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Irs free tax preparation 36. Irs free tax preparation   Earned Income Credit (EIC) Table of Contents What's New Reminders Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Do You Qualify for the Credit?If Improper Claim Made in Prior Year Part A. Irs free tax preparation Rules for EveryoneRule 1. Irs free tax preparation Your AGI Must Be Less Than: Rule 2. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) Rule 3. Irs free tax preparation Your Filing Status Cannot Be Married Filing Separately Rule 4. Irs free tax preparation You Must Be a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Citizen or Resident Alien All Year Rule 5. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ Rule 6. Irs free tax preparation Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less Rule 7. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have Earned Income Part B. Irs free tax preparation Rules If You Have a Qualifying ChildRule 8. Irs free tax preparation Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Rule 9. Irs free tax preparation Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used By More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Rule 10. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Part C. Irs free tax preparation Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying ChildRule 11. Irs free tax preparation You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 Rule 12. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person Rule 13. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer Rule 14. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Part D. Irs free tax preparation Figuring and Claiming the EICRule 15. Irs free tax preparation Your Earned Income Must Be Less Than: IRS Will Figure the EIC for You How To Figure the EIC Yourself ExamplesExample 1. Irs free tax preparation John and Janet Smith (Form 1040A) Example 2. Irs free tax preparation Kelly Green (Form 1040EZ) What's New Earned income amount is more. Irs free tax preparation  The maximum amount of income you can earn and still get the credit has increased. Irs free tax preparation You may be able to take the credit if: You have three or more qualifying children and you earned less than $46,227 ($51,567 if married filing jointly), You have two qualifying children and you earned less than $43,038 ($48,378 if married filing jointly), You have one qualifying child and you earned less than $37,870 ($43,210 if married filing jointly), or You do not have a qualifying child and you earned less than $14,340 ($19,680 if married filing jointly). Irs free tax preparation Your adjusted gross income also must be less than the amount in the above list that applies to you. Irs free tax preparation For details, see Rules 1 and 15. Irs free tax preparation Investment income amount is more. Irs free tax preparation  The maximum amount of investment income you can have and still get the credit has increased to $3,300. Irs free tax preparation See Rule 6. Irs free tax preparation Reminders Increased EIC on certain joint returns. Irs free tax preparation  A married person filing a joint return may get more EIC than someone with the same income but a different filing status. Irs free tax preparation As a result, the EIC table has different columns for married persons filing jointly than for everyone else. Irs free tax preparation When you look up your EIC in the EIC Table, be sure to use the correct column for your filing status and the number of children you have. Irs free tax preparation Online help. Irs free tax preparation  You can use the EITC Assistant at www. Irs free tax preparation irs. Irs free tax preparation gov/eitc to find out if you are eligible for the credit. Irs free tax preparation The EITC Assistant is available in English and Spanish. Irs free tax preparation EIC questioned by IRS. Irs free tax preparation  The IRS may ask you to provide documents to prove you are entitled to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation We will tell you what documents to send us. Irs free tax preparation These may include: birth certificates, school records, medical records, etc. Irs free tax preparation The process of establishing your eligibility will delay your refund. Irs free tax preparation Introduction The earned income credit (EIC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and have less than $51,567 of earned income. Irs free tax preparation A tax credit usually means more money in your pocket. Irs free tax preparation It reduces the amount of tax you owe. Irs free tax preparation The EIC may also give you a refund. Irs free tax preparation How do you get the earned income credit?   To claim the EIC, you must: Qualify by meeting certain rules, and File a tax return, even if you: Do not owe any tax, Did not earn enough money to file a return, or Did not have income taxes withheld from your pay. Irs free tax preparation When you complete your return, you can figure your EIC by using a worksheet in the instructions for Form 1040, Form 1040A, or Form 1040EZ. Irs free tax preparation Or, if you prefer, you can let the IRS figure the credit for you. Irs free tax preparation How will this chapter help you?   This chapter will explain the following. Irs free tax preparation The rules you must meet to qualify for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation How to figure the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 596 Earned Income Credit (EIC) Form (and Instructions) Schedule EIC Earned Income Credit (Qualifying Child Information) 8862 Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance Do You Qualify for the Credit? To qualify to claim the EIC, you must first meet all of the rules explained in Part A, Rules for Everyone . Irs free tax preparation Then you must meet the rules in Part B, Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child , or Part C, Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child . Irs free tax preparation There is one final rule you must meet in Part D, Figuring and Claiming the EIC . Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the credit if you meet all the rules in each part that applies to you. Irs free tax preparation If you have a qualifying child, the rules in Parts A, B, and D apply to you. Irs free tax preparation If you do not have a qualifying child, the rules in Parts A, C, and D apply to you. Irs free tax preparation Table 36-1, Earned Income Credit in a Nutshell. Irs free tax preparation   Use Table 36–1 as a guide to Parts A, B, C, and D. Irs free tax preparation The table is a summary of all the rules in each part. Irs free tax preparation Do you have a qualifying child?   You have a qualifying child only if you have a child who meets the four tests described in Rule 8 and illustrated in Figure 36–1. Irs free tax preparation If Improper Claim Made in Prior Year If your EIC for any year after 1996 was denied or reduced for any reason other than a math or clerical error, you must attach a completed Form 8862 to your next tax return to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation You must also qualify to claim the EIC by meeting all the rules described in this chapter. Irs free tax preparation However, if your EIC was denied or reduced as a result of a math or clerical error, do not attach Form 8862 to your next tax return. Irs free tax preparation For example, if your arithmetic is incorrect, the IRS can correct it. Irs free tax preparation If you do not provide a correct social security number, the IRS can deny the EIC. Irs free tax preparation These kinds of errors are called math or clerical errors. Irs free tax preparation If your EIC for any year after 1996 was denied and it was determined that your error was due to reckless or intentional disregard of the EIC rules, then you cannot claim the EIC for the next 2 years. Irs free tax preparation If your error was due to fraud, then you cannot claim the EIC for the next 10 years. Irs free tax preparation More information. Irs free tax preparation   See chapter 5 in Publication 596 for more detailed information about the disallowance period and Form 8862. Irs free tax preparation Part A. Irs free tax preparation Rules for Everyone This part of the chapter discusses Rules 1 through 7. Irs free tax preparation You must meet all seven rules to qualify for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation If you do not meet all seven rules, you cannot get the credit and you do not need to read the rest of the chapter. Irs free tax preparation If you meet all seven rules in this part, then read either Part B or Part C (whichever applies) for more rules you must meet. Irs free tax preparation Rule 1. Irs free tax preparation Your AGI Must Be Less Than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Adjusted gross income (AGI). Irs free tax preparation   AGI is the amount on line 38 (Form 1040), line 22 (Form 1040A), or line 4 (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation If your AGI is equal to or more than the applicable limit listed above, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation Your AGI is $38,550, you are single, and you have one qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the EIC because your AGI is not less than $37,870. Irs free tax preparation However, if your filing status was married filing jointly, you might be able to claim the EIC because your AGI is less than $43,210. Irs free tax preparation Community property. Irs free tax preparation   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3 ), and live in a state that has community property laws, your AGI includes that portion of both your and your spouse's wages that you are required to include in gross income. Irs free tax preparation This is different from the community property rules that apply under Rule 7 . Irs free tax preparation Rule 2. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have a Valid Social Security Number (SSN) To claim the EIC, you (and your spouse, if filing a joint return) must have a valid SSN issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Irs free tax preparation Any qualifying child listed on Schedule EIC also must have a valid SSN. Irs free tax preparation (See Rule 8 if you have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation ) If your social security card (or your spouse's, if filing a joint return) says “Not valid for employment” and your SSN was issued so that you (or your spouse) could get a federally funded benefit, you cannot get the EIC. Irs free tax preparation An example of a federally funded benefit is Medicaid. Irs free tax preparation If you have a card with the legend “Not valid for employment” and your immigration status has changed so that you are now a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or permanent resident, ask the SSA for a new social security card without the legend. Irs free tax preparation U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen. Irs free tax preparation   If you were a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen when you received your SSN, you have a valid SSN. Irs free tax preparation Valid for work only with INS or DHS authorization. Irs free tax preparation   If your social security card reads “Valid for work only with INS authorization” or “Valid for work only with DHS authorization,” you have a valid SSN, but only if that authorization is still valid. Irs free tax preparation SSN missing or incorrect. Irs free tax preparation   If an SSN for you or your spouse is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, you may not get the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Other taxpayer identification number. Irs free tax preparation   You cannot get the EIC if, instead of an SSN, you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) have an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Irs free tax preparation ITINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service to noncitizens who cannot get an SSN. Irs free tax preparation No SSN. Irs free tax preparation   If you do not have a valid SSN, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Getting an SSN. Irs free tax preparation   If you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) do not have an SSN, you can apply for one by filing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with the SSA. Irs free tax preparation You can get Form SS-5 online at www. Irs free tax preparation socialsecurity. Irs free tax preparation gov, from your local SSA office, or by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. Irs free tax preparation Filing deadline approaching and still no SSN. Irs free tax preparation   If the filing deadline is approaching and you still do not have an SSN, you have two choices. Irs free tax preparation Request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return. Irs free tax preparation You can get this extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Individual Income Tax Return. Irs free tax preparation For more information, see chapter 1 . Irs free tax preparation File the return on time without claiming the EIC. Irs free tax preparation After receiving the SSN, file an amended return (Form 1040X, Amended U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Individual Income Tax Return) claiming the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Attach a filled-in Schedule EIC if you have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Table 36-1. Irs free tax preparation Earned Income Credit in a Nutshell First, you must meet all the rules in this column. Irs free tax preparation Second, you must meet all the rules in one of these columns, whichever applies. Irs free tax preparation Third, you must meet the rule in this column. Irs free tax preparation Part A. Irs free tax preparation  Rules for Everyone Part B. Irs free tax preparation  Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child Part C. Irs free tax preparation  Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child Part D. Irs free tax preparation  Figuring and Claiming the EIC 1. Irs free tax preparation Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than: • $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,  • $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,  • $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or   • $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation 2. Irs free tax preparation You must have a valid social security number. Irs free tax preparation  3. Irs free tax preparation Your filing status cannot be “Married filing separately. Irs free tax preparation ” 4. Irs free tax preparation You must be a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien all year. Irs free tax preparation  5. Irs free tax preparation You cannot file Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ (relating to foreign earned income). Irs free tax preparation  6. Irs free tax preparation Your investment income must be $3,300 or less. Irs free tax preparation  7. Irs free tax preparation You must have earned income. Irs free tax preparation 8. Irs free tax preparation Your child must meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests. Irs free tax preparation  9. Irs free tax preparation Your qualifying child cannot be used by more than one person to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation  10. Irs free tax preparation You cannot be a qualifying child of another person. Irs free tax preparation 11. Irs free tax preparation You must be at least age 25 but under age 65. Irs free tax preparation  12. Irs free tax preparation You cannot be the dependent of another person. Irs free tax preparation  13. Irs free tax preparation You cannot be a qualifying child of another person. Irs free tax preparation  14. Irs free tax preparation You must have lived in the United States more than half of the year. Irs free tax preparation 15. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income must be less than: • $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children,  • $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children,  • $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or   • $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Rule 3. Irs free tax preparation Your Filing Status Cannot Be Married Filing Separately If you are married, you usually must file a joint return to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Your filing status cannot be “Married filing separately. Irs free tax preparation ” Spouse did not live with you. Irs free tax preparation   If you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as head of household, instead of married filing separately. Irs free tax preparation In that case, you may be able to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation For detailed information about filing as head of household, see chapter 2 . Irs free tax preparation Rule 4. Irs free tax preparation You Must Be a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Citizen or Resident Alien All Year If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year, you cannot claim the earned income credit unless your filing status is married filing jointly. Irs free tax preparation You can use that filing status only if one spouse is a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien and you choose to treat the nonresident spouse as a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation resident. Irs free tax preparation If you make this choice, you and your spouse are taxed on your worldwide income. Irs free tax preparation If you (or your spouse, if married) were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and your filing status is not married filing jointly, enter “No” on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040) or in the space to the left of line 38a (Form 1040A). Irs free tax preparation If you need more information on making this choice, get Publication 519, U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Tax Guide for Aliens. Irs free tax preparation Rule 5. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot File Form 2555 or Form 2555-EZ You cannot claim the earned income credit if you file Form 2555, Foreign Earned Income, or Form 2555-EZ, Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Irs free tax preparation You file these forms to exclude income earned in foreign countries from your gross income, or to deduct or exclude a foreign housing amount. Irs free tax preparation U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation possessions are not foreign countries. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, for more detailed information. Irs free tax preparation Rule 6. Irs free tax preparation Your Investment Income Must Be $3,300 or Less You cannot claim the earned income credit unless your investment income is $3,300 or less. Irs free tax preparation If your investment income is more than $3,300, you cannot claim the credit. Irs free tax preparation For most people, investment income is the total of the following amounts. Irs free tax preparation Taxable interest (line 8a of Form 1040 or 1040A). Irs free tax preparation Tax-exempt interest (line 8b of Form 1040 or 1040A). Irs free tax preparation Dividend income (line 9a of Form 1040 or 1040A). Irs free tax preparation Capital gain net income (line 13 of Form 1040, if more than zero, or line 10 of Form 1040A). Irs free tax preparation If you file Form 1040EZ, your investment income is the total of the amount of line 2 and the amount of any tax-exempt interest you wrote to the right of the words “Form 1040EZ” on line 2. Irs free tax preparation However, see Rule 6 in chapter 1 of Publication 596 if: You are filing Schedule E (Form 1040), Form 4797, or Form 8814, or You are reporting income from the rental of personal property on Form 1040, line 21. Irs free tax preparation Rule 7. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have Earned Income This credit is called the “earned income” credit because, to qualify, you must work and have earned income. Irs free tax preparation If you are married and file a joint return, you meet this rule if at least one spouse works and has earned income. Irs free tax preparation If you are an employee, earned income includes all the taxable income you get from your employer. Irs free tax preparation If you are self-employed or a statutory employee, you will figure your earned income on EIC Worksheet B in the instructions for Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation Earned Income Earned income includes all of the following types of income. Irs free tax preparation Wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee pay. Irs free tax preparation Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. Irs free tax preparation Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. Irs free tax preparation But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income, as explained below. Irs free tax preparation Net earnings from self-employment. Irs free tax preparation Gross income received as a statutory employee. Irs free tax preparation Wages, salaries, and tips. Irs free tax preparation   Wages, salaries, and tips you receive for working are reported to you on Form W-2, in box 1. Irs free tax preparation You should report these on line 1 (Form 1040EZ) or line 7 (Forms 1040A and 1040). Irs free tax preparation Nontaxable combat pay election. Irs free tax preparation   You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation Electing to include nontaxable combat pay in earned income may increase or decrease your EIC. Irs free tax preparation Figure the credit with and without your nontaxable combat pay before making the election. Irs free tax preparation   If you make the election, you must include in earned income all nontaxable combat pay you received. Irs free tax preparation If you are filing a joint return and both you and your spouse received nontaxable combat pay, you can each make your own election. Irs free tax preparation In other words, if one of you makes the election, the other one can also make it but does not have to. Irs free tax preparation   The amount of your nontaxable combat pay should be shown in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code “Q. Irs free tax preparation ” Self-employed persons and statutory employees. Irs free tax preparation   If you are self-employed or received income as a statutory employee, you must use the Form 1040 instructions to see if you qualify to get the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Approved Form 4361 or Form 4029 This section is for persons who have an approved: Form 4361, Application for Exemption From Self-Employment Tax for Use by Ministers, Members of Religious Orders and Christian Science Practitioners, or Form 4029, Application for Exemption From Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Waiver of Benefits. Irs free tax preparation Each approved form exempts certain income from social security taxes. Irs free tax preparation Each form is discussed here in terms of what is or is not earned income for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Form 4361. Irs free tax preparation   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4361, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties as an employee count as earned income. Irs free tax preparation This includes wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation. Irs free tax preparation A nontaxable housing allowance or the nontaxable rental value of a home is not earned income. Irs free tax preparation Also, amounts you received for performing ministerial duties, but not as an employee, do not count as earned income. Irs free tax preparation Examples include fees for performing marriages and honoraria for delivering speeches. Irs free tax preparation Form 4029. Irs free tax preparation   Whether or not you have an approved Form 4029, all wages, salaries, tips, and other taxable employee compensation count as earned income. Irs free tax preparation However, amounts you received as a self-employed individual do not count as earned income. Irs free tax preparation Also, in figuring earned income, do not subtract losses on Schedule C, C-EZ, or F from wages on line 7 of Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation Disability Benefits If you retired on disability, taxable benefits you receive under your employer's disability retirement plan are considered earned income until you reach minimum retirement age. Irs free tax preparation Minimum retirement age generally is the earliest age at which you could have received a pension or annuity if you were not disabled. Irs free tax preparation You must report your taxable disability payments on line 7 of either Form 1040 or Form 1040A until you reach minimum retirement age. Irs free tax preparation Beginning on the day after you reach minimum retirement age, payments you receive are taxable as a pension and are not considered earned income. Irs free tax preparation Report taxable pension payments on Form 1040, lines 16a and 16b (or Form 1040A, lines 12a and 12b). Irs free tax preparation Disability insurance payments. Irs free tax preparation   Payments you received from a disability insurance policy that you paid the premiums for are not earned income. Irs free tax preparation It does not matter whether you have reached minimum retirement age. Irs free tax preparation If this policy is through your employer, the amount may be shown in box 12 of your Form W-2 with code “J. Irs free tax preparation ” Income That Is Not Earned Income Examples of items that are not earned income include interest and dividends, pensions and annuities, social security and railroad retirement benefits (including disability benefits), alimony and child support, welfare benefits, workers' compensation benefits, unemployment compensation (insurance), nontaxable foster care payments, and veterans' benefits, including VA rehabilitation payments. Irs free tax preparation Do not include any of these items in your earned income. Irs free tax preparation Earnings while an inmate. Irs free tax preparation   Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income when figuring the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation This includes amounts for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. Irs free tax preparation Workfare payments. Irs free tax preparation   Nontaxable workfare payments are not earned income for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation These are cash payments certain people receive from a state or local agency that administers public assistance programs funded under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in return for certain work activities such as (1) work experience activities (including remodeling or repairing public housing) if private sector employment is not available, or (2) community service program activities. Irs free tax preparation Community property. Irs free tax preparation   If you are married, but qualify to file as head of household under special rules for married taxpayers living apart (see Rule 3 ), and live in a state that has community property laws, your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your spouse that is treated as belonging to you under those laws. Irs free tax preparation That amount is not earned income for the EIC, even though you must include it in your gross income on your income tax return. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned, even if part of it is treated as belonging to your spouse under your state's community property laws. Irs free tax preparation Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. Irs free tax preparation   If you are a registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California, the same rules apply. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income for the EIC does not include any amount earned by your partner. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income includes the entire amount you earned. Irs free tax preparation For details, see Publication 555. Irs free tax preparation Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments. Irs free tax preparation   If you were receiving social security retirement benefits or social security disability benefits at the time you received any CRP payments, your CRP payments are not earned income for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Nontaxable military pay. Irs free tax preparation   Nontaxable pay for members of the Armed Forces is not considered earned income for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Examples of nontaxable military pay are combat pay, the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). Irs free tax preparation See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more information. Irs free tax preparation    Combat pay. Irs free tax preparation You can elect to include your nontaxable combat pay in earned income for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation See Nontaxable combat pay election, earlier. Irs free tax preparation Part B. Irs free tax preparation Rules If You Have a Qualifying Child If you have met all of the rules in Part A , read Part B to see if you have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Part B discusses Rules 8 through 10. Irs free tax preparation You must meet all three of these rules, in addition to the rules in Parts A and D , to qualify for the earned income credit with a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation You must file Form 1040 or Form 1040A to claim the EIC with a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation (You cannot file Form 1040EZ. Irs free tax preparation ) You also must complete Schedule EIC and attach it to your return. Irs free tax preparation If you meet all the rules in Part A and this part, read Part D to find out what to do next. Irs free tax preparation If you do not meet Rule 8, you do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Read Part C to find out if you can get the earned income credit without a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Rule 8. Irs free tax preparation Your Child Must Meet the Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint Return Tests Your child is a qualifying child if your child meets four tests. Irs free tax preparation The four tests are: Relationship, Age, Residency, and Joint return. Irs free tax preparation The four tests are illustrated in Figure 36–1. Irs free tax preparation The paragraphs that follow contain more information about each test. Irs free tax preparation Relationship Test To be your qualifying child, a child must be your: Son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild), or Brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your niece or nephew). Irs free tax preparation The following definitions clarify the relationship test. Irs free tax preparation Adopted child. Irs free tax preparation   An adopted child is always treated as your own child. Irs free tax preparation The term “adopted child” includes a child who was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. Irs free tax preparation Foster child. Irs free tax preparation   For the EIC, a person is your foster child if the child is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgement, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Irs free tax preparation An authorized placement agency includes a state or local government agency. Irs free tax preparation It also includes a tax-exempt organization licensed by a state. Irs free tax preparation In addition, it includes an Indian tribal government or an organization authorized by an Indian tribal government to place Indian children. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation Debbie, who is 12 years old, was placed in your care 2 years ago by an authorized agency responsible for placing children in foster homes. Irs free tax preparation Debbie is your foster child. Irs free tax preparation Age Test Your child must be: Under age 19 at the end of 2013 and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), Under age 24 at the end of 2013, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled at any time during 2013, regardless of age. Irs free tax preparation    The following examples and definitions clarify the age test. Irs free tax preparation Example 1—child not under age 19. Irs free tax preparation Your son turned 19 on December 10. Irs free tax preparation Unless he was permanently and totally disabled or a student, he is not a qualifying child because, at the end of the year, he was not under age 19. Irs free tax preparation Example 2—child not younger than you or your spouse. Irs free tax preparation Your 23-year-old brother, who is a full-time student and unmarried, lives with you and your spouse. Irs free tax preparation He is not disabled. Irs free tax preparation Both you and your spouse are 21 years old and you file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Your brother is not your qualifying child because he is not younger than you or your spouse. Irs free tax preparation Example 3—child younger than your spouse but not younger than you. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 2 except that your spouse is 25 years old. Irs free tax preparation Because your brother is younger than your spouse, he is your qualifying child even though he is not younger than you. Irs free tax preparation Student defined. Irs free tax preparation   To qualify as a student, your child must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months during the calendar year: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and regular student body at the school, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or a state, county, or local government. Irs free tax preparation The 5 calendar months need not be consecutive. Irs free tax preparation   A full-time student is a student who is enrolled for the number of hours or courses the school considers to be full-time attendance. Irs free tax preparation School defined. Irs free tax preparation   A school can be an elementary school, junior or senior high school, college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school. Irs free tax preparation However, on-the-job training courses, correspondence schools, and schools offering courses only through the Internet do not count as schools for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Vocational high school students. Irs free tax preparation   Students who work in co-op jobs in private industry as a part of a school's regular course of classroom and practical training are considered full-time students. Irs free tax preparation Permanently and totally disabled. Irs free tax preparation   Your child is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. Irs free tax preparation A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death. Irs free tax preparation Residency Test Your child must have lived with you in the United States for more than half of 2013. Irs free tax preparation The following definitions clarify the residency test. Irs free tax preparation United States. Irs free tax preparation   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Irs free tax preparation It does not include Puerto Rico or U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation possessions such as Guam. Irs free tax preparation Homeless shelter. Irs free tax preparation   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. Irs free tax preparation You do not need a traditional home. Irs free tax preparation For example, if your child lived with you for more than half the year in one or more homeless shelters, your child meets the residency test. Irs free tax preparation Military personnel stationed outside the United States. Irs free tax preparation    U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Figure 36-1. Irs free tax preparation Tests for Qualifying Child Please click here for the text description of the image. Irs free tax preparation Qualifying child Extended active duty. Irs free tax preparation   Extended active duty means you are called or ordered to duty for an indefinite period or for a period of more than 90 days. Irs free tax preparation Once you begin serving your extended active duty, you are still considered to have been on extended active duty even if you do not serve more than 90 days. Irs free tax preparation Birth or death of a child. Irs free tax preparation   A child who was born or died in 2013 is treated as having lived with you for more than half of 2013 if your home was the child's home for more than half the time he or she was alive in 2013. Irs free tax preparation Temporary absences. Irs free tax preparation   Count time that you or your child is away from home on a temporary absence due to a special circumstance as time the child lived with you. Irs free tax preparation Examples of a special circumstance include illness, school attendance, business, vacation, military service, and detention in a juvenile facility. Irs free tax preparation Kidnapped child. Irs free tax preparation    A kidnapped child is treated as living with you for more than half of the year