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Freetaxes com 1. Freetaxes com   Filing Information Table of Contents What's New Reminders Introduction Do I Have To File a Return?Individuals—In General Dependents Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students Self-Employed Persons Aliens Who Should File Which Form Should I Use?Form 1040EZ Form 1040A Form 1040 Does My Return Have To Be on Paper?IRS e-file When Do I Have To File?Private delivery services. Freetaxes com Extensions of Time To File How Do I Prepare My Return?When Do I Report My Income and Expenses? Social Security Number (SSN) Presidential Election Campaign Fund Computations Attachments Third Party Designee Signatures Paid Preparer Refunds Amount You Owe Gift To Reduce Debt Held by the Public Name and Address Where Do I File? What Happens After I File?What Records Should I Keep? Why Keep Records? Kinds of Records to Keep Basic Records How Long to Keep Records Refund Information Interest on Refunds Change of Address What If I Made a Mistake?Amended Returns and Claims for Refund Penalties Identity Theft What's New Filing status for same-sex married couple. Freetaxes com   If you have a same-sex spouse whom you legally married in a state (or foreign country) that recognizes same-sex marriage, you and your spouse generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status on your 2013 return, even if you and your spouse now live in a state (or foreign country) that does not recognize same-sex marriage. Freetaxes com See Publication 501 for more information. Freetaxes com Additional Medicare Tax. Freetaxes com  Beginning in 2013, a 0. Freetaxes com 9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to Medicare wages, Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income over a threshold amount based on your filing status. Freetaxes com For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040, line 60, and Form 8959. Freetaxes com Net Investment Income Tax. Freetaxes com  Beginning in 2013, you may be subject to Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT). Freetaxes com NIIT is a 3. Freetaxes com 8% tax on the lesser of net investment income or the excess of your modified adjusted gross income over a threshold amount. Freetaxes com For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040, line 60, and Form 8960. Freetaxes com Refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. Freetaxes com  The refundable portion of the credit for prior year minimum tax is no longer available. Freetaxes com Who must file. Freetaxes com  Generally, the amount of income you can receive before you must file a return has been increased. Freetaxes com See Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3 for the specific amounts. Freetaxes com Reminders File online. Freetaxes com  Rather than filing a return on paper, you may be able to file electronically using IRS e-file. Freetaxes com Create your own personal identification number (PIN) and file a completely paperless tax return. Freetaxes com For more information, see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , later. Freetaxes com Change of address. Freetaxes com  If you change your address, you should notify the IRS. Freetaxes com You can use Form 8822 to notify the IRS of the change. Freetaxes com See Change of Address , later, under What Happens After I File. Freetaxes com Enter your social security number. Freetaxes com  You must enter your social security number (SSN) in the spaces provided on your tax return. Freetaxes com If you file a joint return, enter the SSNs in the same order as the names. Freetaxes com Direct deposit of refund. Freetaxes com  Instead of getting a paper check, you may be able to have your refund deposited directly into your account at a bank or other financial institution. Freetaxes com See Direct Deposit under Refunds, later. Freetaxes com If you choose direct deposit of your refund, you may be able to split the refund among two or three accounts. Freetaxes com Pay online or by phone. Freetaxes com  If you owe additional tax, you may be able to pay online or by phone. Freetaxes com See How To Pay , later. Freetaxes com Installment agreement. Freetaxes com  If you cannot pay the full amount due with your return, you may ask to make monthly installment payments. Freetaxes com See Installment Agreement , later, under Amount You Owe. Freetaxes com You may be able to apply online for a payment agreement if you owe federal tax, interest, and penalties. Freetaxes com Automatic 6-month extension. Freetaxes com  You can get an automatic 6-month extension to file your tax return if, no later than the date your return is due, you file Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Individual Income Tax Return. Freetaxes com See Automatic Extension , later. Freetaxes com Service in combat zone. Freetaxes com  You are allowed extra time to take care of your tax matters if you are a member of the Armed Forces who served in a combat zone, or if you served in the combat zone in support of the Armed Forces. Freetaxes com See Individuals Serving in Combat Zone , later, under When Do I Have To File. Freetaxes com Adoption taxpayer identification number. Freetaxes com  If a child has been placed in your home for purposes of legal adoption and you will not be able to get a social security number for the child in time to file your return, you may be able to get an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). Freetaxes com For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN) , later. Freetaxes com Taxpayer identification number for aliens. Freetaxes com  If you or your dependent is a nonresident or resident alien who does not have and is not eligible to get a social security number, file Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, with the IRS. Freetaxes com For more information, see Social Security Number (SSN) , later. Freetaxes com Frivolous tax submissions. Freetaxes com  The IRS has published a list of positions that are identified as frivolous. Freetaxes com The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000. Freetaxes com Also, the $5,000 penalty will apply to other specified frivolous submissions. Freetaxes com For more information, see Civil Penalties , later. Freetaxes com Introduction This chapter discusses the following topics. Freetaxes com Whether you have to file a return. Freetaxes com Which form to use. Freetaxes com How to file electronically. Freetaxes com When, how, and where to file your return. Freetaxes com What happens if you pay too little or too much tax. Freetaxes com What records you should keep and how long you should keep them. Freetaxes com How you can change a return you have already filed. Freetaxes com Do I Have To File a Return? You must file a federal income tax return if you are a citizen or resident of the United States or a resident of Puerto Rico and you meet the filing requirements for any of the following categories that apply to you. Freetaxes com Individuals in general. Freetaxes com (There are special rules for surviving spouses, executors, administrators, legal representatives, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizens and residents living outside the United States, residents of Puerto Rico, and individuals with income from U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com possessions. Freetaxes com ) Dependents. Freetaxes com Certain children under age 19 or full-time students. Freetaxes com Self-employed persons. Freetaxes com Aliens. Freetaxes com The filing requirements for each category are explained in this chapter. Freetaxes com The filing requirements apply even if you do not owe tax. Freetaxes com Even if you do not have to file a return, it may be to your advantage to do so. Freetaxes com See Who Should File, later. Freetaxes com File only one federal income tax return for the year regardless of how many jobs you had, how many Forms W-2 you received, or how many states you lived in during the year. Freetaxes com Do not file more than one original return for the same year, even if you have not gotten your refund or have not heard from the IRS since you filed. Freetaxes com Individuals—In General If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident, whether you must file a return depends on three factors: Your gross income, Your filing status, and Your age. Freetaxes com To find out whether you must file, see Table 1-1, Table 1-2, and Table 1-3. Freetaxes com Even if no table shows that you must file, you may need to file to get money back. Freetaxes com (See Who Should File , later. Freetaxes com ) Gross income. Freetaxes com   This includes all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Freetaxes com It also includes income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude all or part of it). Freetaxes com Include part of your social security benefits if: You were married, filing a separate return, and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013; or 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). Freetaxes com If either (1) or (2) applies, see the instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A, or Publication 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits, to figure the social security benefits you must include in gross income. Freetaxes com   Common types of income are discussed in Part Two of this publication. Freetaxes com Community income. Freetaxes com   If you are married and your permanent home is in a community property state, half of any income described by state law as community income may be considered yours. Freetaxes com This affects your federal taxes, including whether you must file if you do not file a joint return with your spouse. Freetaxes com See Publication 555, Community Property, for more information. Freetaxes com Nevada, Washington, and California domestic partners. Freetaxes com   A registered domestic partner in Nevada, Washington, or California generally must report half the combined community income of the individual and his or her domestic partner. Freetaxes com See Publication 555. Freetaxes com Self-employed individuals. Freetaxes com   If you are self-employed, your gross income includes the amount on line 7 of Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business; line 1 of Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business; and line 9 of Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming. Freetaxes com See Self-Employed Persons , later, for more information about your filing requirements. Freetaxes com    If you do not report all of your self-employment income, your social security benefits may be lower when you retire. Freetaxes com Filing status. Freetaxes com   Your filing status depends on whether you are single or married and on your family situation. Freetaxes com Your filing status is determined on the last day of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. Freetaxes com See chapter 2 for an explanation of each filing status. Freetaxes com Age. Freetaxes com   If you are 65 or older at the end of the year, you generally can have a higher amount of gross income than other taxpayers before you must file. Freetaxes com See Table 1-1. Freetaxes com You are considered 65 on the day before your 65th birthday. Freetaxes com For example, if your 65th birthday is on January 1, 2014, you are considered 65 for 2013. Freetaxes com Table 1-1. Freetaxes com 2013 Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com AND at the end of 2013 you  were. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com * THEN file a return if  your gross income  was at least. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com ** single under 65 $10,000     65 or older $11,500   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   head of household under 65 $12,850     65 or older $14,350   qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100   65 or older $17,300   * If you were born on January 1, 1949, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com ** Gross income means all income you received 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). Freetaxes com Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Freetaxes com If (a) or (b) applies, see the Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A or Publication 915 to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Freetaxes com Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Freetaxes com Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Freetaxes com But, in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Freetaxes com *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. Freetaxes com Surviving Spouses, Executors, Administrators, and Legal Representatives You must file a final return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. Freetaxes com You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. Freetaxes com The decedent met the filing requirements at the date of death. Freetaxes com For more information on rules for filing a decedent's final return, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators. Freetaxes com U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Citizens and Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. Freetaxes com For information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Freetaxes com It is available online and at most U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com embassies and consulates. Freetaxes com See How To Get Tax Help in the back of this publication. Freetaxes com Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. Freetaxes com This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the entire year, your U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com agency. Freetaxes com If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com tax, you must reduce your standard deduction. Freetaxes com As a result, the amount of income you must have before you are required to file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax return is lower than the applicable amount in Table 1-1 or Table 1-2. Freetaxes com For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Possessions. Freetaxes com Individuals With Income From U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com federal income tax return. Freetaxes com In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual island government. Freetaxes com See Publication 570 for more information. Freetaxes com Dependents If you are a dependent (one who meets the dependency tests in chapter 3), see Table 1-2 to find out whether you must file a return. Freetaxes com You also must file if your situation is described in Table 1-3. Freetaxes com Responsibility of parent. Freetaxes com   Generally, a child is responsible for filing his or her own tax return and for paying any tax on the return. Freetaxes com If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, then a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. Freetaxes com If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. Freetaxes com ” Child's earnings. Freetaxes com   Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. Freetaxes com This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. Freetaxes com But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. Freetaxes com Certain Children Under Age 19 or Full-Time Students If a child's only income is interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), the child was under age 19 at the end of 2013 or was a full-time student under age 24 at the end of 2013, and certain other conditions are met, a parent can elect to include the child's income on the parent's return. Freetaxes com If this election is made, the child does not have to file a return. Freetaxes com See Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in chapter 31. Freetaxes com Self-Employed Persons You are self-employed if you: Carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor, Are an independent contractor, Are a member of a partnership, or Are in business for yourself in any other way. Freetaxes com Self-employment can include work in addition to your regular full-time business activities, such as certain part-time work you do at home or in addition to your regular job. Freetaxes com You must file a return if your gross income is at least as much as the filing requirement amount for your filing status and age (shown in Table 1-1). Freetaxes com Also, you must file Form 1040 and Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax, if: Your net earnings from self-employment (excluding church employee income) were $400 or more, or You had church employee income of $108. Freetaxes com 28 or more. Freetaxes com (See Table 1-3. Freetaxes com ) Use Schedule SE (Form 1040) to figure your self-employment tax. Freetaxes com Self-employment tax is comparable to the social security and Medicare tax withheld from an employee's wages. Freetaxes com For more information about this tax, see Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business. Freetaxes com Employees of foreign governments or international organizations. Freetaxes com   If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen who works in the United States for an international organization, a foreign government, or a wholly owned instrumentality of a foreign government, and your employer is not required to withhold social security and Medicare taxes from your wages, you must include your earnings from services performed in the United States when figuring your net earnings from self-employment. Freetaxes com Ministers. Freetaxes com   You must include income from services you performed as a minister when figuring your net earnings from self-employment, unless you have an exemption from self-employment tax. Freetaxes com This also applies to Christian Science practitioners and members of a religious order who have not taken a vow of poverty. Freetaxes com For more information, see Publication 517, Social Security and Other Information for Members of the Clergy and Religious Workers. Freetaxes com Table 1-2. Freetaxes com 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See chapter 3 to find out if someone can claim you as a dependent. Freetaxes com If your parents (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. Freetaxes com (See Table 1-3 for other situations when you must file. Freetaxes com ) In this table, earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, and professional fees. Freetaxes com It also includes taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Freetaxes com (See Scholarships and fellowships in chapter 12. Freetaxes com ) Unearned income includes investment-type income such as taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. Freetaxes com It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, cancellation of debt, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Freetaxes com Gross income is the total of your earned and unearned income. Freetaxes com   Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com     • Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Freetaxes com     • Your earned income was more than $6,100. Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was more than the larger of:       • $1,000, or       • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. Freetaxes com □ Yes. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com     • Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     • Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was more than the larger of:       • $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or       • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com     • Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Freetaxes com     • Your earned income was more than $6,100. Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was more than the larger of:       • $1,000, or       • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. Freetaxes com □ Yes. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com     • Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     • Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Freetaxes com     • Your gross income was more than the larger of:       • $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or       • Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Aliens Your status as an alien—resident, nonresident, or dual-status—determines whether and how you must file an income tax return. Freetaxes com The rules used to determine your alien status are discussed in Publication 519, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Tax Guide for Aliens. Freetaxes com Resident alien. Freetaxes com   If you are a resident alien for the entire year, you must file a tax return following the same rules that apply to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizens. Freetaxes com Use the forms discussed in this publication. Freetaxes com Nonresident alien. Freetaxes com   If you are a nonresident alien, the rules and tax forms that apply to you are different from those that apply to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizens and resident aliens. Freetaxes com See Publication 519 to find out if U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax laws apply to you and which forms you should file. Freetaxes com Dual-status taxpayer. Freetaxes com   If you are a resident alien for part of the tax year and a nonresident alien for the rest of the year, you are a dual-status taxpayer. Freetaxes com Different rules apply for each part of the year. Freetaxes com For information on dual-status taxpayers, see Publication 519. Freetaxes com Table 1-3. Freetaxes com Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return You must file a return if any of the four conditions below apply for 2013. Freetaxes com 1. Freetaxes com   You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. Freetaxes com   a. Freetaxes com Alternative minimum tax. Freetaxes com   b. Freetaxes com Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. Freetaxes com But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. Freetaxes com   c. Freetaxes com Household employment taxes. Freetaxes com But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Schedule H by itself. Freetaxes com   d. Freetaxes com Social security and Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes. Freetaxes com   e. Freetaxes com Recapture of first-time homebuyer credit. Freetaxes com   f. Freetaxes com Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security and Medicare or RRTA tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional taxes on health savings accounts. Freetaxes com   g. Freetaxes com Recapture taxes. Freetaxes com 2. Freetaxes com   You (or your spouse, if filing jointly) received HSA, Archer MSA, or Medicare Advantage MSA distributions. Freetaxes com 3. Freetaxes com   You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. Freetaxes com 4. Freetaxes com   You had wages of $108. Freetaxes com 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. Freetaxes com Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a federal income tax return to get money back if any of the following conditions apply. Freetaxes com You had federal income tax withheld or made estimated tax payments. Freetaxes com You qualify for the earned income credit. Freetaxes com See chapter 36 for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the additional child tax credit. Freetaxes com See chapter 34 for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. Freetaxes com See chapter 37 for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the American opportunity credit. Freetaxes com See chapter 35 for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. Freetaxes com See chapter 37 for more information. Freetaxes com Which Form Should I Use? You must use one of three forms to file your return: Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040. Freetaxes com (But also see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , later. Freetaxes com ) See the discussion under Form 1040 for when you must use that form. Freetaxes com Form 1040EZ Form 1040EZ is the simplest form to use. Freetaxes com You can use Form 1040EZ if all of the following apply. Freetaxes com    Your filing status is single or married filing jointly. Freetaxes com If you were a nonresident alien at any time in 2013, your filing status must be married filing jointly. Freetaxes com You (and your spouse if married filing a joint return) were under age 65 and not blind at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com If you were born on January 1, 1949, you are considered to be age 65 at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com You do not claim any dependents. Freetaxes com Your taxable income is less than $100,000. Freetaxes com Your income is only from wages, salaries, tips, unemployment compensation, Alaska Permanent Fund dividends, taxable scholarship and fellowship grants, and taxable interest of $1,500 or less. Freetaxes com You do not claim any adjustments to income, such as a deduction for IRA contributions or student loan interest. Freetaxes com You do not claim any credits other than the earned income credit. Freetaxes com You do not owe any household employment taxes on wages you paid to a household employee. Freetaxes com If you earned tips, they are included in boxes 5 and 7 of your Form W-2. Freetaxes com You are not a debtor in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005. Freetaxes com   You must meet all of these requirements to use Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com If you do not, you must use Form 1040A or Form 1040. Freetaxes com Figuring tax. Freetaxes com   On Form 1040EZ, you can use only the tax table to figure your income tax. Freetaxes com You cannot use Form 1040EZ to report any other tax. Freetaxes com Form 1040A If you do not qualify to use Form 1040EZ, you may be able to use Form 1040A. Freetaxes com You can use Form 1040A if all of the following apply. Freetaxes com    Your income is only from: Wages, salaries, and tips, Interest, Ordinary dividends (including Alaska Permanent Fund dividends), Capital gain distributions, IRA distributions, Pensions and annuities, Unemployment compensation, Taxable social security and railroad retirement benefits, and Taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Freetaxes com If you receive a capital gain distribution that includes unrecaptured section 1250 gain, section 1202 gain, or collectibles (28%) gain, you cannot use Form 1040A. Freetaxes com You must use Form 1040. Freetaxes com Your taxable income is less than $100,000. Freetaxes com Your adjustments to income are for only the following items. Freetaxes com Educator expenses. Freetaxes com IRA deduction. Freetaxes com Student loan interest deduction. Freetaxes com Tuition and fees. Freetaxes com You do not itemize your deductions. Freetaxes com You claim only the following tax credits. Freetaxes com The credit for child and dependent care expenses. Freetaxes com (See chapter 32. Freetaxes com ) The credit for the elderly or the disabled. Freetaxes com (See chapter 33. Freetaxes com ) The education credits. Freetaxes com (See chapter 35. Freetaxes com ) The retirement savings contribution credit. Freetaxes com (See chapter 37. Freetaxes com ) The child tax credit. Freetaxes com (See chapter 34. Freetaxes com ) The earned income credit. Freetaxes com (See chapter 36. Freetaxes com ) The additional child tax credit. Freetaxes com (See chapter 34. Freetaxes com ) You did not have an alternative minimum tax adjustment on stock you acquired from the exercise of an incentive stock option. Freetaxes com (See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income. Freetaxes com )   You can also use Form 1040A if you received employer-provided dependent care benefits or if you owe tax from the recapture of an education credit or the alternative minimum tax. Freetaxes com   You must meet all these requirements to use Form 1040A. Freetaxes com If you do not, you must use Form 1040. Freetaxes com Form 1040 If you cannot use Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, you must use Form 1040. Freetaxes com You can use Form 1040 to report all types of income, deductions, and credits. Freetaxes com You may pay less tax by filing Form 1040 because you can take itemized deductions, some adjustments to income, and credits you cannot take on Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com You must use Form 1040 if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com    Your taxable income is $100,000 or more. Freetaxes com You itemize your deductions on Schedule A. Freetaxes com You had income that cannot be reported on Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, including tax-exempt interest from private activity bonds issued after August 7, 1986. Freetaxes com You claim any adjustments to gross income other than the adjustments listed earlier under Form 1040A. Freetaxes com Your Form W-2, box 12, shows uncollected employee tax (social security and Medicare tax) on tips (see chapter 6) or group-term life insurance (see chapter 5). Freetaxes com You received $20 or more in tips in any 1 month and did not report all of them to your employer. Freetaxes com (See chapter 6. Freetaxes com ) You were a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico and exclude income from sources in Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com You claim any credits other than the credits listed earlier under Form 1040A. Freetaxes com You owe the excise tax on insider stock compensation from an expatriated corporation. Freetaxes com Your Form W-2 shows an amount in box 12 with a code Z. Freetaxes com You had a qualified health savings account funding distribution from your IRA. Freetaxes com You are an employee and your employer did not withhold social security and Medicare tax. Freetaxes com You have to file other forms with your return to report certain exclusions, taxes, or transactions, such as Form 8959 or Form 8960. Freetaxes com You are a debtor in a bankruptcy case filed after October 16, 2005. Freetaxes com You must repay the first-time homebuyer credit. Freetaxes com You have adjusted gross income of more than $150,000 and must reduce the dollar amount of your exemptions. Freetaxes com Does My Return Have To Be on Paper? You may be able to file a paperless return using IRS e-file (electronic filing). Freetaxes com If your 2013 adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than a certain amount, you are eligible for Free File. Freetaxes com See your tax return instructions for details. Freetaxes com If you do not qualify for Free File, then you should check out IRS. Freetaxes com gov for low-cost e-file options or Free File Fillable Forms. Freetaxes com IRS e-file Table 1-4 lists the benefits of IRS e-file. Freetaxes com IRS e-file uses automation to replace most of the manual steps needed to process paper returns. Freetaxes com As a result, the processing of e-file returns is faster and more accurate than the processing of paper returns. Freetaxes com However, as with a paper return, you are responsible for making sure your return contains accurate information and is filed on time. Freetaxes com Using e-file does not affect your chances of an IRS examination of your return. Freetaxes com Free File Fillable Forms. Freetaxes com   If you do not need the help of a tax preparer, then Free File Fillable Forms may be for you. Freetaxes com These forms: Do not have an income requirement so everyone is eligible, Are easy to use, Perform basic math calculations, Are available only at IRS. Freetaxes com gov, and Apply only to a federal tax return. Freetaxes com Electronic return signatures. Freetaxes com   To file your return electronically, you must sign the return electronically using a personal identification number (PIN). Freetaxes com If you are filing online, you must use a Self-Select PIN. Freetaxes com If you are filing electronically using a tax practitioner, you can use a Self-Select PIN or a Practitioner PIN. Freetaxes com Self-Select PIN. Freetaxes com   The Self-Select PIN method allows you to create your own PIN. Freetaxes com If you are married filing jointly, you and your spouse will each need to create a PIN and enter these PINs as your electronic signatures. Freetaxes com   A PIN is any combination of five digits you choose except five zeros. Freetaxes com If you use a PIN, there is nothing to sign and nothing to mail—not even your Forms W-2. Freetaxes com   To verify your identity, you will be prompted to enter your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your originally filed 2012 federal income tax return, if applicable. Freetaxes com Do not use your AGI from an amended return (Form 1040X) or a math error correction made by the IRS. Freetaxes com AGI is the amount shown on your 2012 Form 1040, line 38; Form 1040A, line 22; or Form 1040EZ, line 4. Freetaxes com If you do not have your 2012 income tax return, you can quickly request a transcript by using our automated self-service tool. Freetaxes com Visit us at IRS. Freetaxes com gov and click on Order a Return or Account Transcript or call 1-800-908-9946 to get a free transcript of your return. Freetaxes com (If you filed electronically last year, you may use your prior year PIN to verify your identity instead of your prior year AGI. Freetaxes com The prior year PIN is the five digit PIN you used to electronically sign your 2012 return. Freetaxes com ) You will also be prompted to enter your date of birth. Freetaxes com Table 1-4. Freetaxes com Benefits of IRS e-file • Free File allows qualified taxpayers to prepare and e-file their own tax returns for free. Freetaxes com • Free File is available in English and Spanish. Freetaxes com • Free File is available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Freetaxes com • Get your refund faster by e-filing using Direct Deposit. Freetaxes com • Sign electronically with a secure self-selected PIN and file a completely paperless return. Freetaxes com • Receive an acknowledgement that your return was received and accepted. Freetaxes com • If you owe, you can e-file and pay electronically either online or by phone, using your bank account or a credit or debit card. Freetaxes com You can also file a return early and pay the amount you owe by the due date of your return. Freetaxes com • Save time by preparing and e-filing federal and state returns together. Freetaxes com • IRS computers quickly and automatically check for errors or other missing information. Freetaxes com • Help the environment, use less paper, and save taxpayer money—it costs less to process an e-filed return than a paper return. Freetaxes com You cannot use the Self-Select PIN method if you are a first-time filer under age 16 at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com If you cannot locate your prior year AGI or prior year PIN, use the Electronic Filing PIN Request. Freetaxes com This can be found at IRS. Freetaxes com gov. Freetaxes com Click on Request an Electronic Filing PIN. Freetaxes com Or you can call 1-866-704-7388. Freetaxes com Practitioner PIN. Freetaxes com   The Practitioner PIN method allows you to authorize your tax practitioner to enter or generate your PIN. Freetaxes com The practitioner can provide you with details. Freetaxes com Form 8453. Freetaxes com   You must send in a paper Form 8453 if you have to attach certain forms or other documents that cannot be electronically filed. Freetaxes com For details, see Form 8453. Freetaxes com For more details, visit www. Freetaxes com irs. Freetaxes com gov/efile and click on “ Individuals. Freetaxes com ” Identity Protection PIN. Freetaxes com   If the IRS gave you an identity protection personal identification number (PIN) because you were a victim of identity theft, enter it in the spaces provided on your tax form. Freetaxes com If the IRS has not given you this type of number, leave these spaces blank. Freetaxes com For more information, see the Instructions for Form 1040A or Form 1040. Freetaxes com Power of attorney. Freetaxes com   If an agent is signing your return for you, a