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Military Tax Free Zones

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Frequently Asked Questions on Gift Taxes

Below are some of the more common questions and answers about Gift Tax issues. You may also find additional information in Publication 950 or some of the other forms and publications offered on our Forms Page. Included in this area are the instructions to Forms 706 and 709. Within these instructions, you will find the tax rate schedules to the related returns. If the answers to your questions can not be found in these resources, we strongly recommend visiting with a tax practitioner.


Who pays the gift tax?
The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead. Please visit with your tax professional if you are considering this type of arrangement.

What is considered a gift?
Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration (measured in money or money's worth) is not received in return.

What can be excluded from gifts?
The general rule is that any gift is a taxable gift. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. Generally, the following gifts are not taxable gifts.

  1. Gifts that are not more than the annual exclusion for the calendar year.
  2. Tuition or medical expenses you pay for someone (the educational and medical exclusions).
  3. Gifts to your spouse.
  4. Gifts to a political organization for its use.

In addition to this, gifts to qualifying charities are deductible from the value of the gift(s) made.

May I deduct gifts on my income tax return?
Making a gift or leaving your estate to your heirs does not ordinarily affect your federal income tax. You cannot deduct the value of gifts you make (other than gifts that are deductible charitable contributions). If you are not sure whether the gift tax or the estate tax applies to your situation, refer to Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes.

How many annual exclusions are available?
The annual exclusion applies to gifts to each donee. In other words, if you give each of your children $11,000 in 2002-2005, $12,000 in 2006-2008, $13,000 in 2009-2012 and $14,000 on or after January 1, 2013, the annual exclusion applies to each gift.

What if my spouse and I want to give away property that we own together?
You are each entitled to the annual exclusion amount on the gift. Together, you can give $22,000 to each donee (2002-2005) or $24,000 (2006-2008), $26,000 (2009-2012) and $28,000 on or after January 1, 2013.

What other information do I need to include with the return?
Refer to Form 709 (PDF), 709 Instructions and Publication 950. Among other items listed:

  1. Copies of appraisals.
  2. Copies of relevant documents regarding the transfer.
  3. Documentation of any unusual items shown on the return (partially-gifted assets, other items relevant to the transfer(s)).

What is "Fair Market Value?"
Fair Market Value is defined as: "The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts. The fair market value of a particular item of property includible in the decedent's gross estate is not to be determined by a forced sale price. Nor is the fair market value of an item of property to be determined by the sale price of the item in a market other than that in which such item is most commonly sold to the public, taking into account the location of the item wherever appropriate." Regulation §20.2031-1.

Who should I hire to represent me and prepare and file the return?
The Internal Revenue Service cannot make recommendations about specific individuals, but there are several factors to consider:

  1. How complex is the transfer?
  2. How large is the transfer?
  3. Do I need an attorney, CPA, Enrolled Agent (EA) or other professional(s)?

For most simple, small transfers (less than the annual exclusion amount) you may not need the services of a professional.

However, if the transfer is large or complicated or both, then these actions should be considered; It is a good idea to discuss the matter with several attorneys and CPAs or EAs. Ask about how much experience they have had and ask for referrals. This process should be similar to locating a good physician. Locate other individuals that have had similar experiences and ask for recommendations. Finally, after the individual(s) are employed and begin to work on transfer matters, make sure the lines of communication remain open so that there are no surprises.

Finally, people who make gifts as a part of their overall estate and financial plan often engage the services of both attorneys and CPAs, EAs and other professionals. The attorney usually handles wills, trusts and transfer documents that are involved and reviews the impact of documents on the gift tax return and overall plan. The CPA or EA often handles the actual return preparation and some representation of the donor in matters with the IRS. However, some attorneys handle all of the work. CPAs or EAs may also handle most of the work, but cannot take care of wills, trusts, deeds and other matters where a law license is required. In addition, other professionals (such as appraisers, surveyors, financial advisors and others) may need to be engaged during this time

Do I have to talk to the IRS during an examination?
You do not have to be present during an examination unless IRS representatives need to ask specific questions. Although you may represent yourself during an examination, most donors prefer that the professional(s) they have employed handle this phase of the examination. You may delegate authority for this by executing Form 2848 "Power of Attorney."

What if I disagree with the examination proposals?
You have many rights and avenues of appeal if you disagree with any proposals made by the IRS.  See Publications 1 and 5 (PDF) for an explanation of these options.

What if I sell property that has been given to me?
The general rule is that your basis in the property is the same as the basis of the donor. For example, if you were given stock that the donor had purchased for $10 per share (and that was his/her basis), and you later sold it for $100 per share, you would pay income tax on a gain of $90 per share. (Note: The rules are different for property acquired from an estate).

Most information for this page came from the Internal Revenue Code: Chapter 12--Gift Tax (generally Internal Revenue Code §2501 and following, related regulations and other sources)

Can a married same sex donor claim the gift tax marital deduction for a transfer to his or her spouse?
For federal tax purposes, the terms “spouse,” “husband,” and “wife” includes individuals of the same sex who were lawfully married under the laws of a state whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex and who remain married.  Also, the Service will recognize a marriage of individuals of the same sex that was validly created under the laws of the state of celebration even if the married couple resides in a state that does not recognize the validity of same-sex marriages.

However, the terms “spouse,” “husband and wife,” “husband,” and “wife” do not include individuals (whether of the opposite sex or the same sex) who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar formal relationship recognized under state law that is not denominated as a marriage under the laws of that state, and the term “marriage” does not include such formal relationships.

Gifts to your spouse are eligible for the marital deduction.

For further information, including the timeframes regarding filing claims or amended returns, see Revenue Ruling 2013-17.

Revenue Ruling 2013-17, along with updated Frequently Asked Questions for same-sex couples and updated FAQs for registered domestic partners and individuals in civil unions, are available today on IRS.gov. See also Publication 555, Community Property.


If you have suggestions or comments (or suggested FAQs) for the Estate and Gift Tax web site, please contact us: CONTACT ESTATE AND GIFT TAX.  We will not be able to respond to your email, but will consider it when making improvements or additions to this site.

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 20-Feb-2014

The Military Tax Free Zones

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