if the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the date of the kidnapping. Irs free tax preparation The child must be presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or your child's family. Irs free tax preparation This treatment applies for all years until the child is returned. Irs free tax preparation However, the last year this treatment can apply is the earlier of: The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Irs free tax preparation   If your qualifying child has been kidnapped and meets these requirements, enter “KC,” instead of a number, on line 6 of Schedule EIC. Irs free tax preparation Joint Return Test To meet this test, the child cannot file a joint return for the year. Irs free tax preparation Exception. Irs free tax preparation   An exception to the joint return test applies if your child and his or her spouse file a joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation Example 1—child files joint return. Irs free tax preparation You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Irs free tax preparation He earned $25,000 for the year. Irs free tax preparation The couple files a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Because your daughter and her husband filed a joint return, she is not your qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Example 2—child files joint return only to claim a refund of withheld tax. Irs free tax preparation Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Irs free tax preparation They do not have a child. Irs free tax preparation Neither is required to file a tax return. Irs free tax preparation Taxes were taken out of their pay, so they filed a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Irs free tax preparation The exception to the joint return test applies, so your son may be your qualifying child if all the other tests are met. Irs free tax preparation Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Irs free tax preparation He and his wife are not required to file a tax return, but they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Irs free tax preparation Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation The exception to the joint return test does not apply, so your son is not your qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Married child. Irs free tax preparation   Even if your child does not file a joint return, if your child was married at the end of the year, he or she cannot be your qualifying child unless: You can claim an exemption for the child, or The reason you cannot claim an exemption for the child is that you let the child's other parent claim the exemption under the Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) , described later. Irs free tax preparation Social security number. Irs free tax preparation   The qualifying child must have a valid social security number (SSN) unless the child was born and died in 2013 and you attach to your return a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records showing a live birth. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the EIC on the basis of a qualifying child if: The qualifying child's SSN is missing from your tax return or is incorrect, The qualifying child's social security card says “Not valid for employment” and was issued for use in getting a federally funded benefit, or Instead of an SSN, the qualifying child has: An individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), which is issued to a noncitizen who cannot get an SSN, or An adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN), which is issued to adopting parents who cannot get an SSN for the child being adopted until the adoption is final. Irs free tax preparation   If you have more than one qualifying child and only one has a valid SSN, you can use only that child to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation For more information about SSNs, see Rule 2 . Irs free tax preparation Rule 9. Irs free tax preparation Your Qualifying Child Cannot Be Used By More Than One Person To Claim the EIC Sometimes a child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Irs free tax preparation However, only one of these persons can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Only that person can use the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). Irs free tax preparation The exemption for the child. Irs free tax preparation The child tax credit. Irs free tax preparation Head of household filing status. Irs free tax preparation The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irs free tax preparation The exclusion for dependent care benefits. Irs free tax preparation The EIC. Irs free tax preparation The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these tax benefits between you. Irs free tax preparation The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation The tiebreaker rules explained next explain who, if anyone, can claim the EIC when more than one person has the same qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation However, the tiebreaker rules do not apply if the other person is your spouse and you file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Tiebreaker rules. Irs free tax preparation   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the six tax benefits just listed, the following tiebreaker rules apply. Irs free tax preparation If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. Irs free tax preparation If the parents file a joint return together and can claim the child as a qualifying child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parents. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by treating the parents' total AGI as divided evenly between them. Irs free tax preparation See Example 8 . Irs free tax preparation   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. Irs free tax preparation See Examples 1 through 13 . Irs free tax preparation   If you cannot claim the EIC because your qualifying child is treated under the tiebreaker rules as the qualifying child of another person for 2013, you may be able to take the EIC using a different qualifying child, but you cannot take the EIC using the rules in Part C for people who do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation If the other person cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation   If you and someone else have the same qualifying child but the other person cannot claim the EIC because he or she is not eligible or his or her earned income or AGI is too high, you may be able to treat the child as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation See Examples 6 and 7 . Irs free tax preparation But you cannot treat the child as a qualifying child to claim the EIC if the other person uses the child to claim any of the other six tax benefits listed earlier. Irs free tax preparation Examples. Irs free tax preparation The following examples may help you in determining whether you can claim the EIC when you and someone else have the same qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Example 1. Irs free tax preparation You and your 2-year-old son Jimmy lived with your mother all year. Irs free tax preparation You are 25 years old, unmarried, and your AGI is $9,000. Irs free tax preparation Your only income was $9,000 from a part-time job. Irs free tax preparation Your mother's only income was $20,000 from her job, and her AGI is $20,000. Irs free tax preparation Jimmy's father did not live with you or Jimmy. Irs free tax preparation The special rule explained later for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Irs free tax preparation Jimmy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Irs free tax preparation However, only one of you can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and the other tax benefits listed earlier for which that person qualifies). Irs free tax preparation He is not a qualifying child of anyone else, including his father. Irs free tax preparation If you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can treat him as a qualifying child to claim the EIC (and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which she qualifies). Irs free tax preparation Example 2. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your AGI is $25,000. Irs free tax preparation Because your mother's AGI is not higher than yours, she cannot claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Only you can claim him. Irs free tax preparation Example 3. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation In this case, you as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC and the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. Irs free tax preparation The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier unless she has another qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Example 4. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you also have two other young children who are qualifying children of both you and your mother. Irs free tax preparation Only one of you can claim each child. Irs free tax preparation However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours, you can allow your mother to claim one or more of the children. Irs free tax preparation For example, if you claim one child, your mother can claim the other two. Irs free tax preparation Example 5. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you are only 18 years old. Irs free tax preparation This means you are a qualifying child of your mother. Irs free tax preparation Because of Rule 10 , discussed next, you cannot claim the EIC and cannot claim Jimmy as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Only your mother may be able to treat Jimmy as a qualifying child to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation If your mother meets all the other requirements for claiming the EIC and you do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim both you and Jimmy as qualifying children for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Example 6. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your mother earned $50,000 from her job. Irs free tax preparation Because your mother's earned income is too high for her to claim the EIC, only you can claim the EIC using your son. Irs free tax preparation Example 7. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you earned $50,000 from your job and your AGI is $50,500. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income is too high for you to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation But your mother cannot claim the EIC either, because her AGI is not higher than yours. Irs free tax preparation Example 8. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and Jimmy's father are married to each other, live with Jimmy and your mother, and have an AGI of $30,000 on a joint return. Irs free tax preparation If you and your husband do not claim Jimmy as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, your mother can claim him instead. Irs free tax preparation Even though the AGI on your joint return, $30,000, is more than your mother's AGI of $20,000, for this purpose half of the joint AGI can be treated as yours and half as your husband's. Irs free tax preparation In other words, each parent's AGI can be treated as $15,000. Irs free tax preparation Example 9. Irs free tax preparation You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son Joey lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. Irs free tax preparation In August and September, Joey lived with you. Irs free tax preparation For the rest of the year, Joey lived with your husband, who is Joey's father. Irs free tax preparation Joey is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because he lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, and joint return tests for both of you. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation You and your husband will file separate returns. Irs free tax preparation Your husband agrees to let you treat Joey as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation This means, if your husband does not claim Joey as a qualifying child for any of the tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for any tax benefit listed earlier for which you qualify. Irs free tax preparation However, your filing status is married filing separately, so you cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irs free tax preparation See Rule 3 . Irs free tax preparation Example 10. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 9 except that you and your husband both claim Joey as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat Joey as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). Irs free tax preparation However, your husband's filing status is married filing separately, so he cannot claim the EIC or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irs free tax preparation See Rule 3 . Irs free tax preparation Example 11. Irs free tax preparation You, your 5-year-old son and your son's father lived together all year. Irs free tax preparation You and your son's father are not married. Irs free tax preparation Your son is a qualifying child of both you and his father because he meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and his father. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income and AGI are $12,000, and your son's father's earned income and AGI are $14,000. Irs free tax preparation Neither of you had any other income. Irs free tax preparation Your son's father agrees to let you treat the child as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation This means, if your son's father does not claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC or any of the other tax benefits listed earlier, you can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and any of the other tax benefits listed earlier for which you qualify. Irs free tax preparation Example 12. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 11 except that you and your son's father both claim your son as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation In this case, only your son's father will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation This is because his AGI, $14,000, is more than your AGI, $12,000. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the EIC (either with or without a qualifying child). Irs free tax preparation Example 13. Irs free tax preparation You and your 7-year-old niece, your sister's child, lived with your mother all year. Irs free tax preparation You are 25 years old, and your AGI is $9,300. Irs free tax preparation Your only income was from a part-time job. Irs free tax preparation Your mother's AGI is $15,000. Irs free tax preparation Her only income was from her job. Irs free tax preparation Your niece's parents file jointly, have an AGI of less than $9,000, and do not live with you or their child. Irs free tax preparation Your niece is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because she meets the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Irs free tax preparation However, only your mother can treat her as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation This is because your mother's AGI, $15,000, is more than your AGI, $9,300. Irs free tax preparation Special rule for divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Irs free tax preparation   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent (for purposes of claiming an exemption and the child tax credit, but not for the EIC) if all of the following statements are true. Irs free tax preparation 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 2013, whether or not they are or were married. Irs free tax preparation The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. Irs free tax preparation The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of 2013. Irs free tax preparation Either of the following statements is true. Irs free tax preparation The custodial parent signs Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches the form or statement to his or her return. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2013. Irs free tax preparation  For details, see chapter 3. Irs free tax preparation Also see Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) , next. Irs free tax preparation Applying Rule 9 to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Irs free tax preparation   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the special rule just described for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), only the noncustodial parent can claim an exemption and the child tax credit for the child. Irs free tax preparation However, the custodial parent, if eligible, or another eligible taxpayer can claim the child as a qualifying child for the EIC and other tax benefits listed earlier in this chapter. Irs free tax preparation If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for these benefits, then the tiebreaker rules determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Example 1. Irs free tax preparation You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Irs free tax preparation Your AGI is $10,000. Irs free tax preparation Your mother’s AGI is $25,000. Irs free tax preparation Your son's father did not live with you or your son. Irs free tax preparation Under the special rule 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. Irs free tax preparation 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 EIC. Irs free tax preparation You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits. Irs free tax preparation If you do not claim your son as a qualifying child, your mother can claim him as a qualifying child for the EIC and head of household filing status, if she qualifies for these tax benefits. Irs free tax preparation Example 2. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. Irs free tax preparation Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. Irs free tax preparation Example 3. Irs free tax preparation 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 EIC. Irs free tax preparation Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. Irs free tax preparation You as the child's parent will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the EIC and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Rule 10. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. Irs free tax preparation ) if all of the following statements are true. Irs free tax preparation You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. Irs free tax preparation Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister (or a descendant of any of them). Irs free tax preparation You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. Irs free tax preparation You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. Irs free tax preparation You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Irs free tax preparation For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8 . Irs free tax preparation If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Put “No” beside line 64a (Form 1040) or line 38a (Form 1040A). Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation You and your daughter lived with your mother all year. Irs free tax preparation You are 22 years old, unmarried, and attended a trade school full time. Irs free tax preparation You had a part-time job and earned $5,700. Irs free tax preparation You had no other income. Irs free tax preparation Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother. Irs free tax preparation She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Irs free tax preparation Because you are your mother's qualifying child, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Child of person not required to file a return. Irs free tax preparation   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in the last example except your mother had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. Irs free tax preparation As a result, you are not your mother's qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Irs free tax preparation   See Rule 10 in Publication 596 for additional examples. Irs free tax preparation Part C. Irs free tax preparation Rules If You Do Not Have a Qualifying Child Read this part if you: Do not have a qualifying child, and Have met all the rules in Part A . Irs free tax preparation  Part C discusses Rules 11 through 14. Irs free tax preparation You must meet all four of these rules, in addition to the rules in Parts A and D , to qualify for the earned income credit without a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation If you have a qualifying child, the rules in this part do not apply to you. Irs free tax preparation You can claim the credit only if you meet all the rules in Parts A, B, and D. Irs free tax preparation See Rule 8 to find out if you have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Rule 11. Irs free tax preparation You Must Be at Least Age 25 but Under Age 65 You must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation If you are married filing a joint return, either you or your spouse must be at least age 25 but under age 65 at the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation It does not matter which spouse meets the age test, as long as one of the spouses does. Irs free tax preparation You meet the age test if you were born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. Irs free tax preparation If you are married filing a joint return, you meet the age test if either you or your spouse was born after December 31, 1948, and before January 2, 1989. Irs free tax preparation If neither you nor your spouse meets the age test, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation Death of spouse. Irs free tax preparation   If you are filing a joint return with your spouse who died in 2013, you meet the age test if your spouse was at least age 25 but under age 65 at the time of death. Irs free tax preparation Example 1. Irs free tax preparation You are age 28 and unmarried. Irs free tax preparation You meet the age test. Irs free tax preparation Example 2—spouse meets age test. Irs free tax preparation You are married and filing a joint return. Irs free tax preparation You are age 23 and your spouse is age 27. Irs free tax preparation You meet the age test because your spouse is at least age 25 but under age 65. Irs free tax preparation Example 3—spouse dies in 2013. Irs free tax preparation You are married and filing a joint return with your spouse who died in August 2013. Irs free tax preparation You are age 67. Irs free tax preparation Your spouse would have become age 65 in November 2013. Irs free tax preparation Because your spouse was under age 65 when she died, you meet the age test. Irs free tax preparation Rule 12. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be the Dependent of Another Person If you are not filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked box 6a on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You did not check the “You” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $10,000 on that line. Irs free tax preparation If you are filing a joint return, you meet this rule if: You checked both box 6a and box 6b on Form 1040 or 1040A, or You and your spouse did not check either the “You” box or the “Spouse” box on line 5 of Form 1040EZ, and you entered $20,000 on that line. Irs free tax preparation If you are not sure whether someone else can claim you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) as a dependent, read the rules for claiming a dependent in chapter 3. Irs free tax preparation If someone else can claim you (or your spouse, if filing a joint return) as a dependent on his or her return, but does not, you still cannot claim the credit. Irs free tax preparation Example 1. Irs free tax preparation In 2013, you were age 25, single, and living at home with your parents. Irs free tax preparation You worked and were not a student. Irs free tax preparation You earned $7,500. Irs free tax preparation Your parents cannot claim you as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation When you file your return, you claim an exemption for yourself by not checking the “You” box on line 5 of your Form 1040EZ and by entering $10,000 on that line. Irs free tax preparation You meet this rule. Irs free tax preparation You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements. Irs free tax preparation Example 2. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 , except that you earned $2,000. Irs free tax preparation Your parents can claim you as a dependent but decide not to. Irs free tax preparation You do not meet this rule. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim the credit because your parents could have claimed you as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation Joint returns. Irs free tax preparation   You generally cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person if you are married and file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation   However, another person may be able to claim you as a dependent if you and your spouse file a joint return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation But neither you nor your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by another person if you claim the EIC on your joint return. Irs free tax preparation Example 1. Irs free tax preparation You are 26 years old. Irs free tax preparation You and your wife live with your parents and had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Irs free tax preparation Neither you nor your wife is required to file a tax return. Irs free tax preparation You do not have a child. Irs free tax preparation Taxes were taken out of your pay, so you file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Irs free tax preparation Your parents are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for you just because you filed a joint return. Irs free tax preparation They can claim exemptions for you and your wife if all the other tests to do so are met. Irs free tax preparation Example 2. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except no taxes were taken out of your pay. Irs free tax preparation Also, you and your wife are not required to file a tax return, but you file a joint return to claim an EIC of $63 and get a refund of that amount. Irs free tax preparation Because claiming the EIC is your reason for filing the return, you are not filing it only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation Your parents cannot claim an exemption for either you or your wife. Irs free tax preparation Rule 13. Irs free tax preparation You Cannot Be a Qualifying Child of Another Taxpayer You are a qualifying child of another taxpayer (your parent, guardian, foster parent, etc. Irs free tax preparation ) if all of the following statements are true. Irs free tax preparation You are that person's son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them. Irs free tax preparation Or, you are that person's brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister (or a descendant of any of them). Irs free tax preparation You were: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), Under age 24 at the end of the year, a student (as defined in Rule 8 ), and younger than that person (or that person's spouse, if the person files jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled, regardless of age. Irs free tax preparation You lived with that person in the United States for more than half of the year. Irs free tax preparation You are not filing a joint return for the year (or are filing a joint return only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Irs free tax preparation For more details about the tests to be a qualifying child, see Rule 8 . Irs free tax preparation If you are a qualifying child of another taxpayer, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation This is true even if the person for whom you are a qualifying child does not claim the EIC or meet all of the rules to claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation You lived with your mother all year. Irs free tax preparation You are age 26, unmarried, and permanently and totally disabled. Irs free tax preparation Your only income was from a community center where you went three days a week to answer telephones. Irs free tax preparation You earned $5,000 for the year and provided more than half of your own support. Irs free tax preparation Because you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests, you are a qualifying child of your mother for the EIC. Irs free tax preparation She can claim the EIC if she meets all the other requirements. Irs free tax preparation Because you are a qualifying child of your mother, you cannot claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation This is so even if your mother cannot or does not claim the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Joint returns. Irs free tax preparation   You generally cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you are married and file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation   However, you may be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you and your spouse file a joint return for the year only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation But neither you nor your spouse can be a qualifying child of another taxpayer if you claim the EIC on your joint return. Irs free tax preparation Child of person not required to file a return. Irs free tax preparation   You are not the qualifying child of another taxpayer (and so may qualify to claim the EIC) if the person for whom you meet the relationship, age, residency, and joint return tests is not required to file an income tax return and either: Does not file an income tax return, or Files a return only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation You lived all year with your father. Irs free tax preparation You are 27 years old, unmarried, permanently and totally disabled, and earned $13,000. Irs free tax preparation You have no other income, no children, and provided more than half of your own support. Irs free tax preparation Your father had no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. Irs free tax preparation As a result, you are not your father's qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation You can claim the EIC if you meet all the other requirements to do so. Irs free tax preparation   See Rule 13 in Publication 596 for additional examples. Irs free tax preparation Rule 14. Irs free tax preparation You Must Have Lived in the United States More Than Half of the Year Your home (and your spouse's, if filing a joint return) must have been in the United States for more than half the year. Irs free tax preparation If it was not, put “No” next to line 64a (Form 1040), line 38a (Form 1040A), or line 8a (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation United States. Irs free tax preparation   This means the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Irs free tax preparation It does not include Puerto Rico or U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation possessions such as Guam. Irs free tax preparation Homeless shelter. Irs free tax preparation   Your home can be any location where you regularly live. Irs free tax preparation You do not need a traditional home. Irs free tax preparation If you lived in one or more homeless shelters in the United States for more than half the year, you meet this rule. Irs free tax preparation Military personnel stationed outside the United States. Irs free tax preparation   U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation military personnel stationed outside the United States on extended active duty (defined in Rule 8 ) are considered to live in the United States during that duty period for purposes of the EIC. Irs free tax preparation Part D. Irs free tax preparation Figuring and Claiming the EIC Read this part if you have met all the rules in Parts A and B, or all the rules in Parts A and C. Irs free tax preparation Part D discusses Rule 15 . Irs free tax preparation You must meet this rule, in addition to the rules in Parts A and B , or Parts A and C , to qualify for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation This part of the chapter also explains how to figure the amount of your credit. Irs free tax preparation You have two choices. Irs free tax preparation Have the IRS figure the EIC for you. Irs free tax preparation If you want to do this, see IRS Will Figure the EIC for You . Irs free tax preparation Figure the EIC yourself. Irs free tax preparation If you want to do this, see How To Figure the EIC Yourself . Irs free tax preparation Rule 15. Irs free tax preparation Your Earned Income Must Be Less Than: $46,227 ($51,567 for married filing jointly) if you have three or more qualifying children, $43,038 ($48,378 for married filing jointly) if you have two qualifying children, $37,870 ($43,210 for married filing jointly) if you have one qualifying child, or $14,340 ($19,680 for married filing jointly) if you do not have a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Earned income generally means wages, salaries, tips, other taxable employee pay, and net earnings from self-employment. Irs free tax preparation Employee pay is earned income only if it is taxable. Irs free tax preparation Nontaxable employee pay, such as certain dependent care benefits and adoption benefits, is not earned income. Irs free tax preparation But there is an exception for nontaxable combat pay, which you can choose to include in earned income. Irs free tax preparation Earned income is explained in detail in Rule 7 . Irs free tax preparation Figuring earned income. Irs free tax preparation   If you are self-employed, a statutory employee, or a member of the clergy or a church employee who files Schedule SE (Form 1040), you will figure your earned income when you fill out Part 4 of EIC Worksheet B in the Form 1040 instructions. Irs free tax preparation   Otherwise, figure your earned income by using the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b or the Form 1040A instructions for lines 38a and 38b, or the worksheet in Step 2 of the Form 1040EZ instructions for lines 8a and 8b. Irs free tax preparation   When using one of those worksheets to figure your earned income, you will start with the amount on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation You will then reduce that amount by any amount included on that line and described in the following list: Scholarship or fellowship grants not reported on a Form W-2, Inmate's income, and Pension or annuity from deferred compensation plans. Irs free tax preparation Scholarship or fellowship grants not reported on a Form W-2. Irs free tax preparation   A scholarship or fellowship grant that was not reported to you on a Form W-2 is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation Inmate's income. Irs free tax preparation   Amounts received for work performed while an inmate in a penal institution are not earned income for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation This includes amounts received for work performed while in a work release program or while in a halfway house. Irs free tax preparation If you received any amount for work done while an inmate in a penal institution and that amount is included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “PRI” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation Pension or annuity from deferred compensation plans. Irs free tax preparation   A pension or annuity from a nonqualified deferred compensation plan or a nongovernmental section 457 plan is not considered earned income for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation If you received such an amount and it was included in the total on line 7 (Form 1040 or Form 1040A) or line 1 (Form 1040EZ), put “DFC” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 7 (Form 1040), in the space to the left of the entry space for line 7 (Form 1040A), or in the space to the left of line 1 (Form 1040EZ). Irs free tax preparation This amount may be reported in box 11 of your Form W-2. Irs free tax preparation If you received such an amount but box 11 is blank, contact your employer for the amount received as a pension or annuity. Irs free tax preparation Clergy. Irs free tax preparation   If you are a member of the clergy who files Schedule SE and the amount on line 2 of that schedule includes an amount that was also reported on line 7 (Form 1040), subtract that amount from the amount on line 7 (Form 1040) and enter the result in the first space of the worksheet in Step 5 of the Form 1040 instructions for lines 64a and 64b. Irs free tax preparation Put “Clergy” on the dotted line next to line 64a (Form 1040). Irs free tax preparation Church employees. Irs free tax preparation    A church employee means an employee (other than a minister or member of a religious order) of a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. Irs free tax preparation If you received wages as a
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Consumer Protection Offices

City, county, regional, and state consumer offices offer a variety of important services. They might mediate complaints, conduct investigations, prosecute offenders of consumer laws, license and regulate professional service providers, provide educational materials and advocate for consumer rights. To save time, call before sending a written complaint. Ask if the office handles the type of complaint you have and if complaint forms are provided.

State Consumer Protection Offices

New York State Department of State

Website: New York State Department of State

Address: New York State Department of State
Division of Consumer Protection
Consumer Assistance Unit

99 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12231-0001

Phone Number: 518-474-8583

Toll-free: 1-800-697-1220

Office of the Attorney General- Albany Office

Website: Office of the Attorney General- Albany Office (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Office of the Attorney General- Albany Office
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

Phone Number: 518-474-5481

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (NY)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898 (TDD)

Office of the Attorney General- New York City Office

Website: Office of the Attorney General- New York City Office (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Office of the Attorney General- New York City Office
Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
120 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10271-0332

Phone Number: 212-416-8300 212-416-8345 (in Spanish)

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898 (TDD)

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Regional Consumer Protection Offices

Suffolk Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Suffolk Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Suffolk Regional Office of the Attorney General
300 Motor Parkway, Suite 230
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Phone Number: 631-231-2401

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Helpline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Syracuse Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Syracuse Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Syracuse Regional Office of the Attorney General
615 Erie Blvd. W, Suite 102
Syracuse, NY 13204

Phone Number: 315-448-4848

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Utica Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Utica Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Utica Regional Office of the Attorney General
207 Genesee St., Room 508
Utica, NY 13501

Phone Number: 315-793-2225

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General
State Office Building, 17th Floor
44 Hawley St.
Binghamton, NY 13901

Phone Number: 607-721-8771

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Brooklyn Regional Office Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Brooklyn Regional Office Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Brooklyn Regional Office Binghamton Regional Office of the Attorney General
55 Hanson Place, Suite 1080
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Phone Number: 718-722-3949

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Buffalo Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Buffalo Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Buffalo Regional Office of the Attorney General
Main Place Tower, Suite 300A
350 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14202

Phone Number: 716-853-8404

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Harlem Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Harlem Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Harlem Regional Office of the Attorney General
163 W. 125th St., Suite 1324
New York, NY 10027

Phone Number: 212-961-4475

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Nassau Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Nassau Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Nassau Regional Office of the Attorney General
200 Old Country Rd., Suite 240
Mineola, NY 11501

Phone Number: 516-248-3301

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Plattsburgh Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Plattsburgh Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Plattsburgh Regional Office of the Attorney General
43 Durkee St., Suite 700
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2958

Phone Number: 518-562-3282

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Poughkeepsie Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Poughkeepsie Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Poughkeepsie Regional Office of the Attorney General
One Civic Center Plaza, Suite 401
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-3157

Phone Number: 845-485-3900

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Rochester Regional Office of the Attorney General
144 Exchange Blvd., Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14614-2176

Phone Number: 585-546-7430

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Watertown Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Watertown Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Watertown Regional Office of the Attorney General
Dulles State Office Building
317 Washington St.
Watertown, NY 13601

Phone Number: 315-785-2444

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Hotline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

Westchester Regional Office of the Attorney General

Website: Westchester Regional Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Westchester Regional Office of the Attorney General
101 E. Post Rd.
White Plains, NY 10601-5008

Phone Number: 914-422-8794

Toll-free: 1-800-771-7755 (Consumer Helpline)

TTY: 1-800-788-9898

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County Consumer Protection Offices

Albany County Department of Consumer Affairs

Website: Albany County Department of Consumer Affairs

Address: Albany County Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Affairs
112 State St., Suite 1207-08
Albany County Office Building
Albany, NY 12207

Phone Number: 518-447-7581

Ulster County Consumer Fraud Bureau

Website: Ulster County Consumer Fraud Bureau

Address: Ulster County Consumer Fraud Bureau
Consumer Fraud Bureau
20 Lucas Ave.
Kingston, NY 12401-3708

Phone Number: 845-340-3260

Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs

Website: Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs

Address: Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs
200 County Seat Dr.
Mineola, NY 11501

Phone Number: 516-571-2600

Orange County Department of Consumer Affairs

Website: Orange County Department of Consumer Affairs

Address: Orange County Department of Consumer Affairs
99 Main St.
Goshen, NY 10924

Phone Number: 845-360-6700

Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs

Website: Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs

Address: Putnam County Department of Consumer Affairs
110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3
Carmel, NY 10512

Phone Number: 845-808-1617

Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection

Website: Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection

Address: Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection
18 New Hempstead Rd., 6th Floor
New City, NY 10956

Phone Number: 845-708-7600

Schenectady County Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Weights & Measures

Website: Schenectady County Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Weights & Measures

Address: Schenectady County Department of Consumer Affairs/Bureau of Weights & Measures
64 Kellar Ave.
Schenectady, NY 12306

Phone Number: 518-356-7473 (Consumer Affairs) 518-356-6795 (Weights & Measures)

Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection

Website: Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection

Address: Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection
148 Martine Ave., Room 407
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone Number: 914-995-2155

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City Consumer Protection Offices

Town of Colonie Attorney

Website: Town of Colonie Attorney

Address: Town of Colonie Attorney
Consumer Protection Board
Memorial Town Hall
534 Loudon Rd.
Newtonville, NY 12128

Phone Number: 518-783-2790

Mt. Vernon Office of Consumer Affairs

Website: Mt. Vernon Office of Consumer Affairs

Address: Mt. Vernon Office of Consumer Affairs
City Hall
One Roosevelt Square
Mount Vernon, NY 10550

Phone Number: 914-665-2433

New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

Website: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

Address: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Phone Number: 212-639-9675

TTY: 212-487-2710

Yonkers Consumer Protection Bureau

Website: Yonkers Consumer Protection Bureau

Address: Yonkers Consumer Protection Bureau
87 Nepperhan Ave., Room 212
Yonkers, NY 10701

Phone Number: 914-377-3000 (Helpline)

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Banking Authorities

The officials listed in this section regulate and supervise state-chartered banks. Many of them handle or refer problems and complaints about other types of financial institutions as well. Some also answer general questions about banking and consumer credit. If you are dealing with a federally chartered bank, check Federal Agencies.

Banking Department

Website: Banking Department

Address: Banking Department
Consumer Help Unit
25 Beaver St.
New York, NY 10004

Phone Number: 212-480-6400

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3736 (NY)

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Insurance Regulators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for each type of insurance. The officials listed in this section enforce these laws. Many of these offices can also provide you with information to help you make informed insurance buying decisions.

Department of Financial Services

Website: Department of Financial Services

Address: Department of Financial Services
Insurance Department
Consumer Assistance Unit

One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12257

Phone Number: 518-474-6600

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3736 (NY)

Insurance Department

Website: Insurance Department

Address: Insurance Department
Insurance Division
Consumer Assistance Unit

25 Beaver St.
New York, NY 10004

Phone Number: 212-480-6400

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3736 (NY)

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Securities Administrators

Each state has its own laws and regulations for securities brokers and securities - including stocks, mutual funds, commodities, real estate, etc. The officials and agencies listed in this section enforce these laws and regulations. Many of these offices can also provide information to help you make informed investment decisions.

Office of the Attorney General

Website: Office of the Attorney General (Utica office of the attorney general)

Address: Office of the Attorney General
Investor Protection Bureau
120 Broadway, 23rd Floor
New York, NY 10271

Phone Number: 212-416-8222

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Utility Commissions

State Utility Commissions regulate services and rates for gas, electricity and telephones within your state. In some states, the utility commissions regulate other services such as water, transportation, and the moving of household goods. Many utility commissions handle consumer complaints. Sometimes, if a number of complaints are received about the same utility matter, they will conduct investigations.

Department of Public Service

Website: Department of Public Service

Address: Department of Public Service
Office of Consumer Services
3 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12223

Toll-free: 1-800-342-3377
1-800-342-3355 (Termination) 1-800-342-3355 (Termination)

TTY: 1-800-662-1220

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The Irs Free Tax Preparation

Irs free tax preparation Publication 501 - Main Content Table of Contents Who Must FileSelf-employed persons. Irs free tax preparation Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers Dependents Other Situations Who Should File Filing StatusMarital Status Single Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child ExemptionsForm 1040EZ filers. Irs free tax preparation Form 1040A filers. Irs free tax preparation Form 1040 filers. Irs free tax preparation More information. Irs free tax preparation Personal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Qualifying Child Qualifying Relative Phaseout of Exemptions Social Security Numbers for DependentsBorn and died in 2013. Irs free tax preparation Taxpayer identification numbers for aliens. Irs free tax preparation Taxpayer identification numbers for adoptees. Irs free tax preparation Standard DeductionStandard Deduction Amount Standard Deduction for Dependents Who Should Itemize How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Who Must File If you are a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends on your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent. Irs free tax preparation For details, see Table 1 and Table 2. Irs free tax preparation You also must file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Irs free tax preparation The filing requirements apply even if you owe no tax. Irs free tax preparation Table 1. Irs free tax preparation 2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation AND at the end of 2013 you were. Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation * THEN file a return if your gross income was at least. Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation ** single under 65  $10,000 65 or older $11,500 head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 married, filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 married, filing separately any age  $3,900 qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born before January 2, 1949, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation ** Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Irs free tax preparation Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Irs free tax preparation If (a) or (b) applies, see the Form 1040 instructions to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Irs free tax preparation Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Irs free tax preparation Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Irs free tax preparation But in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Irs free tax preparation *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. Irs free tax preparation You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file a return but fail to do so. Irs free tax preparation If you willfully fail to file a return, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. Irs free tax preparation For information on what form to use — Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040 — see the instructions for your tax return. Irs free tax preparation Gross income. Irs free tax preparation    Gross income is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Irs free tax preparation If you are married and live with your spouse in a community property state, half of any income defined by state law as community income may be considered yours. Irs free tax preparation For a list of community property states, see Community property states under Married Filing Separately, later. Irs free tax preparation Self-employed persons. Irs free tax preparation    If you are self-employed in a business that provides services (where products are not a factor), your gross income from that business is the gross receipts. Irs free tax preparation If you are self-employed in a business involving manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, your gross income from that business is the total sales minus the cost of goods sold. Irs free tax preparation In either case, you must add any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. Irs free tax preparation    You must file Form 1040 if you owe any self-employment tax. Irs free tax preparation Filing status. Irs free tax preparation    Your filing status generally depends on whether you are single or married. Irs free tax preparation Whether you are single or married is determined at the end of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. Irs free tax preparation Filing status is discussed in detail later in this publication. Irs free tax preparation Age. Irs free tax preparation    Age is a factor in determining if you must file a return only if you are 65 or older at the end of your tax year. Irs free tax preparation For 2013, you are 65 or older if you were born before January 2, 1949. Irs free tax preparation Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers You must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1. Irs free tax preparation Dependents should see Table 2 instead. Irs free tax preparation Deceased Persons You must file an income tax return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. Irs free tax preparation You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. Irs free tax preparation The decedent met the filing requirements described in this publication at the time of his or her death. Irs free tax preparation For more information, see Final Income Tax Return for Decedent — Form 1040 in Publication 559. Irs free tax preparation Table 2. Irs free tax preparation 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See Exemptions for Dependents to find out if you are a dependent. Irs free tax preparation If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. Irs free tax preparation  In this table, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. Irs free tax preparation It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Irs free tax preparation Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Irs free tax preparation Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. Irs free tax preparation If your gross income was $3,900 or more, you usually cannot be claimed as a dependent unless you are a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation For details, see Exemptions for Dependents. Irs free tax preparation Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Irs free tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income was more than $6,100. Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. Irs free tax preparation     □ Yes. Irs free tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of—  $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation     Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Irs free tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Irs free tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Irs free tax preparation Your earned income was more than $6,100. Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750 plus $350. Irs free tax preparation     □ Yes. Irs free tax preparation You must file a return if any of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Irs free tax preparation Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation Your gross income was more than the larger of— $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). Irs free tax preparation     U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you earned or received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. Irs free tax preparation For more information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Irs free tax preparation Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. Irs free tax preparation This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. Irs free tax preparation If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the whole year, your U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. Irs free tax preparation It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or any U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation agency. Irs free tax preparation If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation tax, you must reduce your standard deduction, which reduces the amount of income you can have before you must file a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation income tax return. Irs free tax preparation For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Possessions. Irs free tax preparation Individuals With Income From U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation federal income tax return. Irs free tax preparation In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual possession government. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 570 for more information. Irs free tax preparation Dependents A person who is a dependent may still have to file a return. Irs free tax preparation It depends on his or her earned income, unearned income, and gross income. Irs free tax preparation For details, see Table 2. Irs free tax preparation A dependent must also file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Irs free tax preparation Responsibility of parent. Irs free tax preparation    If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. Irs free tax preparation If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. Irs free tax preparation ” Earned income. Irs free tax preparation    Earned income includes salaries, wages, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform. Irs free tax preparation Earned income (only for purposes of filing requirements and the standard deduction) also includes any part of a scholarship that you must include in your gross income. Irs free tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more information on taxable and nontaxable scholarships. Irs free tax preparation Child's earnings. Irs free tax preparation    Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. Irs free tax preparation This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. Irs free tax preparation But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. Irs free tax preparation Unearned income. Irs free tax preparation    Unearned income includes income such as interest, dividends, and capital gains. Irs free tax preparation Trust distributions of interest, dividends, capital gains, and survivor annuities are also considered unearned income. Irs free tax preparation Election to report child's unearned income on parent's return. Irs free tax preparation    You may be able to include your child's interest and dividend income on your tax return. Irs free tax preparation If you do this, your child will not have to file a return. Irs free tax preparation To make this election, all of the following conditions must be met. Irs free tax preparation Your child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a student) at the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation (A child born on January 1, 1995, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child unless the child was a student. Irs free tax preparation Similarly, a child born on January 1, 1990, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child. Irs free tax preparation ) Your child had gross income only from interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends). Irs free tax preparation The interest and dividend income was less than $10,000. Irs free tax preparation Your child is required to file a return for 2013 unless you make this election. Irs free tax preparation Your child does not file a joint return for 2013. Irs free tax preparation No estimated tax payment was made for 2013 and no 2012 overpayment was applied to 2013 under your child's name and social security number. Irs free tax preparation No federal income tax was withheld from your child's income under the backup withholding rules. Irs free tax preparation You are the parent whose return must be used when making the election to report your child's unearned income. Irs free tax preparation   For more information, see Form 8814 and Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in Publication 929. Irs free tax preparation Other Situations You may have to file a tax return even if your gross income is less than the amount shown in Table 1 or Table 2 for your filing status. Irs free tax preparation See Table 3 for those other situations when you must file. Irs free tax preparation Table 3. Irs free tax preparation Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return If any of the four conditions listed below applied to you for 2013, you must file a return. Irs free tax preparation 1. Irs free tax preparation You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. Irs free tax preparation   a. Irs free tax preparation Alternative minimum tax. Irs free tax preparation (See Form 6251. Irs free tax preparation )   b. Irs free tax preparation Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. Irs free tax preparation (See Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. Irs free tax preparation ) But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. Irs free tax preparation   c. Irs free tax preparation Social security or Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer (see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income) or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes (see Form 8919). Irs free tax preparation   d. Irs free tax preparation Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional tax on health savings accounts. Irs free tax preparation (See Publication 531, Publication 969, and the Form 1040 instructions for line 60. Irs free tax preparation )   e. Irs free tax preparation Household employment taxes. Irs free tax preparation But if you are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself. Irs free tax preparation   f. Irs free tax preparation Recapture taxes. Irs free tax preparation (See the Form 1040 instructions for lines 44, 59b, and 60. Irs free tax preparation ) 2. Irs free tax preparation You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions. Irs free tax preparation 3. Irs free tax preparation You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. Irs free tax preparation (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Irs free tax preparation ) 4. Irs free tax preparation You had wages of $108. Irs free tax preparation 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. Irs free tax preparation (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Irs free tax preparation ) Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. Irs free tax preparation For example, you should file if one of the following applies. Irs free tax preparation You had income tax withheld from your pay. Irs free tax preparation You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax. Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information. Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the additional child tax credit. Irs free tax preparation See the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A) for more information. Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. Irs free tax preparation See Form 8863, Education Credits. Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. Irs free tax preparation For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit. Irs free tax preparation You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. Irs free tax preparation See Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels. Irs free tax preparation Form 1099-B received. Irs free tax preparation    Even if you are not required to file a return, you should consider filing if all of the following apply. Irs free tax preparation You received a Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions (or substitute statement). Irs free tax preparation The amount in box 2a of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement), when added to your other gross income, means you have to file a tax return because of the filing requirement in Table 1 or Table 2 that applies to you. Irs free tax preparation Box 3 of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement) is blank. Irs free tax preparation In this case, filing a return may keep you from getting a notice from the IRS. Irs free tax preparation Filing Status You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return, your standard deduction (discussed later), and your tax. Irs free tax preparation You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain other deductions and credits. Irs free tax preparation There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Irs free tax preparation If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. Irs free tax preparation Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. Irs free tax preparation Unmarried persons. Irs free tax preparation    You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Irs free tax preparation   State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Irs free tax preparation Divorced persons. Irs free tax preparation    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. Irs free tax preparation Divorce and remarriage. Irs free tax preparation    If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. Irs free tax preparation Annulled marriages. Irs free tax preparation    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. Irs free tax preparation You must file amended returns (Form 1040X) claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. Irs free tax preparation Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Irs free tax preparation If you filed your original tax return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). Irs free tax preparation However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. Irs free tax preparation Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Irs free tax preparation    If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. Irs free tax preparation See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. Irs free tax preparation Married persons. Irs free tax preparation    If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. Irs free tax preparation Considered married. Irs free tax preparation    You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. Irs free tax preparation You are married and living together. Irs free tax preparation You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. Irs free tax preparation You are married and living apart but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Irs free tax preparation You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. Irs free tax preparation Same-sex marriage. Irs free tax preparation    For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not called a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not married for federal tax purposes. Irs free tax preparation   The word “state” as used here includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation territories and possessions. Irs free tax preparation It means any domestic jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Irs free tax preparation The term “foreign country” means any foreign jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Irs free tax preparation   If individuals of the same sex are married, they generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. Irs free tax preparation However, if they did not live together during the last 6 months of the year, one or both of them may be able to use the head of household filing status, as explained later. Irs free tax preparation   For more details, see Answers to Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals of the Same Sex Who Are Married Under State Law on IRS. Irs free tax preparation gov. Irs free tax preparation Spouse died during the year. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. Irs free tax preparation   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. Irs free tax preparation For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . Irs free tax preparation   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Irs free tax preparation Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. Irs free tax preparation Married persons living apart. Irs free tax preparation    If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Irs free tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household instead of as married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. Irs free tax preparation Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation See Head of Household , later. Irs free tax preparation Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. Irs free tax preparation To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. Irs free tax preparation Widow(er). Irs free tax preparation    Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. Irs free tax preparation See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. Irs free tax preparation How to file. Irs free tax preparation    You can file Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation If, in addition, you have no dependents, are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Irs free tax preparation If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. Irs free tax preparation Use the Single column of the Tax Table, or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Irs free tax preparation Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. Irs free tax preparation You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Irs free tax preparation If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. Irs free tax preparation Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. Irs free tax preparation If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). Irs free tax preparation You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Irs free tax preparation How to file. Irs free tax preparation    If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Irs free tax preparation If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. Irs free tax preparation Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table, or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Irs free tax preparation Spouse died. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Irs free tax preparation See Spouse died during the year , under Married persons, earlier. Irs free tax preparation   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. Irs free tax preparation Divorced persons. Irs free tax preparation    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Irs free tax preparation Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. Irs free tax preparation Accounting period. Irs free tax preparation    Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. Irs free tax preparation Joint responsibility. Irs free tax preparation    Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Irs free tax preparation This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. Irs free tax preparation Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. Irs free tax preparation One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Irs free tax preparation   You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. Irs free tax preparation Divorced taxpayer. Irs free tax preparation    You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. Irs free tax preparation This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Irs free tax preparation Relief from joint responsibility. Irs free tax preparation    In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. Irs free tax preparation You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Irs free tax preparation   There are three types of relief available. Irs free tax preparation Innocent spouse relief. Irs free tax preparation Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). Irs free tax preparation Equitable relief. Irs free tax preparation    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. Irs free tax preparation Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains the kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Irs free tax preparation Signing a joint return. Irs free tax preparation    For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. Irs free tax preparation Spouse died before signing. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. Irs free tax preparation If neither you nor anyone else has been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. Irs free tax preparation Spouse away from home. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so it can be filed on time. Irs free tax preparation Injury or disease prevents signing. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse cannot sign because of injury or disease and tells you to sign for him or her, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife). Irs free tax preparation ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. Irs free tax preparation Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. Irs free tax preparation The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. Irs free tax preparation Signing as guardian of spouse. Irs free tax preparation    If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. Irs free tax preparation Spouse in combat zone. Irs free tax preparation    You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. Irs free tax preparation Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. Irs free tax preparation For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Irs free tax preparation Other reasons spouse cannot sign. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). Irs free tax preparation Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. Irs free tax preparation You can use Form 2848. Irs free tax preparation Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. Irs free tax preparation    Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. Irs free tax preparation However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation residents for the entire tax year. Irs free tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Irs free tax preparation Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. Irs free tax preparation This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. Irs free tax preparation If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. Irs free tax preparation You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). Irs free tax preparation This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Irs free tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. Irs free tax preparation The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. Irs free tax preparation See Head of Household , later, for more information. Irs free tax preparation You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. Irs free tax preparation However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). Irs free tax preparation This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. Irs free tax preparation When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. Irs free tax preparation How to file. Irs free tax preparation    If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. Irs free tax preparation You can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another person. Irs free tax preparation   You can file Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. Irs free tax preparation Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. Irs free tax preparation If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. Irs free tax preparation Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Irs free tax preparation Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. Irs free tax preparation Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. Irs free tax preparation Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. Irs free tax preparation You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000 on a joint return). Irs free tax preparation If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. Irs free tax preparation See Joint Return Test in Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, for more information. Irs free tax preparation You cannot take the earned income credit. Irs free tax preparation You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Irs free tax preparation You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Irs free tax preparation You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. Irs free tax preparation If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Irs free tax preparation The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. Irs free tax preparation Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Irs free tax preparation If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. Irs free tax preparation If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. Irs free tax preparation    If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. Irs free tax preparation Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Irs free tax preparation    You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. Irs free tax preparation Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. Irs free tax preparation This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. Irs free tax preparation For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct? in chapter 1 of Publication 590. Irs free tax preparation Rental activity losses. Irs free tax preparation    If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income up to $25,000. Irs free tax preparation This is called a special allowance. Irs free tax preparation However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. Irs free tax preparation Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. Irs free tax preparation See Rental Activities in Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. Irs free tax preparation Community property states. Irs free tax preparation    If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 555, Community Property. Irs free tax preparation Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. Irs free tax preparation You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. Irs free tax preparation This does not include any extensions. Irs free tax preparation A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Irs free tax preparation Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. Irs free tax preparation Exception. Irs free tax preparation    A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Irs free tax preparation The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the return to make the change. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 559 for more information on filing income tax returns for a decedent. Irs free tax preparation Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Irs free tax preparation You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Irs free tax preparation See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. Irs free tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Irs free tax preparation A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Irs free tax preparation However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Irs free tax preparation See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. Irs free tax preparation If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. Irs free tax preparation You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. Irs free tax preparation How to file. Irs free tax preparation    If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation If you have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. Irs free tax preparation Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Irs free tax preparation Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Irs free tax preparation You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Irs free tax preparation You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). Irs free tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Irs free tax preparation Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Irs free tax preparation Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Irs free tax preparation See Temporary absences , later. Irs free tax preparation Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Irs free tax preparation (See Home of qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Irs free tax preparation ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Irs free tax preparation However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described later in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative. Irs free tax preparation The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents . Irs free tax preparation If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Irs free tax preparation See Publication 555 for more information. Irs free tax preparation Nonresident alien spouse. Irs free tax preparation    You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. Irs free tax preparation However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Irs free tax preparation You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. Irs free tax preparation Choice to treat spouse as resident. Irs free tax preparation    You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. Irs free tax preparation See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Irs free tax preparation Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Irs free tax preparation You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 1. Irs free tax preparation Worksheet 1. Irs free tax preparation Cost of Keeping Up a Home         Amount You  Paid Total  Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $       Minus total amount you paid   ()       Amount others paid   $       If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. Irs free tax preparation Costs you include. Irs free tax preparation    Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Irs free tax preparation   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. Irs free tax preparation However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. Irs free tax preparation Costs you do not include. Irs free tax preparation    Do not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. Irs free tax preparation Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. Irs free tax preparation Qualifying Person See Table 4 to see who is a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation Any person not described in Table 4 is not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation Example 1—child. Irs free tax preparation Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. Irs free tax preparation He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. Irs free tax preparation As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child , later) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Irs free tax preparation Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. Irs free tax preparation Because he does not meet the age test (explained later under Qualifying Child), your son is not your qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative), he is not your qualifying relative. Irs free tax preparation As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Irs free tax preparation Example 3—girlfriend. Irs free tax preparation Your girlfriend lived with you all year. Irs free tax preparation Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained later) are met, she is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes because she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . Irs free tax preparation See Table 4. Irs free tax preparation Example 4—girlfriend's child. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. Irs free tax preparation He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test , later). Irs free tax preparation As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Irs free tax preparation Home of qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation    Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Irs free tax preparation Special rule for parent. Irs free tax preparation    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. Irs free tax preparation However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation   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. Irs free tax preparation Death or birth. Irs free tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the qualifying person who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Irs free tax preparation To qualify you for head of household filing status, the qualifying person (as defined in Table 4) must be one of the following. Irs free tax preparation Your qualifying child or qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Irs free tax preparation Your parent for whom you paid, for the entire part of the year he or she was alive, more than half the cost of keeping up the home he or she lived in. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation You are unmarried. Irs free tax preparation Your mother, for whom you can claim an exemption, lived in an apartment by herself. Irs free tax preparation She died on September 2. Irs free tax preparation The cost of the upkeep of her apartment for the year until her death was $6,000. Irs free tax preparation You paid $4,000 and your brother paid $2,000. Irs free tax preparation Your brother made no other payments towards your mother's support. Irs free tax preparation Your mother had no income. Irs free tax preparation Because you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up your mother's apartment from January 1 until her death, and you can claim an exemption for her, you can file as a head of household. Irs free tax preparation Temporary absences. Irs free tax preparation    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. Irs free tax preparation It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Irs free tax preparation You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Irs free tax preparation Kidnapped child. Irs free tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. Irs free tax preparation You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. Irs free tax preparation The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Irs free tax preparation In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Irs free tax preparation You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Irs free tax preparation   This treatment applies for all years until the earliest of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Irs free tax preparation Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. Irs free tax preparation The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. Irs free tax preparation See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. Irs free tax preparation You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. Irs free tax preparation For example, if your spouse died in 2012 and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. Irs free tax preparation The rules for using this filing status are explained in detail here. Irs free tax preparation This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). Irs free tax preparation It does not entitle you to file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation How to file. Irs free tax preparation    If you file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. Irs free tax preparation If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation Check the box on line 5 of either form. Irs free tax preparation Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Irs free tax preparation Table 4. Irs free tax preparation Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Irs free tax preparation IF the person is your . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation   AND . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation   THEN that person is . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation . Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests). Irs free tax preparation   he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household   not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation 1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Irs free tax preparation 2 The term “qualifying child” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Irs free tax preparation Note: If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child, later. Irs free tax preparation If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. Irs free tax preparation 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. Irs free tax preparation 4 The term “qualifying relative” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Irs free tax preparation 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Irs free tax preparation See Multiple Support Agreement . Irs free tax preparation 6 See Special rule for parent . Irs free tax preparation Eligibility rules. Irs free tax preparation    You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all the following tests. Irs free tax preparation You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. Irs free tax preparation It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. Irs free tax preparation You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. Irs free tax preparation This does not include a foster child. Irs free tax preparation This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. Irs free tax preparation See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. Irs free tax preparation There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. Irs free tax preparation You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Irs free tax preparation See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. Irs free tax preparation Example. Irs free tax preparation John's wife died in 2011. Irs free tax preparation John has not remarried. Irs free tax preparation He has continued during 2012 and 2013 to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. Irs free tax preparation For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. Irs free tax preparation For 2012 and 2013, he can file as a qualifying widower with a dependent child. Irs free tax preparation After 2013, he can file as head of household if he qualifies. Irs free tax preparation Death or birth. Irs free tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Irs free tax preparation You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. Irs free tax preparation Kidnapped child. Irs free tax preparation    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child even if the child who qualifies you for this filing status has been kidnapped. Irs free tax preparation You can claim qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all the following statements are true. Irs free tax preparation The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Irs free tax preparation In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Irs free tax preparation You would have qualified for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Irs free tax preparation As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. Irs free tax preparation Exemptions Exemptions reduce your taxable income. Irs free tax preparation You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Irs free tax preparation If you are entitled to two exemptions for 2013, you can deduct $7,800 ($3,900 × 2). Irs free tax preparation But you may lose the benefit of part or all of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. Irs free tax preparation See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Irs free tax preparation Types of exemptions. Irs free tax preparation    There are two types of exemptions you may be able to take: Personal exemptions for yourself and your spouse, and Exemptions for dependents (dependency exemptions). Irs free tax preparation While each is worth the same amount ($3,900 for 2013), different rules, discussed later, apply to each type. Irs free tax preparation Dependent cannot claim a personal exemption. Irs free tax preparation    If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Irs free tax preparation How to claim exemptions. Irs free tax preparation    How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file. Irs free tax preparation Form 1040EZ filers. Irs free tax preparation    If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction and entered on line 5. Irs free tax preparation Form 1040A filers. Irs free tax preparation    If you file Form 1040A, complete lines 6a through 6d. Irs free tax preparation The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Irs free tax preparation Also complete line 26. Irs free tax preparation Form 1040 filers. Irs free tax preparation    If you file Form 1040, complete lines 6a through 6d. Irs free tax preparation The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Irs free tax preparation Also complete line 42. Irs free tax preparation If your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Irs free tax preparation U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien. Irs free tax preparation    If you are a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen, U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation resident alien, U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation national (defined later) or a resident of Canada or Mexico, you may qualify for any of the exemptions discussed here. Irs free tax preparation Nonresident aliens. Irs free tax preparation    Generally, if you are a nonresident alien (other than a resident of Canada or Mexico, or certain residents of India or Korea), you can qualify for only one personal exemption for yourself. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim exemptions for a spouse or dependents. Irs free tax preparation   These restrictions do not apply if you are a nonresident alien married to a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen or resident alien and have chosen to be treated as a resident of the United States. Irs free tax preparation More information. Irs free tax preparation    For more information on exemptions if you are a nonresident alien, see chapter 5 in Publication 519. Irs free tax preparation Dual-status taxpayers. Irs free tax preparation    If you have been both a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same tax year, you should see Publication 519 for information on determining your exemptions. Irs free tax preparation Personal Exemptions You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. Irs free tax preparation If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. Irs free tax preparation These are called personal exemptions. Irs free tax preparation Your Own Exemption You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Irs free tax preparation If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation Your Spouse's Exemption Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Irs free tax preparation Joint return. Irs free tax preparation    On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Irs free tax preparation Separate return. Irs free tax preparation    If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. Irs free tax preparation This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation tax purposes and satisfy the other conditions listed above. Irs free tax preparation Head of household. Irs free tax preparation    If you qualify for head of household filing status because you are considered unmarried, you can claim an exemption for your spouse if the conditions described in the preceding paragraph are satisfied. Irs free tax preparation   To claim the exemption for your spouse, check the box on line 6b of Form 1040 or Form 1040A and enter the name of your spouse in the space to the right of the box. Irs free tax preparation Enter the SSN or ITIN of your spouse in the space provided at the top of Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Irs free tax preparation Death of spouse. Irs free tax preparation    If your spouse died during the year and you file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse, you generally can claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just explained in Joint return . Irs free tax preparation If you file a separate return for the year, you may be able to claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just described in Separate return . Irs free tax preparation   If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse. Irs free tax preparation   If you are a surviving spouse without gross income and you remarry in the year your spouse died, you can be claimed as an exemption on both the final separate return of your deceased spouse and the separate return of your new spouse for that year. Irs free tax preparation If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return. Irs free tax preparation Divorced or separated spouse. Irs free tax preparation    If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Irs free tax preparation This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Irs free tax preparation Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Irs free tax preparation The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Irs free tax preparation The terms “ qualifying child ” and “ qualifying relative ” are defined later. Irs free tax preparation You can claim an exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met. Irs free tax preparation Dependent taxpayer test. Irs free tax preparation Joint return test. Irs free tax preparation Citizen or resident test. Irs free tax preparation These three tests are explained in detail later. Irs free tax preparation All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5. Irs free tax preparation Table 5. Irs free tax preparation Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent This table is only an overview of the rules. Irs free tax preparation For details, see the rest of this publication. Irs free tax preparation You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Irs free tax preparation   You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation   You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation citizen, U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation resident alien, U. Irs free tax preparation S. Irs free tax preparation national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Irs free tax preparation 1  You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Irs free tax preparation   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. Irs free tax preparation   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. Irs free tax preparation   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Irs free tax preparation 2  The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Irs free tax preparation   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Irs free tax preparation  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. Irs free tax preparation See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person described later to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Irs free tax preparation The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Irs free tax preparation   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). Irs free tax preparation   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Irs free tax preparation 3  You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Irs free tax preparation 4  1 There is an exception for certain adopted children. Irs free tax preparation 2 There are exceptions for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Irs free tax preparation 3 There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop. Irs free tax preparation 4 There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Irs free tax preparation Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Irs free tax preparation If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Irs free tax preparation This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Irs free tax preparation It is also true if the dependent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. Irs free tax preparation Housekeepers, maids, or servants. Irs free tax preparation    If these people work for you, you cannot claim exemptions for them. Irs free tax preparation Child tax credit. Irs free tax preparation    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. Irs free tax preparation For more information, see the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A). Irs free tax preparation Dependent Taxpayer Test If you can be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent. Irs free tax preparation If you are filing a joint return and your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by someone else, you and your spouse cannot claim any dependents on your joint return. Irs free tax preparation Joint Return Test You generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return. Irs free tax preparation Exception. Irs free tax preparation    You can claim an exemption for a person who files a joint return if that person and his or her spouse file the joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Irs free tax preparation Example 1—child files joint return. Irs free tax preparation You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Irs free tax preparation He earned $25,000 for the year. Irs free tax preparation The couple files a joint return. Irs free tax preparation You cannot take an exemption for your daughter. Irs free tax preparation Example 2—child files joint return only as claim for refund of withheld tax. Irs free tax preparation Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Irs free tax preparation Neither is required to file a tax return. Irs free tax preparation They do not have a child. Irs free tax preparation Taxes were taken out of their pay so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Irs free tax preparation The exception to the joint return test applies, so you are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for each of them just because they file a joint return. Irs free tax preparation You can claim exemptions for each of them if all the other tests to do so are met. Irs free tax preparation Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Irs free tax preparation The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Irs free tax preparation He and his wife are not required to file a tax return. Irs free tax preparation However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Irs free tax preparation Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to get a refund of income