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Military Star Card

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Military Star Card

Military star card Publication 521 - Main Content Table of Contents Who Can Deduct Moving ExpensesMove Related to Start of Work Distance Test Time Test Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States Deductible Moving ExpensesMoves to Locations in the United States Moves to Locations Outside the United States Nondeductible Expenses ReimbursementsTypes of Reimbursement Plans Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax How and When To ReportForm 3903 When To Deduct Expenses Illustrated Example Members of the Armed Forces How To Get Tax Help Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses You can deduct your moving expenses if you meet all three of the following requirements. Military star card Your move is closely related to the start of work. Military star card You meet the distance test. Military star card You meet the time test. Military star card After you have read these rules, you may want to use Figure B to help you decide if you can deduct your moving expenses. Military star card Retirees, survivors, and Armed Forces members. Military star card   Different rules may apply if you are a member of the Armed Forces or a retiree or survivor moving to the United States. Military star card These rules are discussed later in this publication. Military star card Move Related to Start of Work Your move must be closely related, both in time and in place, to the start of work at your new job location. Military star card Closely related in time. Military star card   In most cases, you can consider moving expenses incurred within 1 year from the date you first reported to work at the new location as closely related in time to the start of work. Military star card It is not necessary that you arrange to work before moving to a new location, as long as you actually go to work in that location. Military star card    Figure A. Military star card Illustration of Distance Test Please click here for the text description of the image. Military star card Figure A   If you do not move within 1 year of the date you begin work, you ordinarily cannot deduct the expenses unless you can show that circumstances existed that prevented the move within that time. Military star card Example. Military star card Your family moved more than a year after you started work at a new location. Military star card You delayed the move for 18 months to allow your child to complete high school. Military star card You can deduct your moving expenses. Military star card Closely related in place. Military star card   You can generally consider your move closely related in place to the start of work if the distance from your new home to the new job location is not more than the distance from your former home to the new job location. Military star card If your move does not meet this requirement, you may still be able to deduct moving expenses if you can show that: You are required to live at your new home as a condition of your employment, or You will spend less time or money commuting from your new home to your new job location. Military star card Home defined. Military star card   Your home means your main home (residence). Military star card It can be a house, apartment, condominium, houseboat, house trailer, or similar dwelling. Military star card It does not include other homes owned or kept up by you or members of your family. Military star card It also does not include a seasonal home, such as a summer beach cottage. Military star card Your former home means your home before you left for your new job location. Military star card Your new home means your home within the area of your new job location. Military star card Retirees or survivors. Military star card   You may be able to deduct the expenses of moving to the United States or its possessions even though the move is not related to the start of work at a new job location. Military star card You must have worked outside the United States or be a survivor of someone who did. Military star card See Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States, later. Military star card Distance Test Your move will meet the distance test if your new main job location is at least 50 miles farther from your former home than your old main job location was from your former home. Military star card For example, if your old main job location was 3 miles from your former home, your new main job location must be at least 53 miles from that former home. Military star card You can use Worksheet 1 to see if you meet this test. Military star card Worksheet 1. Military star card Distance Test   Note. Military star card Members of the Armed Forces may not have to meet this test. Military star card See Members of the Armed Forces. Military star card     1. Military star card Enter the number of miles from your old home to your new workplace 1. Military star card miles 2. Military star card Enter the number of miles from your old home to your old workplace 2. Military star card miles 3. Military star card Subtract line 2 from line 1. Military star card If zero or less, enter -0- 3. Military star card miles 4. Military star card Is line 3 at least 50 miles? □ Yes. Military star card You meet this test. Military star card  □ No. Military star card You do not meet this test. Military star card You cannot deduct your moving expenses. Military star card The distance between a job location and your home is the shortest of the more commonly traveled routes between them. Military star card The distance test considers only the location of your former home. Military star card It does not take into account the location of your new home. Military star card See Figure A, earlier. Military star card Example. Military star card You moved to a new home less than 50 miles from your former home because you changed main job locations. Military star card Your old main job location was 3 miles from your former home. Military star card Your new main job location is 60 miles from that home. Military star card Because your new main job location is 57 miles farther from your former home than the distance from your former home to your old main job location, you meet the distance test. Military star card First job or return to full-time work. Military star card   If you go to work full time for the first time, your place of work must be at least 50 miles from your former home to meet the distance test. Military star card   If you go back to full-time work after a substantial period of part-time work or unemployment, your place of work also must be at least 50 miles from your former home. Military star card Armed Forces. Military star card   If you are in the Armed Forces and you moved because of a permanent change of station, you do not have to meet the distance test. Military star card See Members of the Armed Forces, later. Military star card Main job location. Military star card   Your main job location is usually the place where you spend most of your working time. Military star card This could be your office, plant, store, shop, or other location. Military star card If there is no one place where you spend most of your working time, your main job location is the place where your work is centered, such as where you report for work or are otherwise required to “base” your work. Military star card Union members. Military star card   If you work for several employers on a short-term basis and you get work under a union hall system (such as a construction or building trades worker), your main job location is the union hall. Military star card More than one job. Military star card   If you have more than one job at any time, your main job location depends on the facts in each case. Military star card The more important factors to be considered are: The total time you spend at each place, The amount of work you do at each place, and How much money you earn at each place. Military star card    Table 1. Military star card Satisfying the Time Test for Employees and Self-Employed Persons IF you are. Military star card . Military star card . Military star card THEN you satisfy the time test by meeting the. Military star card . Military star card . Military star card an employee 39-week test for employees. Military star card self-employed 78-week test for self-employed persons. Military star card both self-employed and an employee at the same time 78-week test for a self-employed person or the 39-week  test for an employee. Military star card Your principal place of work  determines which test applies. Military star card both self-employed and an employee, but unable to satisfy the 39-week test for employees 78-week test