[USC02] 26 USC Subtitle F, CHAPTER 61, Subchapter A, PART II, Subpart B: Income Tax Returns
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26 USC Subtitle F, CHAPTER 61, Subchapter A, PART II, Subpart B: Income Tax Returns
From Title 26—INTERNAL REVENUE CODESubtitle F—Procedure and AdministrationCHAPTER 61—INFORMATION AND RETURNSSubchapter A—Returns and RecordsPART II—TAX RETURNS OR STATEMENTS

Subpart B—Income Tax Returns

Sec.
6012.
Persons required to make returns of income.
6013.
Joint returns of income tax by husband and wife.
6014.
Income tax return—tax not computed by taxpayer.
6015.
Relief from joint and several liability on joint return.
[6016.
Repealed.]
6017.
Self-employment tax returns.
[6017A.
Repealed.]

        

Amendments

1998Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(f), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740, added item 6015.

1989Pub. L. 101–239, title VII, §7711(b)(3), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2393, struck out item 6017A "Place of residence".

1984Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, §412(c)(1), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 792, struck out item 6015 "Declaration of estimated income tax by individuals."

1972Pub. L. 92–512, title I, §144(a)(2), Oct. 20, 1972, 86 Stat. 935, added item 6017A.

1968Pub. L. 90–364, title I, §103(e)(7), June 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 264, struck out item 6016 "Declarations of estimated income tax by corporations."

§6012. Persons required to make returns of income

(a) General rule

Returns with respect to income taxes under subtitle A shall be made by the following:

(1)(A) Every individual having for the taxable year gross income which equals or exceeds the exemption amount, except that a return shall not be required of an individual—

(i) who is not married (determined by applying section 7703), is not a surviving spouse (as defined in section 2(a)), is not a head of a household (as defined in section 2(b)), and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual,

(ii) who is a head of a household (as so defined) and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual,

(iii) who is a surviving spouse (as so defined) and for the taxable year has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual, or

(iv) who is entitled to make a joint return and whose gross income, when combined with the gross income of his spouse, is, for the taxable year, less than the sum of twice the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to a joint return, but only if such individual and his spouse, at the close of the taxable year, had the same household as their home.


Clause (iv) shall not apply if for the taxable year such spouse makes a separate return or any other taxpayer is entitled to an exemption for such spouse under section 151(c).

(B) The amount specified in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by the amount of 1 additional standard deduction (within the meaning of section 63(c)(3)) in the case of an individual entitled to such deduction by reason of section 63(f)(1)(A) (relating to individuals age 65 or more), and the amount specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by the amount of the additional standard deduction for each additional standard deduction to which the individual or his spouse is entitled by reason of section 63(f)(1).

(C) The exception under subparagraph (A) shall not apply to any individual—

(i) who is described in section 63(c)(5) and who has—

(I) income (other than earned income) in excess of the sum of the amount in effect under section 63(c)(5)(A) plus the additional standard deduction (if any) to which the individual is entitled, or

(II) total gross income in excess of the standard deduction, or


(ii) for whom the standard deduction is zero under section 63(c)(6).


(D) For purposes of this subsection—

(i) The terms "standard deduction", "basic standard deduction" and "additional standard deduction" have the respective meanings given such terms by section 63(c).

(ii) The term "exemption amount" has the meaning given such term by section 151(d). In the case of an individual described in section 151(d)(2), the exemption amount shall be zero.


(2) Every corporation subject to taxation under subtitle A;

(3) Every estate the gross income of which for the taxable year is $600 or more;

(4) Every trust having for the taxable year any taxable income, or having gross income of $600 or over, regardless of the amount of taxable income;

(5) Every estate or trust of which any beneficiary is a nonresident alien;

(6) Every political organization (within the meaning of section 527(e)(1)), and every fund treated under section 527(g) as if it constituted a political organization, which has political organization taxable income (within the meaning of section 527(c)(1)) for the taxable year;

(7) Every homeowners association (within the meaning of section 528(c)(1)) which has homeowners association taxable income (within the meaning of section 528(d)) for the taxable year; and

(8) Every estate of an individual under chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the United States Code (relating to bankruptcy) the gross income of which for the taxable year is not less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction under section 63(c)(2)(C);


except that subject to such conditions, limitations, and exceptions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary, nonresident alien individuals subject to the tax imposed by section 871 and foreign corporations subject to the tax imposed by section 881 may be exempted from the requirement of making returns under this section.

(b) Returns made by fiduciaries and receivers

(1) Returns of decedents

If an individual is deceased, the return of such individual required under subsection (a) shall be made by his executor, administrator, or other person charged with the property of such decedent.

(2) Persons under a disability

If an individual is unable to make a return required under subsection (a), the return of such individual shall be made by a duly authorized agent, his committee, guardian, fiduciary or other person charged with the care of the person or property of such individual. The preceding sentence shall not apply in the case of a receiver appointed by authority of law in possession of only a part of the property of an individual.

