Many IRS tax problems can be avoided just by filing your IRS tax returns correctly. Not only could it lower your tax debt, but it also could protect you from IRS audits. A large part of filling out an accurate and beneficial tax return has to do with your family situation. This page will provide IRS Instructions on 1040 filing statuses and dependents.
IRS Instructions for 1040 Filing Statuses
IRS Instructions for 1040 Returns Filed by the UnmarriedIf you were not married during the tax year you are filing for and have no dependents you can legally claim, your only choice is to use the Single filing status. If you are single and have dependents you can legally claim, using the Head of Household filing status offers a higher standard deduction than filing as Single.
Many people do not know about the Qualifying Widow(er) filing status, but it offers the same standard deduction as using the Married Filing Jointly status. If your spouse died that year and you have a dependent, you can use this filing status. Your dependent must be your biological child, adopted child, or step-child. Though it is easier than ever to claim a foster child as a dependent on your tax return, you cannot use this filing status if your dependent is a foster child.
IRS Instructions for 1040 Returns Filed by the MarriedIf you were married for even a minute during the year you are filing your tax return, you must either file as Married Filing Jointly or Married Filing Separately. There are a lot of advantages to using the Married Filing Jointly status, including a greater standard deduction. It is usually recommended by tax professionals that couples use that status.
However, if one spouse has a history of tax problems or may owe a large tax debt, using the Married Filing Separately status can protect the other spouse. If you decide to file as Married Filing Jointly, both social security numbers and both signatures must be on the tax return.
IRS Instructions for 1040 DependentsIf you want to claim a child as a dependent, he or she must be your biological child, step child, adopted child, foster child, brother or sister, or the descendant of one of those. The dependent must live with you for more than half of the year, and receive at least half of his or her support from you. Your dependent must meet one of these age requirements:
- Relatives under 19 years old.
- Relatives that are full-time students for at least 5 months and under 24 years of age.
- Totally and permanently disabled relatives of any age.
The IRS instructions for 1040 filing parents or caretakers state that each dependent's correct social security number must be put on the return. Otherwise, the exemption will be disallowed. However, you may claim a child that was born and died in the same year without ever receiving a social security number. Simply enter "Died" in column (2) of your 1040. Include a copy of the birth certificate, death certificate, and hospital records.
If you have several years of unfiled returns and need more IRS instructions for 1040 filing, consult a professional. Call now or fill out the form below for a free tax debt consultation on IRS instructions for 1040 filing! We'll only connect you with a tax debt relief company holding at least a B rating with the Better Business Bureau.