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State Taxes

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State Taxes

State taxes Publication 926 - Main Content Table of Contents Do You Have a Household Employee? Can Your Employee Legally Work in the United States? Do You Need To Pay Employment Taxes?Social Security and Medicare Taxes Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Do You Need To Withhold Federal Income Tax? What Do You Need To Know About the Earned Income Credit? How Do You Make Tax Payments? What Forms Must You File?Employee who leaves during the year. State taxes Filing options when no return is required. State taxes What Records Must You Keep? Can You Claim a Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses? How Can You Correct Schedule H?Adjust the overpayment. State taxes Claim for refund process. State taxes How To Get Tax HelpLow Income Taxpayer Clinics Do You Have a Household Employee? You have a household employee if you hired someone to do household work and that worker is your employee. State taxes The worker is your employee if you can control not only what work is done, but how it is done. State taxes If the worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is full time or part time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. State taxes It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, or by the job. State taxes Example. State taxes You pay Betty Shore to babysit your child and do light housework 4 days a week in your home. State taxes Betty follows your specific instructions about household and child care duties. State taxes You provide the household equipment and supplies that Betty needs to do her work. State taxes Betty is your household employee. State taxes Household work. State taxes   Household work is work done in or around your home. State taxes Some examples of workers who do household work are: Babysitters, Caretakers, House cleaning workers, Domestic workers, Drivers, Health aides, Housekeepers, Maids, Nannies, Private nurses, and Yard workers. State taxes Workers who are not your employees. State taxes   If only the worker can control how the work is done, the worker is not your employee but is self-employed. State taxes A self-employed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business. State taxes   A worker who performs child care services for you in his or her home generally is not your employee. State taxes   If an agency provides the worker and controls what work is done and how it is done, the worker is not your employee. State taxes Example. State taxes You made an agreement with John Peters to care for your lawn. State taxes John runs a lawn care business and offers his services to the general public. State taxes He provides his own tools and supplies, and he hires and pays any helpers he needs. State taxes Neither John nor his helpers are your household employees. State taxes More information. State taxes   More information about who is an employee is in Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. State taxes Can Your Employee Legally Work in the United States? It is unlawful for you knowingly to hire or continue to employ an alien who cannot legally work in the United States. State taxes When you hire a household employee to work for you on a regular basis, you and the employee must complete the U. State taxes S. State taxes Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. State taxes No later than the first day of work, the employee must complete the employee section of the form by providing certain required information and attesting to his or her current work eligibility status in the United States. State taxes You must complete the employer section by examining documents presented by the employee as evidence of his or her identity and employment eligibility. State taxes Acceptable documents to establish identity and employment eligibility are listed on Form I-9. State taxes You should keep the completed Form I-9 in your own records. State taxes Do not submit it to the IRS, the USCIS, or any other government or other entity. State taxes The form must be kept available for review upon notice by an authorized U. State taxes S. State taxes Government official. State taxes Two copies of Form I-9 are contained in the Handbook for Employers (Form M-274) published by the USCIS. State taxes Call the USCIS at 1-800-870-3676 to order the Handbook for Employers; or you may download the handbook at www. State taxes uscis. State taxes gov. State taxes If you have questions about the employment eligibility verification process or other immigration-related employment matters, contact the USCIS Office of Business Liaison at 1-800-357-2099. State taxes You also can visit the USCIS website at www. State taxes uscis. State taxes gov to get Form I-9. State taxes For more information, see Employee's Social Security Number (SSN) in Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide. State taxes Do You Need To Pay Employment Taxes? If you have a household employee, you may need to withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes, pay federal unemployment tax, or both. State taxes To find out, read Table 1. State taxes You do not need to withhold federal income tax from your household employee's wages. State taxes But if your employee asks you to withhold it, you can. State taxes See Do You Need To Withhold Federal Income Tax, later. State taxes If you need to pay social security, Medicare, or federal unemployment tax or choose to withhold federal income tax, read Table 2 for an overview of what you may need to do. State taxes If you do not need to pay social security, Medicare, or federal unemployment tax and do not choose to withhold federal income tax, read State employment taxes, next. State taxes The rest of this publication does not apply to you. State taxes State employment taxes. State taxes   You should contact your state unemployment tax agency to find out whether you need to pay state unemployment tax for your household employee. State taxes For a list of state unemployment tax agencies, visit the U. State taxes S. State taxes Department of Labor's website at www. State taxes workforcesecurity. State taxes doleta. State taxes gov/unemploy/agencies. State taxes asp. State taxes You should also determine if you need to pay or collect other state employment taxes or carry workers' compensation insurance. State taxes    Table 1. State taxes Do You Need To Pay Employment Taxes? IF you . State taxes . State taxes . State taxes THEN you need to . State taxes . State taxes . State taxes A– Pay cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2014 to any one household employee. State taxes Withhold and pay social security and Medicare taxes. State taxes The taxes are 15. State taxes 3%1 of cash wages. State taxes Your employee's share is 7. State taxes 65%1. State taxes   (You can choose to pay it yourself and not withhold it. State taxes ) Your share is 7. State taxes 65%. State taxes   Do not count wages you pay to— Your spouse, Your child under the age of 21, Your parent (see Wages not counted, later, for an exception), or Any employee under the age of 18 at any time in 2014 (see Wages not counted, later, for an exception). State taxes B– Pay total cash wages of $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2013 or 2014 to household employees. State taxes Pay federal unemployment tax. State taxes The tax is 6% of cash wages. State taxes Wages over $7,000 a year per employee are not taxed. State taxes You also may owe state unemployment tax. State taxes   Do not count wages you pay to— Your spouse, Your child under the age of 21, or Your parent. State taxes 1In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. State taxes 45%, you must withhold a 0. State taxes 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. State taxes You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. State taxes Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. State taxes There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. State taxes All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. State taxes Note. State taxes If neither A nor B above applies, you do not need to pay any federal employment taxes. State taxes But you may still need to pay state employment taxes. State taxes Table 2. State taxes Household Employer's Checklist You may need to do the following things when you have a household employee. State taxes   When you hire a household employee: □ Find out if the person can legally work in the United States. State taxes  □ Find out if you need to pay state taxes. State taxes When you pay your household employee: □ Withhold social security and Medicare taxes. State taxes  □ Withhold federal income tax. State taxes  □ Decide how you will make tax payments. State taxes  □ Keep records. State taxes By February 2, 2015: □ Get an employer identification number (EIN). State taxes  □ Give your employee Copies B, C, and 2 of Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. State taxes By March 2, 2015 (March 31, 2015, if you file Form W-2 electronically): □ Send Copy A of Form W-2 to the Social Security Administration (SSA). State taxes By April 15, 2015: □ File Schedule H (Form 1040), Household Employment Taxes, with your 2014 federal income tax return (Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or Form 1041). State taxes  If you do not have to file a return, file Schedule H by itself. State taxes Social Security and Medicare Taxes The social security tax pays for old-age, survivors, and disability benefits for workers and their families. State taxes The Medicare tax pays for hospital insurance. State taxes Both you and your household employee may owe social security and Medicare taxes. State taxes Your share is 7. State taxes 65% (6. State taxes 2% for social security tax and 1. State taxes 45% for Medicare tax) of the employee's social security and Medicare wages. State taxes Your employee's share is also 7. State taxes 65% (6. State taxes 2% for social security tax and 1. State taxes 45% for Medicare tax). State taxes In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. State taxes 45%, you must withhold a 0. State taxes 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. State taxes You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. State taxes Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. State taxes There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. State taxes All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. State taxes For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS. State taxes gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box. State taxes Generally, you can use Table 3 to figure the amount of social security and Medicare taxes to withhold from each wage payment. State taxes You are responsible for payment of your employee's share of the taxes as well as your own. State taxes You can either withhold your employee's share from the employee's wages or pay it from your own funds. State taxes If you decide to pay the employee's share from your own funds, see Not withholding the employee's share, later. State taxes Pay the taxes as discussed under How Do You Make Tax Payments, later. State taxes Also, see What Forms Must You File, later. State taxes Social security and Medicare wages. State taxes   You figure social security and Medicare taxes on the social security and Medicare wages you pay your employee. State taxes   If you pay your household employee cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2014, all cash wages you pay to that employee in 2014 (regardless of when the wages were earned) up to $117,000 are social security wages and all cash wages are Medicare wages. State taxes However, any noncash wages you pay do not count as social security and Medicare wages. State taxes   If you pay the employee less than $1,900 in cash wages in 2014, none of the wages you pay the employee are social security or Medicare wages and neither you nor your employee will owe social security or Medicare tax on those wages. State taxes Cash wages. State taxes   Cash wages include wages you pay by check, money order, etc. State taxes Cash wages do not include the value of food, lodging, clothing, and other noncash items you give your household employee. State taxes However, cash you give your employee in place of these items is included in cash wages. State taxes State disability payments treated as wages. State taxes   Certain state disability plan payments that your household employee may receive are treated as social security and Medicare wages. State taxes For more information about these payments, see the Instructions for Schedule H (Form 1040) and the notice issued by the state. State taxes Wages not counted. State taxes   Do not count wages you pay to any of the following individuals as social security or Medicare wages, even if these wages are $1,900 or more during the year. State taxes Your spouse. State taxes Your child who is under the age of 21. State taxes Your parent. State taxes Exception: Count these wages if both the following conditions apply. State taxes Your parent cares for your child who is either of the following. State taxes Under the age of 18, or Has a physical or mental condition that requires the personal care of an adult for at least 4 continuous weeks in the calendar quarter services were performed. State taxes Your marital status is one of the following. State taxes You are divorced and have not remarried, You are a widow or widower, or You are living with a spouse whose physical or mental condition prevents him or her from caring for your child for at least 4 continuous weeks in the calendar quarter services were performed. State taxes An employee who is under the age of 18 at any time during the year. State taxes Exception: Count these wages if providing household services is the employee's principal occupation. State taxes If the employee