(3) Receivers, trustees and assignees for corporations

In a case where a receiver, trustee in a case under title 11 of the United States Code, or assignee, by order of a court of competent jurisdiction, by operation of law or otherwise, has possession of or holds title to all or substantially all the property or business of a corporation, whether or not such property or business is being operated, such receiver, trustee, or assignee shall make the return of income for such corporation in the same manner and form as corporations are required to make such returns.

(4) Returns of estates and trusts

Returns of an estate, a trust, or an estate of an individual under chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the United States Code shall be made by the fiduciary thereof.

(5) Joint fiduciaries

Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, a return made by one of two or more joint fiduciaries shall be sufficient compliance with the requirements of this section. A return made pursuant to this paragraph shall contain a statement that the fiduciary has sufficient knowledge of the affairs of the person for whom the return is made to enable him to make the return, and that the return is, to the best of his knowledge and belief, true and correct.

(6) IRA share of partnership income

In the case of a trust which is exempt from taxation under section 408(e), for purposes of this section, the trust's distributive share of items of gross income and gain of any partnership to which subchapter C or D of chapter 63 applies shall be treated as equal to the trust's distributive share of the taxable income of such partnership.

(c) Certain income earned abroad or from sale of residence

For purposes of this section, gross income shall be computed without regard to the exclusion provided for in section 121 (relating to gain from sale of principal residence) and without regard to the exclusion provided for in section 911 (relating to citizens or residents of the United States living abroad).

(d) Tax-exempt interest required to be shown on return

Every person required to file a return under this section for the taxable year shall include on such return the amount of interest received or accrued during the taxable year which is exempt from the tax imposed by chapter 1.

(e) Consolidated returns

For provisions relating to consolidated returns by affiliated corporations, see chapter 6.

(f) Special rule for taxable years 2018 through 2025

In the case of a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, subsection (a)(1) shall not apply, and every individual who has gross income for the taxable year shall be required to make returns with respect to income taxes under subtitle A, except that a return shall not be required of—

(1) an individual who is not married (determined by applying section 7703) and who has gross income for the taxable year which does not exceed the standard deduction applicable to such individual for such taxable year under section 63, or

(2) an individual entitled to make a joint return if—

(A) the gross income of such individual, when combined with the gross income of such individual's spouse, for the taxable year does not exceed the standard deduction which would be applicable to the taxpayer for such taxable year under section 63 if such individual and such individual's spouse made a joint return,

(B) such individual and such individual's spouse have the same household as their home at the close of the taxable year,

(C) such individual's spouse does not make a separate return, and

(D) neither such individual nor such individual's spouse is an individual described in section 63(c)(5) who has income (other than earned income) in excess of the amount in effect under section 63(c)(5)(A).

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 732; Pub. L. 85–866, title I, §72(a), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1660; Pub. L. 88–272, title II, §206(b)(1), Feb. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 40; Pub. L. 91–172, title IX, §941(a), (d), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 726; Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §204(a), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 511; Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §407, Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1297; Pub. L. 93–625, §10(b), Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2119; Pub. L. 94–12, title II, §201(b), Mar. 29, 1975, 89 Stat. 29; Pub. L. 94–164, §2(a)(2), Dec. 23, 1975, 89 Stat. 970; Pub. L. 94–455, title IV, §401(b)(3), title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), title XXI, §2101(c), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1556, 1834, 1899; Pub. L. 95–30, title I, §104, May 23, 1977, 91 Stat. 139; Pub. L. 95–600, title I, §§101(c), 102(b)(1), 105(d), title IV, §404(c)(8), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2770, 2771, 2776, 2870; Pub. L. 95–615, §202(g)(5), formerly §202(f)(5), Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3100, renumbered §202(g)(5), Pub. L. 96–222, title I, §108(a)(1)(A), Apr. 1, 1980, 94 Stat. 223; Pub. L. 96–589, §§3(b), 6(i)(5), Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3400, 3410; Pub. L. 97–34, title I, §§104(d)(1), 111(b)(3), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 189, 194; Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, §412(b)(3), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 792; Pub. L. 99–514, title I, §104(a)(1), title XV, §1525(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2103, 2749; Pub. L. 100–647, title I, §1001(b)(2), Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3349; Pub. L. 105–34, title III, §312(d)(11), title XII, §1225, Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 840, 1019; Pub. L. 106–230, §3(a)(1), July 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 482; Pub. L. 107–276, §3(a), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1931; Pub. L. 111–226, title II, §219(b)(1), Aug. 10, 2010, 124 Stat. 2403; Pub. L. 115–97, title I, §11041(e), Dec. 22, 2017, 131 Stat. 2085; Pub. L. 115–141, div. U, title IV, §401(a)(255)–(257), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1196.)

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 115–141, §401(a)(255), struck out "and" after "year;".

Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 115–141, §401(a)(256), substituted "year; and" for "year."

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 115–141, §401(a)(257), substituted "section 63(c)(2)(C);" for "section 63(c)(2)(D)."

2017—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 115–97 added subsec. (f).

2010—Subsec. (a)(8), (9). Pub. L. 111–226 redesignated par. (9) as (8) and struck out former par. (8) which read as follows: "Every individual who receives payments during the calendar year in which the taxable year begins under section 3507 (relating to advance payment of earned income credit)."

2002—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 107–276 struck out "or which has gross receipts of $25,000 or more for the taxable year (other than an organization to which section 527 applies solely by reason of subsection (f)(1) of such section)" after "(within the meaning of section 527(c)(1)) for the taxable year".

2000—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 106–230 inserted "or which has gross receipts of $25,000 or more for the taxable year (other than an organization to which section 527 applies solely by reason of subsection (f)(1) of such section)" after "taxable year".

1997—Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 105–34, §1225, added par. (6).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 105–34, §312(d)(11), substituted "(relating to gain from sale of principal residence)" for "(relating to one-time exclusion of gain from sale of principal residence by individual who has attained age 55)".

1988—Subsec. (a)(1)(C)(i). Pub. L. 100–647 amended subcl. (I) generally, substituting "the sum of the amount in effect under section 63(c)(5)(A) plus the additional standard deduction (if any) to which the individual is entitled" for "the amount in effect under section 63(c)(5)(A) (relating to limitation on standard deduction in the case of certain dependents)".

1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–514, §104(a)(1)(A), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows:

"(1)(A) Every individual having for the taxable year a gross income of the exemption amount or more, except that a return shall not be required of an individual (other than an individual described in subparagraph (C))—

"(i) who is not married (determined by applying section 143), is not a surviving spouse (as defined in section 2(a)), and for the taxable year has a gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the zero bracket amount applicable to such an individual,

"(ii) who is a surviving spouse (as so defined) and for the taxable year has a gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the zero bracket amount applicable to such an individual, or

"(iii) who is entitled to make a joint return under section 6013 and whose gross income, when combined with the gross income of his spouse, is, for the taxable year, less than the sum of twice the exemption amount plus the zero bracket amount applicable to a joint return, but only if such individual and his spouse, at the close of the taxable year, had the same household as their home.

Clause (iii) shall not apply if for the taxable year such spouse makes a separate return or any other taxpayer is entitled to an exemption for such spouse under section 151(e).

"(B) The amount specified in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by the exemption amount in the case of an individual entitled to an additional personal exemption under section 151(c)(1), and the amount specified in clause (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by the exemption amount for each additional personal exemption to which the individual or his spouse is entitled under section 151(c).

"(C) The exception under subparagraph (A) shall not apply to—

"(i) a nonresident alien individual;

"(ii) a citizen of the United States entitled to the benefits of section 931;

"(iii) an individual making a return under section 443(a)(1) for a period of less than 12 months on account of a change in his annual accounting period;

"(iv) an individual who has income (other than earned income) of the exemption amount or more and who is described in section 63(e)(1)(D); or

"(v) an estate or trust.

"(D) For purposes of this paragraph—

"(i) The term 'zero bracket amount' has the meaning given to such term by section 63(d).

"(ii) The term 'exemption amount' has the meaning given to such term by section 151(f)."

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 99–514, §104(a)(1)(B), substituted "not less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction under section 63(c)(2)(D)" for "$2,700 or more".

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 99–514, §1525(a), added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e).

1984—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 98–369 struck out "or section 6015(a)" after "subsection (a)".

1981—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 97–34, §104(d)(1)(D), substituted "the exemption amount" for "$1,000", wherever appearing, substituted "the sum of the exemption amount plus the zero bracket amount applicable to such an individual" for "$3,300" in subpar. (A)(i) and for "$4,400" in subpar. (A)(ii), substituted "the sum of twice the exemption amount plus the zero bracket amount applicable to a joint return" for "$5,400" in subpar. (A)(iii), and added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–34, §111(b)(3), substituted "relating to citizens or residents of the United States living abroad" for "relating to income earned by employees in certain camps".

1980—Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 96–589, §3(b)(1), added par. (9).

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 96–589, §6(i)(5), substituted "trustee in a case under title 11 of the United States Code" for "trustee in bankruptcy".

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 96–589, §3(b)(2), inserted reference to estate of an individual under chapter 7 or 11 of title 11 of the United States Code.

1978—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 95–600, §§101(c), 102(b)(1), substituted in provision preceding cl. (i), "$1,000" for "$750", in cl. (i), "$3,050" for "$2,950" and "$3,300" for "$3,050", in cl. (ii), "$4,150" for "$3,950" and "$4,400" for "$4,150", and in cl. (iii), "$4,900" for "$4,700" and "$5,400" for "$4,900".