for self-employed persons. Military star card Time Test To deduct your moving expenses, you also must meet one of the following two time tests. Military star card The time test for employees. Military star card The time test for self-employed persons. Military star card Both of these tests are explained below. Military star card See Table 1, below, for a summary of these tests. Military star card You can deduct your moving expenses before you meet either of the time tests. Military star card See Time Test Not Yet Met, later. Military star card Time Test for Employees If you are an employee, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you arrive in the general area of your new job location (39-week test). Military star card Full-time employment depends on what is usual for your type of work in your area. Military star card For purposes of this test, the following four rules apply. Military star card You count only your full-time work as an employee, not any work you do as a self-employed person. Military star card You do not have to work for the same employer for all 39 weeks. Military star card You do not have to work 39 weeks in a row. Military star card You must work full time within the same general commuting area for all 39 weeks. Military star card Temporary absence from work. Military star card   You are considered to have worked full time during any week you are temporarily absent from work because of illness, strikes, lockouts, layoffs, natural disasters, or similar causes. Military star card You are also considered to have worked full time during any week you are absent from work for leave or vacation provided for in your work contract or agreement. Military star card Seasonal work. Military star card   If your work is seasonal, you are considered to be working full time during the off-season only if your work contract or agreement covers an off-season period of less than 6 months. Military star card For example, a school teacher on a 12-month contract who teaches on a full-time basis for more than 6 months is considered to have worked full time for the entire 12 months. Military star card    Figure B. Military star card Can You Deduct Expenses for a Non-Military Move Within the United States? Please click here for the text description of the image. Military star card Figure B Time Test for Self-Employed Persons If you are self-employed, you must work full time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months and for a total of at least 78 weeks during the first 24 months after you arrive in the general area of your new job location (78-week test). Military star card For purposes of the time test for self-employed persons, the following three rules apply. Military star card You count any full-time work you do either as an employee or as a self-employed person. Military star card You do not have to work for the same employer or be self-employed in the same trade or business for the 78 weeks. Military star card You must work within the same general commuting area for all 78 weeks. Military star card Example. Military star card You are a self-employed accountant who moves from Atlanta to New York City, and begin to work there on December 1, 2013. Military star card You pay moving expenses in 2013 and 2014 in connection with this move. Military star card On April 15, 2014, when you file your income tax return for the year 2013, you have been performing services as a self-employed individual on a full-time basis in New York City for approximately 20 weeks. Military star card Although you have not satisfied the 78-week employment condition at this time, you can deduct your 2013 moving expenses on your 2013 income tax return as there is still sufficient time remaining before December 1, 2015, to satisfy such condition. Military star card You can deduct any moving expenses you pay in 2014 on your 2014 income tax return even if you have not met the 78-week test. Military star card You have until December 1, 2015, to satisfy this requirement. Military star card Self-employment. Military star card   You are self-employed if you work as the sole owner of an unincorporated business or as a partner in a partnership carrying on a business. Military star card You are not considered self-employed if you are semi-retired, are a part-time student, or work only a few hours each week. Military star card Full-time work. Military star card   You can count only those weeks during which you work full time as a week of work. Military star card Whether you work full time during any week depends on what is usual for your type of work in your area. Military star card For example, you are a self-employed dentist and maintain office hours 4 days a week. Military star card You are considered to perform services full time if maintaining office hours 4 days a week is not unusual for other self-employed dentists in your area. Military star card Temporary absence from work. Military star card   You are considered to be self-employed on a full-time basis during any week you are temporarily absent from work because of illness, strikes, natural disasters, or similar causes. Military star card Seasonal trade or business. Military star card   If your trade or business is seasonal, the off-season weeks when no work is required or available may be counted as weeks during which you worked full time. Military star card The off-season must be less than 6 months and you must work full time before and after the off-season. Military star card Example. Military star card You own and operate a motel at a beach resort. Military star card The motel is closed for 5 months during the off-season. Military star card You work full time as the operator of the motel before and after the off-season. Military star card You are considered self-employed on a full-time basis during the weeks of the off-season. Military star card   If you were both an employee and self-employed, see Table 1 earlier, for the requirements. Military star card Example. Military star card Justin quit his job and moved from the east coast to the west coast to begin a full-time job as a cabinet-maker for C and L Cabinet Shop. Military star card He generally worked at the shop about 40 hours each week. Military star card Shortly after the move, Justin also began operating a cabinet-installation business from his home for several hours each afternoon and all day on weekends. Military star card Because Justin's principal place of business is the cabinet shop, he can satisfy the time test by meeting the 39-week test. Military star card    If Justin is unable to satisfy the requirements of the 39-week test during the 12-month period immediately following his arrival in the general location of his new principal place of work, he can satisfy the 78-week test. Military star card Joint Return If you are married, file a joint return, and both you and your spouse work full-time, either of you can satisfy the full-time work test. Military star card However, you cannot add the weeks your spouse worked to the weeks you worked to satisfy that test. Military star card Time Test Not Yet Met You can deduct your moving expenses on your 2013 tax return even though you have not met the time test by the date your 2013 return is due. Military star card You can do this if you expect to meet the 39-week test in 2014 or the 78-week test in 2014 or 2015. Military star card If you do not deduct your moving expenses on your 2013 return, and you later meet the time test, you can file an amended return for 2013 to take the deduction. Military star card See When To Deduct Expenses later, for more details. Military star card Failure to meet the time test. Military star card    If you deduct moving expenses but do not meet the time test in 2014 or 2015, you must either: Report your moving expense deduction as other income on your Form 1040 for the year you cannot meet the test, or Use Form 1040X to amend your 2013 return, figuring your tax without the moving expense deduction. Military star card Example. Military star card You arrive in the general area of your new job location, as an employee, on September 15, 2013. Military star card You deduct your moving expenses on your 2013 return, the year of the move, even though you have not yet met the time test by the date your return is due. Military star card If you do not meet the 39-week test during the 12-month period following your arrival in the general area of your new job location, you must either: Report your moving expense deduction as other income on your Form 1040 for 2014, or Use Form 1040X to amend your 2013 return, figuring your tax without the moving expense deduction. Military star card Exceptions to the Time Test You do not have to meet the time test if one of the following applies. Military