is a student, providing household services is not considered to be his or her principal occupation. State taxes Also, if your employee's cash wages reach $117,000 (maximum wages subject to social security tax) in 2014, do not count any wages you pay that employee during the rest of the year as social security wages to figure social security tax. State taxes Continue to count the employee's cash wages as Medicare wages to figure Medicare tax. State taxes If you provide your employee transit passes to commute to your home, do not count the value of the transit passes (up to $130 per month for 2014) as wages. State taxes A transit pass includes any pass, token, fare card, voucher, or similar item entitling a person to ride on mass transit, such as a bus or train. State taxes If you provide your employee parking at or near your home or at or near a location from which your employee commutes to your home, do not count the value of parking (up to $250 per month for 2014) as wages. State taxes If you reimburse your employee for transit passes or parking, you may be able to exclude the reimbursement amounts. State taxes See Publication 15-B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, for special requirements for this exclusion. State taxes Withholding the employee's share. State taxes   You should withhold the employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes if you expect to pay your household employee cash wages of $1,900 or more in 2014. State taxes However, if you prefer to pay the employee's share yourself, see Not withholding the employee's share, later. State taxes   You can withhold the employee's share of the taxes even if you are not sure your employee's cash wages will be $1,900 or more in 2014. State taxes If you withhold the taxes but then actually pay the employee less than $1,900 in cash wages for the year, you should repay the employee. State taxes   Withhold 7. State taxes 65% (6. State taxes 2% for social security tax and 1. State taxes 45% for Medicare tax) from each payment of social security and Medicare wages. State taxes Generally, you can use Table 3 to figure the proper amount to withhold. State taxes You will pay the amount withheld to the IRS with your share of the taxes. State taxes Do not withhold any social security tax after your employee's social security wages for the year reach $117,000. State taxes Table 3. State taxes Employee Social Security (6. State taxes 2%) and Medicare (1. State taxes 45%1) Tax Withholding Table (See Publication 15 (Circular E) for income tax withholding tables. State taxes ) Use this table to figure the amount of social security and Medicare taxes to withhold from each wage payment. State taxes For example, on a wage payment of $180, the employee social security tax is $11. State taxes 16 ($6. State taxes 20 tax on $100 plus $4. State taxes 96 on $80 wages). State taxes The employee Medicare tax is $2. State taxes 61 ($1. State taxes 45 tax on $100 plus $1. State taxes 16 on $80 wages). State taxes If wage payment is: The social security tax to be withheld is: The Medicare tax to be withheld is: If wage payment is: The social security tax to be withheld is: The Medicare tax to be withheld is: $ 1. State taxes 00 . State taxes $ . State taxes 06 $ . State taxes 01 $ 51. State taxes 00 . State taxes $ 3. State taxes 16 $ . State taxes 74 2. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 12 . State taxes 03 52. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 22 . State taxes 75 3. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 19 . State taxes 04 53. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 29 . State taxes 77 4. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 25 . State taxes 06 54. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 35 . State taxes 78 5. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 31 . State taxes 07 55. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 41 . State taxes 80 6. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 37 . State taxes 09 56. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 47 . State taxes 81 7. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 43 . State taxes 10 57. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 53 . State taxes 83 8. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 50 . State taxes 12 58. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 60 . State taxes 84 9. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 56 . State taxes 13 59. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 66 . State taxes 86 10. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 62 . State taxes 15 60. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 72 . State taxes 87 11. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 68 . State taxes 16 61. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 78 . State taxes 88 12. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 74 . State taxes 17 62. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 84 . State taxes 90 13. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 81 . State taxes 19 63. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 91 . State taxes 91 14. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 87 . State taxes 20 64. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 97 . State taxes 93 15. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 93 . State taxes 22 65. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 03 . State taxes 94 16. State taxes 00 . State taxes . State taxes 99 . State taxes 23 66. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 09 . State taxes 96 17. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 05 . State taxes 25 67. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 15 . State taxes 97 18. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 12 . State taxes 26 68. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 22 . State taxes 99 19. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 18 . State taxes 28 69. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 28 1. State taxes 00 20. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 24 . State taxes 29 70. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 34 1. State taxes 02 21. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 30 . State taxes 30 71. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 40 1. State taxes 03 22. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 36 . State taxes 32 72. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 46 1. State taxes 04 23. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 43 . State taxes 33 73. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 53 1. State taxes 06 24. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 49 . State taxes 35 74. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 59 1. State taxes 07 25. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 55 . State taxes 36 75. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 65 1. State taxes 09 26. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 61 . State taxes 38 76. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 71 1. State taxes 10 27. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 67 . State taxes 39 77. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 77 1. State taxes 12 28. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 74 . State taxes 41 78. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 84 1. State taxes 13 29. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 80 . State taxes 42 79. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 90 1. State taxes 15 30. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 86 . State taxes 44 80. State taxes 00 . State taxes 4. State taxes 96 1. State taxes 16 31. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 92 . State taxes 45 81. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 02 1. State taxes 17 32. State taxes 00 . State taxes 1. State taxes 98 . State taxes 46 82. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 08 1. State taxes 19 33. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 05 . State taxes 48 83. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 15 1. State taxes 20 34. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 11 . State taxes 49 84. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 21 1. State taxes 22 35. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 17 . State taxes 51 85. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 27 1. State taxes 23 36. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 23 . State taxes 52 86. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 33 1. State taxes 25 37. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 29 . State taxes 54 87. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 39 1. State taxes 26 38. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 36 . State taxes 55 88. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 46 1. State taxes 28 39. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 42 . State taxes 57 89. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 52 1. State taxes 29 40. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 48 . State taxes 58 90. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 58 1. State taxes 31 41. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 54 . State taxes 59 91. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 64 1. State taxes 32 42. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 60 . State taxes 61 92. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 70 1. State taxes 33 43. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 67 . State taxes 62 93. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 77 1. State taxes 35 44. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 73 . State taxes 64 94. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 83 1. State taxes 36 45. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 79 . State taxes 65 95. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 89 1. State taxes 38 46. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 85 . State taxes 67 96. State taxes 00 . State taxes 5. State taxes 95 1. State taxes 39 47. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 91 . State taxes 68 97. State taxes 00 . State taxes 6. State taxes 01 1. State taxes 41 48. State taxes 00 . State taxes 2. State taxes 98 . State taxes 70 98. State taxes 00 . State taxes 6. State taxes 08 1. State taxes 42 49. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 04 . State taxes 71 99. State taxes 00 . State taxes 6. State taxes 14 1. State taxes 44 50. State taxes 00 . State taxes 3. State taxes 10 . State taxes 73 100. State taxes 00 . State taxes 6. State taxes 20 1. State taxes 45 1In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. State taxes 45%, you must withhold a 0. State taxes 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. State taxes You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. State taxes Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. State taxes There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. State taxes All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. State taxes   If you make an error by withholding too little, you should withhold additional taxes from a later payment. State taxes If you withhold too much, you should repay the employee. State taxes    In addition to withholding Medicare tax at 1. State taxes 45%, you must withhold a 0. State taxes 9% Additional Medicare Tax from wages you pay to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. State taxes You are required to begin withholding Additional Medicare Tax in the pay period in which you pay wages in excess of $200,000 to an employee and continue to withhold it each pay period until the end of the calendar year. State taxes Additional Medicare Tax is only imposed on the employee. State taxes There is no employer share of Additional Medicare Tax. State taxes All wages that are subject to Medicare tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax withholding if paid in excess of the $200,000 withholding threshold. State taxes For more information on Additional Medicare Tax, visit IRS. State taxes gov and enter “Additional Medicare Tax” in the search box. State taxes Example. State taxes On February 13, 2014, Mary Brown hired Jane R. State taxes Oak (who is an unrelated individual over age 18) to care for her child and agreed to pay cash wages of $50 every Friday. State taxes Jane worked for the remainder of the year (a total of 46 weeks). State taxes Mary did not give Jane a Form W-4 to request federal or state tax withholding. State taxes The following is the information Mary will need to complete Schedule H, Form W-2, and Form W-3. State taxes See the completed examples of Form W-2 and Form W-3 for 2014 at the end of this publication. State taxes Total cash wages paid to Jane $2,300. State taxes 00 ($50 x 46 weeks)       Jane's share of:     Social security tax $142. State taxes 60 ($2,300 x 6. State taxes 2% (. State taxes 062))         Medicare tax $33. State taxes 35       ($2,300 x 1. State taxes 45% (. State taxes 0145)) Mary's share of:     Social security tax $142. State taxes 60  ($2,300 x 6. State taxes 2% (. State taxes 062))           Medicare tax $33. State taxes 35  ($2,300 x 1. State taxes 45% (. State taxes 0145)) Amount reported on Form W-2 and Form W-3:   Box 1:Wages, tips $2,300. State taxes 00   Box 4: Social security tax withheld 142. State taxes 60   Box 6: Medicare tax withheld 33. State taxes 35 For information on withholding and reporting federal income taxes, see Publication 15 (Circular E). State taxes Not withholding the employee's share. State taxes   If you prefer to pay your employee's social security and Medicare taxes from your own funds, do not withhold them from your employee's wages. State taxes The social security and Medicare taxes you pay to