IRS Publication 555

DEFINITION of 'IRS Publication 555'

A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that provides information to taxpayers who are married, live in a state supporting community property laws and are filing separate tax returns. Income and property is considered community if it is purchased or owned while the couple is married. All else is considered separate. Couples filing separately report half of their joint income and all of their separate income.

BREAKING DOWN 'IRS Publication 555'

Not all states treat community property the same way. IRS Publication 555 only addresses Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. If the tax payer's primary residence is in one of these states, or if residency has been established by voting or by paying state income tax, then community property rules are likely to apply.


Married taxpayers will typically have a lower tax obligation if a joint return is filed rather than an individual return, but this is not always the case.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Married Filing Separately

    A filing status for married couples who choose to record their ...
  2. Separate Return

    A separate Form 1040, or a variant thereof, filed by a married ...
  3. Community Income

    Income earned by taxpayers who live in community property states. ...
  4. Joint Return

    A U.S. income tax return filed on behalf of a married couple, ...
  5. IRS Publication 544

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  6. Married Filing Jointly

    A filing status for married couples that have wed before the ...
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Community Property Vs. Non-Community Property

    Community Property Vs. Non-Community Property
  2. Taxes

    Should Married Taxpayers File Together?

    Married couples that file a joint tax return can enjoy several credits and benefits that aren’t available when filing separately.
  3. Taxes

    Gay Marriage and Taxes: Everything You Should Know

    Same-sex couples now have a variety of tax strategies to consider.
  4. Professionals

    Married or Widowed

    Married or Widowed
  5. Taxes

    2016 Tax Code Changes Add Some Wiggle Room

    It's never too early to prepare for tax season. Next year features a host of tax law changes. Check our handy list to see which ones apply to you.
  6. Taxes

    Top Reasons to File Separately When Married

    Most of the time, it makes sense for couples to file their taxes jointly. Except for these possible exceptions...
  7. Professionals

    Filing Status

    Filing Status
  8. Taxes

    Income Tax Brackets for 2015-2016

    Learn about the 2015-2016 tax brackets, how to calculate your marginal tax rate, the five types of filing status and how to qualify for them.
  9. Your Practice

    Tax Time is Coming; Don't Be Caught Off Guard

    It's time to think about tax returns again. The good news is that the regulations in 2016 have not changed dramatically from last year.
  10. Taxes

    Always Keep These Tax Documents

    It's tempting to ditch them. But make a practice of this very specific group of tax papers. It can save headaches and pay off in tax savings.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the income limits for Roth IRA contributions?

    The 2007 and 2008 income limits for Roth IRA contributions are as follows: Situations 2007 2008 Individuals who are married ... Read Answer >>
  2. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

    You are generally considered married for tax purposes as long as you were married as of the last day of the year, regardless ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between a tax rate and a tax bracket?

    These two terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Find out the difference between your tax rate and your tax bracket. ... Read Answer >>
  4. How do I find out what my tax bracket is?

    Learn the information you need to determine what your tax bracket is. Read Answer >>
  5. Who qualifies as "single" for tax or retirement purposes when spouses do not live ...

    For the purposes of taking a deduction for an IRA contribution, the IRS provides special allowances for individuals who are ... Read Answer >>
  6. Do I need to file an income tax return every year?

    Understand if a person needs to file a tax return every year. Learn the benefits of filing a yearly income tax return even ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Law Of Demand

    A microeconomic law that states that, all other factors being equal, as the price of a good or service increases, consumer ...
  2. Cost Of Debt

    The effective rate that a company pays on its current debt. This can be measured in either before- or after-tax returns; ...
  3. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  4. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will ...
  5. Keynesian Economics

    An economic theory of total spending in the economy and its effects on output and inflation. Keynesian economics was developed ...
  6. Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications ...

    A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the ...
Trading Center