star card You are in the Armed Forces and you moved because of a permanent change of station. Military star card See Members of the Armed Forces , later. Military star card Your main job location was outside the United States and you moved to the United States because you retired. Military star card See Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States, later. Military star card You are the survivor of a person whose main job location at the time of death was outside the United States. Military star card See Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States, later. Military star card Your job at the new location ends because of death or disability. Military star card You are transferred for your employer's benefit or laid off for a reason other than willful misconduct. Military star card For this exception, you must have obtained full-time employment and you must have expected to meet the test at the time you started the job. Military star card Retirees or Survivors Who Move to the United States If you are a retiree who was working abroad or a survivor of a decedent who was working abroad and you move to the United States or one of its possessions, you do not have to meet the time test, discussed earlier. Military star card However, you must meet the requirements discussed below under Retirees who were working abroad or Survivors of decedents who were working abroad. Military star card If you are living in the United States, retire, and then move and remain retired, you cannot claim a moving expense deduction for that move. Military star card United States defined. Military star card   For this section of this publication, the term “United States” includes the possessions of the United States. Military star card Retirees who were working abroad. Military star card   You can deduct moving expenses for a move to a new home in the United States when you permanently retire. Military star card However, both your former main job location and your former home must have been outside the United States. Military star card Permanently retired. Military star card   You are considered permanently retired when you cease gainful full-time employment or self-employment. Military star card If, at the time you retire, you intend your retirement to be permanent, you will be considered retired even though you later return to work. Military star card Your intention to retire permanently may be determined by: Your age and health, The customary retirement age for people who do similar work, Whether you receive retirement payments from a pension or retirement fund, and The length of time before you return to full-time work. Military star card Decedents. Military star card   Qualified deductible moving expenses are allowed on a final return (Form 1040 or 1040NR) when a taxpayer has moved and dies within the same calendar year. Military star card The personal representative filing on behalf of that taxpayer should complete and attach Form 3903 to the final return. Military star card   A personal representative can be an executor, administrator, or anyone who is in charge of the deceased person's property. Military star card For more information, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators. Military star card Survivors of decedents who were working abroad. Military star card   If you are the spouse or the dependent of a person whose main job location at the time of death was outside the United States, you can deduct moving expenses if the following five requirements are met. Military star card The move is to a home in the United States. Military star card The move begins within 6 months after the decedent's death. Military star card (When a move begins is described below. Military star card ) The move is from the decedent's former home. Military star card The decedent's former home was outside the United States. Military star card The decedent's former home was also your home. Military star card When a move begins. Military star card   A move begins when one of the following events occurs. Military star card You contract for your household goods and personal effects to be moved to your home in the United States, but only if the move is completed within a reasonable time. Military star card Your household goods and personal effects are packed and on the way to your home in the United States. Military star card You leave your former home to travel to your new home in the United States. Military star card Deductible Moving Expenses If you meet the requirements discussed earlier under Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses, you can deduct the reasonable expenses of: Moving your household goods and personal effects (including in-transit or foreign-move storage expenses), and Traveling (including lodging but not meals) to your new home. Military star card You cannot deduct any expenses for meals. Military star card Reasonable expenses. Military star card   You can deduct only those expenses that are reasonable for the circumstances of your move. Military star card For example, the cost of traveling from your former home to your new one should be by the shortest, most direct route available by conventional transportation. Military star card If during your trip to your new home, you stop over, or make side trips for sightseeing, the additional expenses for your stopover or side trips are not deductible as moving expenses. Military star card Example. Military star card Beth's employer transferred her from Boston, Massachusetts, to Buffalo, New York. Military star card On her way to Buffalo, Beth drove into Canada to visit the Toronto Zoo. Military star card Since Beth's excursion into Canada was away from the usual Boston-Buffalo route, the expenses paid or incurred for the excursion are not deductible. Military star card Beth can only deduct what it would have cost to drive directly from Boston to Buffalo. Military star card Likewise, Beth cannot deduct any expenses, such as the cost of a hotel room, caused by the delay for sightseeing. Military star card Travel by car. Military star card   If you use your car to take yourself, members of your household, or your personal effects to your new home, you can figure your expenses by deducting either: Your actual expenses, such as the amount you pay for gas and oil for your car, if you keep an accurate record of each expense, or The standard mileage rate of 24 cents per mile. Military star card Whether you use actual expenses or the standard mileage rate to figure your expenses, you can deduct the parking fees and tolls you pay to move. Military star card You cannot deduct any part of general repairs, general maintenance, insurance, or depreciation for your car. Military star card Member of your household. Military star card   You can deduct moving expenses you pay for yourself and members of your household. Military star card A member of your household is anyone who has both your former and new home as his or her home. Military star card It does not include a tenant or employee, unless that person is your dependent. Military star card Moves to Locations in the United States If you meet the requirements under Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses, earlier, you can deduct expenses for a move to the area of a new main job location within the United States or its possessions. Military star card Your move may be from one U. Military star card S. Military star card location to another or from a foreign country to the United States. Military star card Household goods and personal effects. Military star card   You can deduct the cost of packing, crating, and transporting your household goods and personal effects and those of the members of your household from your former home to your new home. Military star card For purposes of moving expenses, the term “personal effects” includes, but is not limited to, movable personal property that the taxpayer owns and frequently uses. Military star card   If you use your own car to move your things, see Travel by car, earlier. Military star card   You can deduct any costs of connecting or disconnecting utilities required because you are moving your household goods, appliances, or personal effects. Military star card   You can deduct the cost of shipping your car and your household pets to your new home. Military star card   You can deduct the cost of moving your household goods and personal effects from a place other than your former home. Military star card Your deduction is limited to the amount it would have cost to move them from your former home. Military star card Example. Military star card Paul Brown has been living and working in North Carolina for the last 4 years. Military star card Because he has been renting a small apartment, he stored some furniture at his parents' home in Georgia. Military star card Paul got a job in Washington, DC. Military star card It cost him $900 to move the furniture from his North Carolina apartment to Washington and $3,000 to move the stored furniture from Georgia to Washington. Military star card It would have cost $1,800 to ship the stored furniture from North Carolina to Washington. Military star card He can deduct only $1,800 of the $3,000 he paid. Military star card The amount he can deduct for moving his furniture is $2,700 ($900 + $1,800). Military star card You cannot deduct the cost of moving furniture you buy on the way to your new home. Military star card   Storage expenses. Military star card   You can include the cost of storing and insuring household goods and personal effects within any period of 30 consecutive days after the day your things are moved from your former home and before they are delivered to your new home. Military star card Travel expenses. Military star card   You can deduct the cost of transportation and lodging for yourself and members of your household while traveling from your former home to your new home. Military star card This includes expenses for the day you arrive. Military star card    The day of arrival is the day you secure lodging at the new place of residence, even if the lodging is on a temporary basis. Military star card   You can include any lodging expenses you had in the area of your former home within one day after you could no longer live in your former home because your furniture had been moved. Military star card   The members of your household do not have to travel together or at the same time. Military star card However, you can only deduct expenses for one trip per person. Military star card If you use your own car, see Travel by car, earlier. Military star card Example. Military star card   In February 2013, Josh and Robyn Black moved from Minneapolis to Washington, DC, where Josh was starting a new job. Military star card Josh drove the family car to Washington, DC, a trip of 1,100 miles. Military star card His expenses were $264. Military star card 00 for mileage (1,100 miles x 24 cents per mile) plus $40 for tolls and $150 for lodging, for a total of $454. Military star card 00. Military star card One week later, Robyn flew from Minneapolis to Washington, DC. Military star card Her only expense was her $400 plane ticket. Military star card The Blacks' deduction is $854. Military star card 00 (Josh's $454. Military star card 00 + Robyn's $400). Military star card Moves to Locations Outside the United States To deduct expenses for a move outside the United States, you must move to the area of a new place of work outside the United States and its possessions. Military star card You must meet the requirements under Who Can Deduct Moving Expenses , earlier. Military star card Deductible expenses. Military star card   If your move is to a location outside the United States and its possessions, you can deduct the following expenses. Military star card The cost of moving household goods and personal effects from your former home to your new home. Military star card The cost of traveling (including lodging) from your former home to your new home. Military star card The cost of moving household goods and personal effects to and from storage. Military star card The cost of storing household goods and personal effects while you are at the new job location. Military star card The first two items were explained earlier under Moves to Locations in the United States . Military star card The last two items are discussed, later. Military star card Moving goods and effects to and from storage. Military star card   You can deduct the reasonable expenses of moving your personal effects to and from storage. Military star card Storage expenses. Military star card   You can deduct the reasonable expenses of storing your household goods and personal effects for all or part of the time the new job location remains your main job location. Military star card Moving expenses allocable to excluded foreign income. Military star card   If you live and work outside the United States, you may be able to exclude from income part or all of the income you earn in the foreign country. Military star card You may also be able to claim a foreign housing exclusion or deduction. Military star card If you claim the foreign earned income or foreign housing exclusion, you cannot deduct the part of your moving expenses that relates to the excluded income. Military star card    Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Military star card S. Military star card Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad, explains how to figure the part of your moving expenses that relates to excluded income. Military star card You can get the publication from most U. Military star card S. Military star card embassies and consulates, or see How To Get Tax Help at the end of this publication. Military star card Nondeductible Expenses You cannot deduct the following items as moving expenses. Military star card Any part of the purchase price of your new home. Military star card Car tags. Military star card Driver's license. Military star card Expenses of buying or selling a home (including closing costs, mortgage fees, and points). Military star card Expenses of entering into or breaking a lease. Military star card Home improvements to help sell your home. Military star card Loss on the sale of your home. Military star card Losses from disposing of memberships in clubs. Military star card Mortgage penalties. Military star card Pre-move househunting expenses. Military star card Real estate taxes. Military star card Refitting of carpet and draperies. Military star card Return trips to your former residence. Military star card Security deposits (including any given up due to the move). Military star card Storage charges except those incurred in transit and for foreign moves. Military star card No double deduction. Military star card   You cannot take a moving expense deduction and a business expense deduction for the same expenses. Military star card You must decide if your expenses are deductible as moving expenses or as business expenses. Military star card For example, expenses you have for travel, meals, and lodging while temporarily working at a place away from your regular place of work may be deductible as business expenses if you are considered away from home on business. Military star card In most cases, your work at a single location is considered temporary if it is realistically expected to last (and does in fact last) for one year or less. Military star card   See Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses, for information on deducting your business expenses. Military star card Reimbursements This section explains how to report a reimbursement (including advances and allowances) on your tax return. Military star card It covers reimbursements for any of your moving expenses discussed in this publication. Military star card It also explains the types of reimbursements on which your employer must withhold income, social security, and Medicare taxes. Military star card Types of Reimbursement Plans If you receive a reimbursement for your moving expenses, how you report this amount and your expenses depends on whether the reimbursement is paid to you under an accountable plan or a nonaccountable plan. Military star card For a quick overview of how to report your reimbursement and moving expenses, see Table 2 in the section on How and When To Report, later. Military star card Your employer should tell you what method of reimbursement is used and what records are required. Military star card Accountable Plans To be an accountable plan, your employer's reimbursement arrangement must require you to meet all three of the following rules. Military star card Your expenses must have a business connection – that is, you must have paid or incurred deductible expenses while performing services as an employee of your employer. Military star card Two examples of this are the reasonable expenses of moving your possessions from your former home to your new home, and traveling from your former home to your new home. Military star card You must adequately account to your employer for these expenses within a reasonable period of time. Military star card You must return any excess reimbursement or allowance within a reasonable period of time. Military star card Adequate accounting. Military star card   You adequately account for your moving expenses by giving your employer documentation of those expenses, such as a statement of expense, an account book, a diary, or a similar record in which you entered each expense at or near the time you had it. Military star card Documentation includes receipts, canceled checks, and bills. Military star card Reasonable period of time. Military star card   What constitutes a “reasonable period of time” depends on the facts and circumstances of your situation. Military star card However, regardless of the facts and circumstances, actions that take place within the times specified in the following list will be treated as taking place within a reasonable period of time. Military star card You receive an advance within 30 days of the time you have an expense. Military star card You adequately account for your expenses within 60 days after they were paid or incurred. Military star card You return any excess reimbursement within 120 days after the expense was paid or incurred. Military star card You are given a periodic statement (at least quarterly) that asks you to either return or adequately account for outstanding advances and you comply within 120 days of the statement. Military star card Excess reimbursement. Military star card   This includes any amount you are paid (including advances and allowances) that is more than the moving expenses that you adequately accounted for to your employer within a reasonable period of time. Military star card Returning excess reimbursements. Military star card   You must be required to return any excess reimbursement for your moving expenses to the person paying the reimbursement. Military star card Excess reimbursement includes any amount for which you did not adequately account within a reasonable period of time. Military star card For example, if you received an advance and you did not spend all the money on deductible moving expenses, or you do not have proof of all your expenses, you have an excess reimbursement. Military star card You meet accountable plan rules. Military star card   If for all reimbursements you meet the three rules for an accountable plan (listed earlier), your employer should not include any reimbursements of expenses in your income in box 1 of your Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Military star card Instead, your employer should include the reimbursements in box 12 of your Form W-2. Military star card Example. Military star card You lived in Boston and accepted a job in Atlanta. Military star card Under an accountable plan, your employer reimbursed you for your actual traveling expenses from Boston to Atlanta and the cost of moving your furniture to Atlanta. Military star card Your employer will include the reimbursement on your Form W-2, box 12, with Code P. Military star card If your moving expenses are more than your reimbursement, you may be able to deduct your additional expenses (see How and When To Report, later). Military star card You do not meet accountable plan rules. Military star card   You may be reimbursed by your employer, but you may not meet all three rules for part of your expenses. Military star card   If your deductible expenses are reimbursed under an otherwise accountable plan but you do not return, within a reasonable period, any reimbursement of expenses for which you did not adequately account, then only the amount for which you did adequately account is considered as paid under an accountable plan. Military star card The remaining expenses are treated as having been reimbursed under a nonaccountable plan (discussed below). Military star card Reimbursement of nondeductible expenses. Military star card   You may be reimbursed by your employer for moving expenses, some of which are deductible expenses and some of which are not deductible. Military star card The reimbursements you receive for the nondeductible expenses and any allowances for miscellaneous or unspecified expenses are treated as paid under a nonaccountable plan (see below) and are included in your income. Military star card If you are reimbursed by your employer for the taxes you must pay (including social security and Medicare taxes) because you have received taxable moving expense reimbursements, you must pay tax on this reimbursement as well, and it is treated as paid under a nonaccountable plan. Military star card Nonaccountable Plans A nonaccountable plan is a reimbursement arrangement that does not meet the three rules listed earlier under Accountable Plans. Military star card In addition, the following payments will be treated as paid under a nonaccountable plan. Military star card Excess reimbursements you fail to return to your employer. Military star card Reimbursements of nondeductible expenses. Military star card See Reimbursement of nondeductible expenses, earlier. Military star card If an arrangement pays for your moving expenses by reducing your wages, salary, or other pay, the amount of the reduction will be treated as a payment made under a nonaccountable plan. Military star card This is because you are entitled to receive the full amount of your pay regardless of whether you had any moving expenses. Military star card If you are not sure if the moving expense reimbursement arrangement is an accountable or nonaccountable plan, ask your employer. Military star card Your employer will add the amount of any reimbursement paid to you under a nonaccountable plan to your wages, salary, or other pay. Military star card Your employer will report the total in box 1 of your Form W-2. Military star card Example. Military star card To get you to work in another city, your new employer reimburses you under an accountable plan for the $7,500 loss on the sale of your home. Military star card Because this is a reimbursement of a nondeductible expense, it is treated as paid under a nonaccountable plan and must be included as income in box 1 of your Form W-2. Military star card Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 Do not include in income any moving expense payment you received under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. Military star card These payments are made to persons displaced from their homes, businesses, or farms by federal projects. Military star card Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax Your employer must withhold income, social security, and Medicare taxes from reimbursements and allowances paid to you that are included in your income. Military star card See Reimbursements included in income, later. Military star card Reimbursements excluded from income. Military star card   Your employer should not include in your wages reimbursements paid under an accountable plan (explained earlier) for moving expenses that you: Could deduct if you had paid or incurred them, and Did not deduct in an earlier year. Military star card These reimbursements are fringe benefits excludable from your income as qualified moving expense reimbursements. Military star card Your employer should report these reimbursements on your Form W-2, box 12, with Code P. Military star card    You cannot claim a moving expense deduction for expenses covered by reimbursements excluded from income (see Accountable Plans under Types of Reimbursement Plans, earlier). Military star card Expenses deducted in earlier year. Military star card   If you receive a reimbursement this year for moving expenses deducted in an earlier year, and the reimbursement is not included as wages in box 1 of your Form W-2, you must include the reimbursement in income on Form 1040, line 21. Military star card Your employer should show the amount of your reimbursement in box 12 of your Form W-2. Military star card Reimbursements included in income. Military star card   Your employer must include in your income any reimbursements made (or treated as made) under a nonaccountable plan, even though they are for deductible moving expenses. Military star card See Nonaccountable Plans under Types of Reimbursement Plans, earlier. Military star card Your employer also must include in your gross income as wages any reimbursements of, or payments for, nondeductible moving expenses. Military star card This includes amounts your employer reimbursed you under an accountable plan (explained earlier) for meals, househunting trips, and real estate expenses. Military star card It also includes reimbursements that exceed your deductible expenses and that you do not return to your employer. Military star card Reimbursement for deductible and nondeductible expenses. Military star card    If your employer reimburses you for both deductible and nondeductible moving expenses, your employer must determine the amount of the reimbursement that is not taxable and not subject to withholding. Military star card Your employer must treat any remaining amount as taxable wages and withhold income, social security, and Medicare taxes. Military star card Amount of income tax withheld. Military star card   If the reimbursements or allowances you receive are taxable, the amount of income tax your employer will withhold depends on several factors. Military star card It depends in part on whether income tax is withheld from your regular wages, on whether the reimbursements and allowances are added to your regular wages, and on any information you have given to your employer on Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. Military star card   Your employer can treat your reimbursements as supplemental wages and not include the reimbursements and allowances in your regular wages. Military star card The employer can withhold income tax on supplemental wages at a flat rate which may be different from your regular tax rate. Military star card Estimated tax. Military star card    If you must make estimated tax payments, you need to take into account any taxable reimbursements and deductible moving expenses in figuring your estimated tax. Military star card For details about estimated taxes, see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Military star card How and When To Report This section explains how and when to report your moving expenses and any reimbursements or allowances you received for your move. Military star card For a quick overview, see Table 2, later. Military star card Form 3903 Use Form 3903 to figure your moving expense deduction. Military star card Use a separate Form 3903 for each move for which you are deducting expenses. Military star card Do not file Form 3903 if all of the following apply. Military star card You moved to a location outside the United States in an earlier year. Military star card You are claiming only storage fees while you were away from the United States. Military star card Any amount your employer paid for the storage fees is included as wages in box 1 of your Form W-2. Military star card Instead, enter the storage fees (after the reduction for the part that is allocable to excluded income) on Form 1040, line 26, and enter “Storage” on the dotted line next to the amount. Military star card If you meet the special rules for members of the Armed Forces, see How to complete Form 3903 for members of the Armed Forces under Members of the Armed Forces, later. Military star card Completing Form 3903. Military star card   Complete Worksheet 1, earlier, or the Distance Test Worksheet in the instructions for Form 3903 to see whether you meet the distance test. Military star card If so, complete lines 1 through 3 of the form using your actual expenses (except, if you use your own car, you can figure expenses based on the standard mileage rate, instead of actual amounts for gas and oil). Military star card Enter on line 4 the total amount of your moving expense reimbursement that was excluded from your wages. Military star card This excluded amount should be identified on Form W-2, box 12, with code P. Military star card Expenses greater than reimbursement. Military star card   If line 3 is more than line 4, subtract line 4 from line 3 and enter the result on line 5 and on Form 1040, line 26. Military star card This is your moving expense deduction. Military star card Expenses equal to or less than reimbursement. Military star card    If line 3 is equal to or less than line 4, you have no moving expense deduction. Military star card Subtract line 3 from line 4 and, if the result is more than zero, include it as income on Form 1040, line 7. Military star card Table 2. Military star card Reporting Your Moving Expenses and Reimbursements IF your Form W-2 shows. Military star card . Military star card . Military star card AND you have. Military star card . Military star card . Military star card THEN. Military star card . Military star card . Military star card your reimbursement reported only  in box 12 with code P moving expenses greater than the  amount in box 12 file Form 3903 showing all allowable  expenses* and reimbursements. Military star card your reimbursement reported only  in box 12 with code P moving expenses equal to the amount  in box 12 do not file Form 3903. Military star card your reimbursement divided  between box 12 and box 1 moving expenses greater than the  amount in box 12 file Form 3903 showing all allowable  expenses,* but only the  reimbursements reported in box 12 of  Form W-2. Military star card your entire reimbursement reported  as wages in box 1 moving expenses file Form 3903 showing all allowable  expenses,* but do not show any  reimbursements. Military star card no reimbursement moving expenses file Form 3903 showing all allowable  expenses. Military star card * * See Deductible Moving Expenses, earlier, for allowable expenses. Military star card    Where to deduct. Military star card   Deduct your moving expenses on Form 1040, line 26. Military star card The amount of moving expenses you can deduct is shown on Form 3903, line 5. Military star card    You cannot deduct moving expenses on Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A. Military star card   When To Deduct Expenses You may have a choice of when to deduct your moving expenses. Military star card Expenses not reimbursed. Military star card   If you were not reimbursed, deduct your moving expenses in the year you paid or incurred the expenses. Military star card Example. Military star card In December 2012, your employer transferred you to another city in the United States, where you still work. Military star card You are single and were not reimbursed for your moving expenses. Military star card In 2012, you paid for moving your furniture and deducted these expenses on your 2012 tax return. Military star card In January 2013, you paid for travel to the new city. Military star card You can deduct these additional expenses on your 2013 tax return. Military star card Expenses reimbursed. Military star card   If you are reimbursed for your expenses and you use the cash method of accounting, you can deduct your expenses either in the year you paid them or in the year you received the reimbursement. Military star card If you use the cash method of accounting, you can choose to deduct the expenses in the year you are reimbursed even though you paid the expenses in a different year. Military star card See Choosing when to deduct, next. Military star card   If you deduct your expenses and you receive the reimbursement in a later year, you must include the reimbursement in your income on Form 1040, line 21. Military star card Choosing when to deduct. Military star card   If you use the cash method of accounting, which is used by most individuals, you can choose to deduct moving expenses in the year your employer reimburses you if: You paid the expenses in a year before the year of reimbursement, or You paid the expenses in the year immediately after the year of reimbursement but by the due date, including extensions, for filing your return for the reimbursement year. Military star card How to make the choice. Military star card   You choose to deduct moving expenses in the year you received reimbursement by taking the deduction on your return, or amended return, for that year. Military star card    You cannot deduct any moving expenses for which you received a reimbursement that was not included in your income. Military star card Illustrated Example Tom and Peggy Smith are married and have two children. Military star card They owned a home in Detroit where Tom worked. Military star card On February 8, 2013, Tom's employer told him that he would be transferred to San Diego as of April 10 that year. Military star card Peggy flew to San Diego on March 1 to look for a new home. Military star card She put a down payment of $25,000 on a house being built and returned to Detroit on March 4. Military star card The Smiths sold their Detroit home for $1,500 less than they paid for it. Military star card They contracted to have their personal effects moved to San Diego on April 3. Military star card The family drove to San Diego where they found that their new home was not finished. Military star card They stayed in a nearby motel until the house was ready on May 1. Military star card On April 10, Tom went to work in the San Diego plant where he still works. Military star card Their records for the move show: 1) Peggy's pre-move househunting  trip:       Travel and lodging   $ 449       Meals   75   $ 524 2) Down payment on San Diego  home 25,000 3) Real estate commission paid on  sale of Detroit home 3,500 4) Loss on sale of Detroit home (not  including real estate commission) 1,500 5) Amount paid for moving personal  effects (furniture, other household  goods, etc. Military star card ) 8,000 6) Expenses of driving to San Diego:       Mileage (Start 14,278;  End 16,478) 2,200 miles at 24 cents a mile   $ 528       Lodging   180       Meals   320   1,028 7) Cost of temporary living  expenses in San Diego:       Motel rooms   $1,450       Meals   2,280   3,730 Total $43,282   Tom was reimbursed $10,907 under an accountable plan. Military star card His employer gave him the following breakdown of the reimbursement that was allowed under the employer's plan. Military star card Moving personal effects   $6,800 Travel (and lodging) to San Diego   708 Travel (and lodging) for househunting trip   449 Lodging for temporary quarters   1,450 Loss on sale of home   1,500 Total reimbursement   $10,907 The employer included this reimbursement on Tom's Form W-2 for the year. Military star card The reimbursement of allowable expenses, $7,508 for moving household goods and travel to San Diego, was included in box 12 of Form W-2. Military star card His employer identified this amount with code P. Military star card The employer included the balance, $3,399 reimbursement of nonallowable expenses, in box 1 of Form W-2 with Tom's other wages. Military star card Tom must include this amount on Form 1040, line 7. Military star card The employer withholds taxes from the $3,399, as discussed under Reimbursement for deductible and nondeductible expenses under Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, earlier. Military star card Also, Tom's employer could have given him a separate Form W-2 for his moving expense reimbursement. Military star card To figure his tax deduction for moving expenses, Tom enters the following amounts on Form 3903. Military star card Item 5 — moving personal effects (line 1)   $8,000 Item 6 — driving to San Diego ($528 + $180)  (line 2)   708 Total tax deductible moving expenses (line 3)   $8,708 Minus: Reimbursement included in box 12  of Form W-2 (line 4)   7,508 Tax deduction for moving expenses (line 5)   $1,200   Tom's Form 3903 is shown, later. Military star card He also enters his deduction, $1,200, on Form 1040, line 26. Military star card Nondeductible expenses. Military star card   Of the $43,282 expenses that Tom and Peggy incurred, the following items totaling $34,574 ($43,282 – $8,708) cannot be deducted. Military star card Item 1 — pre-move househunting expenses of $524. Military star card Item 2 — the $25,000 down payment on the San Diego home. Military star card If any part of it were for payment of deductible taxes or interest on the mortgage on the house, that part would be deductible as an itemized deduction. Military star card Item 3 — the $3,500 real estate commission paid on the sale of the Detroit home. Military star card The commission is used to figure the gain or loss on the sale. Military star card Item 4 — the $1,500 loss on the sale of the Detroit home. Military star card Item 6 — the $320 expense for meals while driving to San Diego. Military star card (However, the lodging and car expenses are deductible. Military star card ) Item 7 — temporary living expenses of $3,730. Military star card    This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. Military star card Please click the link to view the image. Military star card 2012 Form 3903 Moving Expenses Members of the Armed Forces If you are a member of the Armed Forces on active duty and you move because of a permanent change of station, you do not have to meet the distance and time tests, discussed earlier. Military star card You can deduct your unreimbursed moving expenses. Military star card A permanent change of station includes: A move from your home to your first post of active duty, A move from one permanent post of duty to another, and A move from your last post of duty to your home or to a nearer point in the United States. Military star card The move must occur within one year of ending your active duty or within the period allowed under the Joint Travel Regulations. Military star card Spouse and dependents. Military star card   If a member of the Armed Forces dies, is imprisoned, or deserts, a permanent change of station for the spouse or dependent includes a move to: The place of enlistment, The member's, spouse's, or dependent's home of record, or A nearer point in the United States. Military star card   If the military moves you, your spouse, and dependents, to or from separate locations, the moves are treated as a single move to your new main job location. Military star card Services or reimbursements provided by government. Military star card   Do not include in income the value of moving and storage services provided by the government because of a permanent change of station. Military star card In general, if the total reimbursements or allowances you receive from the government because of the move are more than your actual moving expenses, the government must include the excess in your wages on Form W-2. Military star card However, the excess portion of a dislocation allowance, a temporary lodging allowance, a temporary lodging expense, or a move-in housing allowance is not included in income and should not be included in box 1 of Form W-2. Military star card   If your reimbursements or allowances are less than your actual moving expenses, do not include the reimbursements or allowances in income. Military star card You can deduct the expenses that are more than your reimbursements. Military star card See Deductible Moving Expenses, earlier. Military star card How to complete Form 3903 for members of the Armed Forces. Military star card    Take the following steps. Military star card Complete lines 1 through 3 of the form, using your actual expenses. Military star card Do not include any expenses for moving services provided by the government. Military star card Also, do not include any expenses that were reimbursed by an allowance you do not have to include in your income. Military star card Enter on line 4 the total reimbursements and allowances you received from the government for the expenses claimed on lines 1 and 2. Military star card Do not include the value of moving or storage services provided by the government. Military star card Also, do not include any part of a dislocation allowance, a temporary lodging allowance, a temporary lodging expense, or a move-in housing allowance. Military star card Complete line 5. Military star card If line 3 is more than line 4, subtract line 4 from line 3 and enter the result on line 5 and on Form 1040, line 26. Military star card This is your moving expense deduction. Military star card If line 3 is equal to or less than line 4, you do not have a moving expense deduction. Military star card Subtract line 3 from line 4 and, if the result is more than zero, enter it on Form 1040, line 7. Military star card If the military moves you, your spouse and dependents, to or from different locations, treat these moves as a single move. Military star card    Do not deduct any expenses for moving or storage services provided by the government. Military star card How To Get Tax Help Go online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an office near you. Military star card Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or picking up a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it. Military star card Free help with your tax return. Military star card   Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. Military star card The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low-to-moderate income, elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. Military star card The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. Military star card Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Military star card Some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their return with the assistance of an IRS-certified volunteer. Military star card To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, visit IRS. Military star card gov or call 1-800-906-9887. Military star card   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. Military star card To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. Military star card aarp. Military star card org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. Military star card   For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Military star card gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. Military star card Internet. Military star card IRS. Military star card gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are — every day, every night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Military star card Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Military star card Go to IRS. Military star card gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. Military star card Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. Military star card gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. Military star card Check the status of your 2013 refund with Where's My Refund? Go to IRS. Military star card gov or the IRS2Go app, and click on Where's My Refund? You'll get a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Military star card If you e-file, your refund status is usually available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Military star card Check the status of your amended return. Military star card Go to IRS. Military star card gov and enter Where's My Amended Return in the search box. Military star card Download forms, instructions, and publications, including some accessible versions. Military star card Order free transcripts of your tax returns or tax account using the Order a Transcript tool on IRS. Military star card gov or IRS2Go. Military star card Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and past three years. Military star card Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. Military star card gov. Military star card Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. Military star card Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. Military star card gov. Military star card Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center using the Office Locator tool on IRS. Military star card gov or IRS2Go. Military star card Stop by most business days for face-to-face tax help, no appointment necessary — just walk in. Military star card An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. Military star card Before you visit, check the Office Locator for the address, phone number, hours of operation and the services provided. Military star card If you have an ongoing tax account problem or a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. Military star card Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. Military star card Locate the nearest volunteer help site with the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. Military star card gov. Military star card Low-to-moderate income, elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Military star card The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers 60 and older with their tax returns. Military star card Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and some provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Military star card AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program as part of the TCE program. Military star card Visit AARP's website to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. Military star card Research your tax questions. Military star card Search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. Military star card Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. Military star card Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. Military star card Sign up to receive local and national tax news by email. Military star card Phone. Military star card You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. Military star card Download the free IRS2Go mobile app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. Military star card Use it to watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, check your refund status, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. Military star card Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887. Military star card Low-to-moderate income, elderly, persons with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Military star card The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers 60 and older with their tax returns. Military star card Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. Military star card Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. Military star card Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. Military star card Call to check the status of your 2013 refund, 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477. Military star card The automated Where's My Refund? information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Military star card If you e-file, your refund status is usually available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. Military star card Before you call, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can provide your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. Military star card Where's My Refund? can give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Military star card Where's My Refund? includes information for the most recent return filed in the current year and does not include information about amended returns. Military star card Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. Military star card Call to order forms, instructions and publications, 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions and publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). Military star card You should receive your order within 10 business days. Military star card Call to order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, 1-800-908-9946. Military star card Follow the prompts to provide your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. Military star card Call for TeleTax topics, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering various tax topics. Military star card Call to ask tax questions, 1-800-829-1040. Military star card Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. Military star card The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. Military star card These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service available at www. Military star card gsa. Military star card gov/fedrelay. Military star card Walk-in. Military star card You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person, face-to-face. Military star card Products. Military star card You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. Military star card Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. Military star card Services. Military star card You can walk in to your local TAC most business days for personal, face-to-face tax help. Military star card An employee can explain IRS letters, request adjustments to your tax account, or help you set up a payment plan. Military star card If you need to resolve a tax problem, have questions about how the tax law applies to your individual tax return, or you are more comfortable talking with someone in person, visit your local TAC where you can talk with an IRS representative face-to-face. Military star card No appointment is necessary—just walk in. Military star card Before visiting, check www. Military star card irs. Military star card gov/localcontacts for hours of operation and services provided. Military star card Mail. Military star card You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. Military star card You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. Military star card  Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. Military star card Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. Military star card   The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. Military star card Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. Military star card What can TAS do for you?   We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. Military star card We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. Military star card You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. Military star card You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. Military star card   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. Military star card Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. Military star card Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. Military star card Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. Military star card We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Military star card How can you reach us?   If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at www. Military star card irs. Military star card gov/advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. Military star card How else does TAS help taxpayers?   TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. Military star card If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System at www. Military star card irs. Military star card gov/sams. Military star card Low Income Taxpayer Clinics. Military star card   Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. Military star card Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Military star card Visit www. Military star card TaxpayerAdvocate. Military star card irs. Military star card gov or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. Military star card Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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The Military Star Card

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