cover your employee's share must be included in the employee's wages for income tax purposes. State taxes However, they are not counted as social security and Medicare wages or as federal unemployment (FUTA) wages. State taxes Example. State taxes In 2014 you hire a household employee (who is an unrelated individual over age 18) to care for your child and agree to pay cash wages of $100 every Friday. State taxes You expect to pay your employee $1,900 or more for the year. State taxes You decide to pay your employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes from your own funds. State taxes You pay your employee $100 every Friday without withholding any social security or Medicare taxes. State taxes For social security and Medicare tax purposes, your employee's wages each payday are $100. State taxes For each wage payment, you will pay $15. State taxes 30 when you pay the taxes. State taxes This is $7. State taxes 65 ($6. State taxes 20 for social security tax + $1. State taxes 45 for Medicare tax) to cover your employee's share plus $7. State taxes 65 ($6. State taxes 20 for social security tax + $1. State taxes 45 for Medicare tax) for your share. State taxes For income tax purposes, your employee's wages each payday are $107. State taxes 65 ($100 + the $7. State taxes 65 you will pay to cover your employee's share of social security and Medicare taxes). State taxes Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax The federal unemployment tax is part of the federal and state program under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) that pays unemployment compensation to workers who lose their jobs. State taxes Like most employers, you may owe both the federal unemployment tax (the FUTA tax) and a state unemployment tax. State taxes Or, you may owe only the FUTA tax or only the state unemployment tax. State taxes To find out whether you will owe state unemployment tax, contact your state's unemployment tax agency. State taxes For a list of state unemployment tax agencies, visit the U. State taxes S. State taxes Department of Labor's website at www. State taxes workforcesecurity. State taxes doleta. State taxes gov/unemploy/agencies. State taxes asp. State taxes You should also find out if you need to pay or collect other state employment taxes or carry workers' compensation insurance. State taxes The FUTA tax is 6. State taxes 0% of your employee's FUTA wages. State taxes However, you may be able to take a credit of up to 5. State taxes 4% against the FUTA tax, resulting in a net tax rate of 0. State taxes 6%. State taxes Your credit for 2014 is limited unless you pay all the required contributions for 2014 to your state unemployment fund by April 15, 2015. State taxes The credit you can take for any contributions for 2014 that you pay after April 15, 2015, is limited to 90% of the credit that would have been allowable if the contributions were paid by April 15, 2015. State taxes (If you did not pay all the required contributions for 2013 by April 15, 2014, see Credit for 2013, later. State taxes ) Note. State taxes   If a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, payments are considered timely if made by the next business day. State taxes The term “legal holiday” means any legal holiday in the District of Columbia. State taxes Pay the tax as discussed under How Do You Make Tax Payments, later. State taxes Also, see What Forms Must You File, later. State taxes Note. State taxes   The 5. State taxes 4% credit is reduced for wages paid in a credit reduction state. State taxes See the Instructions for Schedule H (Form 1040). State taxes Do not withhold the FUTA tax from your employee's wages. State taxes You must pay it from your own funds. State taxes FUTA wages. State taxes   Figure the FUTA tax on the FUTA wages you pay. State taxes If you pay cash wages to all of your household employees totaling $1,000 or more in any calendar quarter of 2013 or 2014, the first $7,000 of cash wages you pay to each household employee in 2014 is FUTA wages. State taxes (A calendar quarter is January through March, April through June, July through September, or October through December. State taxes ) If your employee's cash wages reach $7,000 during the year, do not figure the FUTA tax on any wages you pay that employee during the rest of the year. State taxes For an explanation of cash wages, see the discussion on Social security and Medicare wages under Social Security and Medicare Taxes, earlier. State taxes Wages not counted. State taxes   Do not count wages you pay to any of the following individuals as FUTA wages. State taxes Your spouse. State taxes Your child who is under the age of 21. State taxes Your parent. State taxes Credit for 2013. State taxes   The credit you can take for any state unemployment fund contributions for 2013 that you pay after April 15, 2014, is limited to 90% of the credit that would have been allowable if the contributions were paid on or before April 15, 2014. State taxes Use Worksheet A to figure the credit for late contributions if you paid any state contributions after the due date for filing  Form 1040. State taxes Worksheet A. State taxes Worksheet for Credit for Late Contributions 1. State taxes Enter the amount from Schedule H, line 22   2. State taxes Enter the amount from Schedule H, line 19   3. State taxes Subtract line 2 from line 1. State taxes If zero or less, enter -0-   4. State taxes Enter total contributions paid to the state(s) after the Form 1040 due date   5. State taxes Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 4   6. State taxes Multiply line 5 by . State taxes 90 (90%)   7. State taxes Add lines 2 and 6   8. State taxes Enter the smaller of the amount on line 1 or line 7 here and on Schedule H, line 23   Do You Need To Withhold Federal Income Tax? You are not required to withhold federal income tax from wages you pay a household employee. State taxes You should withhold federal income tax only if your household employee asks you to withhold it and you agree. State taxes The employee must give you a completed Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate. State taxes If you and your employee have agreed to withholding, either of you may end the agreement by letting the other know in writing. State taxes If you agree to withhold federal income tax, you are responsible for paying it to the IRS. State taxes Pay the tax as discussed under How Do You Make Tax Payments, later. State taxes Also, see What Forms Must You File, later. State taxes Use the income tax withholding tables in Publication 15 (Circular E) to find out how much to withhold. State taxes Figure federal income tax withholding on wages before you deduct any amounts for other withheld taxes. State taxes Withhold federal income tax from each payment of wages based on the filing status and exemptions shown on your employee's Form W-4. State taxes Publication 15 (Circular E) contains detailed instructions. State taxes Wages. State taxes   Figure federal income tax withholding on both cash and noncash wages you pay. State taxes Measure wages you pay in any form other than cash by the fair market value of the noncash item. State taxes   Do not count as wages any of the following items. State taxes Meals provided to your employee at your home for your convenience. State taxes Lodging provided to your employee at your home for your convenience and as a condition of employment. State taxes Up to $130 per month for 2014 for transit passes you give your employee (or for any cash reimbursement you make for the amount your employee pays for transit passes used to commute to your home if you qualify for this exclusion). State taxes A transit pass includes any pass, token, fare card, voucher, or similar item entitling a person to ride on mass transit, such as a bus or train. State taxes See Publication 15-B for special requirements for this exclusion. State taxes Up to $250 per month for 2014 for the value of parking you provide your employee or for any cash reimbursement you make for the amount your employee pays and substantiates for parking at or near your home or at or near a location from which your employee commutes to your home. State taxes   See Publication 15 (Circular E) for more information on cash and noncash wages. State taxes Paying tax without withholding. State taxes   Any income tax you pay for your employee without withholding it from the employee's wages must be included in the employee's wages for federal income tax purposes. State taxes It also must be included in social security and Medicare wages and in federal unemployment (FUTA) wages. State taxes What Do You Need To Know About the Earned Income Credit? Certain workers can take the earned income credit (EIC) on their federal income tax return. State taxes This credit reduces their tax or allows them to receive a payment from the IRS. State taxes You also may have to give your employee a notice about the EIC. State taxes Notice about the EIC. State taxes   Copy B of the 2014 Form W-2 has a statement about the EIC on the back. State taxes If you give your employee that copy by February 2, 2015 (as discussed under Form W-2 under What Forms Must You File, later), you do not have to give the employee any other notice about the EIC. State taxes   If you do not give your employee Copy B of the Form W-2, your notice about the EIC can be any of the following items. State taxes A substitute Form W-2 with the same EIC information on the back of the employee's copy that is on Copy B of the Form W-2. State taxes Notice 797, Possible Federal Tax Refund Due to the Earned Income Credit (EIC). State taxes Your own written statement with the same wording as in Notice 797. State taxes If a substitute Form W-2 is given on time but does not have the required EIC information, you must notify the employee within one week of the date the substitute Form W-2 is given. State taxes If Form W-2 is required but is not given on time, you must give the employee Notice 797 or your written statement about the 2014 EIC by February 2, 2015. State taxes If Form W-2 is not required, you must notify the employee by February 7, 2015. State taxes   You must give your household employee a notice about the EIC if you agree to withhold federal income tax from the employee's wages (as discussed earlier under Do You Need To Withhold Federal Income Tax?) and the income tax withholding tables show that no tax should be withheld. State taxes Even if not required, you are encouraged to give the employee a notice about the EIC if his or her 2014 wages are less than $46,997 ($52,427 if married filing jointly). State taxes How Do You Make Tax Payments? When you file your 2014 federal income tax return in 2015, attach Schedule H (Form 1040) to your Form 1040, 1040NR, 1040-SS, or 1041. State taxes Use Schedule H to figure your total household employment taxes (social security, Medicare, FUTA, and withheld federal income taxes). State taxes Add these household employment taxes to your income tax. State taxes Pay the amount due by April 15, 2015. State taxes For more information about using Schedule H, see Schedule H under What Forms Must You File, later. State taxes You can avoid owing tax with your return if you pay enough tax during the year to cover your household employment taxes, as well as your income tax. State taxes You can pay the additional tax in any of the following ways. State taxes Ask your employer to withhold more federal income tax from your wages in 2014. State taxes Ask the payer of your pension or annuity to withhold more federal income tax from your benefits. State taxes Make estimated tax payments for 2014 to the IRS. State taxes Increase your payments if you already make estimated tax payments. State taxes You may be subject to the estimated tax underpayment penalty if you did not pay enough income and household employment taxes during the year. State taxes (See Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax, for information about the underpayment penalty. State taxes ) However, you will not be subject to the penalty if both of the following situations apply to you. State taxes You will not have federal income tax withheld from wages, pensions, or any other payments you receive. State taxes Your income taxes, excluding your household employment taxes, would not be enough to require payment of estimated taxes. State taxes Asking for more federal income tax withholding. State taxes   If you are employed and want more federal income tax withheld from your wages to cover your household employment taxes, give your employer a new Form W-4. State taxes Complete it as before, but show the additional amount you want withheld from each paycheck on line 6. State taxes   If you receive a pension or annuity and want more federal income tax withheld to cover household employment taxes, give the payer a new Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments (or a similar form provided by the payer). State taxes Complete it as before, but show the additional amount you want withheld from each benefit payment on line 3. State taxes   See Publication 505 to make sure you will have the right amount withheld. State taxes It will help you compare your total expected withholding for 2014 with the combined income tax and employment taxes that you can expect to figure on your 2014 tax return. State taxes Paying estimated tax. State taxes   If you want to make estimated tax payments to cover household employment taxes, get Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals. State taxes You can use its payment vouchers to make your payments by check or money order. State taxes You may be able to pay by Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW) or credit card. State taxes For details, see the form instructions and visit IRS. State taxes gov. State taxes    You can pay all the employment taxes at once or you can pay them in installments. State taxes If you have already made estimated tax payments for 2014, you can increase your remaining payments to cover the employment taxes. State taxes Estimated tax payments for 2014 are due April 15, June 16, and September 15, 2014, and January 15, 2015. State taxes Payment option for business employers. State taxes   If you own a business as a sole proprietor or your home is on a farm operated for profit, you can choose either of two ways to pay your 2014 household employment taxes. State taxes You can pay them with your federal income tax as previously described, or you can include them with your federal employment tax deposits or other payments for your business or farm employees. State taxes For information on depositing employment taxes, see Publication 15 (Circular E). State taxes   If you pay your household employment taxes with your business or farm employment taxes, you must report your household employment taxes with those other employment taxes on Form 941, Employer's QUARTERLY Federal Tax Return, Form 944, Employer's ANNUAL Federal Tax Return, or Form 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees, and on Form 940, Employer's Annual Federal Unemployment (FUTA) Tax Return. State taxes See Business employment tax returns, later. State taxes    The deduction that can be taken on Schedules C and F (Form 1040) for wages and employment taxes applies only to wages and taxes paid for business and farm employees. State taxes You cannot deduct the wages and employment taxes paid for your household employees on your Schedule C or F. State taxes More information. State taxes   For more information about paying taxes through federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments, and figuring the estimated tax penalty, see Publication 505. State taxes What Forms Must You File? You must file certain forms to report your household employee's wages and the federal employment taxes for the employee if you pay any of the following wages to the employee. State taxes Social security and Medicare wages. State taxes FUTA wages. State taxes Wages from which you withhold federal income tax. State taxes For information on ordering employment tax forms, see How To Get Tax Help, later. State taxes Employer identification number (EIN). State taxes   You must include your employer identification number (EIN) on the forms you file for your household employee. State taxes An EIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS. State taxes It is not the same as a social security number. State taxes    You ordinarily will have an EIN if you previously paid taxes for employees, either as a household employer or as a sole proprietor of a business you own. State taxes If you already have an EIN, use that number. State taxes   If you do not have an EIN, you may apply for one online. State taxes Go to IRS. State taxes gov and click on the Apply for an EIN Online link under Tools. State taxes You may also apply for an EIN by calling 1-800-829-4933, or you can fax or mail Form SS-4, Application for Employer Identification Number, to the IRS. State taxes Form W-2. State taxes   File a separate 2014 Form W-2, for each household employee to whom you pay either of the following wages during the year. State taxes Social security and Medicare wages of $1,900 or more. State taxes Wages from which you withhold federal income tax. State taxes You must complete Form W-2 and give Copies B, C, and 2 to your employee by February 2, 2015. State taxes You must send Copy A of Form W-2 with Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, to the SSA by March 2, 2015 (March 31, 2015, if you file your Form W-2 electronically). State taxes Electronic filing is available to all employers and is free, fast, secure, and offers a later filing deadline. State taxes Visit the SSA's Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information website at www. State taxes socialsecurity. State taxes gov/employer for guidelines on filing electronically. State taxes Employee who leaves during the year. State taxes   If an employee stops working for you before the end of 2014, you can file Form W-2 and provide copies to your employee immediately after you make your final payment of wages. State taxes You do not need to wait until 2015. State taxes If the employee asks you for Form W-2, give it to him or her within 30 days after the request or the last wage payment, whichever is later. State taxes Schedule H. State taxes   Use Schedule H to report household employment taxes if you pay any of the following wages to the employee. State taxes Social security and Medicare wages of $1,900 or more. State taxes FUTA wages. State taxes Wages from which you withhold federal income tax. State taxes File Schedule H with your 2014 federal income tax return by April 15, 2015. State taxes If you get an extension to file your return, the extension also will apply to your Schedule H. State taxes Filing options when no return is required. State taxes   If you are not required to file a 2014 tax return, you have the following two options. State taxes You can file Schedule H by itself. State taxes See the Schedule H instructions for details. State taxes If, besides your household employee, you have other employees for whom you report employment taxes on Form 941, Form 944, or Form 943 and on Form 940, you can include your taxes for your household employee on those forms. State taxes See Business employment tax returns, next. State taxes   Employers having the options listed above include certain tax-exempt organizations that do not have to file a tax return, such as churches that pay a household worker to take care of a minister's home. State taxes Business employment tax returns. State taxes   Do not use Schedule H if you choose to pay the employment taxes for your household employee with business or farm employment taxes. State taxes (See Payment option for business employers, earlier. State taxes ) Instead, include the social security, Medicare, and withheld federal income taxes for the employee on the Form 941 or Form 944 you file for your business or on the Form 943 you file for your farm. State taxes Include the FUTA tax for the employee on your Form 940. State taxes   If you report the employment taxes for your household employee on Form 941, Form 944, or Form 943, file Form W-2 for that employee with the Forms W-2 and Form W-3 for your business or farm employees. State taxes   For information on filing Form 941 or Form 944, see Publication 15 (Circular E). State taxes For information on filing Form 943, see Publication 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide. State taxes Both of these publications also provide information about filing Form 940. State taxes What Records Must You Keep? Keep your copies of Schedule H or other employment tax forms you file and related Forms W-2, W-3, and W-4. State taxes You must also keep records to support the information you enter on the forms you file. State taxes If you must file Form W-2, you will need to keep a record of your employee's name, address, and social security number. State taxes Wage and tax records. State taxes   On each payday, you should record the date and amounts of all the following items. State taxes Your employee's cash and noncash wages. State taxes Any employee social security tax you withhold or agree to pay for your employee. State taxes Any employee Medicare tax you withhold or agree to pay for your employee. State taxes Any federal income tax you withhold. State taxes Any state employment taxes you withhold. State taxes Employee's social security number. State taxes   You must keep a record of your employee's name and social security number exactly as they appear on his or her social security card if you pay the employee either of the following. State taxes Social security and Medicare wages of $1,900 or more. State taxes Wages from which you withhold federal income tax. State taxes You must ask for your employee's social security number no later than the first day on which you pay the wages. State taxes You may wish to ask for it when you hire your employee. State taxes You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. State taxes The employee may show the card if it is available. State taxes You may, but are not required to, photocopy the card if the employee provides it. State taxes   An employee who does not have a social security number must apply for one on Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card. State taxes An employee who has lost his or her social security card or whose name is not correctly shown on the card may apply for a replacement card. State taxes    Employees can get Form SS-5 from any Social Security Administration office or by calling 1-800-772-1213. State taxes    You also can download Form SS-5 from the Social Security Administration website at  www. State taxes socialsecurity. State taxes gov/online/ss-5. State taxes pdf. State taxes How long to keep records. State taxes   Keep your employment tax records for at least 4 years after the due date of the return on which you report the taxes or the date the taxes were paid, whichever is later. State taxes Can You Claim a Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses? If your household employee cares for your dependent who is under age 13 or for your spouse or dependent who is not capable of self-care, you may be able to take an income tax credit against some of your expenses. State taxes To qualify, you must pay these expenses so you can work or look for work. State taxes If you can take the credit, you can include in your qualifying expenses your share of the federal and state employment taxes you pay, as well as the employee's wages. State taxes For information about the credit, see Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses. State taxes How Can You Correct Schedule H? If you discover that you made an error on a Schedule H (or Anexo H-PR), the forms used to correct the error depend on whether the Schedule H was attached to another form or whether it was filed by itself. State taxes Schedule H attached to another form. State taxes    If you discover an error on a Schedule H that you previously filed with Form 1040, Form 1040NR, or Form 1040-SS, file Form 1040X, Amended U. State taxes S. State taxes Individual Income Tax Return, and attach a corrected Schedule H. State taxes If you filed Formulario 1040-PR, file a Form 1040X and attach a corrected Anexo H-PR. State taxes If you discover an error on a Schedule H that you previously filed with Form 1041, U. State taxes S. State taxes Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, file an “amended” Form 1041 and attach a corrected Schedule H. State taxes You discovered (that is, ascertained) the error when you had enough information to be able to correct the error. State taxes Write “CORRECTED” (or “CORREGIDO”) and the date you discovered the error in the top margin of your corrected Schedule H (or Anexo H-PR), in dark, bold letters. State taxes In addition, explain the reason for your correction and the date the error was discovered in Part III of Form 1040X or in a statement attached to the amended Form 1041. State taxes Schedule H filed by itself. State taxes   If you discover an error on a Schedule H (or Anexo H-PR) that you filed as a stand-alone return, file another stand-alone Schedule H with the corrected information. State taxes You discovered (that is, ascertained) the error when you had enough information to be able to correct the error. State taxes Write “CORRECTED” (or “CORREGIDO”) and the date you discovered the error in the top margin of your corrected Schedule H (or Anexo H-PR), in dark, bold letters. State taxes In addition, explain the reason for your correction and the date the error was discovered in a statement attached to the corrected Schedule H. State taxes If you have an overpayment, also write “ADJUSTED” (or “CORREGIDO”) or “REFUND” (or “REEMBOLSO”) in the top margin, depending on whether you want to adjust your overpayment or claim a refund. State taxes (See Overpayment of tax, later. State taxes ) When to file. State taxes   File a corrected Schedule H when you discover an error on a previously filed Schedule H. State taxes If you are correcting an underpayment, file a corrected Schedule H no later than the due date of your next tax return (generally, April 15 of the following calendar year) after you discover the error. State taxes If you are correcting an overpayment, file a corrected Schedule H within the refund period of limitations (generally 3 years from the date your original form was filed or within 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later). State taxes Underpayment of tax. State taxes   You must pay any underpayment of social security and Medicare taxes by the time you file the corrected Schedule H. State taxes Generally, by filing on time and paying by the time you file the return, you will not be charged interest (and will not be subject to failure-to-pay or estimated tax penalties) on the balance due. State taxes However, underreported FUTA taxes will be subject to interest. State taxes Overpayment of tax. State taxes    You may either adjust or claim a refund of an overpayment of social security and Medicare taxes on a previously filed Schedule H. State taxes However, if you are correcting an overpayment and are filing the corrected Schedule H within 90 days of the expiration of the period of limitations, you can only claim a refund of the overpayment. State taxes Adjust the overpayment. State taxes   If the corrected Schedule H is filed with a Form 1040X or an amended Form 1041, adjust your return by indicating on line 22 of the Form 1040X or on line 29a of the Form 1041 that you would like the overpayment applied to your estimated taxes on Form 1040, Form 1040NR, Form 1040-PR, Form 1040-SS, or Form 1041 for the year in which you are filing the corrected Schedule H. State taxes If the corrected Schedule H is filed as a stand-alone return, adjust your return by writing “ADJUSTED” (or “CORREGIDO”) in the top margin (in dark, bold letters). State taxes If you adjust your return, you will not receive interest on your overpayment. State taxes If the corrected Schedule H will be filed within 90 days of the expiration of the refund period of limitations, you may not adjust the return and must claim a refund for the overpayment. State taxes You may not adjust your return to correct overpayments of FUTA tax. State taxes Claim for refund process. State taxes   If the corrected Schedule H is filed with a Form 1040X or an amended Form 1041, claim a refund by indicating that you would like the overpayment refunded to you on line 21 of the Form 1040X or line 29b of the Form 1041. State taxes If the corrected Schedule H is filed as a stand-alone return, claim a refund by writing “REFUND” (or “REEMBOLSO”) in the top margin (in dark, bold letters). State taxes You will receive interest on any overpayment refunded, unless the overpayment is for FUTA tax because you were entitled to increased credits for state contributions. State taxes Required repayment or consent. State taxes   If you previously overreported social security and Medicare taxes, you may adjust your overpayment only after you have repaid or reimbursed your employees in the amount of the overcollection of employee tax. State taxes You reimburse your employees by applying the overwithheld amount against taxes to be withheld on future wages. State taxes You may claim a refund for the overpayment only after you have repaid or reimbursed your employees in the amount of the overcollection or you have obtained consents from your employees to file the claim for refund for the employee tax. State taxes Include a statement that you repaid or reimbursed your employees, or obtained their written consents in the case of a claim for refund, in Part III of Form 1040X or in a statement attached to the amended Form 1041 or the stand-alone corrected Schedule H. State taxes Filing required Forms W-2 or Forms W-2c. State taxes   Whether you previously underreported tax or overreported tax, you will generally be required to file Form W-2, or their territorial equivalents (if none was previously filed), or Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, to reflect the changes reported on your corrected Schedule H. State taxes Additional Medicare Tax. State taxes   Generally, you may not correct an error in Additional Medicare Tax withholding for wages paid to employees in a prior year unless it is an administrative error. State taxes An administrative error occurs if the amount you entered on Schedule H is not the amount you actually withheld. State taxes For example, if the Additional Medicare Tax actually withheld was incorrectly reported on Schedule H due to a mathematical or transposition error, this would be an administrative error. State taxes   Any underwithheld Additional Medicare Tax must be recovered from employees on or before the last day of the calendar year in which the underwithholding occurred. State taxes Any excess Additional Medicare Tax withholding must be repaid or reimbursed to employees before the end of the calendar year in which it was withheld. State taxes Additional information. State taxes   For more information about correcting errors on a previously filed Schedule H, see page 4 of Form 944-X, Form 944-X: Which process should you use? (substitute “Schedule H” for “Form 944-X”) and the Instructions for Form 944-X (or Formulario 944-X (PR)). State taxes Also, visit IRS. State taxes gov. State taxes How To Get Tax Help Whether it's help with a tax issue, preparing your tax return or a need for a free publication or form, get the help you need the way you want it: online, use a smart phone, call or walk in to an IRS office or volunteer site near you. State taxes Free help with your tax return. State taxes   You can get free help preparing your return nationwide from IRS-certified volunteers. State taxes The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helps low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers. State taxes The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. State taxes Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing and all volunteers will let you know about credits and deductions you may be entitled to claim. State taxes In addition, some VITA and TCE sites provide taxpayers the opportunity to prepare their own return with help from an IRS-certified volunteer. State taxes To find the nearest VITA or TCE site, you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. State taxes gov, download the IRS2Go app, or call 1-800-906-9887. State taxes   As part of the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program. State taxes To find the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit AARP's website at www. State taxes aarp. State taxes org/money/taxaide or call 1-888-227-7669. State taxes For more information on these programs, go to IRS. State taxes gov and enter “VITA” in the search box. State taxes Internet. State taxes    IRS. State taxes gov and IRS2Go are ready when you are —24 hours a day, 7 days a week. State taxes Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. State taxes Use it to check your refund status, order transcripts of your tax returns or tax account, watch the IRS YouTube channel, get IRS news as soon as it's released to the public, subscribe to filing season updates or daily tax tips, and follow the IRS Twitter news feed, @IRSnews, to get the latest federal tax news, including information about tax law changes and important IRS programs. State taxes Check the status of your 2013 refund with the Where's My Refund? application on IRS. State taxes gov or download the IRS2Go app and select the Refund Status option. State taxes The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. State taxes Using these applications, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we receive your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. State taxes You will also be given a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. State taxes The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. State taxes Use the Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) to research your tax questions. State taxes No need to wait on the phone or stand in line. State taxes The ITA is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provides you with a variety of tax information related to general filing topics, deductions, credits, and income. State taxes When you reach the response screen, you can print the entire interview and the final response for your records. State taxes New subject areas are added on a regular basis. State taxes  Answers not provided through ITA may be found in Tax Trails, one of the Tax Topics on IRS. State taxes gov which contain general individual and business tax information or by searching the IRS Tax Map, which includes an international subject index. State taxes You can use the IRS Tax Map, to search publications and instructions by topic or keyword. State taxes The IRS Tax Map integrates forms and publications into one research tool and provides single-point access to tax law information by subject. State taxes When the user searches the IRS Tax Map, they will be provided with links to related content in existing IRS publications, forms and instructions, questions and answers, and Tax Topics. State taxes Coming this filing season, you can immediately view and print for free all 5 types of individual federal tax transcripts (tax returns, tax account, record of account, wage and income statement, and certification of non-filing) using Get Transcript. State taxes You can also ask the IRS to mail a return or an account transcript to you. State taxes Only the mail option is available by choosing the Tax Records option on the IRS2Go app by selecting Mail Transcript on IRS. State taxes gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. State taxes Tax return and tax account transcripts are generally available for the current year and the past three years. State taxes Determine if you are eligible for the EITC and estimate the amount of the credit with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant. State taxes Visit Understanding Your IRS Notice or Letter to get answers to questions about a notice or letter you received from the IRS. State taxes If you received the First Time Homebuyer Credit, you can use the First Time Homebuyer Credit Account Look-up tool for information on your repayments and account balance. State taxes Check the status of your amended return using Where's My Amended Return? Go to IRS. State taxes gov and enter Where's My Amended Return? in the search box. State taxes You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. State taxes It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. State taxes Make a payment using one of several safe and convenient electronic payment options available on IRS. State taxes gov. State taxes Select the Payment tab on the front page of IRS. State taxes gov for more information. State taxes Determine if you are eligible and apply for an online payment agreement, if you owe more tax than you can pay today. State taxes Figure your income tax withholding with the IRS Withholding Calculator on IRS. State taxes gov. State taxes Use it if you've had too much or too little withheld, your personal situation has changed, you're starting a new job or you just want to see if you're having the right amount withheld. State taxes Determine if you might be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax by using the Alternative Minimum Tax Assistant on IRS. State taxes gov. State taxes Request an Electronic Filing PIN by going to IRS. State taxes gov and entering Electronic Filing PIN in the search box. State taxes Download forms, instructions and publications, including accessible versions for people with disabilities. State taxes Locate the nearest Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) using the Office Locator tool on IRS. State taxes gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices. State taxes An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. State taxes Before you visit, check the Office Locator on IRS. State taxes gov, or Local Offices under Contact Us on IRS2Go to confirm the address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and the services provided. State taxes If you have a special need, such as a disability, you can request an appointment. State taxes Call the local number listed in the Office Locator, or look in the phone book under United States Government, Internal Revenue Service. State taxes Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). State taxes Go to IRS. State taxes gov and enter Apply for an EIN in the search box. State taxes Read the Internal Revenue Code, regulations, or other official guidance. State taxes Read Internal Revenue Bulletins. State taxes Sign up to receive local and national tax news and more by email. State taxes Just click on “subscriptions” above the search box on IRS. State taxes gov and choose from a variety of options. State taxes Phone. State taxes    You can call the IRS, or you can carry it in your pocket with the IRS2Go app on your smart phone or tablet. State taxes Download the free IRS2Go app from the iTunes app store or from Google Play. State taxes Call to locate the nearest volunteer help site, 1-800-906-9887 or you can use the VITA Locator Tool on IRS. State taxes gov, or download the IRS2Go app. State taxes Low-to-moderate income, elderly, people with disabilities, and limited English proficient taxpayers can get free help with their tax return from the nationwide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. State taxes The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program helps taxpayers age 60 and older with their tax returns. State taxes Most VITA and TCE sites offer free electronic filing. State taxes Some VITA and TCE sites provide IRS-certified volunteers who can help prepare your tax return. State taxes Through the TCE program, AARP offers the Tax-Aide counseling program; call 1-888-227-7669 to find the nearest Tax-Aide location. State taxes Call the automated Where's My Refund? information hotline to check the status of your 2013 refund 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-829-1954. State taxes If you e-file, you can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after the IRS receives your tax return or 4 weeks after you've mailed a paper return. State taxes The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. State taxes Where's My Refund? will give you a personalized refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. State taxes Before you call this automated hotline, have your 2013 tax return handy so you can enter your social security number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund. State taxes The IRS updates Where's My Refund? every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you only need to check once a day. State taxes Note, the above information is for our automated hotline. State taxes Our live phone and walk-in assistors can research the status of your refund only if it's been 21 days or more since you filed electronically or more than 6 weeks since you mailed your paper return. State taxes Call the Amended Return Hotline, 1-866-464-2050, to check the status of your amended return. State taxes You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 12 weeks from the date we receive it. State taxes It can take up to 3 weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. State taxes Call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676) to order current-year forms, instructions, publications, and prior-year forms and instructions (limited to 5 years). State taxes You should receive your order within 10 business days. State taxes Call TeleTax, 1-800-829-4477, to listen to pre-recorded messages covering general and business tax information. State taxes If, between January and April 15, you still have questions about the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ (like filing requirements, dependents, credits, Schedule D, pensions and IRAs or self-employment taxes), call 1-800-829-1040. State taxes Call using TTY/TDD equipment, 1-800-829-4059 to ask tax questions or order forms and publications. State taxes The TTY/TDD telephone number is for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability. State taxes These individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service. State taxes Walk-in. State taxes   You can find a selection of forms, publications and services — in-person. State taxes Products. State taxes You can walk in to some post offices, libraries, and IRS offices to pick up certain forms, instructions, and publications. State taxes Some IRS offices, libraries, and city and county government offices have a collection of products available to photocopy from reproducible proofs. State taxes Services. State taxes You can walk in to your local TAC for face-to-face tax help. State taxes An employee can answer questions about your tax account or help you set up a payment plan. State taxes Before visiting, use the Office Locator tool on IRS. State taxes gov, or choose the Contact Us option on the IRS2Go app and search Local Offices for days and hours of operation, and services provided. State taxes Mail. State taxes   You can send your order for forms, instructions, and publications to the address below. State taxes You should receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received. State taxes Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. State taxes Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613    The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here to Help You. State taxes The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is your voice at the IRS. State taxes Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights. State taxes   What can TAS do for you? We can offer you free help with IRS problems that you can't resolve on your own. State taxes We know this process can be confusing, but the worst thing you can do is nothing at all! TAS can help if you can't resolve your tax problem and: Your problem is causing financial difficulties for you, your family, or your business. State taxes You face (or your business is facing) an immediate threat of adverse action. State taxes You've tried repeatedly to contact the IRS but no one has responded, or the IRS hasn't responded by the date promised. State taxes   If you qualify for our help, you'll be assigned to one advocate who'll be with you at every turn and will do everything possible to resolve your problem. State taxes Here's why we can help: TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. State taxes Our advocates know how to work with the IRS. State taxes Our services are free and tailored to meet your needs. State taxes We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. State taxes   How can you reach us? If you think TAS can help you, call your local advocate, whose number is in your local directory and at Taxpayer Advocate, or call us toll-free at 1-877-777-4778. State taxes   How else does TAS help taxpayers?  TAS also works to resolve large-scale, systemic problems that affect many taxpayers. State taxes If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us through our Systemic Advocacy Management System. State taxes Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) serve individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. State taxes Some clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. State taxes Visit Taxpayer Advocate or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List. State taxes Sample W-2 Form This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. State taxes Please click the link to view the image. State taxes Webtitle: Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement and Form W-3 Transmitttal of Wage and Tax Statemtents Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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The State Taxes

State taxes 2. State taxes   Filing Status Table of Contents What's New Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Marital StatusDivorced persons. State taxes Divorce and remarriage. State taxes Annulled marriages. State taxes Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. State taxes Considered married. State taxes Same-sex marriage. State taxes Spouse died during the year. State taxes Married persons living apart. State taxes Single Married Filing JointlyFiling a Joint Return Married Filing SeparatelySpecial Rules Head of HouseholdConsidered Unmarried Keeping Up a Home Qualifying Person Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child What's New Filing status for same-sex married couples. State taxes  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. State taxes See Same-sex marriage under Marital Status, later. State taxes Introduction This chapter helps you determine which filing status to use. State taxes There are five filing statuses. State taxes Single. State taxes Married Filing Jointly. State taxes Married Filing Separately. State taxes Head of Household. State taxes Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. State taxes If more than one filing status applies to you, choose the one that will give you the lowest tax. State taxes You must determine your filing status before you can determine whether you must file a tax return (chapter 1), your standard deduction (chapter 20), and your tax (chapter 30). State taxes You also use your filing status to determine whether you are eligible to claim certain deductions and credits. State taxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information 519 U. State taxes S. State taxes Tax Guide for Aliens 555 Community Property Marital Status In general, your filing status depends on whether you are considered unmarried or married. State taxes Unmarried persons. State taxes   You are considered unmarried for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you are unmarried or legally separated from your spouse under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. State taxes State law governs whether you are married or legally separated under a divorce or separate maintenance decree. State taxes Divorced persons. State taxes   If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year. State taxes Divorce and remarriage. State taxes   If you obtain a divorce for the sole purpose of filing tax returns as unmarried individuals, and at the time of divorce you intend to and do, in fact, remarry each other in the next tax year, you and your spouse must file as married individuals in both years. State taxes Annulled marriages. State taxes    If you obtain a court decree of annulment, which holds that no valid marriage ever existed, you are considered unmarried even if you filed joint returns for earlier years. State taxes You must file Form 1040X, Amended U. State taxes S. State taxes Individual Income Tax Return, claiming single or head of household status for all tax years that are affected by the annulment and are not closed by the statute of limitations for filing a tax return. State taxes Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. State taxes If you filed your original return early (for example, March 1), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). State taxes However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it on July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1. State taxes Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. State taxes   If you are considered unmarried, you may be able to file as a head of household or as a qualifying widow(er) with a dependent child. State taxes See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child to see if you qualify. State taxes Married persons. State taxes   If you are considered married, you and your spouse can file a joint return or separate returns. State taxes Considered married. State taxes   You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests. State taxes You are married and living together as a married couple. State taxes You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began. State taxes You are married and living apart, but not legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance. State taxes You are separated under an interlocutory (not final) decree of divorce. State taxes Same-sex marriage. State taxes   For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered 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. State taxes The term “spouse” includes an individual married to a person of the same sex if the couple is lawfully married under state (or foreign) law. State taxes However, individuals who have entered into a registered domestic partnership, civil union, or other similar relationship that is not considered a marriage under state (or foreign) law are not considered married for federal tax purposes. State taxes For more details, see Publication 501. State taxes Spouse died during the year. State taxes   If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year for filing status purposes. State taxes   If you did not remarry before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return for yourself and your deceased spouse. State taxes For the next 2 years, you may be entitled to the special benefits described later under Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child . State taxes   If you remarried before the end of the tax year, you can file a joint return with your new spouse. State taxes Your deceased spouse's filing status is married filing separately for that year. State taxes Married persons living apart. State taxes   If you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests, you may be able to file as head of household even if you are not divorced or legally separated. State taxes If you qualify to file as head of household instead of married filing separately, your standard deduction will be higher. State taxes Also, your tax may be lower, and you may be able to claim the earned income credit. State taxes See Head of Household , later. State taxes Single Your filing status is single if you are considered unmarried and you do not qualify for another filing status. State taxes To determine your marital status, see Marital Status , earlier. State taxes Widow(er). State taxes   Your filing status may be single if you were widowed before January 1, 2013, and did not remarry before the end of 2013. State taxes You may, however, be able to use another filing status that will give you a lower tax. State taxes See Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child , later, to see if you qualify. State taxes How to file. State taxes   You can file Form 1040. State taxes If you have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State taxes If, in addition, you have no dependents, and are under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. State taxes If you file Form 1040A or Form 1040, show your filing status as single by checking the box on line 1. State taxes Use the Single column of the Tax Table or Section A of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State taxes Married Filing Jointly You can choose married filing jointly as your filing status if you are considered married and both you and your spouse agree to file a joint return. State taxes On a joint return, you and your spouse report your combined income and deduct your combined allowable expenses. State taxes You can file a joint return even if one of you had no income or deductions. State taxes If you and your spouse decide to file a joint return, your tax may be lower than your combined tax for the other filing statuses. State taxes Also, your standard deduction (if you do not itemize deductions) may be higher, and you may qualify for tax benefits that do not apply to other filing statuses. State taxes If you and your spouse each have income, you may want to figure your tax both on a joint return and on separate returns (using the filing status of married filing separately). State taxes You can choose the method that gives the two of you the lower combined tax. State taxes How to file. State taxes   If you file as married filing jointly, you can use Form 1040. State taxes If you and your spouse have taxable income of less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State taxes If, in addition, you and your spouse have no dependents, are both under 65 and not blind, and meet other requirements, you can file Form 1040EZ. State taxes If you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A, show this filing status by checking the box on line 2. State taxes Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State taxes Spouse died. State taxes   If your spouse died during the year, you are considered married for the whole year and can choose married filing jointly as your filing status. State taxes See Spouse died during the year under Marital Status, earlier, for more information. State taxes   If your spouse died in 2014 before filing a 2013 return, you can choose married filing jointly as your filing status on your 2013 return. State taxes Divorced persons. State taxes   If you are divorced under a final decree by the last day of the year, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and you cannot choose married filing jointly as your filing status. State taxes Filing a Joint Return Both you and your spouse must include all of your income, exemptions, and deductions on your joint return. State taxes Accounting period. State taxes   Both of you must use the same accounting period, but you can use different accounting methods. State taxes See Accounting Periods and Accounting Methods in chapter 1. State taxes Joint responsibility. State taxes   Both of you may be held responsible, jointly and individually, for the tax and any interest or penalty due on your joint return. State taxes This means that if one spouse does not pay the tax due, the other may have to. State taxes Or, if one spouse does not report the correct tax, both spouses may be responsible for any additional taxes assessed by the IRS. State taxes One spouse may be held responsible for all the tax due even if all the income was earned by the other spouse. State taxes You may want to file separately if: You believe your spouse is not reporting all of his or her income, or You do not want to be responsible for any taxes due if your spouse does not have enough tax withheld or does not pay enough estimated tax. State taxes Divorced taxpayer. State taxes   You may be held jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest, and penalties due on a joint return filed before your divorce. State taxes This responsibility may apply even if your divorce decree states that your former spouse will be responsible for any amounts due on previously filed joint returns. State taxes Relief from joint responsibility. State taxes   In some cases, one spouse may be relieved of joint responsibility for tax, interest, and penalties on a joint return for items of the other spouse that were incorrectly reported on the joint return. State taxes You can ask for relief no matter how small the liability. State taxes   There are three types of relief available. State taxes Innocent spouse relief. State taxes Separation of liability (available only to joint filers who are divorced, widowed, legally separated, or have not lived together for the 12 months ending on the date the election for this relief is filed). State taxes Equitable relief. State taxes    You must file Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief, to request relief from joint responsibility. State taxes Publication 971, Innocent Spouse Relief, explains these kinds of relief and who may qualify for them. State taxes Signing a joint return. State taxes   For a return to be considered a joint return, both spouses generally must sign the return. State taxes Spouse died before signing. State taxes   If your spouse died before signing the return, the executor or administrator must sign the return for your spouse. State taxes If neither you nor anyone else has yet 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. State taxes Spouse away from home. State taxes   If your spouse is away from home, you should prepare the return, sign it, and send it to your spouse to sign so that it can be filed on time. State taxes Injury or disease prevents signing. State taxes   If your spouse cannot sign because of disease or injury 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). State taxes ” Be sure to also sign in the space provided for your signature. State taxes Attach a dated statement, signed by you, to the return. State taxes The statement should include the form number of the return you are filing, the tax year, and the reason your spouse cannot sign, and should state that your spouse has agreed to your signing for him or her. State taxes Signing as guardian of spouse. State taxes   If you are the guardian of your spouse who is mentally incompetent, you can sign the return for your spouse as guardian. State taxes Spouse in combat zone. State taxes   You can sign a joint return for your spouse if your spouse cannot sign because he or she is serving in a combat zone (such as the Persian Gulf Area, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, or Afghanistan), even if you do not have a power of attorney or other statement. State taxes Attach a signed statement to your return explaining that your spouse is serving in a combat zone. State taxes For more information on special tax rules for persons who are serving in a combat zone, or who are in missing status as a result of serving in a combat zone, see Publication 3, Armed Forces' Tax Guide. State taxes Other reasons spouse cannot sign. State taxes    If your spouse cannot sign the joint return for any other reason, you can sign for your spouse only if you are given a valid power of attorney (a legal document giving you permission to act for your spouse). State taxes Attach the power of attorney (or a copy of it) to your tax return. State taxes You can use Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. State taxes Nonresident alien or dual-status alien. State taxes   Generally, a married couple cannot file a joint return if either one is a nonresident alien at any time during the tax year. State taxes However, if one spouse was a nonresident alien or dual-status alien who was married to a U. State taxes S. State taxes citizen or resident alien at the end of the year, the spouses can choose to file a joint return. State taxes If you do file a joint return, you and your spouse are both treated as U. State taxes S. State taxes residents for the entire tax year. State taxes See chapter 1 of Publication 519. State taxes Married Filing Separately You can choose married filing separately as your filing status if you are married. State taxes This filing status may benefit you if you want to be responsible only for your own tax or if it results in less tax than filing a joint return. State taxes If you and your spouse do not agree to file a joint return, you must use this filing status unless you qualify for head of household status, discussed later. State taxes You may be able to choose head of household filing status if you are considered unmarried because you live apart from your spouse and meet certain tests (explained later, under Head of Household ). State taxes This can apply to you even if you are not divorced or legally separated. State taxes If you qualify to file as head of household, instead of as married filing separately, your tax may be lower, you may be able to claim the earned income credit and certain other credits, and your standard deduction will be higher. State taxes The head of household filing status allows you to choose the standard deduction even if your spouse chooses to itemize deductions. State taxes See Head of Household , later, for more information. State taxes You will generally pay more combined tax on separate returns than you would on a joint return for the reasons listed under Special Rules, later. State taxes However, unless you are required to file separately, you should figure your tax both ways (on a joint return and on separate returns). State taxes This way you can make sure you are using the filing status that results in the lowest combined tax. State taxes When figuring the combined tax of a married couple, you may want to consider state taxes as well as federal taxes. State taxes How to file. State taxes   If you file a separate return, you generally report only your own income, exemptions, credits, and deductions. State taxes You can claim an exemption for your spouse only if your spouse had no gross income, is not filing a return, and was not the dependent of another person. State taxes You can file Form 1040. State taxes If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State taxes Select this filing status by checking the box on line 3 of either form. State taxes Enter your spouse's full name and SSN or ITIN in the spaces provided. State taxes If your spouse does not have and is not required to have an SSN or ITIN, enter “NRA” in the space for your spouse's SSN. State taxes Use the Married filing separately column of the Tax Table or Section C of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State taxes Special Rules If you choose married filing separately as your filing status, the following special rules apply. State taxes Because of these special rules, you usually pay more tax on a separate return than if you use another filing status you qualify for. State taxes   Your tax rate generally is higher than on a joint return. State taxes Your exemption amount for figuring the alternative minimum tax is half that allowed on a joint return. State taxes You cannot take the credit for child and dependent care expenses in most cases, and the amount you can exclude from income under an employer's dependent care assistance program is limited to $2,500 (instead of $5,000). State taxes If you are legally separated or living apart from your spouse, you may be able to file a separate return and still take the credit. State taxes For more information about these expenses, the credit, and the exclusion, see chapter 32. State taxes You cannot take the earned income credit. State taxes You cannot take the exclusion or credit for adoption expenses in most cases. State taxes You cannot take the education credits (the American opportunity credit and lifetime learning credit), the deduction for student loan interest, or the tuition and fees deduction. State taxes You cannot exclude any interest income from qualified U. State taxes S. State taxes savings bonds you used for higher education expenses. State taxes If you lived with your spouse at any time during the tax year: You cannot claim the credit for the elderly or the disabled, and You must include in income a greater percentage (up to 85%) of any social security or equivalent railroad retirement benefits you received. State taxes The following credits and deductions are reduced at income levels half those for a joint return: The child tax credit, The retirement savings contributions credit, The deduction for personal exemptions, and Itemized deductions. State taxes Your capital loss deduction limit is $1,500 (instead of $3,000 on a joint return). State taxes If your spouse itemizes deductions, you cannot claim the standard deduction. State taxes If you can claim the standard deduction, your basic standard deduction is half the amount allowed on a joint return. State taxes Adjusted gross income (AGI) limits. State taxes   If your AGI on a separate return is lower than it would have been on a joint return, you may be able to deduct a larger amount for certain deductions that are limited by AGI, such as medical expenses. State taxes Individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). State taxes   You may not be able to deduct all or part of your contributions to a traditional IRA if you or your spouse were covered by an employee retirement plan at work during the year. State taxes Your deduction is reduced or eliminated if your income is more than a certain amount. State taxes This amount is much lower for married individuals who file separately and lived together at any time during the year. State taxes For more information, see How Much Can You Deduct in chapter 17. State taxes Rental activity losses. State taxes   If you actively participated in a passive rental real estate activity that produced a loss, you generally can deduct the loss from your nonpassive income, up to $25,000. State taxes This is called a special allowance. State taxes However, married persons filing separate returns who lived together at any time during the year cannot claim this special allowance. State taxes Married persons filing separate returns who lived apart at all times during the year are each allowed a $12,500 maximum special allowance for losses from passive real estate activities. State taxes See Limits on Rental Losses in chapter 9. State taxes Community property states. State taxes   If you live in Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin and file separately, your income may be considered separate income or community income for income tax purposes. State taxes See Publication 555. State taxes Joint Return After Separate Returns You can change your filing status from a separate return to a joint return by filing an amended return using Form 1040X. State taxes You generally can change to a joint return any time within 3 years from the due date of the separate return or returns. State taxes This does not include any extensions. State taxes A separate return includes a return filed by you or your spouse claiming married filing separately, single, or head of household filing status. State taxes Separate Returns After Joint Return Once you file a joint return, you cannot choose to file separate returns for that year after the due date of the return. State taxes Exception. State taxes   A personal representative for a decedent can change from a joint return elected by the surviving spouse to a separate return for the decedent. State taxes The personal representative has 1 year from the due date of the return (including extensions) to make the change. State taxes See Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators, for more information on filing a return for a decedent. State taxes Head of Household You may be able to file as head of household if you meet all the following requirements. State taxes You are unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the last day of the year. State taxes See Marital Status , earlier, and Considered Unmarried , later. State taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. State taxes A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). State taxes However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, he or she does not have to live with you. State taxes See Special rule for parent , later, under Qualifying Person. State taxes If you qualify to file as head of household, your tax rate usually will be lower than the rates for single or married filing separately. State taxes You will also receive a higher standard deduction than if you file as single or married filing separately. State taxes Kidnapped child. State taxes   A child may qualify you to file as head of household even if the child has been kidnapped. State taxes For more information, see Publication 501. State taxes How to file. State taxes   If you file as head of household, you can use Form 1040. State taxes If your taxable income is less than $100,000, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State taxes Indicate your choice of this filing status by checking the box on line 4 of either form. State taxes Use the Head of a household column of the Tax Table or Section D of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State taxes Considered Unmarried To qualify for head of household status, you must be either unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. State taxes You are considered unmarried on the last day of the tax year if you meet all the following tests. State taxes You file a separate return (defined earlier under Joint Return After Separate Returns ). State taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up your home for the tax year. State taxes Your spouse did not live in your home during the last 6 months of the tax year. State taxes Your spouse is considered to live in your home even if he or she is temporarily absent due to special circumstances. State taxes See Temporary absences , under Qualifying Person, later. State taxes Your home was the main home of your child, stepchild, or foster child for more than half the year. State taxes (See Home of qualifying person , under Qualifying Person, later, for rules applying to a child's birth, death, or temporary absence during the year. State taxes ) You must be able to claim an exemption for the child. State taxes However, you meet this test if you cannot claim the exemption only because the noncustodial parent can claim the child using the rules described in Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) under Qualifying Child in chapter 3, or in Support Test for Children of Divorced or Separated Parents (or Parents Who Live Apart) under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3. State taxes The general rules for claiming an exemption for a dependent are explained under Exemptions for Dependents in chapter 3. State taxes If you were considered married for part of the year and lived in a community property state (listed earlier under Married Filing Separately), special rules may apply in determining your income and expenses. State taxes See Publication 555 for more information. State taxes Nonresident alien spouse. State taxes   You are considered unmarried for head of household purposes if your spouse was a nonresident alien at any time during the year and you do not choose to treat your nonresident spouse as a resident alien. State taxes However, your spouse is not a qualifying person for head of household purposes. State taxes You must have another qualifying person and meet the other tests to be eligible to file as a head of household. State taxes Choice to treat spouse as resident. State taxes   You are considered married if you choose to treat your spouse as a resident alien. State taxes See Publication 519. State taxes Keeping Up a Home To qualify for head of household status, you must pay more than half of the cost of keeping up a home for the year. State taxes You can determine whether you paid more than half of the cost of keeping up a home by using Worksheet 2–1. State taxes Worksheet 2-1. State taxes Cost of Keeping Up a Home   Amount You Paid Total Cost Property taxes $ $ Mortgage interest expense     Rent     Utility charges     Repairs/maintenance     Property insurance     Food consumed on the premises     Other household expenses     Totals $ $ Minus total amount you paid   () Amount others paid   $ If the total amount you paid is more than the amount others paid, you meet the requirement of paying more than half the cost of keeping up the home. State taxes Costs you include. State taxes   Include in the cost of keeping up a home expenses such as rent, mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance on the home, repairs, utilities, and food eaten in the home. State taxes   If you used payments you received under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or other public assistance programs to pay part of the cost of keeping up your home, you cannot count them as money you paid. State taxes However, you must include them in the total cost of keeping up your home to figure if you paid over half the cost. State taxes Costs you do not include. State taxes   Do not include the costs of clothing, education, medical treatment, vacations, life insurance, or transportation. State taxes Also, do not include the rental value of a home you own or the value of your services or those of a member of your household. State taxes Qualifying Person See Table 2-1 to see who is a qualifying person. State taxes Any person not described in Table 2-1 is not a qualifying person. State taxes Table 2-1. State taxes Who Is a Qualifying Person Qualifying You To File as Head of Household?1 Caution. State taxes See the text of this chapter for the other requirements you must meet to claim head of household filing status. State taxes IF the person is your . State taxes . State taxes . State taxes   AND . State taxes . State taxes . State taxes   THEN that person is . State taxes . State taxes . State taxes qualifying child (such as a son, daughter, or grandchild who lived with you more than half the year and meets certain other tests)2   he or she is single   a qualifying person, whether or not you can claim an exemption for the person. State taxes   he or she is married and you can claim an exemption for him or her   a qualifying person. State taxes   he or she is married and you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State taxes 3 qualifying relative4 who is your father or mother   you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. State taxes 6   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State taxes qualifying relative4 other than your father or mother (such as a grandparent, brother, or sister who meets certain tests)   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 in chapter 3 and you can claim an exemption for him or her5   a qualifying person. State taxes   he or she did not live with you more than half the year   not a qualifying person. State taxes   he or she is not related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you in chapter 3 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. State taxes   you cannot claim an exemption for him or her   not a qualifying person. State taxes 1A person cannot qualify more than one taxpayer to use the head of household filing status for the year. State taxes 2The term “qualifying child” is defined in chapter 3. State taxes Note. State taxes 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 in chapter 3. State taxes If you are the custodial parent and those rules apply, the child generally is your qualifying child for head of household filing status even though the child is not a qualifying child for whom you can claim an exemption. State taxes 3This 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. State taxes 4The term “ qualifying relative ” is defined in chapter 3. State taxes 5If you can claim an exemption for a person only because of a multiple support agreement, that person is not a qualifying person. State taxes See Multiple Support Agreement in chapter 3. State taxes 6See Special rule for parent . State taxes Example 1—child. State taxes Your unmarried son lived with you all year and was 18 years old at the end of the year. State taxes He did not provide more than half of his own support and does not meet the tests to be a qualifying child of anyone else. State taxes As a result, he is your qualifying child (see Qualifying Child in chapter 3) and, because he is single, your qualifying person for you to claim head of household filing status. State taxes Example 2—child who is not qualifying person. State taxes The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your son was 25 years old at the end of the year and his gross income was $5,000. State taxes Because he does not meet the age test (explained under Qualifying Child in chapter 3), your son is not your qualifying child. State taxes Because he does not meet the gross income test (explained later under Qualifying Relative in chapter 3), he is not your qualifying relative. State taxes As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. State taxes Example 3—girlfriend. State taxes Your girlfriend lived with you all year. State taxes Even though she may be your qualifying relative if the gross income and support tests (explained in chapter 3) 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 in chapter 3. State taxes See Table 2-1. State taxes Example 4—girlfriend's child. State taxes The facts are the same as in Example 3 except your girlfriend's 10-year-old son also lived with you all year. State taxes He is not your qualifying child and, because he is your girlfriend's qualifying child, he is not your qualifying relative (see Not a Qualifying Child Test in chapter 3). State taxes As a result, he is not your qualifying person for head of household purposes. State taxes Home of qualifying person. State taxes   Generally, the qualifying person must live with you for more than half of the year. State taxes Special rule for parent. State taxes   If your qualifying person is your father or mother, you may be eligible to file as head of household even if your father or mother does not live with you. State taxes However, you must be able to claim an exemption for your father or mother. State taxes Also, you must pay more than half the cost of keeping up a home that was the main home for the entire year for your father or mother. State taxes   You are keeping up a main home for your father or mother if you pay more than half the cost of keeping your parent in a rest home or home for the elderly. State taxes Death or birth. State taxes   You may be eligible to file as head of household even if the individual who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. State taxes If the individual is your qualifying child, the child must have lived with you for more than half the part of the year he or she was alive. State taxes If the individual is anyone else, see Publication 501. State taxes Temporary absences. State taxes   You and your qualifying person are considered to live together even if one or both of you are temporarily absent from your home due to special circumstances such as illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. State taxes It must be reasonable to assume the absent person will return to the home after the temporary absence. State taxes You must continue to keep up the home during the absence. State taxes Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child If your spouse died in 2013, you can use married filing jointly as your filing status for 2013 if you otherwise qualify to use that status. State taxes The year of death is the last year for which you can file jointly with your deceased spouse. State taxes See Married Filing Jointly , earlier. State taxes You may be eligible to use qualifying widow(er) with dependent child as your filing status for 2 years following the year your spouse died. State taxes For example, if your spouse died in 2012, and you have not remarried, you may be able to use this filing status for 2013 and 2014. State taxes This filing status entitles you to use joint return tax rates and the highest standard deduction amount (if you do not itemize deductions). State taxes It does not entitle you to file a joint return. State taxes How to file. State taxes   If you file as qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, you can use Form 1040. State taxes If you also have taxable income of less than $100,000 and meet certain other conditions, you may be able to file Form 1040A. State taxes Check the box on line 5 of either form. State taxes Use the Married filing jointly column of the Tax Table or Section B of the Tax Computation Worksheet to figure your tax. State taxes Eligibility rules. State taxes   You are eligible to file your 2013 return as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if you meet all of the following tests. State taxes You were entitled to file a joint return with your spouse for the year your spouse died. State taxes It does not matter whether you actually filed a joint return. State taxes Your spouse died in 2011 or 2012 and you did not remarry before the end of 2013. State taxes You have a child or stepchild for whom you can claim an exemption. State taxes This does not include a foster child. State taxes This child lived in your home all year, except for temporary absences. State taxes See Temporary absences , earlier, under Head of Household. State taxes There are also exceptions, described later, for a child who was born or died during the year and for a kidnapped child. State taxes You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year. State taxes See Keeping Up a Home , earlier, under Head of Household. State taxes Example. State taxes John's wife died in 2011. State taxes John has not remarried. State taxes During 2012 and 2013, he continued to keep up a home for himself and his child, who lives with him and for whom he can claim an exemption. State taxes For 2011 he was entitled to file a joint return for himself and his deceased wife. State taxes For 2012 and 2013, he can file as qualifying widower with a dependent child. State taxes After 2013 he can file as head of household if he qualifies. State taxes Death or birth. State taxes    You may be eligible to file as a qualifying widow(er) with dependent child if the child who qualifies you for this filing status is born or dies during the year. State taxes You must have provided more than half of the cost of keeping up a home that was the child's main home during the entire part of the year he or she was alive. State taxes Kidnapped child. State taxes   A child may qualify you for qualifying widow(er) with dependent child, even if the child has been kidnapped. State taxes See Publication 501. State taxes    As mentioned earlier, this filing status is available for only 2 years following the year your spouse died. State taxes Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications