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Irsgov com 3. Irsgov com   Personal Exemptions and Dependents Table of Contents What's New Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: ExemptionsPersonal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Qualifying Child Qualifying Relative Phaseout of Exemptions Social Security Numbers for DependentsBorn and died in 2013. Irsgov com Taxpayer identification numbers for aliens. Irsgov com Taxpayer identification numbers for adoptees. Irsgov com What's New Exemption amount. Irsgov com  The amount you can deduct for each exemption has increased. Irsgov com It was $3,800 for 2012. Irsgov com It is $3,900 for 2013. Irsgov com Exemption phaseout. Irsgov com  You lose at least part of the benefit of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is more than a certain amount. Irsgov com For 2013, this amount is $150,000 for a married individual filing a separate return; $250,000 for a single individual; $275,000 for a head of household; and $300,000 for married individuals filing jointly or a qualifying widow(er). Irsgov com See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Irsgov com Introduction This chapter discusses the following topics. Irsgov com Personal exemptions — You generally can take one for yourself and, if you are married, one for your spouse. Irsgov com Exemptions for dependents — You generally can take an exemption for each of your dependents. Irsgov com A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Irsgov com If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent, that dependent cannot claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Irsgov com Phaseout of exemptions — Your deduction is reduced if your adjusted gross income is more than a certain amount. Irsgov com Social security number (SSN) requirement for dependents — You must list the SSN of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption. Irsgov com Deduction. Irsgov com   Exemptions reduce your taxable income. Irsgov com You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Irsgov com But you may lose at least part of the dollar amount of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is more than a certain amount. Irsgov com See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Irsgov com How to claim exemptions. Irsgov com    How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file. Irsgov com    If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction amount and entered on line 5. Irsgov com    If you file Form 1040A, complete lines 6a through 6d. Irsgov com The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Irsgov com Also complete line 26. Irsgov com   If you file Form 1040, complete lines 6a through 6d. Irsgov com The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Irsgov com Also complete line 42. Irsgov com Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information Form (and Instructions) 2120 Multiple Support Declaration 8332 Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent Exemptions 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). Irsgov com While each is worth the same amount ($3,900 for 2013), different rules apply to each type. Irsgov com Personal Exemptions You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. Irsgov com If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. Irsgov com These are called personal exemptions. Irsgov com Your Own Exemption You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com Your Spouse's Exemption Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Irsgov com Joint return. Irsgov com   On a joint return you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Irsgov com Separate return. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com tax purposes, must not be filing a return, and must not be the dependent of another taxpayer. Irsgov com Death of spouse. Irsgov com   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 . Irsgov com 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 . Irsgov com   If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return. Irsgov com Divorced or separated spouse. Irsgov com   If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Irsgov com This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Irsgov com Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Irsgov com You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Irsgov com The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Irsgov com The terms “ qualifying child ” and “ qualifying relative ” are defined later. Irsgov com You can claim an exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met. Irsgov com Dependent taxpayer test. Irsgov com Joint return test. Irsgov com Citizen or resident test. Irsgov com These three tests are explained in detail later. Irsgov com All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 3-1. Irsgov com Table 3-1. Irsgov com Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent Caution. Irsgov com This table is only an overview of the rules. Irsgov com For details, see the rest of this chapter. Irsgov com You cannot claim any dependents if you (or your spouse, if filing jointly) could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com   You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com resident alien, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Irsgov com 1  You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Irsgov com 2  The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Irsgov com   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that return is filed only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid). Irsgov com  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. Irsgov com See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Irsgov com   The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Irsgov com   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). Irsgov com   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Irsgov com 3  You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Irsgov com 4  1There is an exception for certain adopted children. Irsgov com 2There 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. Irsgov com 3There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop. Irsgov com 4There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Irsgov com Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com Housekeepers, maids, or servants. Irsgov com   If these people work for you, you cannot claim exemptions for them. Irsgov com Child tax credit. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com For more information, see chapter 34. Irsgov com Dependent Taxpayer Test If you can be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Irsgov com Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com Joint Return Test You generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return. Irsgov com Exception. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com Example 1—child files joint return. Irsgov com You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Irsgov com He earned $25,000 for the year. Irsgov com The couple files a joint return. Irsgov com You cannot take an exemption for your daughter. Irsgov com Example 2—child files joint return only as claim for refund of withheld tax. Irsgov com Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Irsgov com Neither is required to file a tax return. Irsgov com They do not have a child. Irsgov com Taxes were taken out of their pay so they filed a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com You can claim exemptions for each of them if all the other tests to do so are met. Irsgov com Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Irsgov com He and his wife are not required to file a tax return. Irsgov com However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com The exception to the joint return test does not apply, so you cannot claim an exemption for either of them. Irsgov com Citizen or Resident Test You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com resident alien, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Irsgov com However, there is an exception for certain adopted children, as explained next. Irsgov com Exception for adopted child. Irsgov com   If you are a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen or U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national who has legally adopted a child who is not a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com resident alien, or U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national, this test is met if the child lived with you as a member of your household all year. Irsgov com This exception also applies if the child was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. Irsgov com Child's place of residence. Irsgov com   Children usually are citizens or residents of the country of their parents. Irsgov com   If you were a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen when your child was born, the child may be a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen and meet this test even if the other parent was a nonresident alien and the child was born in a foreign country. Irsgov com Foreign students' place of residence. Irsgov com   Foreign students brought to this country under a qualified international education exchange program and placed in American homes for a temporary period generally are not U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com residents and do not meet this test. Irsgov com You cannot claim an exemption for them. Irsgov com However, if you provided a home for a foreign student, you may be able to take a charitable contribution deduction. Irsgov com See Expenses Paid for Student Living With You in chapter 24. Irsgov com U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national. Irsgov com   A U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national is an individual who, although not a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen, owes his or her allegiance to the United States. Irsgov com U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com nationals include American Samoans and Northern Mariana Islanders who chose to become U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com nationals instead of U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizens. Irsgov com Qualifying Child Five tests must be met for a child to be your qualifying child. Irsgov com The five tests are: Relationship, Age, Residency, Support, and Joint return. Irsgov com These tests are explained next. Irsgov com If a child meets the five tests to be the qualifying child of more than one person, a special rule applies to determine which person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Irsgov com See Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person, later. Irsgov com Relationship Test To meet this test, a child must be: Your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant (for example, your grandchild) of any of them, or Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant (for example, your niece or nephew) of any of them. Irsgov com Adopted child. Irsgov com   An adopted child is always treated as your own child. Irsgov com The term “adopted child” includes a child who was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. Irsgov com Foster child. Irsgov com   A foster child is an individual who is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Irsgov com Age Test To meet this test, a child must be: Under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), A student under age 24 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), or Permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year, regardless of age. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com Your son turned 19 on December 10. Irsgov com Unless he was permanently and totally disabled or a student, he does not meet the age test because, at the end of the year, he was not under age 19. Irsgov com Child must be younger than you or spouse. Irsgov com   To be your qualifying child, a child who is not permanently and totally disabled must be younger than you. Irsgov com However, if you are married filing jointly, the child must be younger than you or your spouse but does not have to be younger than both of you. Irsgov com Example 1—child not younger than you or spouse. Irsgov com Your 23-year-old brother, who is a student and unmarried, lives with you and your spouse. Irsgov com He is not disabled. Irsgov com Both you and your spouse are 21 years old, and you file a joint return. Irsgov com Your brother is not your qualifying child because he is not younger than you or your spouse. Irsgov com Example 2—child younger than your spouse but not younger than you. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your spouse is 25 years old. Irsgov com Because your brother is younger than your spouse, and you and your spouse are filing a joint return, your brother is your qualifying child, even though he is not younger than you. Irsgov com Student defined. Irsgov com   To qualify as a student, your child must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year: A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and a regularly enrolled student body at the school, or A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or by a state, county, or local government agency. Irsgov com The 5 calendar months do not have to be consecutive. Irsgov com Full-time student. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com School defined. Irsgov com   A school can be an elementary school, junior or senior high school, college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school. Irsgov com However, an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet does not count as a school. Irsgov com Vocational high school students. Irsgov com   Students who work on “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. Irsgov com Permanently and totally disabled. Irsgov com   Your child is permanently and totally disabled if both of the following apply. Irsgov com He or she cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. Irsgov com A doctor determines the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continuously for at least a year or can lead to death. Irsgov com Residency Test To meet this test, your child must have lived with you for more than half the year. Irsgov com There are exceptions for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, kidnapped children, and children of divorced or separated parents. Irsgov com Temporary absences. Irsgov com   Your child is considered to have lived with you during periods of time when one of you, or both, are temporarily absent due to special circumstances such as: Illness, Education, Business, Vacation, or Military service. Irsgov com Your child is also considered to have lived with you during any required hospital stay following birth, as long as the child would have lived with you during that time but for the hospitalization. Irsgov com Death or birth of child. Irsgov com   A child who was born or died during the year is treated as having lived with you more than half of the year if your home was the child's home more than half of the time he or she was alive during the year. Irsgov com Child born alive. Irsgov com   You may be able to claim an exemption for a child born alive during the year, even if the child lived only for a moment. Irsgov com State or local law must treat the child as having been born alive. Irsgov com There must be proof of a live birth shown by an official document, such as a birth certificate. Irsgov com The child must be your qualifying child or qualifying relative, and all the other tests to claim an exemption for a dependent must be met. Irsgov com Stillborn child. Irsgov com   You cannot claim an exemption for a stillborn child. Irsgov com Kidnapped child. Irsgov com   You may be able to treat your child as meeting the residency test even if the child has been kidnapped. Irsgov com See Publication 501 for details. Irsgov com Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Irsgov com   In most cases, because of the residency