power of attorney (POA) must be filed. Freetaxes com Attach the POA to Form 8453 and file it using that form's instructions. Freetaxes com See Signatures , later, for more information on POAs. Freetaxes com State returns. Freetaxes com   In most states, you can file an electronic state return simultaneously with your federal return. Freetaxes com For more information, check with your local IRS office, state tax agency, tax professional, or the IRS website at  www. Freetaxes com irs. Freetaxes com gov/efile. Freetaxes com Refunds. Freetaxes com   You can have a refund check mailed to you, or you can have your refund deposited directly to your checking or savings account or split among two or three accounts. Freetaxes com With e-file, your refund will be issued faster than if you filed on paper. Freetaxes com   As with a paper return, you may not get all of your refund if you owe certain past-due amounts, such as federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain other federal nontax debts, such as student loans. Freetaxes com See Offset against debts under Refunds, later. Freetaxes com Refund inquiries. Freetaxes com   Information about your return will generally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return. Freetaxes com See Refund Information , later. Freetaxes com Amount you owe. Freetaxes com   To avoid late-payment penalties and interest, pay your taxes in full by April 15, 2014. Freetaxes com See How To Pay , later, for information on how to pay the amount you owe. Freetaxes com Using Your Personal Computer You can file your tax return in a fast, easy, and convenient way using your personal computer. Freetaxes com A computer with Internet access and tax preparation software are all you need. Freetaxes com Best of all, you can e-file from the comfort of your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Freetaxes com IRS approved tax preparation software is available for online use on the Internet, for download from the Internet, and in retail stores. Freetaxes com For information, visit www. Freetaxes com irs. Freetaxes com gov/efile. Freetaxes com Through Employers and Financial Institutions Some businesses offer free e-file to their employees, members, or customers. Freetaxes com Others offer it for a fee. Freetaxes com Ask your employer or financial institution if they offer IRS e-file as an employee, member, or customer benefit. Freetaxes com Free Help With Your Return Free help in preparing your return is available nationwide from IRS-trained volunteers. Freetaxes com The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is designed to help low to moderate income taxpayers and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program is designed to assist taxpayers age 60 or older with their tax returns. Freetaxes com Many VITA sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about the credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. Freetaxes com To find a site near you, call 1-800-906-9887. Freetaxes com Or to find the nearest AARP TaxAide site, visit AARP's website at www. Freetaxes com aarp. Freetaxes com org/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. Freetaxes com For more information on these programs, go to IRS. Freetaxes com gov and enter keyword “VITA” in the search box. Freetaxes com Using a Tax Professional Many tax professionals electronically file tax returns for their clients. Freetaxes com You may personally enter your PIN or complete Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, to authorize the tax professional to enter your PIN on your return. Freetaxes com Note. Freetaxes com Tax professionals may charge a fee for IRS e-file. Freetaxes com Fees can vary depending on the professional and the specific services rendered. Freetaxes com When Do I Have To File? April 15, 2014, is the due date for filing your 2013 income tax return if you use the calendar year. Freetaxes com For a quick view of due dates for filing a return with or without an extension of time to file (discussed later), see Table 1-5. Freetaxes com Table 1-5. Freetaxes com When To File Your 2013 Return For U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizens and residents who file returns on a calendar year. Freetaxes com   For Most Taxpayers For Certain Taxpayers Outside the U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com No extension requested April 15, 2014 June 16, 2014 Automatic extension October 15, 2014 October 15, 2014 If you use a fiscal year (a year ending on the last day of any month except December, or a 52-53-week year), your income tax return is due by the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of your fiscal year. Freetaxes com When the due date for doing any act for tax purposes—filing a return, paying taxes, etc. Freetaxes com —falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is delayed until the next business day. Freetaxes com Filing paper returns on time. Freetaxes com   Your paper return is filed on time if it is mailed in an envelope that is properly addressed, has enough postage, and is postmarked by the due date. Freetaxes com If you send your return by registered mail, the date of the registration is the postmark date. Freetaxes com The registration is evidence that the return was delivered. Freetaxes com If you send a return by certified mail and have your receipt postmarked by a postal employee, the date on the receipt is the postmark date. Freetaxes com The postmarked certified mail receipt is evidence that the return was delivered. Freetaxes com Private delivery services. Freetaxes com   If you use a private delivery service designated by the IRS to send your return, the postmark date generally is the date the private delivery service records in its database or marks on the mailing label. Freetaxes com The private delivery service can tell you how to get written proof of this date. Freetaxes com   For the IRS mailing address to use if you are using a private delivery service, go to IRS. Freetaxes com gov and enter “private delivery service” in the search box. Freetaxes com   The following are designated private delivery services. Freetaxes com DHL Express (DHL): Same Day Service. Freetaxes com Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First. Freetaxes com United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A. Freetaxes com M. Freetaxes com , UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express. Freetaxes com Filing electronic returns on time. Freetaxes com   If you use IRS e-file, your return is considered filed on time if the authorized electronic return transmitter postmarks the transmission by the due date. Freetaxes com An authorized electronic return transmitter is a participant in the IRS e-file program that transmits electronic tax return information directly to the IRS. Freetaxes com   The electronic postmark is a record of when the authorized electronic return transmitter received the transmission of your electronically filed return on its host system. Freetaxes com The date and time in your time zone controls whether your electronically filed return is timely. Freetaxes com Filing late. Freetaxes com   If you do not file your return by the due date, you may have to pay a failure-to-file penalty and interest. Freetaxes com For more information, see Penalties , later. Freetaxes com Also see Interest under Amount You Owe. Freetaxes com   If you were due a refund but you did not file a return, you generally must file within 3 years from the date the return was due (including extensions) to get that refund. Freetaxes com Nonresident alien. Freetaxes com    If you are a nonresident alien and earn wages subject to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax withholding, your 2013 U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax return (Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ) is due by: April 15, 2014, if you use a calendar year, or The 15th day of the 4th month after the end of your fiscal year if you use a fiscal year. Freetaxes com   If you do not earn wages subject to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax withholding, your return is due by: June 16, 2014, if you use a calendar year, or The 15th day of the 6th month after the end of your fiscal year, if you use a fiscal year. Freetaxes com See Publication 519 for more filing information. Freetaxes com Filing for a decedent. Freetaxes com   If you must file a final income tax return for a taxpayer who died during the year (a decedent), the return is due by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the decedent's normal tax year. Freetaxes com See Publication 559. Freetaxes com Extensions of Time To File You may be able to get an extension of time to file your return. Freetaxes com There are three types of situations where you may qualify for an extension: Automatic extensions, You are outside the United States, or You are serving in a combat zone. Freetaxes com Automatic Extension If you cannot file your 2013 return by the due date, you may be able to get an automatic 6-month extension of time to file. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com If your return is due on April 15, 2014, you will have until October 15, 2014, to file. Freetaxes com If you do not pay the tax due by the regular due date (generally, April 15), you will owe interest. Freetaxes com You may also be charged penalties, discussed later. Freetaxes com How to get the automatic extension. Freetaxes com   You can get the automatic extension by: Using IRS e-file (electronic filing), or Filing a paper form. Freetaxes com E-file options. Freetaxes com   There are two ways you can use e-file to get an extension of time to file. Freetaxes com Complete Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Individual Income Tax Return, to use as a worksheet. Freetaxes com If you think you may owe tax when you file your return, use Part II of the form to estimate your balance due. Freetaxes com If you e-file Form 4868 to the IRS, do not also send a paper Form 4868. Freetaxes com E-file using your personal computer or a tax professional. Freetaxes com    You can use a tax software package with your personal computer or a tax professional to file Form 4868 electronically. Freetaxes com You will need to provide certain information from your tax return for 2012. Freetaxes com If you wish to make a payment by direct transfer from your bank account, see Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter. Freetaxes com E-file and pay by credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. Freetaxes com   You can get an extension by paying part or all of your estimate of tax due by using a credit or debit card or by direct transfer from your bank account. Freetaxes com You can do this by phone or over the Internet. Freetaxes com You do not file Form 4868. Freetaxes com See Pay online , under How To Pay, later in this chapter. Freetaxes com Filing a paper Form 4868. Freetaxes com   You can get an extension of time to file by filing a paper Form 4868. Freetaxes com Mail it to the address shown in the form instructions. Freetaxes com   If you want to make a payment with the form, make your check or money order payable to “United States Treasury. Freetaxes com ” Write your SSN, daytime phone number, and “2013 Form 4868” on your check or money order. Freetaxes com When to file. Freetaxes com   You must request the automatic extension by the due date for your return. Freetaxes com You can file your return any time before the 6-month extension period ends. Freetaxes com When you file your return. Freetaxes com   Enter any payment you made related to the extension of time to file on Form 1040, line 68. Freetaxes com If you file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, include that payment in your total payments on Form 1040EZ, line 9, or Form 1040A, line 41. Freetaxes com Also enter “Form 4868” and the amount paid in the space to the left of line 9 or line 41. Freetaxes com Individuals Outside the United States You are allowed an automatic 2-month extension, without filing Form 4868, (until June 16, 2014, if you use the calendar year) to file your 2013 return and pay any federal income tax due if: You are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident, and On the due date of your return: You are living outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and your main place of business or post of duty is outside the United States and Puerto Rico, or You are in military or naval service on duty outside the United States and  Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com However, if you pay the tax due after the regular due date (generally, April 15), interest will be charged from that date until the date the tax is paid. Freetaxes com If you served in a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, you may be eligible for a longer extension of time to file. Freetaxes com See Individuals Serving in Combat Zone , later, for special rules that apply to you. Freetaxes com Married taxpayers. Freetaxes com   If you file a joint return, only one spouse has to qualify for this automatic extension. Freetaxes com If you and your spouse file separate returns, this automatic extension applies only to the spouse who qualifies. Freetaxes com How to get the extension. Freetaxes com   To use this automatic extension, you must attach a statement to your return explaining what situation qualified you for the extension. Freetaxes com (See the situations listed under (2), earlier. Freetaxes com ) Extensions beyond 2 months. Freetaxes com   If you cannot file your return within the automatic 2-month extension period, you may be able to get an additional 4-month extension, for a total of 6 months. Freetaxes com File Form 4868 and check the box on line 8. Freetaxes com No further extension. Freetaxes com   An extension of more than 6 months will generally not be granted. Freetaxes com However, if you are outside the United States and meet certain tests, you may be granted a longer extension. Freetaxes com For more information, see When To File and Pay in Publication 54. Freetaxes com Individuals Serving in Combat Zone The deadline for filing your tax return, paying any tax you may owe, and filing a claim for refund is automatically extended if you serve in a combat zone. Freetaxes com This applies to members of the Armed Forces, as well as merchant marines serving aboard vessels under the operational control of the Department of Defense, Red Cross personnel, accredited correspondents, and civilians under the direction of the Armed Forces in support of the Armed Forces. Freetaxes com Combat zone. Freetaxes com   For purposes of the automatic extension, the term “combat zone” includes the following areas. Freetaxes com The Arabian peninsula area, effective January 17, 1991. Freetaxes com The Kosovo area, effective March 24, 1999. Freetaxes com Afghanistan area, effective September 19, 2001. Freetaxes com   See Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide, for more detailed information on the locations comprising each combat zone. Freetaxes com The publication also has information about other tax benefits available to military personnel serving in a combat zone. Freetaxes com Extension period. Freetaxes com   The deadline for filing your return, paying any tax due, and filing a claim for refund is extended for at least 180 days after the later of: The last day you are in a combat zone or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone, or The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone. Freetaxes com   In addition to the 180 days, your deadline is also extended by the number of days you had left to take action with the IRS when you entered the combat zone. Freetaxes com For example, you have 3½ months (January 1 – April 15) to file your tax return. Freetaxes com Any days left in this period when you entered the combat zone (or the entire 3½ months if you entered it before the beginning of the year) are added to the 180 days. Freetaxes com See Extension of Deadlines in Publication 3 for more information. Freetaxes com   The rules on the extension for filing your return also apply when you are deployed outside the United States (away from your permanent duty station) while participating in a designated contingency operation. Freetaxes com How Do I Prepare My Return? This section explains how to get ready to fill in your tax return and when to report your income and expenses. Freetaxes com It also explains how to complete certain sections of the form. Freetaxes com You may find Table 1-6 helpful when you prepare your paper return. Freetaxes com Table 1-6. Freetaxes com Six Steps for Preparing Your Paper Return 1 — Get your records together for income and expenses. Freetaxes com 2 — Get the forms, schedules, and publications you need. Freetaxes com 3 — Fill in your return. Freetaxes com 4 — Check your return to make sure it is correct. Freetaxes com 5 — Sign and date your return. Freetaxes com 6 — Attach all required forms and schedules. Freetaxes com Electronic returns. Freetaxes com   For information you may find useful in preparing a paperless return, see Does My Return Have To Be on Paper , earlier. Freetaxes com Substitute tax forms. Freetaxes com   You cannot use your own version of a tax form unless it meets the requirements explained in Publication 1167, General Rules and Specifications for Substitute Forms and Schedules. Freetaxes com Form W-2. Freetaxes com   If you were an employee, you should receive Form W-2 from your employer. Freetaxes com You will need the information from this form to prepare your return. Freetaxes com See Form W-2 under Credit for Withholding and Estimated Tax in chapter 4. Freetaxes com   Your employer is required to provide or send Form W-2 to you no later than January 31, 2014. Freetaxes com If it is mailed, you should allow adequate time to receive it before contacting your employer. Freetaxes com If you still do not get the form by February 15, the IRS can help you by requesting the form from your employer. Freetaxes com When you request IRS help, be prepared to provide the following information. Freetaxes com Your name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number. Freetaxes com Your SSN. Freetaxes com Your dates of employment. Freetaxes com Your employer's name, address (including ZIP code), and phone number. Freetaxes com Form 1099. Freetaxes com   If you received certain types of income, you may receive a Form 1099. Freetaxes com For example, if you received taxable interest of $10 or more, the payer is required to provide or send Form 1099 to you no later than January 31, 2014 (or by February 18, 2014, if furnished by a broker). Freetaxes com If it is mailed, you should allow adequate time to receive it before contacting the payer. Freetaxes com If you still do not get the form by February 18 (or by March 5, 2014, if furnished by a broker), call the IRS for help. Freetaxes com When Do I Report My Income and Expenses? You must figure your taxable income on the basis of a tax year. Freetaxes com A “tax year” is an annual accounting period used for keeping records and reporting income and expenses. Freetaxes com You must account for your income and expenses in a way that clearly shows your taxable income. Freetaxes com The way you do this is called an accounting method. Freetaxes com This section explains which accounting periods and methods you can use. Freetaxes com Accounting Periods Most individual tax returns cover a calendar year—the 12 months from January 1 through December 31. Freetaxes com If you do not use a calendar year, your accounting period is a fiscal year. Freetaxes com A regular fiscal year is a 12-month period that ends on the last day of any month except December. Freetaxes com A 52-53-week fiscal year varies from 52 to 53 weeks and always ends on the same day of the week. Freetaxes com You choose your accounting period (tax year) when you file your first income tax return. Freetaxes com It cannot be longer than 12 months. Freetaxes com More information. Freetaxes com   For more information on accounting periods, including how to change your accounting period, see Publication 538, Accounting Periods and Methods. Freetaxes com Accounting Methods Your accounting method is the way you account for your income and expenses. Freetaxes com Most taxpayers use either the cash method or an accrual method. Freetaxes com You choose a method when you file your first income tax return. Freetaxes com If you want to change your accounting method after that, you generally must get IRS approval. Freetaxes com Cash method. Freetaxes com   If you use this method, report all items of income in the year in which you actually or constructively receive them. Freetaxes com Generally, you deduct all expenses in the year you actually pay them. Freetaxes com This is the method most individual taxpayers use. Freetaxes com Constructive receipt. Freetaxes com   Generally, you constructively receive income when it is credited to your account or set apart in any way that makes it available to you. Freetaxes com You do not need to have physical possession of it. Freetaxes com For example, interest credited to your bank account on December 31, 2013, is taxable income to you in 2013 if you could have withdrawn it in 2013 (even if the amount is not entered in your records or withdrawn until 2014). Freetaxes com Garnisheed wages. Freetaxes com   If your employer uses your wages to pay your debts, or if your wages are attached or garnisheed, the full amount is constructively received by you. Freetaxes com You must include these wages in income for the year you would have received them. Freetaxes com Debts paid for you. Freetaxes com   If another person cancels or pays your debts (but not as a gift or loan), you have constructively received the amount and generally must include it in your gross income for the year. Freetaxes com See Canceled Debts in chapter 12 for more information. Freetaxes com Payment to third party. Freetaxes com   If a third party is paid income from property you own, you have constructively received the income. Freetaxes com It is the same as if you had actually received the income and paid it to the third party. Freetaxes com Payment to an agent. Freetaxes com   Income an agent receives for you is income you constructively received in the year the agent receives it. Freetaxes com If you indicate in a contract that your income is to be paid to another person, you must include the amount in your gross income when the other person receives it. Freetaxes com Check received or available. Freetaxes com   A valid check that was made available to you before the end of the tax year is constructively received by you in that year. Freetaxes com A check that was “made available to you” includes a check you have already received, but not cashed or deposited. Freetaxes com It also includes, for example, your last paycheck of the year that your employer made available for you to pick up at the office before the end of the year. Freetaxes com It is constructively received by you in that year whether or not you pick it up before the end of the year or wait to receive it by mail after the end of the year. Freetaxes com No constructive receipt. Freetaxes com   There may be facts to show that you did not constructively receive income. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com Alice Johnson, a teacher, agreed to her school board's condition that, in her absence, she would receive only the difference between her regular salary and the salary of a substitute teacher hired by the school board. Freetaxes com Therefore, Alice did not constructively receive the amount by which her salary was reduced to pay the substitute teacher. Freetaxes com Accrual method. Freetaxes com   If you use an accrual method, you generally report income when you earn it, rather than when you receive it. Freetaxes com You generally deduct your expenses when you incur them, rather than when you pay them. Freetaxes com Income paid in advance. Freetaxes com   An advance payment of income is generally included in gross income in the year you receive it. Freetaxes com Your method of accounting does not matter as long as the income is available to you. Freetaxes com An advance payment may include rent or interest you receive in advance and pay for services you will perform later. Freetaxes com   A limited deferral until the next tax year may be allowed for certain advance payments. Freetaxes com See Publication 538 for specific information. Freetaxes com Additional information. Freetaxes com   For more information on accounting methods, including how to change your accounting method, see Publication 538. Freetaxes com Social Security Number (SSN) You must enter your SSN on your return. Freetaxes com If you are married, enter the SSNs for both you and your spouse, whether you file jointly or separately. Freetaxes com If you are filing a joint return, include the SSNs in the same order as the names. Freetaxes com Use this same order in submitting other forms and documents to the IRS. Freetaxes com Check that both the name and SSN on your Form 1040, W-2, and 1099 agree with your social security card. Freetaxes com If they do not, certain deductions and credits on your Form 1040 may be reduced or disallowed and you may not receive credit for your social security earnings. Freetaxes com If your Form W-2 shows an incorrect SSN or name, notify your employer or the form-issuing agent as soon as possible to make sure your earnings are credited to your social security record. Freetaxes com If the name or SSN on your social security card is incorrect, call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213. Freetaxes com Name change. Freetaxes com   If you changed your name because of marriage, divorce, etc. Freetaxes com , be sure to report the change to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office before filing your return. Freetaxes com This prevents delays in processing your return and issuing refunds. Freetaxes com It also safeguards your future social security benefits. Freetaxes com Dependent's SSN. Freetaxes com   You must provide the SSN of each dependent you claim, regardless of the dependent's age. Freetaxes com This requirement applies to all dependents (not just your children) claimed on your tax return. Freetaxes com Exception. Freetaxes com    If your child was born and died in 2013 and did not have an SSN, enter “DIED” in column (2) of line 6c (Form 1040 or 1040A) and include a copy of the child's birth certificate, death certificate, or hospital records. Freetaxes com The document must show that the child was born alive. Freetaxes com No SSN. Freetaxes com   File Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, with your local SSA office to get an SSN for yourself or your dependent. Freetaxes com It usually takes about 2 weeks to get an SSN. Freetaxes com If you or your dependent is not eligible for an SSN, see Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) , later. Freetaxes com   If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident alien, you must show proof of age, identity, and citizenship or alien status with your Form SS-5. Freetaxes com If you are 12 or older and have never been assigned an SSN, you must appear in person with this proof at an SSA office. Freetaxes com   Form SS-5 is available at any SSA office, on the Internet at www. Freetaxes com socialsecurity. Freetaxes com gov, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. Freetaxes com If you have any questions about which documents you can use as proof of age, identity, or citizenship, contact your SSA office. Freetaxes com   If your dependent does not have an SSN by the time your return is due, you may want to ask for an extension of time to file, as explained earlier under When Do I Have To File . Freetaxes com   If you do not provide a required SSN or if you provide an incorrect SSN, your tax may be increased and any refund may be reduced. Freetaxes com Adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN). Freetaxes com   If you are in the process of adopting a child who is a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident and cannot get an SSN for the child until the adoption is final, you can apply for an ATIN to use instead of an SSN. Freetaxes com    File Form W-7A, Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Adoptions, with the IRS to get an ATIN if all of the following are true. Freetaxes com You have a child living with you who was placed in your home for legal adoption. Freetaxes com You cannot get the child's existing SSN even though you have made a reasonable attempt to get it from the birth parents, the placement agency, and other persons. Freetaxes com You cannot get an SSN for the child from the SSA because, for example, the adoption is not final. Freetaxes com You are eligible to claim the child as a dependent on your tax return. Freetaxes com After the adoption is final, you must apply for an SSN for the child. Freetaxes com You cannot continue using the ATIN. Freetaxes com   See Form W-7A for more information. Freetaxes com Nonresident alien spouse. Freetaxes com   If your spouse is a nonresident alien, your spouse must have either an SSN or an ITIN if: You file a joint return, You file a separate return and claim an exemption for your spouse, or Your spouse is filing a separate return. Freetaxes com If your spouse is not eligible for an SSN, see the following discussion on ITINs. Freetaxes com Individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Freetaxes com   The IRS will issue you an ITIN if you are a nonresident or resident alien and you do not have and are not eligible to get an SSN. Freetaxes com This also applies to an alien spouse or dependent. Freetaxes com To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7 with the IRS. Freetaxes com It usually takes about 6 to 10 weeks to get an ITIN. Freetaxes com Enter the ITIN on your tax return wherever an SSN is requested. Freetaxes com    If you are applying for an ITIN for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent in order to file your tax return, attach your completed tax return to your Form W-7. Freetaxes com See the Form W-7 instructions for how and where to file. Freetaxes com You cannot e-file a return using an ITIN in the calendar year the ITIN is issued; however, you can e-file returns in the following years. Freetaxes com ITIN for tax use only. Freetaxes com   An ITIN is for tax use only. Freetaxes com It does not entitle you or your dependent to social security benefits or change the employment or immigration status of either of you under U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com law. Freetaxes com Penalty for not providing social security number. Freetaxes com   If you do not include your SSN or the SSN of your spouse or dependent as required, you may have to pay a penalty. Freetaxes com See the discussion on Penalties , later, for more information. Freetaxes com SSN on correspondence. Freetaxes com   If you write to the IRS about your tax account, be sure to include your SSN (and the name and SSN of your spouse, if you filed a joint return) in your correspondence. Freetaxes com Because your SSN is used to identify your account, this helps the IRS respond to your correspondence promptly. Freetaxes com Presidential Election Campaign Fund This fund helps pay for Presidential election campaigns. Freetaxes com If you want $3 to go to this fund, check the box. Freetaxes com If you are filing a joint return, your spouse can also have $3 go to the fund. Freetaxes com If you check a box, your tax or refund will not change. Freetaxes com Computations The following information may be useful in making the return easier to complete. Freetaxes com Rounding off dollars. Freetaxes com   You can round off cents to whole dollars on your return and schedules. Freetaxes com If you do round to whole dollars, you must round all amounts. Freetaxes com To round, drop amounts under 50 cents and increase amounts from 50 to 99 cents to the next dollar. Freetaxes com For example, $1. Freetaxes com 39 becomes $1 and $2. Freetaxes com 50 becomes $3. Freetaxes com   If you have to add two or more amounts to figure the amount to enter on a line, include cents when adding the amounts and round off only the total. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com You receive two Forms W-2: one showing wages of $5,000. Freetaxes com 55 and one showing wages of $18,500. Freetaxes com 73. Freetaxes com On Form 1040, line 7, you would enter $23,501 ($5,000. Freetaxes com 55 + $18,500. Freetaxes com 73 = $23,501. Freetaxes com 28), not $23,502 ($5,001 + $18,501). Freetaxes com Equal amounts. Freetaxes com   If you are asked to enter the smaller or larger of two equal amounts, enter that amount. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com Line 1 is $500. Freetaxes com Line 3 is $500. Freetaxes com Line 5 asks you to enter the smaller of line 1 or 3. Freetaxes com Enter $500 on line 5. Freetaxes com Negative amounts. Freetaxes com   If you file a paper return and you need to enter a negative amount, put the amount in parentheses rather than using a minus sign. Freetaxes com To combine positive and negative amounts, add all the positive amounts together and then subtract the negative amounts. Freetaxes com Attachments Depending on the form you file and the items reported on your return, you may have to complete additional schedules and forms and attach them to your paper return. Freetaxes com You may be able to file a paperless return using IRS e-file. Freetaxes com There's nothing to attach or mail, not even your Forms W-2. Freetaxes com See Does My Return Have To Be on Paper, earlier. Freetaxes com Form W-2. Freetaxes com   Form W-2 is a statement from your employer of wages and other compensation paid to you and taxes withheld from your pay. Freetaxes com You should have a Form W-2 from each employer. Freetaxes com If you file a paper return, be sure to attach a copy of Form W-2 in the place indicated on the front page of your return. Freetaxes com Attach it to the front page of your paper return, not to any attachments. Freetaxes com For more information, see Form W-2 in chapter 4. Freetaxes com   If you received a Form 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. Freetaxes com , showing federal income tax withheld, and you file a paper return, attach a copy of that form in the place indicated on the front page of your return. Freetaxes com Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com   There are no additional schedules to file with Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com Form 1040A. Freetaxes com   If you file a paper return, attach any forms and schedules behind Form 1040A in order of the “Attachment Sequence Number” shown in the upper right corner of the form or schedule. Freetaxes com Then arrange all other statements or attachments in the same order as the forms and schedules they relate to and attach them last. Freetaxes com Do not attach items unless required to do so. Freetaxes com Form 1040. Freetaxes com   If you file a paper return, attach any forms and schedules behind Form 1040 in order of the “Attachment Sequence Number” shown in the upper right corner of the form or schedule. Freetaxes com Then arrange all other statements or attachments in the same order as the forms and schedules they relate to and attach them last. Freetaxes com Do not attach items unless required to do so. Freetaxes com Third Party Designee You can authorize the IRS to discuss your return with your preparer, a friend, family member, or any other person you choose. Freetaxes com If you check the “Yes” box in the Third party designee area of your 2013 tax return and provide the information required, you are authorizing: The IRS to call the designee to answer any questions that arise during the processing of your return, and The designee to: Give information that is missing from your return to the IRS, Call the IRS for information about th
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Tax Relief for Victims of April Storms and Floods in Montana

Updated 8/24/2011 to include Blaine, Broadwater, Carter, Chouteau, Fallon, Flathead, Golden Valley, Madison, Park, Phillips, Pondera, Powell, Rosebud, Toole, and Wibaux counties and the Fort Peck Reservation.

COIDMTWY-2011-24, July 28, 2011

DENVER— Victims of severe storms and flooding beginning on April 3, 2011 in parts of Montana may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared Big Horn, Blaine, Broadwater, Carbon, Carter, Cascade, Chouteau, Custer, Fallon, Fergus, Flathead, Garfield, Golden Valley, Hill, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Lewis and Clark, Madison, Musselshell, Park, Petroleum, Phillips, Pondera, Powell, Rosebud, Sweet Grass, Toole, Valley, Wibaux, and Yellowstone Counties and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Crow Indian Reservation, Fort Belknap Reservation, and Fort Peck Reservation a federal disaster area. Individuals who reside or have a business in these localities may qualify for tax relief.

As a result, the IRS postponed until June 30, 2011, certain deadlines for taxpayers who live or have a business in the disaster area. This includes the April 18 deadline for filing 2010 individual income tax returns, making income tax payments and making 2010 contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA). It also includes the April 18 and June 15 deadlines for making estimated tax payments.

In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after April 3 and on or before April 18, 2011, as long as the deposits were made by April 18, 2011.

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief. But affected taxpayers who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area must call the IRS disaster hotline at 1-866-562-5227 to request this tax relief.

Covered Disaster Area

The areas listed above constitute a covered disaster area for purposes of Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(2) and are entitled to the relief detailed below.

Affected Taxpayers

Taxpayers considered to be affected taxpayers eligible for the postponement of time to file returns, pay taxes and perform other time-sensitive acts are those taxpayers listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(d)(1), and include individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Taxpayers not in the covered disaster area, but whose records necessary to meet a deadline listed in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c) are in the covered disaster area, are also entitled to relief. In addition, all relief workers affiliated with a recognized government or philanthropic organization assisting in the relief activities in the covered disaster area and any individual visiting the covered disaster area who was killed or injured as a result of the disaster are entitled to relief.

Grant of Relief

Under section 7508A, the IRS gives affected taxpayers until June 30, 2011 to file most tax returns (including individual, corporate, and estate and trust income tax returns; partnership returns, S corporation returns, and trust returns; estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax returns; and employment and certain excise tax returns), or to make tax payments, including estimated tax payments, that have either an original or extended due date occurring on or after April 3 and on or before June 30.

The IRS also gives affected taxpayers until June 30 to perform other time-sensitive actions described in Treas. Reg. § 301.7508A-1(c)(1) and Rev. Proc. 2007-56, 2007-34 I.R.B. 388 (August 20, 2007), that are due to be performed on or after April 3 and on or before June 30.

This relief also includes the filing of Form 5500 series returns, in the manner described in section 8 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56. The relief described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2007-56, pertaining to like-kind exchanges of property, also applies to certain taxpayers who are not otherwise affected taxpayers and may include acts required to be performed before or after the period above.

The postponement of time to file and pay does not apply to information returns in the W-2, 1098, 1099 series, or to Forms 1042-S or 8027. Penalties for failure to timely file information returns can be waived under existing procedures for reasonable cause. Likewise, the postponement does not apply to employment and excise tax deposits. The IRS, however, will abate penalties for failure to make timely employment and excise tax deposits due on or after April 3 and on or before April 18, provided the taxpayer made these deposits by April 18.

Casualty Losses

Affected taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal income tax return for either this year or last year. Claiming the loss on an original or amended return for last year will get the taxpayer an earlier refund, but waiting to claim the loss on this year’s return could result in a greater tax saving, depending on other income factors.

Individuals may deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements. For details, see Form 4684 and its instructions.
Affected taxpayers claiming the disaster loss on last year’s return should put the Disaster Designation, "Montana/Severe Storms and Flooding," at the top of the form so that the IRS can expedite the processing of the refund.

Other Relief

The IRS will waive the usual fees and expedite requests for copies of previously filed tax returns for affected taxpayers. Taxpayers should put the assigned Disaster Designation in red ink at the top of Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, or Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as appropriate, and submit it to the IRS.

Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster impacts them so that the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.

Taxpayers may download forms and publications from the official IRS website, irs.gov, or order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). The IRS toll-free number for general tax questions is 1-800-829-1040.

Related Information:

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses

Recent IRS Disaster Relief Announcements

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 25-Apr-2013

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Freetaxes com Publication 501 - Main Content Table of Contents Who Must FileSelf-employed persons. Freetaxes com Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers Dependents Other Situations Who Should File Filing StatusMarital Status Single Married Filing Jointly Married Filing Separately Head of Household Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child ExemptionsForm 1040EZ filers. Freetaxes com Form 1040A filers. Freetaxes com Form 1040 filers. Freetaxes com More information. Freetaxes com Personal Exemptions Exemptions for Dependents Qualifying Child Qualifying Relative Phaseout of Exemptions Social Security Numbers for DependentsBorn and died in 2013. Freetaxes com Taxpayer identification numbers for aliens. Freetaxes com Taxpayer identification numbers for adoptees. Freetaxes com Standard DeductionStandard Deduction Amount Standard Deduction for Dependents Who Should Itemize How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Who Must File If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident alien, whether you must file a federal income tax return depends on your gross income, your filing status, your age, and whether you are a dependent. Freetaxes com For details, see Table 1 and Table 2. Freetaxes com You also must file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Freetaxes com The filing requirements apply even if you owe no tax. Freetaxes com Table 1. Freetaxes com 2013 Filing Requirements Chart for Most Taxpayers IF your filing status is. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com AND at the end of 2013 you were. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com * THEN file a return if your gross income was at least. Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com ** single under 65  $10,000 65 or older $11,500 head of household under 65 $12,850 65 or older $14,350 married, filing jointly*** under 65 (both spouses) $20,000 65 or older (one spouse) $21,200 65 or older (both spouses) $22,400 married, filing separately any age  $3,900 qualifying widow(er) with dependent child under 65 $16,100 65 or older $17,300 * If you were born before January 2, 1949, you are considered to be 65 or older at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com ** Gross income means all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax, including any income from sources outside the United States or from the sale of your main home (even if you can exclude part or all of it). Freetaxes com Do not include any social security benefits unless (a) you are married filing a separate return and you lived with your spouse at any time during 2013 or (b) one-half of your social security benefits plus your other gross income and any tax-exempt interest is more than $25,000 ($32,000 if married filing jointly). Freetaxes com If (a) or (b) applies, see the Form 1040 instructions to figure the taxable part of social security benefits you must include in gross income. Freetaxes com Gross income includes gains, but not losses, reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D. Freetaxes com Gross income from a business means, for example, the amount on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Freetaxes com But in figuring gross income, do not reduce your income by any losses, including any loss on Schedule C, line 7, or Schedule F, line 9. Freetaxes com *** If you did not live with your spouse at the end of 2013 (or on the date your spouse died) and your gross income was at least $3,900, you must file a return regardless of your age. Freetaxes com You may have to pay a penalty if you are required to file a return but fail to do so. Freetaxes com If you willfully fail to file a return, you may be subject to criminal prosecution. Freetaxes com For information on what form to use — Form 1040EZ, Form 1040A, or Form 1040 — see the instructions for your tax return. Freetaxes com Gross income. Freetaxes com    Gross income is all income you receive in the form of money, goods, property, and services that is not exempt from tax. Freetaxes com If you are married and live with your spouse in a community property state, half of any income defined by state law as community income may be considered yours. Freetaxes com For a list of community property states, see Community property states under Married Filing Separately, later. Freetaxes com Self-employed persons. Freetaxes com    If you are self-employed in a business that provides services (where products are not a factor), your gross income from that business is the gross receipts. Freetaxes com If you are self-employed in a business involving manufacturing, merchandising, or mining, your gross income from that business is the total sales minus the cost of goods sold. Freetaxes com In either case, you must add any income from investments and from incidental or outside operations or sources. Freetaxes com    You must file Form 1040 if you owe any self-employment tax. Freetaxes com Filing status. Freetaxes com    Your filing status generally depends on whether you are single or married. Freetaxes com Whether you are single or married is determined at the end of your tax year, which is December 31 for most taxpayers. Freetaxes com Filing status is discussed in detail later in this publication. Freetaxes com Age. Freetaxes com    Age is a factor in determining if you must file a return only if you are 65 or older at the end of your tax year. Freetaxes com For 2013, you are 65 or older if you were born before January 2, 1949. Freetaxes com Filing Requirements for Most Taxpayers You must file a return if your gross income for the year was at least the amount shown on the appropriate line in Table 1. Freetaxes com Dependents should see Table 2 instead. Freetaxes com Deceased Persons You must file an income tax return for a decedent (a person who died) if both of the following are true. Freetaxes com You are the surviving spouse, executor, administrator, or legal representative. Freetaxes com The decedent met the filing requirements described in this publication at the time of his or her death. Freetaxes com For more information, see Final Income Tax Return for Decedent — Form 1040 in Publication 559. Freetaxes com Table 2. Freetaxes com 2013 Filing Requirements for Dependents See Exemptions for Dependents to find out if you are a dependent. Freetaxes com If your parent (or someone else) can claim you as a dependent, use this table to see if you must file a return. Freetaxes com  In this table, unearned income includes taxable interest, ordinary dividends, and capital gain distributions. Freetaxes com It also includes unemployment compensation, taxable social security benefits, pensions, annuities, and distributions of unearned income from a trust. Freetaxes com Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and taxable scholarship and fellowship grants. Freetaxes com Gross income is the total of your unearned and earned income. Freetaxes com If your gross income was $3,900 or more, you usually cannot be claimed as a dependent unless you are a qualifying child. Freetaxes com For details, see Exemptions for Dependents. Freetaxes com Single dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Freetaxes com Your earned income was more than $6,100. Freetaxes com Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $350. Freetaxes com     □ Yes. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com Your unearned income was more than $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Your earned income was more than $7,600 ($9,100 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Your gross income was more than the larger of—  $2,500 ($4,000 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,850 ($3,350 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     Married dependents—Were you either age 65 or older or blind? □ No. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Freetaxes com Your unearned income was more than $1,000. Freetaxes com Your earned income was more than $6,100. Freetaxes com Your gross income was more than the larger of— $1,000, or Your earned income (up to $5,750 plus $350. Freetaxes com     □ Yes. Freetaxes com You must file a return if any of the following apply. Freetaxes com Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. Freetaxes com Your unearned income was more than $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Your earned income was more than $7,300 ($8,500 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com Your gross income was more than the larger of— $2,200 ($3,400 if 65 or older and blind), or Your earned income (up to $5,750) plus $1,550 ($2,750 if 65 or older and blind). Freetaxes com     U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Citizens or Resident Aliens Living Abroad To determine whether you must file a return, include in your gross income any income you earned or received abroad, including any income you can exclude under the foreign earned income exclusion. Freetaxes com For more information on special tax rules that may apply to you, see Publication 54, Tax Guide for U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad. Freetaxes com Residents of Puerto Rico If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen and also a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico, you generally must file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax return for any year in which you meet the income requirements. Freetaxes com This is in addition to any legal requirement you may have to file an income tax return with Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com If you are a bona fide resident of Puerto Rico for the whole year, your U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com gross income does not include income from sources within Puerto Rico. Freetaxes com It does, however, include any income you received for your services as an employee of the United States or any U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com agency. Freetaxes com If you receive income from Puerto Rican sources that is not subject to U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com tax, you must reduce your standard deduction, which reduces the amount of income you can have before you must file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com income tax return. Freetaxes com For more information, see Publication 570, Tax Guide for Individuals With Income From U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Possessions. Freetaxes com Individuals With Income From U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Possessions If you had income from Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, or the U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com Virgin Islands, special rules may apply when determining whether you must file a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com federal income tax return. Freetaxes com In addition, you may have to file a return with the individual possession government. Freetaxes com See Publication 570 for more information. Freetaxes com Dependents A person who is a dependent may still have to file a return. Freetaxes com It depends on his or her earned income, unearned income, and gross income. Freetaxes com For details, see Table 2. Freetaxes com A dependent must also file if one of the situations described in Table 3 applies. Freetaxes com Responsibility of parent. Freetaxes com    If a dependent child must file an income tax return but cannot file due to age or any other reason, a parent, guardian, or other legally responsible person must file it for the child. Freetaxes com If the child cannot sign the return, the parent or guardian must sign the child's name followed by the words “By (your signature), parent for minor child. Freetaxes com ” Earned income. Freetaxes com    Earned income includes salaries, wages, professional fees, and other amounts received as pay for work you actually perform. Freetaxes com Earned income (only for purposes of filing requirements and the standard deduction) also includes any part of a scholarship that you must include in your gross income. Freetaxes com See chapter 1 of Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for more information on taxable and nontaxable scholarships. Freetaxes com Child's earnings. Freetaxes com    Amounts a child earns by performing services are included in his or her gross income and not the gross income of the parent. Freetaxes com This is true even if under local law the child's parent has the right to the earnings and may actually have received them. Freetaxes com But if the child does not pay the tax due on this income, the parent is liable for the tax. Freetaxes com Unearned income. Freetaxes com    Unearned income includes income such as interest, dividends, and capital gains. Freetaxes com Trust distributions of interest, dividends, capital gains, and survivor annuities are also considered unearned income. Freetaxes com Election to report child's unearned income on parent's return. Freetaxes com    You may be able to include your child's interest and dividend income on your tax return. Freetaxes com If you do this, your child will not have to file a return. Freetaxes com To make this election, all of the following conditions must be met. Freetaxes com Your child was under age 19 (or under age 24 if a student) at the end of 2013. Freetaxes com (A child born on January 1, 1995, is considered to be age 19 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child unless the child was a student. Freetaxes com Similarly, a child born on January 1, 1990, is considered to be age 24 at the end of 2013; you cannot make the election for this child. Freetaxes com ) Your child had gross income only from interest and dividends (including capital gain distributions and Alaska Permanent Fund dividends). Freetaxes com The interest and dividend income was less than $10,000. Freetaxes com Your child is required to file a return for 2013 unless you make this election. Freetaxes com Your child does not file a joint return for 2013. Freetaxes com No estimated tax payment was made for 2013 and no 2012 overpayment was applied to 2013 under your child's name and social security number. Freetaxes com No federal income tax was withheld from your child's income under the backup withholding rules. Freetaxes com You are the parent whose return must be used when making the election to report your child's unearned income. Freetaxes com   For more information, see Form 8814 and Parent's Election To Report Child's Interest and Dividends in Publication 929. Freetaxes com Other Situations You may have to file a tax return even if your gross income is less than the amount shown in Table 1 or Table 2 for your filing status. Freetaxes com See Table 3 for those other situations when you must file. Freetaxes com Table 3. Freetaxes com Other Situations When You Must File a 2013 Return If any of the four conditions listed below applied to you for 2013, you must file a return. Freetaxes com 1. Freetaxes com You owe any special taxes, including any of the following. Freetaxes com   a. Freetaxes com Alternative minimum tax. Freetaxes com (See Form 6251. Freetaxes com )   b. Freetaxes com Additional tax on a qualified plan, including an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), or other tax-favored account. Freetaxes com (See Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), and Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans. Freetaxes com ) But if you are filing a return only because you owe this tax, you can file Form 5329 by itself. Freetaxes com   c. Freetaxes com Social security or Medicare tax on tips you did not report to your employer (see Publication 531, Reporting Tip Income) or on wages you received from an employer who did not withhold these taxes (see Form 8919). Freetaxes com   d. Freetaxes com Write-in taxes, including uncollected social security, Medicare, or railroad retirement tax on tips you reported to your employer or on group-term life insurance and additional tax on health savings accounts. Freetaxes com (See Publication 531, Publication 969, and the Form 1040 instructions for line 60. Freetaxes com )   e. Freetaxes com Household employment taxes. Freetaxes com But if you are filing a return only because you owe these taxes, you can file Schedule H (Form 1040) by itself. Freetaxes com   f. Freetaxes com Recapture taxes. Freetaxes com (See the Form 1040 instructions for lines 44, 59b, and 60. Freetaxes com ) 2. Freetaxes com You (or your spouse if filing jointly) received Archer MSA, Medicare Advantage MSA, or health savings account distributions. Freetaxes com 3. Freetaxes com You had net earnings from self-employment of at least $400. Freetaxes com (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Freetaxes com ) 4. Freetaxes com You had wages of $108. Freetaxes com 28 or more from a church or qualified church-controlled organization that is exempt from employer social security and Medicare taxes. Freetaxes com (See Schedule SE (Form 1040) and its instructions. Freetaxes com ) Who Should File Even if you do not have to file, you should file a tax return if you can get money back. Freetaxes com For example, you should file if one of the following applies. Freetaxes com You had income tax withheld from your pay. Freetaxes com You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year applied to this year's estimated tax. Freetaxes com You qualify for the earned income credit. Freetaxes com See Publication 596, Earned Income Credit (EIC), for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the additional child tax credit. Freetaxes com See the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A) for more information. Freetaxes com You qualify for the refundable American opportunity education credit. Freetaxes com See Form 8863, Education Credits. Freetaxes com You qualify for the health coverage tax credit. Freetaxes com For information about this credit, see Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit. Freetaxes com You qualify for the credit for federal tax on fuels. Freetaxes com See Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels. Freetaxes com Form 1099-B received. Freetaxes com    Even if you are not required to file a return, you should consider filing if all of the following apply. Freetaxes com You received a Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions (or substitute statement). Freetaxes com The amount in box 2a of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement), when added to your other gross income, means you have to file a tax return because of the filing requirement in Table 1 or Table 2 that applies to you. Freetaxes com Box 3 of Form 1099-B (or substitute statement) is blank. Freetaxes com In this case, filing a return may keep you from getting a notice from the IRS. Freetaxes com Filing Status You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return, your standard deduction (discussed later), and your tax. Freetaxes com You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain other deductions and credits. Freetaxes com There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Freetaxes com If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. Freetaxes com Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. Freetaxes com Unmarried persons. Freetaxes com    You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Freetaxes com   State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. Freetaxes com Divorced persons. Freetaxes com    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. Freetaxes com Divorce and remarriage. Freetaxes com    If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. Freetaxes com Annulled marriages. Freetaxes com    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. Freetaxes com You must file amended returns (Form 1040X) claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. Freetaxes com Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Freetaxes com If you filed your original tax return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). Freetaxes com However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. Freetaxes com Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. Freetaxes com    If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. Freetaxes com See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. Freetaxes com Married persons. Freetaxes com    If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. Freetaxes com Considered married. Freetaxes com    You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. Freetaxes com You are married and living together. Freetaxes com You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. Freetaxes com You are married and living apart but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. Freetaxes com You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. Freetaxes com Same-sex marriage. Freetaxes com    For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. Freetaxes com The term "spouse" includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. Freetaxes com However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not called a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not married for federal tax purposes. Freetaxes com   The word “state” as used here includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com territories and possessions. Freetaxes com It means any domestic jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Freetaxes com The term “foreign country” means any foreign jurisdiction that has the legal authority to sanction marriages. Freetaxes com   If individuals of the same sex are married, they generally must use the married filing jointly or married filing separately filing status. Freetaxes com However, if they did not live together during the last 6 months of the year, one or both of them may be able to use the head of household filing status, as explained later. Freetaxes com   For more details, see Answers to Frequently Asked Questions For Individuals of the Same Sex Who Are Married Under State Law on IRS. Freetaxes com gov. Freetaxes com Spouse died during the year. Freetaxes com    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. Freetaxes com   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. Freetaxes com For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . Freetaxes com   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. Freetaxes com Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. Freetaxes com Married persons living apart. Freetaxes com    If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Freetaxes com If you qualify to file as head of household instead of as married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. Freetaxes com Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. Freetaxes com See Head of Household , later. Freetaxes com Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. Freetaxes com To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. Freetaxes com Widow(er). Freetaxes com    Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. Freetaxes com You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. Freetaxes com See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. Freetaxes com How to file. Freetaxes com    You can file Form 1040. Freetaxes com If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Freetaxes com If, in addition, you have no dependents, are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. Freetaxes com Use the Single column of the Tax Table, or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Freetaxes com Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. Freetaxes com On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. Freetaxes com You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. Freetaxes com If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. Freetaxes com Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. Freetaxes com If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). Freetaxes com You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. Freetaxes com How to file. Freetaxes com    If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. Freetaxes com If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Freetaxes com If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. Freetaxes com If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. Freetaxes com Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table, or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet, to figure your tax. Freetaxes com Spouse died. Freetaxes com    If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Freetaxes com See Spouse died during the year , under Married persons, earlier. Freetaxes com   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. Freetaxes com Divorced persons. Freetaxes com    If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. Freetaxes com Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. Freetaxes com Accounting period. Freetaxes com    Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. Freetaxes com Joint responsibility. Freetaxes com    Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. Freetaxes com This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. Freetaxes com Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. Freetaxes com One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. Freetaxes com   You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. Freetaxes com Divorced taxpayer. Freetaxes com    You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. Freetaxes com This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. Freetaxes com Relief from joint responsibility. Freetaxes com    In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. Freetaxes com You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. Freetaxes com   There are three types of relief available. Freetaxes com Innocent spouse relief. Freetaxes com Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or who have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). Freetaxes com Equitable relief. Freetaxes com    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. Freetaxes com Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains the kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. Freetaxes com Signing a joint return. Freetaxes com    For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. Freetaxes com Spouse died before signing. Freetaxes com    If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. Freetaxes com If neither you nor anyone else has been appointed as executor or administrator, you can sign the return for your spouse and enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. Freetaxes com Spouse away from home. Freetaxes com    If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so it can be filed on time. Freetaxes com Injury or disease prevents signing. Freetaxes com    If your spouse cannot sign because of injury or disease and tells you to sign for him or her, you can sign your spouse's name in the proper space on the return followed by the words “By (your name), Husband (or Wife). Freetaxes com ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. Freetaxes com Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. Freetaxes com The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. Freetaxes com Signing as guardian of spouse. Freetaxes com    If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. Freetaxes com Spouse in combat zone. Freetaxes com    You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. Freetaxes com Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. Freetaxes com For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. Freetaxes com Other reasons spouse cannot sign. Freetaxes com    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). Freetaxes com Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. Freetaxes com You can use Form 2848. Freetaxes com Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. Freetaxes com    Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. Freetaxes com However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. Freetaxes com If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com residents for the entire tax year. Freetaxes com See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Freetaxes com Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. Freetaxes com This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. Freetaxes com If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. Freetaxes com You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). Freetaxes com This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. Freetaxes com If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. Freetaxes com The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. Freetaxes com See Head of Household , later, for more information. Freetaxes com You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. Freetaxes com However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). Freetaxes com This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. Freetaxes com When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. Freetaxes com How to file. Freetaxes com    If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. Freetaxes com You can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another person. Freetaxes com   You can file Form 1040. Freetaxes com If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Freetaxes com Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. Freetaxes com Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. Freetaxes com If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. Freetaxes com Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Freetaxes com Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. Freetaxes com Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. Freetaxes com Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. Freetaxes com Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. Freetaxes com You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000 on a joint return). Freetaxes com If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. Freetaxes com See Joint Return Test in Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses, for more information. Freetaxes com You cannot take the earned income credit. Freetaxes com You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. Freetaxes com You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. Freetaxes com You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. Freetaxes com If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. Freetaxes com The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. Freetaxes com Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). Freetaxes com If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. Freetaxes com If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. Freetaxes com Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. Freetaxes com    If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. Freetaxes com Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Freetaxes com    You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. Freetaxes com Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. Freetaxes com This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. Freetaxes com For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct? in chapter 1 of Publication 590. Freetaxes com Rental activity losses. Freetaxes com    If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income up to $25,000. Freetaxes com This is called a special allowance. Freetaxes com However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. Freetaxes com Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. Freetaxes com See Rental Activities in Publication 925, Passive Activity and At-Risk Rules. Freetaxes com Community property states. Freetaxes com    If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. Freetaxes com See Publication 555, Community Property. Freetaxes com Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. Freetaxes com You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. Freetaxes com This does not include any extensions. Freetaxes com A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. Freetaxes com Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. Freetaxes com Exception. Freetaxes com    A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. Freetaxes com The personal representative has 1 year from the due date (including extensions) of the return to make the change. Freetaxes com See Publication 559 for more information on filing income tax returns for a decedent. Freetaxes com Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. Freetaxes com You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Freetaxes com See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. Freetaxes com You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Freetaxes com A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). Freetaxes com However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. Freetaxes com See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. Freetaxes com If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. Freetaxes com You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. Freetaxes com How to file. Freetaxes com    If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. Freetaxes com If you have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Freetaxes com Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. Freetaxes com Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Freetaxes com Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. Freetaxes com You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. Freetaxes com You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). Freetaxes com You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. Freetaxes com Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. Freetaxes com Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. Freetaxes com See Temporary absences , later. Freetaxes com Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. Freetaxes com (See Home of qualifying person , later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. Freetaxes com ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. Freetaxes com However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described later in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative. Freetaxes com The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained later under Exemptions for Dependents . Freetaxes com If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. Freetaxes com See Publication 555 for more information. Freetaxes com Nonresident alien spouse. Freetaxes com    You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. Freetaxes com However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. Freetaxes com You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. Freetaxes com Choice to treat spouse as resident. Freetaxes com    You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. Freetaxes com See chapter 1 of Publication 519. Freetaxes com Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Freetaxes com You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 1. Freetaxes com Worksheet 1. Freetaxes com Cost of Keeping Up a Home         Amount You  Paid Total  Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $       Minus total amount you paid   ()       Amount others paid   $       If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. Freetaxes com Costs you include. Freetaxes com    Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. Freetaxes com   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. Freetaxes com However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. Freetaxes com Costs you do not include. Freetaxes com    Do not include the cost of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. Freetaxes com Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. Freetaxes com Qualifying Person See Table 4 to see who is a qualifying person. Freetaxes com Any person not described in Table 4 is not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com Example 1—child. Freetaxes com Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. Freetaxes com He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. Freetaxes com As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child , later) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Freetaxes com Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. Freetaxes com The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. Freetaxes com Because he does not meet the age test (explained later under Qualifying Child), your son is not your qualifying child. Freetaxes com Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative), he is not your qualifying relative. Freetaxes com As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Freetaxes com Example 3—girlfriend. Freetaxes com Your girlfriend lived with you all year. Freetaxes com Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained later) are met, she is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes because she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you . Freetaxes com See Table 4. Freetaxes com Example 4—girlfriend's child. Freetaxes com The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. Freetaxes com He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test , later). Freetaxes com As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. Freetaxes com Home of qualifying person. Freetaxes com    Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. Freetaxes com Special rule for parent. Freetaxes com    If your qualifying person is your father or mother, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if your father or mother does not live with you. Freetaxes com However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. Freetaxes com Also, you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for the entire year for your father or mother. Freetaxes com   You are keeping up a main home for your father or mother if you pay more than half the cost of keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly. Freetaxes com Death or birth. Freetaxes com    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the qualifying person who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Freetaxes com To qualify you for head of household filing status, the qualifying person (as defined in Table 4) must be one of the following. Freetaxes com Your qualifying child or qualifying relative who lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. Freetaxes com Your parent for whom you paid, for the entire part of the year he or she was alive, more than half the cost of keeping up the home he or she lived in. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com You are unmarried. Freetaxes com Your mother, for whom you can claim an exemption, lived in an apartment by herself. Freetaxes com She died on September 2. Freetaxes com The cost of the upkeep of her apartment for the year until her death was $6,000. Freetaxes com You paid $4,000 and your brother paid $2,000. Freetaxes com Your brother made no other payments towards your mother's support. Freetaxes com Your mother had no income. Freetaxes com Because you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up your mother's apartment from January 1 until her death, and you can claim an exemption for her, you can file as a head of household. Freetaxes com Temporary absences. Freetaxes com    You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. Freetaxes com It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. Freetaxes com You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. Freetaxes com Kidnapped child. Freetaxes com    You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the child who is your qualifying person has been kidnapped. Freetaxes com You can claim head of household filing status if all the following statements are true. Freetaxes com The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Freetaxes com In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Freetaxes com You would have qualified for head of household filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Freetaxes com   This treatment applies for all years until the earliest of: The year the child is returned, The year there is a determination that the child is dead, or The year the child would have reached age 18. Freetaxes com Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. Freetaxes com The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. Freetaxes com See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. Freetaxes com You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. Freetaxes com For example, if your spouse died in 2012 and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. Freetaxes com The rules for using this filing status are explained in detail here. Freetaxes com This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). Freetaxes com It does not entitle you to file a joint return. Freetaxes com How to file. Freetaxes com    If you file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. Freetaxes com If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. Freetaxes com Check the box on line 5 of either form. Freetaxes com Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. Freetaxes com Table 4. Freetaxes com Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 See the text of this publication for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. Freetaxes com IF the person is your . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com   AND . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com   THEN that person is . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com . Freetaxes com qualifying child (such as a son, daughter, or grandchild who lived with you more than half the year and meets certain other tests)2   he or she is single   a qualifying person, whether or not you can claim an exemption for the person. Freetaxes com   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. Freetaxes com   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Freetaxes com 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests). Freetaxes com   he or she lived with you more than half the year, and he or she is related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. Freetaxes com   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , later, and is your qualifying relative only because he or she lived with you all year as a member of your household   not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com 1 A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. Freetaxes com 2 The term “qualifying child” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Freetaxes com Note: If you are a noncustodial parent, the term “qualifying child” for head of household filing status does not include a child who is your qualifying child for exemption purposes only because of the rules described under Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child, later. Freetaxes com If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. Freetaxes com 3 This person is a qualifying person if the only reason you cannot claim the exemption is that you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. Freetaxes com 4 The term “qualifying relative” is defined under Exemptions for Dependents, later. Freetaxes com 5 If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. Freetaxes com See Multiple Support Agreement . Freetaxes com 6 See Special rule for parent . Freetaxes com Eligibility rules. Freetaxes com    You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all the following tests. Freetaxes com You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. Freetaxes com It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. Freetaxes com Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. Freetaxes com You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. Freetaxes com This does not include a foster child. Freetaxes com This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. Freetaxes com See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. Freetaxes com There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. Freetaxes com You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. Freetaxes com See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. Freetaxes com Example. Freetaxes com John's wife died in 2011. Freetaxes com John has not remarried. Freetaxes com He has continued during 2012 and 2013 to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. Freetaxes com For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. Freetaxes com For 2012 and 2013, he can file as a qualifying widower with a dependent child. Freetaxes com After 2013, he can file as head of household if he qualifies. Freetaxes com Death or birth. Freetaxes com    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. Freetaxes com You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. Freetaxes com Kidnapped child. Freetaxes com    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child even if the child who qualifies you for this filing status has been kidnapped. Freetaxes com You can claim qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if all the following statements are true. Freetaxes com The child is presumed by law enforcement authorities to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or the child's family. Freetaxes com In the year of the kidnapping, the child lived with you for more than half the part of the year before the kidnapping. Freetaxes com You would have qualified for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status if the child had not been kidnapped. Freetaxes com As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. Freetaxes com Exemptions Exemptions reduce your taxable income. Freetaxes com You can deduct $3,900 for each exemption you claim in 2013. Freetaxes com If you are entitled to two exemptions for 2013, you can deduct $7,800 ($3,900 × 2). Freetaxes com But you may lose the benefit of part or all of your exemptions if your adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. Freetaxes com See Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Freetaxes com Types of exemptions. Freetaxes com    There are two types of exemptions you may be able to take: Personal exemptions for yourself and your spouse, and Exemptions for dependents (dependency exemptions). Freetaxes com While each is worth the same amount ($3,900 for 2013), different rules, discussed later, apply to each type. Freetaxes com Dependent cannot claim a personal exemption. Freetaxes com    If you are entitled to claim an exemption for a dependent (such as your child), that dependent cannot claim a personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Freetaxes com How to claim exemptions. Freetaxes com    How you claim an exemption on your tax return depends on which form you file. Freetaxes com Form 1040EZ filers. Freetaxes com    If you file Form 1040EZ, the exemption amount is combined with the standard deduction and entered on line 5. Freetaxes com Form 1040A filers. Freetaxes com    If you file Form 1040A, complete lines 6a through 6d. Freetaxes com The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Freetaxes com Also complete line 26. Freetaxes com Form 1040 filers. Freetaxes com    If you file Form 1040, complete lines 6a through 6d. Freetaxes com The total number of exemptions you can claim is the total in the box on line 6d. Freetaxes com Also complete line 42. Freetaxes com If your adjusted gross income is more than $150,000, see Phaseout of Exemptions , later. Freetaxes com U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident alien. Freetaxes com    If you are a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com resident alien, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com national (defined later) or a resident of Canada or Mexico, you may qualify for any of the exemptions discussed here. Freetaxes com Nonresident aliens. Freetaxes com    Generally, if you are a nonresident alien (other than a resident of Canada or Mexico, or certain residents of India or Korea), you can qualify for only one personal exemption for yourself. Freetaxes com You cannot claim exemptions for a spouse or dependents. Freetaxes com   These restrictions do not apply if you are a nonresident alien married to a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen or resident alien and have chosen to be treated as a resident of the United States. Freetaxes com More information. Freetaxes com    For more information on exemptions if you are a nonresident alien, see chapter 5 in Publication 519. Freetaxes com Dual-status taxpayers. Freetaxes com    If you have been both a nonresident alien and a resident alien in the same tax year, you should see Publication 519 for information on determining your exemptions. Freetaxes com Personal Exemptions You are generally allowed one exemption for yourself. Freetaxes com If you are married, you may be allowed one exemption for your spouse. Freetaxes com These are called personal exemptions. Freetaxes com Your Own Exemption You can take one exemption for yourself unless you can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Freetaxes com If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent. Freetaxes com Your Spouse's Exemption Your spouse is never considered your dependent. Freetaxes com Joint return. Freetaxes com    On a joint return, you can claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. Freetaxes com Separate return. Freetaxes com    If you file a separate return, you can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another taxpayer. Freetaxes com This is true even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim your spouse as a dependent. Freetaxes com You can claim an exemption for your spouse even if he or she is a nonresident alien; in that case, your spouse must have no gross income for U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com tax purposes and satisfy the other conditions listed above. Freetaxes com Head of household. Freetaxes com    If you qualify for head of household filing status because you are considered unmarried, you can claim an exemption for your spouse if the conditions described in the preceding paragraph are satisfied. Freetaxes com   To claim the exemption for your spouse, check the box on line 6b of Form 1040 or Form 1040A and enter the name of your spouse in the space to the right of the box. Freetaxes com Enter the SSN or ITIN of your spouse in the space provided at the top of Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Freetaxes com Death of spouse. Freetaxes com    If your spouse died during the year and you file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse, you generally can claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just explained in Joint return . Freetaxes com If you file a separate return for the year, you may be able to claim your spouse's exemption under the rules just described in Separate return . Freetaxes com   If you remarried during the year, you cannot take an exemption for your deceased spouse. Freetaxes com   If you are a surviving spouse without gross income and you remarry in the year your spouse died, you can be claimed as an exemption on both the final separate return of your deceased spouse and the separate return of your new spouse for that year. Freetaxes com If you file a joint return with your new spouse, you can be claimed as an exemption only on that return. Freetaxes com Divorced or separated spouse. Freetaxes com    If you obtained a final decree of divorce or separate maintenance during the year, you cannot take your former spouse's exemption. Freetaxes com This rule applies even if you provided all of your former spouse's support. Freetaxes com Exemptions for Dependents You are allowed one exemption for each person you can claim as a dependent. Freetaxes com You can claim an exemption for a dependent even if your dependent files a return. Freetaxes com The term “dependent” means: A qualifying child, or A qualifying relative. Freetaxes com The terms “ qualifying child ” and “ qualifying relative ” are defined later. Freetaxes com You can claim an exemption for a qualifying child or qualifying relative only if these three tests are met. Freetaxes com Dependent taxpayer test. Freetaxes com Joint return test. Freetaxes com Citizen or resident test. Freetaxes com These three tests are explained in detail later. Freetaxes com All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5. Freetaxes com Table 5. Freetaxes com Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent This table is only an overview of the rules. Freetaxes com For details, see the rest of this publication. Freetaxes com You cannot claim any dependents if you, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer. Freetaxes com   You cannot claim a married person who files a joint return as a dependent unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid. Freetaxes com   You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is a U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com citizen, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com resident alien, U. Freetaxes com S. Freetaxes com national, or a resident of Canada or Mexico. Freetaxes com 1  You cannot claim a person as a dependent unless that person is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. Freetaxes com   Tests To Be a Qualifying Child Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them. Freetaxes com   The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled. Freetaxes com   The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Freetaxes com 2  The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year. Freetaxes com   The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that joint return is filed only to claim a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax paid). Freetaxes com  If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. Freetaxes com See the Special Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person described later to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child. Freetaxes com The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer. Freetaxes com   The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law). Freetaxes com   The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,900. Freetaxes com 3  You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year. Freetaxes com 4  1 There is an exception for certain adopted children. Freetaxes com 2 There are exceptions for temporary absences, children who were born or died during the year, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Freetaxes com 3 There is an exception if the person is disabled and has income from a sheltered workshop. Freetaxes com 4 There are exceptions for multiple support agreements, children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart), and kidnapped children. Freetaxes com Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. Freetaxes com If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own personal exemption on his or her own tax return. Freetaxes com This is true even if you do not claim the dependent's exemption on your return. Freetaxes com It is also true if the dependent's exemption on your return is reduced or eliminated under the phaseout rule described under Phaseout of Exemptions, later. Freetaxes com Housekeepers, maids, or servants. Freetaxes com    If these people work for you, you cannot claim exemptions for them. Freetaxes com Child tax credit. Freetaxes com    You may be entitled to a child tax credit for each qualifying child who was under age 17 at the end of the year if you claimed an exemption for that child. Freetaxes com For more information, see the instructions for the tax form you file (Form 1040 or 1040A). Freetaxes com Dependent Taxpayer Test If you can be claimed as a dependent by another person, you cannot claim anyone else as a dependent. Freetaxes com Even if you have a qualifying child or qualifying relative, you cannot claim that person as a dependent. Freetaxes com If you are filing a joint return and your spouse can be claimed as a dependent by someone else, you and your spouse cannot claim any dependents on your joint return. Freetaxes com Joint Return Test You generally cannot claim a married person as a dependent if he or she files a joint return. Freetaxes com Exception. Freetaxes com    You can claim an exemption for a person who files a joint return if that person and his or her spouse file the joint return only to claim a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid. Freetaxes com Example 1—child files joint return. Freetaxes com You supported your 18-year-old daughter, and she lived with you all year while her husband was in the Armed Forces. Freetaxes com He earned $25,000 for the year. Freetaxes com The couple files a joint return. Freetaxes com You cannot take an exemption for your daughter. Freetaxes com Example 2—child files joint return only as claim for refund of withheld tax. Freetaxes com Your 18-year-old son and his 17-year-old wife had $800 of wages from part-time jobs and no other income. Freetaxes com Neither is required to file a tax return. Freetaxes com They do not have a child. Freetaxes com Taxes were taken out of their pay so they file a joint return only to get a refund of the withheld taxes. Freetaxes com The exception to the joint return test applies, so you are not disqualified from claiming an exemption for each of them just because they file a joint return. Freetaxes com You can claim exemptions for each of them if all the other tests to do so are met. Freetaxes com Example 3—child files joint return to claim American opportunity credit. Freetaxes com The facts are the same as in Example 2 except no taxes were taken out of your son's pay. Freetaxes com He and his wife are not required to file a tax return. Freetaxes com However, they file a joint return to claim an American opportunity credit of $124 and get a refund of that amount. Freetaxes com Because claiming the American opportunity credit is their reason for filing the return, they are not filing it only to get a refund of income