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

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The 1040ez Help

1040ez help Index A Adjusted basis defined, Adjusted basis defined. 1040ez help Administrative or management activities, Administrative or management activities. 1040ez help Assistance (see Tax help) Attorneys, Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers B Business expenses not for use of home, Business expenses not for use of your home. 1040ez help Business furniture and equipment, Business Furniture and Equipment Business percentage, Business Percentage Business use of the home requirements (see Qualifying for a deduction) C Carryover of expenses, Carryover of unallowed expenses. 1040ez help Casualty losses, Casualty losses. 1040ez help Child and Adult Care Food Program reimbursements, Meals. 1040ez help Computer Listed property, Listed Property D Daycare facilities, Daycare Facility, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help (see also Family daycare providers) Eligible children for standard meal and snack rates, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Exceptions for regular use requirement, Daycare Facility Family daycare, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Family daycare provider, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Meals, Meals. 1040ez help , Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Regular use, Daycare Facility Standard meal and snack rates, Meals. 1040ez help , Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Deduction limit, Deduction Limit Deduction requirements Employee use, Additional tests for employee use. 1040ez help Exceptions to exclusive use, Exceptions to Exclusive Use Exclusive use, Exclusive Use More than one trade or business, More Than One Trade or Business Place to meet clients, Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers Principal place of business, Principal Place of Business Regular use, Regular Use Separate structure, Separate Structure Storage of inventory or product samples, Storage of inventory or product samples. 1040ez help Trade or business use, Trade or Business Use Deductions Figuring, Figuring the Deduction, Part 2—Figure Your Allowable Deduction Limit, Deduction Limit Part-year use, Part-year use. 1040ez help Qualifying for, Qualifying for a Deduction, Separate Structure Rental to employer, Rental to employer. 1040ez help Unreimbursed partnership expenses, Deducting unreimbursed partnership expenses. 1040ez help Using Actual Expenses, Using Actual Expenses Dentists, Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers Depreciation, Property Bought for Business Use 5-year property, Depreciation 7-year property, Depreciation Adjusted basis, Adjusted basis defined. 1040ez help Fair market value, Fair market value defined. 1040ez help Figuring depreciation for the current year, Figuring the depreciation deduction for the current year. 1040ez help Furniture and equipment, Business Furniture and Equipment, Depreciation Home, Depreciating Your Home Nonresidential real property, Figuring the depreciation deduction for the current year. 1040ez help Percentage table for 39-year nonresidential real property, Depreciation table. 1040ez help Permanent improvements, Permanent improvements. 1040ez help , Depreciating permanent improvements. 1040ez help Depreciation of home, Depreciating Your Home Basis adjustment, Basis Adjustment MACRS (Table 2), Depreciation table. 1040ez help Property bought for business use, Depreciation Sale or exchange of home, Depreciation Doctors, Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers E Employee use of home, Additional tests for employee use. 1040ez help Employees Adequately accounting to employer, Adequately accounting to employer. 1040ez help Casualty losses, Casualty losses. 1040ez help Mortgage interest, Deductible mortgage interest. 1040ez help Other expenses, Other expenses. 1040ez help Real estate taxes, Real estate taxes. 1040ez help Exclusive use, Exclusive Use Expenses Casualty losses, Casualty losses. 1040ez help Direct, Actual Expenses Indirect, Actual Expenses Insurance, Insurance. 1040ez help Mortgage interest, Deductible mortgage interest. 1040ez help , Qualified mortgage insurance premiums. 1040ez help Real estate taxes, Real estate taxes. 1040ez help Related to tax-exempt income, Expenses related to tax-exempt income. 1040ez help Rent, Rent. 1040ez help Repairs, Repairs. 1040ez help Security system, Security system. 1040ez help Telephone, Telephone. 1040ez help Types of, Actual Expenses Unrelated, Actual Expenses Utilities and services, Utilities and services. 1040ez help Where to deduct, Where To Deduct F Fair market value, Fair market value defined. 1040ez help Family daycare providers Meal and snack log (Exhibit A), Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Standard meal and snack rates, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Standard meal and snack rates (Table 3), Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Figuring the deduction Business percentage, Business Percentage Deduction limit, Deduction Limit Form, Useful Items - You may want to see:, Self-Employed Persons, Real estate taxes. 1040ez help 1040, Schedule F, Casualty losses. 1040ez help 2106, Employees 4562, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 1040ez help 4684, Casualty losses. 1040ez help 8829, Actual Expenses, Casualty losses. 1040ez help , Business Percentage, Daycare Facility W-2 Reimbursed expenses, Employees Free tax services, Free help with your tax return. 1040ez help Furniture and equipment, Business Furniture and Equipment H Help (see Tax help) Home Business percentage, Business Percentage Depreciation, Depreciating Your Home Sale of, Sale or Exchange of Your Home Home expenses, Can you deduct business use of, Figure A, , Principal Place of Business I Improvements (see Permanent improvements) Insurance, Insurance. 1040ez help Inventory, storage of, Storage of inventory or product samples. 1040ez help L Listed property Computers, Listed Property Defined, Listed Property Employee requirements, Employee. 1040ez help Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 1040ez help Years following the year placed in service, Years following the year placed in service. 1040ez help M MACRS percentage table 39-year nonresidential real property, Depreciation table. 1040ez help Meals, Meals. 1040ez help Meeting with patients, clients, or customers on premises, Place To Meet Patients, Clients, or Customers More than one place of business, More than one place of business. 1040ez help More than one trade or business, More Than One Trade or Business More-than-50%-use test, More-than-50%-use test. 1040ez help Mortgage interest, Deductible mortgage interest. 1040ez help , Qualified mortgage insurance premiums. 1040ez help P Partners, Partners Partnership expenses, unreimbursed, Deducting unreimbursed partnership expenses. 1040ez help Permanent improvements, Permanent improvements. 1040ez help , Depreciating permanent improvements. 1040ez help Personal property converted to business use, Personal Property Converted to Business Use Place of business, more than one, More than one place of business. 1040ez help Principal place of business, Principal Place of Business Product samples, Storage of inventory or product samples. 1040ez help Property bought for business use Depreciation, Depreciation Section 179 deduction, Property Bought for Business Use, Section 179 Deduction Property converted to business use, Personal, Personal Property Converted to Business Use Publications, Useful Items - You may want to see: (see Tax help) Q Qualifying for a deduction, Qualifying for a Deduction R Real estate taxes, Real estate taxes. 1040ez help Recordkeeping, Recordkeeping Recordkeeping requirements Business furniture and equipment, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 1040ez help Family daycare provider meal and snack log (Exhibit A), Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Regular use, Regular Use Reminders, Reminders Rent, Rent. 1040ez help Repairs, Repairs. 1040ez help Reporting requirements Business furniture and equipment, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 1040ez help S Sale or exchange of your home, Sale or Exchange of Your Home Basis adjustment, Basis Adjustment Depreciation taken, Depreciation Ownership and use tests, Ownership and use tests. 1040ez help Section 179, Section 179 Deduction Furniture and equipment, Business Furniture and Equipment, Listed Property Listed property, Business Furniture and Equipment, Listed Property Personal property converted to business use, Personal Property Converted to Business Use Property bought for business use, Property Bought for Business Use Security system, Security system. 1040ez help Self-employed persons Deduction of expenses, Self-Employed Persons Separate structure, Separate Structure Simplified Method Actual expenses and depreciation of your home, Actual expenses and depreciation of your home. 1040ez help Allowable area, Allowable area. 1040ez help Business expenses not related to use of the home, Business expenses not related to use of the home. 1040ez help Electing the simplified method, Electing the Simplified Method More than one home, More than one home. 1040ez help More than one qualified business use, More than one qualified business use. 1040ez help Shared use, Shared use. 1040ez help Expenses deductible without regard to business use, Expenses deductible without regard to business use. 1040ez help No carryover of unallowed expenses, No deduction of carryover of actual expenses. 1040ez help Simplified amount, Simplified Amount Space used regularly for daycare, Space used regularly for daycare. 1040ez help Using the simplified method, Using the Simplified Method Standard meal and snack rates, Standard meal and snack rates. 1040ez help Storage of inventory, Storage of inventory or product samples. 1040ez help T Tables and figures MACRS Depreciation of home (Table 2), Depreciation table. 1040ez help Qualifying for deduction (Figure A), Standard meal and snack rates (Table 3), Table 3. 1040ez help Standard Meal and Snack Rates1 Types of expenses (Table 1), Actual Expenses Tax help, How To Get Tax Help Telephone, Telephone. 1040ez help Trade or business use, Trade or Business Use TTY/TDD information, How To Get Tax Help Types of expenses, Actual Expenses U Utilities, Utilities and services. 1040ez help W Where to deduct expenses, Where To Deduct Employees, Employees Self-employed, Self-Employed Persons Worksheets Area Adjustment Worksheet (for simplified method), Area Adjustment Worksheet (for simplified method) Worksheets to figure the deduction for business use of your home (simplified method), Worksheets To Figure the Deduction for Business Use of Your Home (Simplified Method) Daycare facility worksheet (for simplified method), Daycare Facility Worksheet (for simplified method) Simplified method worksheet, Simplified Method Worksheet Prev  Up     Home   More Online Publications