test, a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. Irsgov com However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true. Irsgov com The parents: Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance, Are separated under a written separation agreement, or Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married. Irsgov com The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents. Irsgov com The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year. Irsgov com Either of the following statements is true. Irsgov com The custodial parent signs a written declaration, discussed later, that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the year, and the noncustodial parent attaches this written declaration to his or her return. Irsgov com (If the decree or agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, see Post-1984 and pre-2009 divorce decree or separation agreement , later. Irsgov com If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008, see Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement , later. Irsgov com ) A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement that applies to 2013 states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, the decree or agreement was not changed after 1984 to say the noncustodial parent cannot claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for the child's support during the year. Irsgov com Custodial parent and noncustodial parent. Irsgov com   The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. Irsgov com The other parent is the noncustodial parent. Irsgov com   If the parents divorced or separated during the year and the child lived with both parents before the separation, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the rest of the year. Irsgov com   A child is treated as living with a parent for a night if the child sleeps: At that parent's home, whether or not the parent is present, or In the company of the parent, when the child does not sleep at a parent's home (for example, the parent and child are on vacation together). Irsgov com Equal number of nights. Irsgov com   If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI). Irsgov com December 31. Irsgov com   The night of December 31 is treated as part of the year in which it begins. Irsgov com For example, December 31, 2013, is treated as part of 2013. Irsgov com Emancipated child. Irsgov com   If a child is emancipated under state law, the child is treated as not living with either parent. Irsgov com See Examples 5 and 6. Irsgov com Absences. Irsgov com   If a child was not with either parent on a particular night (because, for example, the child was staying at a friend's house), the child is treated as living with the parent with whom the child normally would have lived for that night, except for the absence. Irsgov com But if it cannot be determined with which parent the child normally would have lived or if the child would not have lived with either parent that night, the child is treated as not living with either parent that night. Irsgov com Parent works at night. Irsgov com   If, due to a parent's nighttime work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days, but not nights, with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. Irsgov com On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school. Irsgov com Example 1—child lived with one parent for a greater number of nights. Irsgov com You and your child’s other parent are divorced. Irsgov com In 2013, your child lived with you 210 nights and with the other parent 155 nights. Irsgov com You are the custodial parent. Irsgov com Example 2—child is away at camp. Irsgov com In 2013, your daughter lives with each parent for alternate weeks. Irsgov com In the summer, she spends 6 weeks at summer camp. Irsgov com During the time she is at camp, she is treated as living with you for 3 weeks and with her other parent, your ex-spouse, for 3 weeks because this is how long she would have lived with each parent if she had not attended summer camp. Irsgov com Example 3—child lived same number of nights with each parent. Irsgov com Your son lived with you 180 nights during the year and lived the same number of nights with his other parent, your ex-spouse. Irsgov com Your AGI is $40,000. Irsgov com Your ex-spouse's AGI is $25,000. Irsgov com You are treated as your son's custodial parent because you have the higher AGI. Irsgov com Example 4—child is at parent’s home but with other parent. Irsgov com Your son normally lives with you during the week and with his other parent, your ex-spouse, every other weekend. Irsgov com You become ill and are hospitalized. Irsgov com The other parent lives in your home with your son for 10 consecutive days while you are in the hospital. Irsgov com Your son is treated as living with you during this 10-day period because he was living in your home. Irsgov com Example 5—child emancipated in May. Irsgov com When your son turned age 18 in May 2013, he became emancipated under the law of the state where he lives. Irsgov com As a result, he is not considered in the custody of his parents for more than half of the year. Irsgov com The special rule for children of divorced or separated parents does not apply. Irsgov com Example 6—child emancipated in August. Irsgov com Your daughter lives with you from January 1, 2013, until May 31, 2013, and lives with her other parent, your ex-spouse, from June 1, 2013, through the end of the year. Irsgov com She turns 18 and is emancipated under state law on August 1, 2013. Irsgov com Because she is treated as not living with either parent beginning on August 1, she is treated as living with you the greater number of nights in 2013. Irsgov com You are the custodial parent. Irsgov com Written declaration. Irsgov com    The custodial parent may use either Form 8332 or a similar statement (containing the same information required by the form) to make the written declaration to release the exemption to the noncustodial parent. Irsgov com The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of the form or statement to his or her tax return. Irsgov com   The exemption can be released for 1 year, for a number of specified years (for example, alternate years), or for all future years, as specified in the declaration. Irsgov com Post-1984 and pre-2009 divorce decree or separation agreement. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com The decree or agreement must state all three of the following. Irsgov com The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support. Irsgov com The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year. Irsgov com The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent. Irsgov com   The noncustodial parent must attach all of the following pages of the decree or agreement to his or her tax return. Irsgov com The cover page (write the other parent's social security number on this page). Irsgov com The pages that include all of the information identified in items (1) through (3) above. Irsgov com The signature page with the other parent's signature and the date of the agreement. Irsgov com Post-2008 divorce decree or separation agreement. Irsgov com   The noncustodial parent cannot attach pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332 if the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008. Irsgov com The custodial parent must sign either Form 8332 or a similar statement whose only purpose is to release the custodial parent's claim to an exemption for a child, and the noncustodial parent must attach a copy to his or her return. Irsgov com The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. Irsgov com For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support. Irsgov com    The noncustodial parent must attach the required information even if it was filed with a return in an earlier year. Irsgov com Revocation of release of claim to an exemption. Irsgov com   The custodial parent can revoke a release of claim to exemption that he or she previously released to the noncustodial parent on Form 8332 (or a similar statement). Irsgov com For the