 1041, Income Tax Return of an Estate— Form 1041 1042, Nonresident alien beneficiary. Handr block free file 1310, Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer. Handr block free file 4810, Form 4810. Handr block free file 56, Notice of fiduciary relationship. Handr block free file 6251, Form 6251. Handr block free file 706, Estate and Gift Taxes SS–4, Identification number. Handr block free file Free tax services, Free help with your tax return. Handr block free file Funeral expenses, Funeral expenses. Handr block free file G Gift, property, Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances H Help (see Tax help) I Identification number, application, Identification number. Handr block free file Income Community, Community Income Distributable net income, Distributable net income. Handr block free file Distributed currently, Income That Must Be Distributed Currently Interest and dividend, Interest and Dividend Income (Forms 1099) Partnership, final return, Partnership Income S corporation, S Corporation Income Self-employment, Self-Employment Income Income in respect of decedent, Income in Respect of a Decedent, Inherited IRAs. Handr block free file Income tax return of an estate Credits, tax, and payments, Credits, Tax, and Payments Exemption and deductions, Exemption and Deductions Filing requirements, Filing Requirements Income to include, Income To Include Name, address, and signature, Name, Address, and Signature When and where to file, When and Where To File Inherited IRAs, Inherited IRAs. Handr block free file Inherited property, Gifts, Insurance, and Inheritances Installment obligations, Installment obligations. Handr block free file , Installment obligations. Handr block free file Insurance, Insurance J Joint return Revoked by personal representative, Personal representative may revoke joint return election. Handr block free file Who can file, Joint Return L Losses Deduction on final return, Deduction for Losses Estate's tax return, Losses M Military or terrorist actions Claim for credit or refund, Claim for Credit or Refund Defined, Military or terrorist action defined. Handr block free file Tax forgiveness, Tax Forgiveness for Armed Forces Members, Victims of Terrorism, and Astronauts N Notice of fiduciary relationship Form 56, Notice of fiduciary relationship. Handr block free file P Partnership income, Partnership Income, Partnership income. Handr block free file Penalty Information returns, Penalty. Handr block free file Substantial valuation misstatement, Valuation misstatements. Handr block free file Personal representative Defined, Personal Representative Duties, Duties Fees received, Fees Received by Personal Representatives Penalty, Penalty. Handr block free file , Penalty. Handr block free file Prompt assessment, request, Request for prompt assessment (charge) of tax. Handr block free file Public safety officers, death benefits, Death benefits. Handr block free file Publications (see Tax help) R Refund File for decedent, Refund Military or terrorist action deaths, Claim for Credit or Refund Release from liability, Request for discharge from personal liability for tax. Handr block free file Return Decedent's final, Final Income Tax Return for Decedent—Form 1040 Estate's income tax, Income Tax Return of an Estate— Form 1041 Information, Information Returns Roth IRA, Roth IRAs. Handr block free file S Separate shares rule, Separate shares rule. Handr block free file Suggestions, Comments and suggestions. Handr block free file Survivors Income, Other Items of Income Tax benefits, Tax Benefits for Survivors T Tax Alternative minimum Estate, Alternative minimum tax (AMT). Handr block free file Individuals, Alternative minimum tax (AMT). Handr block free file Benefits, survivors, Tax Benefits for Survivors Estimated, estate, Estimated tax. Handr block free file , Transfer of Credit for Estimated Tax Payments Payments, final return, Payments of Tax Refund of income (claim), Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer. Handr block free file Self-employment, Self-employment tax. Handr block free file Transfer of credit, Transfer of Credit for Estimated Tax Payments Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Terrorist action, tax relief, Tax Forgiveness for Armed Forces Members, Victims of Terrorism, and Astronauts Terrorist victim, Specified Terrorist Victim TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help V Valuation method Inherited property, Basis of Inherited Property Special-use, Special-use valuation. Handr block free file Victims of terrorist attacks, Specified Terrorist Victim W Widows and widowers, tax benefits, Qualifying widows and widowers. Handr block free file Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications