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Whenever You Take Your Car in for Repairs:

  • Choose a reliable repair shop. Family, friends or an independent consumer rating organization should be able to help you. Look for shops that display various certifications that are current. You should also check out the shop's record with your local consumer protection office or Better Business Bureau.
  • Describe the symptoms. Don't try to diagnose the problem.
  • Make it clear that work cannot begin until you have a written estimate and you give your okay. . Never sign a blank repair order. If the problem can't be diagnosed on the spot, insist that the shop contact you for authorization once the trouble has been found.
  • Ask the shop to keep the old parts for you.
  • If a repair is covered under warranty, follow the warranty instructions..
  • Get all repair warranties in writing.
  • Keep copies of all paperwork.

Some states, cities and counties have special laws that deal with auto repairs. For information on the laws in your state, contact your state or local consumer protection office. In addition, the FTC provides a complete consumer guide to auto repair.

The Do State Taxes

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