revocation to be effective for 2013, the custodial parent must have given (or made reasonable efforts to give) written notice of the revocation to the noncustodial parent in 2012 or earlier. Irsgov com The custodial parent can use Part III of Form 8332 for this purpose and must attach a copy of the revocation to his or her return for each tax year he or she claims the child as a dependent as a result of the revocation. Irsgov com Remarried parent. Irsgov com   If you remarry, the support provided by your new spouse is treated as provided by you. Irsgov com Parents who never married. Irsgov com   This special rule for divorced or separated parents also applies to parents who never married, and who lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year. Irsgov com Support Test (To Be a Qualifying Child) To meet this test, the child cannot have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Irsgov com This test is different from the support test to be a qualifying relative, which is described later. Irsgov com However, to see what is or is not support, see Support Test (To Be a Qualifying Relative) , later. Irsgov com If you are not sure whether a child provided more than half of his or her own support, you may find Worksheet 3-1 helpful. Irsgov com Worksheet 3-1. Irsgov com Worksheet for Determining Support Funds Belonging to the Person You Supported       1. Irsgov com Enter the total funds belonging to the person you supported, including income received (taxable and nontaxable) and amounts borrowed during the year, plus the amount in savings and other accounts at the beginning of the year. Irsgov com Do not include funds provided by the state; include those amounts on line 23 instead 1. Irsgov com     2. Irsgov com Enter the amount on line 1 that was used for the person's support 2. Irsgov com     3. Irsgov com Enter the amount on line 1 that was used for other purposes 3. Irsgov com     4. Irsgov com Enter the total amount in the person's savings and other accounts at the end of the year 4. Irsgov com     5. Irsgov com Add lines 2 through 4. Irsgov com (This amount should equal line 1. Irsgov com ) 5. Irsgov com     Expenses for Entire Household (where the person you supported lived)       6. Irsgov com Lodging (complete line 6a or 6b):         a. Irsgov com Enter the total rent paid 6a. Irsgov com       b. Irsgov com Enter the fair rental value of the home. Irsgov com If the person you supported owned the home,  also include this amount in line 21 6b. Irsgov com     7. Irsgov com Enter the total food expenses 7. Irsgov com     8. Irsgov com Enter the total amount of utilities (heat, light, water, etc. Irsgov com not included in line 6a or 6b) 8. Irsgov com     9. Irsgov com Enter the total amount of repairs (not included in line 6a or 6b) 9. Irsgov com     10. Irsgov com Enter the total of other expenses. Irsgov com Do not include expenses of maintaining the home, such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and insurance 10. Irsgov com     11. Irsgov com Add lines 6a through 10. Irsgov com These are the total household expenses 11. Irsgov com     12. Irsgov com Enter total number of persons who lived in the household 12. Irsgov com     Expenses for the Person You Supported       13. Irsgov com Divide line 11 by line 12. Irsgov com This is the person's share of the household expenses 13. Irsgov com     14. Irsgov com Enter the person's total clothing expenses 14. Irsgov com     15. Irsgov com Enter the person's total education expenses 15. Irsgov com     16. Irsgov com Enter the person's total medical and dental expenses not paid for or reimbursed by insurance 16. Irsgov com     17. Irsgov com Enter the person's total travel and recreation expenses 17. Irsgov com     18. Irsgov com Enter the total of the person's other expenses 18. Irsgov com     19. Irsgov com Add lines 13 through 18. Irsgov com This is the total cost of the person's support for the year 19. Irsgov com     Did the Person Provide More Than Half of His or Her Own Support?       20. Irsgov com Multiply line 19 by 50% (. Irsgov com 50) 20. Irsgov com     21. Irsgov com Enter the amount from line 2, plus the amount from line 6b if the person you supported owned  the home. Irsgov com This is the amount the person provided for his or her own support 21. Irsgov com     22. Irsgov com Is line 21 more than line 20?   No. Irsgov com You meet the support test for this person to be your qualifying child. Irsgov com If this person also meets the other tests to be a qualifying child, stop here; do not complete lines 23–26. Irsgov com Otherwise, go to line 23 and fill out the rest of the worksheet to determine if this person is your qualifying relative. Irsgov com    Yes. Irsgov com You do not meet the support test for this person to be either your qualifying child or your qualifying relative. Irsgov com Stop here. Irsgov com        Did You Provide More Than Half?       23. Irsgov com Enter the amount others provided for the person's support. Irsgov com Include amounts provided by state, local, and other welfare societies or agencies. Irsgov com Do not include any amounts included on line 1 23. Irsgov com     24. Irsgov com Add lines 21 and 23 24. Irsgov com     25. Irsgov com Subtract line 24 from line 19. Irsgov com This is the amount you provided for the person's support 25. Irsgov com     26. Irsgov com Is line 25 more than line 20?   Yes. Irsgov com You meet the support test for this person to be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com    No. Irsgov com You do not meet the support test for this person to be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com You cannot claim an exemption for this person unless you can do so under a multiple support agreement, the support test for children of divorced or separated parents, or the special rule for kidnapped children. Irsgov com See Multiple Support Agreement or Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) , or Kidnapped child under Qualifying Relative. Irsgov com   Example. Irsgov com You provided $4,000 toward your 16-year-old son's support for the year. Irsgov com He has a part-time job and provided $6,000 to his own support. Irsgov com He provided more than half of his own support for the year. Irsgov com He is not your qualifying child. Irsgov com Foster care payments and expenses. Irsgov com   Payments you receive for the support of a foster child from a child placement agency are considered support provided by the agency. Irsgov com Similarly, payments you receive for the support of a foster child from a state or county are considered support provided by the state or county. Irsgov com   If you are not in the trade or business of providing foster care and your unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in caring for a foster child were mainly to benefit an organization qualified to receive deductible charitable contributions, the expenses are deductible as charitable contributions but are not considered support you provided. Irsgov com For more information about the deduction for charitable contributions, see chapter 24. Irsgov com If your unreimbursed expenses are not deductible as charitable contributions, they may qualify as support you provided. Irsgov com   If you are in the trade or business of providing foster care, your unreimbursed expenses are not considered support provided by you. Irsgov com Example 1. Irsgov com Lauren, a foster child, lived with Mr. Irsgov com and Mrs. Irsgov com Smith for the last 3 months of the year. Irsgov com The Smiths cared for Lauren because they wanted to adopt her (although she had not been placed with them for adoption). Irsgov com They did not care for her as a trade or business or to benefit the agency that placed her in their home. Irsgov com The Smiths' unreimbursed expenses are not deductible as charitable contributions but are considered support they provided for Lauren. Irsgov com Example 2. Irsgov com You provided $3,000 toward your 10-year-old foster child's support for the year. Irsgov com The state government provided $4,000, which is considered support provided by the state, not by the child. Irsgov com See Support provided by the state (welfare, food stamps, housing, etc. Irsgov com ) , later. Irsgov com Your foster child did not provide more than half of her own support for the year. Irsgov com Scholarships. Irsgov com   A scholarship received by a child who is a student is not taken into account in determining whether the child provided more than half of his or her own support. Irsgov com Joint Return Test (To Be a Qualifying Child) To meet this test, the child cannot file a joint return for the year. Irsgov com Exception. Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com Example 1—child files joint return. Irsgov com You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Irsgov com He earned $25,000 for the year. Irsgov com The couple files a joint return. Irsgov com Because your daughter and her husband file a joint return, she is not your qualifying child. Irsgov com Example 2—child files joint return only as a claim for refund of withheld tax. Irsgov com Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Irsgov com Neither is required to file a tax return. Irsgov com They do not have a child. Irsgov com Taxes were taken out of their pay so they filed a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Irsgov com The exception to the joint return test applies, so your son may be your qualifying child if all the other tests are met. Irsgov com Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Irsgov com He and his wife were not required to file a tax return. Irsgov com However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com The exception to the joint return test does not apply, so your son is not your qualifying child. Irsgov com Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person If your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else, this special rule does not apply to you and you do not need to read about it. Irsgov com This is also true if your qualifying child is not a qualifying child of anyone else except your spouse with whom you file a joint return. Irsgov com If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the rules for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) described earlier, see Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), later. Irsgov com Sometimes, a child meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Irsgov com Although the child is a qualifying child of each of these persons, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child to take all of the following tax benefits (provided the person is eligible for each benefit). Irsgov com The exemption for the child. Irsgov com The child tax credit. Irsgov com Head of household filing status. Irsgov com The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irsgov com The exclusion from income for dependent care benefits. Irsgov com The earned income credit. Irsgov com The other person cannot take any of these benefits based on this qualifying child. Irsgov com In other words, you and the other person cannot agree to divide these benefits between you. Irsgov com The other person cannot take any of these tax benefits for a child unless he or she has a different qualifying child. Irsgov com Tiebreaker rules. Irsgov com   To determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child to claim these six tax benefits, the following tiebreaker rules apply. Irsgov com If only one of the persons is the child's parent, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the parent. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com 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. Irsgov com If the child's parents file a joint return with each other, this rule can be applied by dividing the parents' combined AGI equally between the parents. Irsgov com See Example 6 . Irsgov com   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. Irsgov com Example 1—child lived with parent and grandparent. Irsgov com You and your 3-year-old daughter Jane lived with your mother all year. Irsgov com You are 25 years old, unmarried, and your AGI is $9,000. Irsgov com Your mother's AGI is $15,000. Irsgov com Jane's father did not live with you or your daughter. Irsgov com You have not signed Form 8332 (or a similar statement) to release the child's exemption to the noncustodial parent. Irsgov com Jane is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because she meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Irsgov com However, only one of you can claim her. Irsgov com Jane is not a qualifying child of anyone else, including her father. Irsgov com You agree to let your mother claim Jane. Irsgov com This means your mother can claim Jane as a qualifying child for all of the six tax benefits listed earlier, if she qualifies (and if you do not claim Jane as a qualifying child for any of those tax benefits). Irsgov com Example 2—parent has higher AGI than grandparent. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your AGI is $18,000. Irsgov com Because your mother's AGI is not higher than yours, she cannot claim Jane. Irsgov com Only you can claim Jane. Irsgov com Example 3—two persons claim same child. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that you and your mother both claim Jane as a qualifying child. Irsgov com In this case, you, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim Jane as a qualifying child. Irsgov com The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the six tax benefits listed earlier unless she has another qualifying child. Irsgov com Example 4—qualifying children split between two persons. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except you also have two other young children who are qualifying children of both you and your mother. Irsgov com Only one of you can claim each child. Irsgov com However, if your mother's AGI is higher than yours, you can allow your mother to claim one or more of the children. Irsgov com For example, if you claim one child, your mother can claim the other two. Irsgov com Example 5—taxpayer who is a qualifying child. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except you are only 18 years old and did not provide more than half of your own support for the year. Irsgov com This means you are your mother's qualifying child. Irsgov com If she can claim you as a dependent, then you cannot claim your daughter as a dependent because of the Dependent Taxpayer Test explained earlier. Irsgov com Example 6—child lived with both parents and grandparent. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except you are married to your daughter's father. Irsgov com The two of you live together with your daughter and your mother, and have an AGI of $20,000 on a joint return. Irsgov com If you and your husband do not claim your daughter as a qualifying child, your mother can claim her instead. Irsgov com Even though the AGI on your joint return, $20,000, is more than your mother's AGI of $15,000, for this purpose each parent's AGI can be treated as $10,000, so your mother's $15,000 AGI is treated as higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child. Irsgov com Example 7—separated parents. Irsgov com You, your husband, and your 10-year-old son lived together until August 1, 2013, when your husband moved out of the household. Irsgov com In August and September, your son lived with you. Irsgov com For the rest of the year, your son lived with your husband, the boy's father. Irsgov com Your son is a qualifying child of both you and your husband because your son lived with each of you for more than half the year and because he met the relationship, age, support, and joint return tests for both of you. Irsgov com 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 rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) does not apply. Irsgov com You and your husband will file separate returns. Irsgov com Your husband agrees to let you treat your son as a qualifying child. Irsgov com This means, if your husband does not claim your son as a qualifying child, you can claim your son as a qualifying child for the dependency exemption, child tax credit, and exclusion for dependent care benefits (if you qualify for each of those tax benefits). Irsgov com However, you cannot claim head of household filing status because you and your husband did not live apart for the last 6 months of the year. Irsgov com As a result, your filing status is married filing separately, so you cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irsgov com Example 8—separated parents claim same child. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 7 except that you and your husband both claim your son as a qualifying child. Irsgov com In this case, only your husband will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Irsgov com This is because, during 2013, the boy lived with him longer than with you. Irsgov com If you claimed an exemption or the child tax credit for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to both these tax benefits. Irsgov com If you do not have another qualifying child or dependent, the IRS will also disallow your claim to the exclusion for dependent care benefits. Irsgov com In addition, because you and your husband did not live apart for the last 6 months of the year, your husband cannot claim head of household filing status. Irsgov com As a result, his filing status is married filing separately, so he cannot claim the earned income credit or the credit for child and dependent care expenses. Irsgov com Example 9—unmarried parents. Irsgov com You, your 5-year-old son, and your son's father lived together all year. Irsgov com You and your son's father are not married. Irsgov com Your son is a qualifying child of both you and his father because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and his father. Irsgov com Your AGI is $12,000 and your son's father's AGI is $14,000. Irsgov com Your son's father agrees to let you claim the child as a qualifying child. Irsgov com This means you can claim him as a qualifying child for the dependency exemption, child tax credit, head of household filing status, credit for child and dependent care expenses, exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit, if you qualify for each of those tax benefits (and if your son's father does not, in fact, claim your son as a qualifying child for any of those tax benefits). Irsgov com Example 10—unmarried parents claim same child. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 9 except that you and your son's father both claim your son as a qualifying child. Irsgov com In this case, only your son's father will be allowed to treat your son as a qualifying child. Irsgov com This is because his AGI, $14,000, is more than your AGI, $12,000. Irsgov com If you claimed an exemption or the child tax credit for your son, the IRS will disallow your claim to both these tax benefits. Irsgov com If you do not have another qualifying child or dependent, the IRS will also disallow your claim to the earned income credit, head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, and the exclusion for dependent care benefits. Irsgov com Example 11—child did not live with a parent. Irsgov com You and your 7-year-old niece, your sister's child, lived with your mother all year. Irsgov com You are 25 years old, and your AGI is $9,300. Irsgov com Your mother's AGI is $15,000. Irsgov com Your niece's parents file jointly, have an AGI of less than $9,000, and do not live with you or their child. Irsgov com Your niece is a qualifying child of both you and your mother because she meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Irsgov com However, only your mother can treat her as a qualifying child. Irsgov com This is because your mother's AGI, $15,000, is more than your AGI, $9,300. Irsgov com Applying this special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart). Irsgov com   If a child is treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent under the rules described earlier 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. Irsgov com However, the custodial parent, if eligible, or other eligible person can claim the child as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, and the earned income credit. Irsgov com If the child is the qualifying child of more than one person for these benefits, then the tiebreaker rules just explained determine which person can treat the child as a qualifying child. Irsgov com Example 1. Irsgov com You and your 5-year-old son lived all year with your mother, who paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Irsgov com Your AGI is $10,000. Irsgov com Your mother's AGI is $25,000. Irsgov com Your son's father did not live with you or your son. Irsgov com Under the rules explained earlier 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 him. Irsgov com Because of this, you cannot claim an exemption or the child tax credit for your son. Irsgov com However, your son's father cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, or the earned income credit. Irsgov com You and your mother did not have any child care expenses or dependent care benefits, so neither of you can claim the credit for child and dependent care expenses or the exclusion for dependent care benefits. Irsgov com But the boy is a qualifying child of both you and your mother for head of household filing status and the earned income credit because he meets the relationship, age, residency, support, and joint return tests for both you and your mother. Irsgov com (Note: The support test does not apply for the earned income credit. Irsgov com ) However, you agree to let your mother claim your son. Irsgov com This means she can claim him for head of household filing status and the earned income credit if she qualifies for each and if you do not claim him as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Irsgov com (You cannot claim head of household filing status because your mother paid the entire cost of keeping up the home. Irsgov com ) Example 2. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your AGI is $25,000 and your mother's AGI is $21,000. Irsgov com Your mother cannot claim your son as a qualifying child for any purpose because her AGI is not higher than yours. Irsgov com Example 3. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except you and your mother both claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Irsgov com Your mother also claims him as a qualifying child for head of household filing status. Irsgov com You, as the child's parent, will be the only one allowed to claim your son as a qualifying child for the earned income credit. Irsgov com The IRS will disallow your mother's claim to the earned income credit and head of household filing status unless she has another qualifying child. Irsgov com Qualifying Relative Four tests must be met for a person to be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com The four tests are: Not a qualifying child test, Member of household or relationship test, Gross income test, and Support test. Irsgov com Age. Irsgov com   Unlike a qualifying child, a qualifying relative can be any age. Irsgov com There is no age test for a qualifying relative. Irsgov com Kidnapped child. Irsgov com   You may be able to treat a child as your qualifying relative even if the child has been kidnapped. Irsgov com See Publication 501 for details. Irsgov com Not a Qualifying Child Test A child is not your qualifying relative if the child is your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Irsgov com Example 1. Irsgov com Your 22-year-old daughter, who is a student, lives with you and meets all the tests to be your qualifying child. Irsgov com She is not your qualifying relative. Irsgov com Example 2. Irsgov com Your 2-year-old son lives with your parents and meets all the tests to be their qualifying child. Irsgov com He is not your qualifying relative. Irsgov com Example 3. Irsgov com Your son lives with you but is not your qualifying child because he is 30 years old and does not meet the age test. Irsgov com He may be your qualifying relative if the gross income test and the support test are met. Irsgov com Example 4. Irsgov com Your 13-year-old grandson lived with his mother for 3 months, with his uncle for 4 months, and with you for 5 months during the year. Irsgov com He is not your qualifying child because he does not meet the residency test. Irsgov com He may be your qualifying relative if the gross income test and the support test are met. Irsgov com Child of person not required to file a return. Irsgov com   A child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer and so may qualify as your qualifying relative if the child's parent (or other person for whom the child is defined as a qualifying child) 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. Irsgov com Example 1—return not required. Irsgov com You support an unrelated friend and her 3-year-old child, who lived with you all year in your home. Irsgov com Your friend has no gross income, is not required to file a 2013 tax return, and does not file a 2013 tax return. Irsgov com Both your friend and her child are your qualifying relatives if the support test is met. Irsgov com Example 2—return filed to claim refund. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your friend had wages of $1,500 during the year and had income tax withheld from her wages. Irsgov com She files a return only to get a refund of the income tax withheld and does not claim the earned income credit or any other tax credits or deductions. Irsgov com Both your friend and her child are your qualifying relatives if the support test is met. Irsgov com Example 3—earned income credit claimed. Irsgov com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except your friend had wages of $8,000 during the year and claimed the earned income credit on her return. Irsgov com Your friend's child is the qualifying child of another taxpayer (your friend), so you cannot claim your friend's child as your qualifying relative. Irsgov com Child in Canada or Mexico. Irsgov com   You may be able to claim your child as a dependent even if the child lives in Canada or Mexico. Irsgov com If the child does not live with you, the child does not meet the residency test to be your qualifying child. Irsgov com However, the child may still be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com If the persons the child does live with are not U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizens and have no U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com gross income, those persons are not “taxpayers,” so the child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Irsgov com If the child is not the qualifying child of any other taxpayer, the child is your qualifying relative as long as the gross income test and the support test are met. Irsgov com   You cannot claim as a dependent a child who lives in a foreign country other than Canada or Mexico, unless the child is a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen, U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com resident alien, or U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com national. Irsgov com There is an exception for certain adopted children who lived with you all year. Irsgov com See Citizen or Resident Test , earlier. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com You provide all the support of your children, ages 6, 8, and 12, who live in Mexico with your mother and have no income. Irsgov com You are single and live in the United States. Irsgov com Your mother is not a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com citizen and has no U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com income, so she is not a “taxpayer. Irsgov com ” Your children are not your qualifying children because they do not meet the residency test. Irsgov com But since they are not the qualifying children of any other taxpayer, they are your qualifying relatives and you can claim them as dependents. Irsgov com You may also be able to claim your mother as a dependent if the gross income and support tests are met. Irsgov com Member of Household or Relationship Test To meet this test, a person must either: Live with you all year as a member of your household, or Be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . Irsgov com If at any time during the year the person was your spouse, that person cannot be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com However, see Personal Exemptions , earlier. Irsgov com Relatives who do not have to live with you. Irsgov com   A person related to you in any of the following ways does not have to live with you all year as a member of your household to meet this test. Irsgov com Your child, stepchild, foster child, or a descendant of any of them (for example, your grandchild). Irsgov com (A legally adopted child is considered your child. Irsgov com ) Your brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, or stepsister. Irsgov com Your father, mother, grandparent, or other direct ancestor, but not foster parent. Irsgov com Your stepfather or stepmother. Irsgov com A son or daughter of your brother or sister. Irsgov com A son or daughter of your half brother or half sister. Irsgov com A brother or sister of your father or mother. Irsgov com Your son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law. Irsgov com Any of these relationships that were established by marriage are not ended by death or divorce. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com You and your wife began supporting your wife's father, a widower, in 2006. Irsgov com Your wife died in 2012. Irsgov com Despite your wife's death, your father-in-law continues to meet this test, even if he does not live with you. Irsgov com You can claim him as a dependent if all other tests are met, including the gross income test and support test. Irsgov com Foster child. Irsgov com   A foster child is an individual who is placed with you by an authorized placement agency or by judgment, decree, or other order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Irsgov com Joint return. Irsgov com   If you file a joint return, the person can be related to either you or your spouse. Irsgov com Also, the person does not need to be related to the spouse who provides support. Irsgov com   For example, your spouse's uncle who receives more than half of his support from you may be your qualifying relative, even though he does not live with you. Irsgov com However, if you and your spouse file separate returns, your spouse's uncle can be your qualifying relative only if he lives with you all year as a member of your household. Irsgov com Temporary absences. Irsgov com   A person is considered to live with you as a member of your household during periods of time when one of you, or both, are temporarily absent due to special circumstances such as: Illness, Education, Business, Vacation, or Military service. Irsgov com   If the person is placed in a nursing home for an indefinite period of time to receive constant medical care, the absence may be considered temporary. Irsgov com Death or birth. Irsgov com   A person who died during the year, but lived with you as a member of your household until death, will meet this test. Irsgov com The same is true for a child who was born during the year and lived with you as a member of your household for the rest of the year. Irsgov com The test is also met if a child lived with you as a member of your household except for any required hospital stay following birth. Irsgov com   If your dependent died during the year and you otherwise qualify to claim an exemption for the dependent, you can still claim the exemption. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com Your dependent mother died on January 15. Irsgov com She met the tests to be your qualifying relative. Irsgov com The other tests to claim an exemption for a dependent were also met. Irsgov com You can claim an exemption for her on your return. Irsgov com Local law violated. Irsgov com   A person does not meet this test if at any time during the year the relationship between you and that person violates local law. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com Your girlfriend lived with you as a member of your household all year. Irsgov com However, your relationship with her violated the laws of the state where you live, because she was married to someone else. Irsgov com Therefore, she does not meet this test and you cannot claim her as a dependent. Irsgov com Adopted child. Irsgov com   An adopted child is always treated as your own child. Irsgov com The term “adopted child” includes a child who was lawfully placed with you for legal adoption. Irsgov com Cousin. Irsgov com   Your cousin meets this test only if he or she lives with you all year as a member of your household. Irsgov com A cousin is a descendant of a brother or sister of your father or mother. Irsgov com Gross Income Test To meet this test, a person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Irsgov com Gross income defined. Irsgov com   Gross income is all income in the form of money, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Irsgov com   In a manufacturing, merchandising, or mining business, gross income is the total net sales minus the cost of goods sold, plus any miscellaneous income from the business. Irsgov com   Gross receipts from rental property are gross income. Irsgov com Do not deduct taxes, repairs, or other expenses, to determine the gross income from rental property. Irsgov com   Gross income includes a partner's share of the gross (not a share of the net) partnership income. Irsgov com    Gross income also includes all taxable unemployment compensation and certain scholarship and fellowship grants. Irsgov com Scholarships received by degree candidates and used for tuition, fees, supplies, books, and equipment required for particular courses generally are not included in gross income. Irsgov com For more information about scholarships, see chapter 12. Irsgov com   Tax-exempt income, such as certain social security benefits, is not included in gross income. Irsgov com Disabled dependent working at sheltered workshop. Irsgov com   For purposes of the gross income test, the gross income of an individual who is permanently and totally disabled at any time during the year does not include income for services the individual performs at a sheltered workshop. Irsgov com The availability of medical care at the workshop must be the main reason for the individual's presence there. Irsgov com Also, the income must come solely from activities at the workshop that are incident to this medical care. Irsgov com   A “sheltered workshop” is a school that: Provides special instruction or training designed to alleviate the disability of the individual, and Is operated by certain tax-exempt organizations, or by a state, a U. Irsgov com S. Irsgov com possession, a political subdivision of a state or possession, the United States, or the District of Columbia. Irsgov com “Permanently and totally disabled” has the same meaning here as under Qualifying Child, earlier. Irsgov com Support Test (To Be a Qualifying Relative) To meet this test, you generally must provide more than half of a person's total support during the calendar year. Irsgov com However, if two or more persons provide support, but no one person provides more than half of a person's total support, see Multiple Support Agreement , later. Irsgov com How to determine if support test is met. Irsgov com   You figure whether you have provided more than half of a person's total support by comparing the amount you contributed to that person's support with the entire amount of support that person received from all sources. Irsgov com This includes support the person provided from his or her own funds. Irsgov com   You may find Worksheet 3-1 helpful in figuring whether you provided more than half of a person's support. Irsgov com Person's own funds not used for support. Irsgov com   A person's own funds are not support unless they are actually spent for support. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com Your mother received $2,400 in social security benefits and $300 in interest. Irsgov com She paid $2,000 for lodging and $400 for recreation. Irsgov com She put $300 in a savings account. Irsgov com Even though your mother received a total of $2,700 ($2,400 + $300), she spent only $2,400 ($2,000 + $400) for her own support. Irsgov com If you spent more than $2,400 for her support and no other support was received, you have provided more than half of her support. Irsgov com Child's wages used for own support. Irsgov com   You cannot include in your contribution to your child's support any support paid for by the child with the child's own wages, even if you paid the wages. Irsgov com Year support is provided. Irsgov com   The year you provide the support is the year you pay for it, even if you do so with borrowed money that you repay in a later year. Irsgov com   If you use a fiscal year to report your income, you must provide more than half of the dependent's support for the calendar year in which your fiscal year begins. Irsgov com Armed Forces dependency allotments. Irsgov com   The part of the allotment contributed by the government and the part taken out of your military pay are both considered provided by you in figuring whether you provide more than half of the support. Irsgov com If your allotment is used to support persons other than those you name, you can take the exemptions for them if they otherwise qualify. Irsgov com Example. Irsgov com You are in the Armed Forces. Irsgov com You authorize an allotment for your widowed mother that she uses to support herself and her sister. Irsgov com If the allotment provides more than half of each person's support, you can take an exemption for each of them, if they otherwise qualify, even though you authorize the allotment only for your mother. Irsgov com Tax-exempt military quarters allowances. Irsgov com   These allowances are treated the same way as dependency allotments in figuring support. Irsgov com The allotment of pay and the tax-exempt basic allowance for quarters are both considered as provided by you for support. Irsgov com Tax-exempt income. Irsgov com   In figuring a person's total support, include tax-exempt income, savings, and borrowed amounts used to support that person. Irsgov com Tax-exempt income includes certain social security benefits, welfare benefits, nontaxable life insurance proceeds, Armed Forces family allotments, nontaxable pensions, and tax-exempt interest. Irsgov com Example 1. Irsgov com You provide $4,000 toward your mother's support during the year. Irsgov com She has earned income of $600, nontaxable social security benefits of $4,800, and tax-exempt interest of $200. Irsgov com She uses all these for her support. Irsgov com You cannot claim an exemption for your mother because the $4,000 you provide is not more than half of her total support of $9,600 ($4,000 + $600 + $4,800 + $200). Irsgov com Example 2. Irsgov com Your niece takes out a student loan of $2,500 a
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Understanding Your CP080 Notice

We credited payments and/or other credits to your tax account for the form and tax period shown on your notice. However, we haven't received your tax return.


What you need to do

  • If you are required to file this tax return please file today. Send your signed tax return to the address shown on the top of this notice.

Answers to Common Questions

What if I have already filed this return?
Please send a newly-signed copy to the address shown on the top of your notice.

What if I want the credit transferred to another tax form, tax period or tax identification number?
Please call us at 1-800-829-8374 to give us details of the account to which the credit should be transferred.

 

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 07-Mar-2014

Printable samples of this notice (PDF)

 

 

How to get help

  • Call the 1-800 number listed on the top right corner of your notice.
  • Authorize someone (e.g., accountant) to contact the IRS on your behalf using Form 2848.
  • See if you qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.
     

The Irsgov Com

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