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 95–600, §105(d), added par. (8).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–615 substituted "(relating to income earned by employees in certain camps)" for "(relating to earned income from sources without the United States)".

Pub. L. 95–600, §404(c)(8), inserted provisions relating to a one-time exclusion and principal residence, and substituted "55" for "65".

1977—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 95–30 substituted "(other than an individual described in subparagraph (C))" for "(other than an individual referred to in section 142(b))" in provisions preceding cl. (i), "$2,950" for "$2,450" in cl. (i), "$3,950" for "$2,850" in cl. (ii), and "$4,700" for "$3,600" in cl. (iii).

Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 95–30 reenacted subpar. (B) without change.

Subsec. (a)(1)(C). Pub. L. 95–30 substituted provisions that the exception under subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a nonresident alien individual, a citizen of the United States entitled to the benefits of section 931, an individual making a return under section 443(a)(1) for a period of less than 12 months on account of a change in his annual accounting period, an individual who has income (other than earned income) of $750 or more and who is described in section 63(e)(1)(D), or an estate or trust, for provisions requiring that a return with respect to income taxes under subtitle A be made by every individual having for the taxable year a gross income of $750 or more and to whom section 141(e) (relating to limitations in case of certain dependent taxpayers) applied.

1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), struck out in provisions following par. (7) "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (a)(1)(A), (B). Pub. L. 94–455, §401(b)(3), reenacted subpars. (A) and (B) without change.

Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 94–455, §2101(c), added par. (7).

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

1975—Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 94–164 substituted "$2,450" for "$2,350" in cl. (i), "$2,850" for "$2,650" in cl. (ii), and "$3,600" for "$3,400" in cl. (iii).

Pub. L. 94–12 substituted "(determined by applying section 143), is not a surviving spouse (as defined in section 2(a)), and for the taxable year has a gross income of less than $2,350" for "determined by applying section 143(a)) and for the taxable year has a gross income of less than $2,050, or" in cl. (i), added cl. (ii), redesignated existing cl. (ii) as (iii), in cl. (iii) as so redesignated substituted "$3,400" for "$2,800", and in provisions following cl. (iii) substituted "Clause (iii)" for "Clause (ii)".

Subsec. (a)(1)(B). Pub. L. 94–12 substituted "The amount specified in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by $750" for "The $2,050 amount specified in subparagraph (A)(i) shall be increased to $2,800" and "the amount specified in clause (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall be increased by $750" for "the $2,800 amount specified in subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be increased by $750".

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 93–625 added par. (6) and struck out provision that Secretary or his delegate shall, by regulation, exempt from requirement of making returns under this section any political committee (as defined in section 301(d) of Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971) having no gross income for taxable year.

1974—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 93–443 provided for exemption from tax returns requirement of political committees having no gross income for taxable year.

1971—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 92–178 substituted "$750" for "$600" in subpars. (A) and (B); "$2,050" for "1,700" in subpars. (A)(i) and (B); and "2,800" for "2,300" in subpars. (A)(ii) and (B), twice; and added subpar. (C), respectively.

1969—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 91–172, §941(a), (d), struck out after "$600 or more", "(except that any individual who has attained the age of 65 before the close of his taxable year shall be required to make a return only if he has for the taxable year a gross income of $1,200 or more)", designated remaining introductory text as subpar. (A), inserted remainder of subpars. (A) and (B), applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1969; and substituted "$750", "$1,750", and "$2,500" for "$600", "$1,700", and "$2,300" wherever appearing, effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1972.

1964—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 88–272 inserted provisions relating to sale of residence.

1958—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 85–866 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

Effective Date of 2017 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 115–97 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, see section 11041(f)(1) of Pub. L. 115–97, set out as a note under section 151 of this title.

Effective Date of 2010 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 111–226 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2010, see section 219(c) of Pub. L. 111–226, set out as a note under section 32 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–276, §3(d), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1932, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 6033 and 6104 of this title] shall take effect as if included in the amendments made by Public Law 106–230."

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–230, §3(d), July 1, 2000, 114 Stat. 483, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 6033, 6104, and 6652 of this title] shall apply to returns for taxable years beginning after June 30, 2000."

Effective Date of 1997 Amendment

Amendment by section 312(d)(11) of Pub. L. 105–34 applicable to sales and exchanges after May 6, 1997, with certain exceptions, see section 312(d)[(e)] of Pub. L. 105–34, set out as a note under section 121 of this title.

Amendment by section 1225 of Pub. L. 105–34 applicable to partnership taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1997, see section 1226 of Pub. L. 105–34, as amended, set out as a note under section 6011 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–647 effective, except as otherwise provided, as if included in the provision of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99–514, to which such amendment relates, see section 1019(a) of Pub. L. 100–647, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by section 104(a)(1) of Pub. L. 99–514 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1986, see section 151(a) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Pub. L. 99–514, title XV, §1525(b), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2749, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1986."

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–369 applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1984, see section 414(a) of Pub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 6654 of this title.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by section 104(d)(1) of Pub. L. 97–34 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1984, see section 104(e) of Pub. L. 97–34, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Amendment by section 111(b)(3) of Pub. L. 97–34 applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1981, see section 115 of Pub. L. 97–34, set out as a note under section 911 of this title.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by section 6(i)(5) of Pub. L. 96–589 effective Oct. 1, 1979, but not applicable to proceedings under title 11 commenced before Oct. 1, 1979, and amendment by section 3(b) of Pub. L. 96–589 applicable to bankruptcy cases commencing more than 90 days after Dec. 24, 1980, see section 7(b), (e) of Pub. L. 96–589, set out as a note under section 108 of this title.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by section 101(c) of Pub. L. 95–600 effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1978, see section 101(f)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Amendment by section 102(b)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600 effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1978, see section 102(d)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600, set out as a note under section 151 of this title.

Amendment by section 105(d) of Pub. L. 95–600 effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1978, see section 105(g)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600, set out as a note under section 32 of this title.

Amendment by section 404(c)(8) of Pub. L. 95–600 applicable to sales or exchanges after July 26, 1978, in taxable years ending after such date, see section 404(d)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600, set out as a note under section 121 of this title.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment; Election of Prior Law

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–615 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1977, with provision for election of prior law, see section 209 of Pub. L. 95–615, set out as a note under section 911 of this title.

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–30 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1976, see section 106(a) of Pub. L. 95–30, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by section 401(b)(3) of Pub. L. 94–455 applicable to taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 1975, see section 401(e) of Pub. L. 94–455, set out as a note under section 32 of this title.

Effective and Termination Dates of 1975 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–164 applicable to taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 1975 and before Jan. 1, 1977, see section 2(g) of Pub. L. 94–164, set out as a note under section 32 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–12 applicable to taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 1974, and to cease to apply to taxable years ending after Dec. 31, 1976, see section 209(a) of Pub. L. 94–12, as amended, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

Effective Date of 1974 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–625 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1974, see section 10(e) of Pub. L. 93–625, set out as an Effective Date note under section 527 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–443 applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971, see section 410(c)(2) of Pub. L. 93–443, set out as a note under section 30101 of Title 52, Voting and Elections.

Effective Date of 1971 Amendment

Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §204(a), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 511, provided that the amendment made by section 204(a) is effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971.

Effective Date of 1969 Amendment

Amendment by section 941(a) of Pub. L. 91–172 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1969, see section 941(c) of Pub. L. 91–172, set out as a note under section 151 of this title.

Amendment by section 941(d) of Pub. L. 91–172, which substituted "$750", "$1,750", and "$2,500" for "$600", "$1,700" and "$2,300" wherever appearing, effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1972, was repealed by Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §204(b), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 511.

Effective Date of 1964 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 88–272 applicable to dispositions after Dec. 31, 1963, in taxable years ending after such date, see section 206(c) of Pub. L. 88–272, set out as an Effective Date note under section 121 of this title.

Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Pub. L. 85–866, title I, §72(c), Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1660, provided that: "The amendments [amending this section and section 911 of this title] made by this section shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1957."

Return-Free Tax System

Pub. L. 105–206, title II, §2004, July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 726, related to the development of procedures for the implementation of a return-free tax system for taxable years beginning after 2007 and required an annual report to Congress, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 116–25, title II, §2401, July 1, 2019, 133 Stat. 1014.

No Return Required of Individual Whose Only Gross Income Is Grant of $1,000 From State

Pub. L. 97–424, title V, §542, Jan. 6, 1983, 96 Stat. 2195, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Nothing in section 6012(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954] shall be construed to require the filing of a return with respect to income taxes under subtitle A of such code by an individual whose only gross income for the taxable year is a grant of $1,000 received from a State which made such grants generally to residents of such State.

"(b) Effective Date.—Subsection (a) shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1981."

Exemption From Filing Requirement for Prior Years Where Income of Political Party was $100 or Less

Pub. L. 93–625, §10(f), Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2119, provided for exemption from filing requirement for a taxable year beginning after Dec. 31, 1971, and before Jan. 1, 1975, of any section 527(e)(1) organization where income of political organization was $100 or less.

§6013. Joint returns of income tax by husband and wife

(a) Joint returns

A husband and wife may make a single return jointly of income taxes under subtitle A, even though one of the spouses has neither gross income nor deductions, except as provided below:

(1) no joint return shall be made if either the husband or wife at any time during the taxable year is a nonresident alien;

(2) no joint return shall be made if the husband and wife have different taxable years; except that if such taxable years begin on the same day and end on different days because of the death of either or both, then the joint return may be made with respect to the taxable year of each. The above exception shall not apply if the surviving spouse remarries before the close of his taxable year, nor if the taxable year of either spouse is a fractional part of a year under section 443(a)(1);

(3) in the case of death of one spouse or both spouses the joint return with respect to the decedent may be made only by his executor or administrator; except that in the case of the death of one spouse the joint return may be made by the surviving spouse with respect to both himself and the decedent if no return for the taxable year has been made by the decedent, no executor or administrator has been appointed, and no executor or administrator is appointed before the last day prescribed by law for filing the return of the surviving spouse. If an executor or administrator of the decedent is appointed after the making of the joint return by the surviving spouse, the executor or administrator may disaffirm such joint return by making, within 1 year after the last day prescribed by law for filing the return of the surviving spouse, a separate return for the taxable year of the decedent with respect to which the joint return was made, in which case the return made by the survivor shall constitute his separate return.

(b) Joint return after filing separate return

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), if an individual has filed a separate return for a taxable year for which a joint return could have been made by him and his spouse under subsection (a) and the time prescribed by law for filing the return for such taxable year has expired, such individual and his spouse may nevertheless make a joint return for such taxable year. A joint return filed by the husband and wife under this subsection shall constitute the return of the husband and wife for such taxable year, and all payments, credits, refunds, or other repayments made or allowed with respect to the separate return of either spouse for such taxable year shall be taken into account in determining the extent to which the tax based upon the joint return has been paid. If a joint return is made under this subsection, any election (other than the election to file a separate return) made by either spouse in his separate return for such taxable year with respect to the treatment of any income, deduction, or credit of such spouse shall not be changed in the making of the joint return where such election would have been irrevocable if the joint return had not been made. If a joint return is made under this subsection after the death of either spouse, such return with respect to the decedent can be made only by his executor or administrator.

(2) Limitations for making of election

The election provided for in paragraph (1) may not be made—

(A) after the expiration of 3 years from the last date prescribed by law for filing the return for such taxable year (determined without regard to any extension of time granted to either spouse); or

(B) after there has been mailed to either spouse, with respect to such taxable year, a notice of deficiency under section 6212, if the spouse, as to such notice, files a petition with the Tax Court within the time prescribed in section 6213; or

(C) after either spouse has commenced a suit in any court for the recovery of any part of the tax for such taxable year; or

(D) after either spouse has entered into a closing agreement under section 7121 with respect to such taxable year, or after any civil or criminal case arising against either spouse with respect to such taxable year has been compromised under section 7122.

(3) When return deemed filed

(A) Assessment and collection

For purposes of section 6501 (relating to periods of limitations on assessment and collection), and for purposes of section 6651 (relating to delinquent returns), a joint return made under this subsection shall be deemed to have been filed—

(i) Where both spouses filed separate returns prior to making the joint return—on the date the last separate return was filed (but not earlier than the last date prescribed by law for filing the return of either spouse);

(ii) Where only one spouse filed a separate return prior to the making of the joint return, and the other spouse had less than the exemption amount of gross income for such taxable year—on the date of the filing of such separate return (but not earlier than the last date prescribed by law for the filing of such separate return); or

(iii) Where only one spouse filed a separate return prior to the making of the joint return, and the other spouse had gross income of the exemption amount or more for such taxable year—on the date of the filing of such joint return.


For purposes of this subparagraph, the term "exemption amount" has the meaning given to such term by section 151(d). For purposes of clauses (ii) and (iii), if the spouse whose gross income is being compared to the exemption amount is 65 or over, such clauses shall be applied by substituting "the sum of the exemption amount and the additional standard deduction under section 63(c)(2) by reason of section 63(f)(1)(A)" for "the exemption amount".

(B) Credit or refund

For purposes of section 6511, a joint return made under this subsection shall be deemed to have been filed on the last date prescribed by law for filing the return for such taxable year (determined without regard to any extension of time granted to either spouse).

(4) Additional time for assessment

If a joint return is made under this subsection, the periods of limitations provided in sections 6501 and 6502 on the making of assessments and the beginning of levy or a proceeding in court for collection shall with respect to such return include one year immediately after the date of the filing of such joint return (computed without regard to the provisions of paragraph (3)).

(5) Additions to the tax and penalties

(A) Coordination with part II of subchapter A of chapter 68

For purposes of part II of subchapter A of chapter 68, where the sum of the amounts shown as tax on the separate returns of each spouse is less than the amount shown as tax on the joint return made under this subsection—

(i) such sum shall be treated as the amount shown on the joint return,

(ii) any negligence (or disregard of rules or regulations) on either separate return shall be treated as negligence (or such disregard) on the joint return, and

(iii) any fraud on either separate return shall be treated as fraud on the joint return.

(B) Criminal penalty

For purposes of section 7206(1) and (2) and section 7207 (relating to criminal penalties in the case of fraudulent returns) the term "return" includes a separate return filed by a spouse with respect to a taxable year for which a joint return is made under this subsection after the filing of such separate return.

(c) Treatment of joint return after death of either spouse

For purposes of sections 15, 443, and 7851(a)(1)(A), where the husband and wife have different taxable years because of the death of either spouse, the joint return shall be treated as if the taxable years of both spouses ended on the date of the closing of the surviving spouse's taxable year.

(d) Special rules

For purposes of this section—

(1) the status as husband and wife of two individuals having taxable years beginning on the same day shall be determined—

(A) if both have the same taxable year—as of the close of such year; or

(B) if one dies before the close of the taxable year of the other—as of the time of such death;


(2) an individual who is legally separated from his spouse under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance shall not be considered as married; and

(3) if a joint return is made, the tax shall be computed on the aggregate income and the liability with respect to the tax shall be joint and several.

[(e) Repealed. Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(e)(1), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740]

(f) Joint return where individual is in missing status

For purposes of this section and subtitle A—

(1) Election by spouse

If—

(A) an individual is in a missing status (within the meaning of paragraph (3)) as a result of service in a combat zone (as determined for purposes of section 112), and

(B) the spouse of such individual is otherwise entitled to file a joint return for any taxable year which begins on or before the day which is 2 years after the date designated under section 112 as the date of termination of combatant activities in such zone,


then such spouse may elect under subsection (a) to file a joint return for such taxable year. With respect to service in the combat zone designated for purposes of the Vietnam conflict, such election may be made for any taxable year while an individual is in missing status.

(2) Effect of election

If the spouse of an individual described in paragraph (1)(A) elects to file a joint return under subsection (a) for a taxable year, then, until such election is revoked—

(A) such election shall be valid even if such individual died before the beginning of such year, and

(B) except for purposes of section 692 (relating to income taxes of members of the Armed Forces, astronauts, and victims of certain terrorist attacks on death), the income tax liability of such individual, his spouse, and his estate shall be determined as if he were alive throughout the taxable year.

(3) Missing status

For purposes of this subsection—

(A) Uniformed services

A member of a uniformed service (within the meaning of section 101(3) of title 37 of the United States Code) is in a missing status for any period for which he is entitled to pay and allowances under section 552 of such title 37.

(B) Civilian employees

An employee (within the meaning of section 5561(2) of title 5 of the United States Code) is in a missing status for any period for which he is entitled to pay and allowances under section 5562 of such title 5.

(4) Making of election; revocation

An election described in this subsection with respect to any taxable year may be made by filing a joint return in accordance with subsection (a) and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary. Such an election may be revoked by either spouse on or before the due date (including extensions) for such taxable year, and, in the case of an executor or administrator, may be revoked by disaffirming as provided in the last sentence of subsection (a)(3).

(g) Election to treat nonresident alien individual as resident of the United States

(1) In general

A nonresident alien individual with respect to whom this subsection is in effect for the taxable year shall be treated as a resident of the United States—

(A) for purposes of chapter 1 for all of such taxable year, and

(B) for purposes of chapter 24 (relating to wage withholding) for payments of wages made during such taxable year.

(2) Individuals with respect to whom this subsection is in effect

This subsection shall be in effect with respect to any individual who, at the close of the taxable year for which an election under this subsection was made, was a nonresident alien individual married to a citizen or resident of the United States, if both of them made such election to have the benefits of this subsection apply to them.

(3) Duration of election

An election under this subsection shall apply to the taxable year for which made and to all subsequent taxable years until terminated under paragraph (4) or (5); except that any such election shall not apply for any taxable year if neither spouse is a citizen or resident of the United States at any time during such year.

(4) Termination of election

An election under this subsection shall terminate at the earliest of the following times:

(A) Revocation by taxpayers

If either taxpayer revokes the election, as of the first taxable year for which the last day prescribed by law for filing the return of tax under chapter 1 has not yet occurred.

(B) Death

In the case of the death of either spouse, as of the beginning of the first taxable year of the spouse who survives following the taxable year in which such death occurred; except that if the spouse who survives is a citizen or resident of the United States who is a surviving spouse entitled to the benefits of section 2, the time provided by this subparagraph shall be as of the close of the last taxable year for which such individual is entitled to the benefits of section 2.

(C) Legal separation

In the case of the legal separation of the couple under a decree of divorce or of separate maintenance, as of the beginning of the taxable year in which such legal separation occurs.

(D) Termination by Secretary

At the time provided in paragraph (5).

(5) Termination by Secretary

The Secretary may terminate any election under this subsection for any taxable year if he determines that either spouse has failed—

(A) to keep such books and records,

(B) to grant such access to such books and records, or

(C) to supply such other information,


as may be reasonably necessary to ascertain the amount of liability for taxes under chapter 1 of either spouse for such taxable year.

(6) Only one election

If any election under this subsection for any two individuals is terminated under paragraph (4) or (5) for any taxable year, such two individuals shall be ineligible to make an election under this subsection for any subsequent taxable year.

(h) Joint return, etc., for year in which nonresident alien becomes resident of United States

(1) In general

If—

(A) any individual is a nonresident alien individual at the beginning of any taxable year but is a resident of the United States at the close of such taxable year,

(B) at the close of such taxable year, such individual is married to a citizen or resident of the United States, and

(C) both individuals elect the benefits of this subsection at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Secretary by regulation,


then the individual referred to in subparagraph (A) shall be treated as a resident of the United States for purposes of chapter 1 for all of such taxable year, and for purposes of chapter 24 (relating to wage withholding) for payments of wages made during such taxable year.

(2) Only one election

If any election under this subsection applies for any 2 individuals for any taxable year, such 2 individuals shall be ineligible to make an election under this subsection for any subsequent taxable year.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 733; Pub. L. 85–866, title I, §73, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1660; Pub. L. 91–172, title VIII, §801(a)(2), (b)(2), (c)(2), (d)(2), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 675, 676; Pub. L. 91–679, §1, Jan. 12, 1971, 84 Stat. 2063; Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §201(a)(2), (b)(2), (c), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 510, 511; Pub. L. 93–597, §3(a), Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1950; Pub. L. 94–455, title X, §1012(a)(1), title XIX, §1906(a)(1), (b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1612, 1824, 1834; Pub. L. 94–569, §3(d), Oct. 20, 1976, 90 Stat. 2699; Pub. L. 95–600, title I, §102(b)(2), title VII, §701(u)(15)(A)–(C), (16)(A), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2771, 2919, 2920; Pub. L. 97–34, title I, §104(d)(2), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 189; Pub. L. 97–248, title III, §§307(a)(4), (5), 308(a), Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 589, 591; Pub. L. 97–448, title III, §307(c), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2407; Pub. L. 98–67, title I, §102(a), Aug. 5, 1983, 97 Stat. 369; Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, §§424(a), 474(b)(2), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 801, 830; Pub. L. 99–514, title I, §104(a)(2), title XVII, §1708(a)(3), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2104, 2782; Pub. L. 100–647, title I, §1015(b)(1), Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3568; Pub. L. 101–239, title VII, §7721(c)(6), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2399; Pub. L. 101–508, title XI, §11704(a)(22), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–519; Pub. L. 104–168, title IV, §402(a), July 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 1459; Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(e)(1), title VI, §6011(e)(2), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740, 818; Pub. L. 107–134, title I, §101(b)(2), Jan. 23, 2002, 115 Stat. 2428; Pub. L. 108–121, title I, §110(a)(2)(B), Nov. 11, 2003, 117 Stat. 1342.)

Amendments

2003—Subsec. (f)(2)(B). Pub. L. 108–121 inserted ", astronauts," after "Forces".

2002—Subsec. (f)(2)(B). Pub. L. 107–134 inserted "and victims of certain terrorist attacks" before "on death".

1998—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 105–206, §3201(e)(1), struck out subsec. (e), which had: in par. (1), declared that spouse was relieved of liability for tax where joint return had been made, there was substantial understatement of tax attributable to grossly erroneous items of one spouse, other spouse established that he or she did not know that there was such substantial understatement, and it would be inequitable to hold other spouse liable; in pars. (2) and (3), defined terms "grossly erroneous items" and "substantial understatement", respectively; in par. (4), directed that understatement had to exceed specified percentage of spouse's income; and in par. (5) declared that determination of spouse, to whom items of gross income were attributable would be made without regard to community property laws.

Subsecs. (g)(1)(A), (5), (h)(1). Pub. L. 105–206, §6011(e)(2), substituted "chapter 1" for "chapters 1 and 5".

1996—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–168 redesignated subpars. (B) to (E) as (A) to (D), respectively, and struck out former subpar. (A) which read as follows: "unless there is paid in full at or before the time of the filing of the joint return the amount shown as tax upon such joint return; or".

1990—Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 101–508 substituted "section 6662(d)(2)(A)" for "section 6661(b)(2)(A)".

1989—Subsec. (b)(5)(A). Pub. L. 101–239 substituted "part II of subchapter A of chapter 68" for "section 6653" in heading and in text.

1988—Subsec. (b)(5)(A). Pub. L. 100–647 amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) related to additions to tax when amount shown as tax by husband and wife on joint return exceeds aggregate of amounts shown as tax on separate return of each spouse.

1986—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 99–514, §104(a)(2), struck out "(twice the exemption amount in case such spouse was 65 or over)" before "for such taxable year" in cls. (ii) and (iii), substituted "section 151(d)" for "section 151(f)" in concluding provisions, and inserted last sentence.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 99–514, §1708(a)(3), substituted "such election may be made for any taxable year while an individual is in missing status" for "no such election may be made for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 1982".

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–369, §474(b)(2), substituted "15" for "21".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–369, §424(a), in amending subsec. (e) generally, reenacted as par. (1)(A) part of former par. (1)(A); incorporated in par. (1)(B) part of former par. (1)(A), substituting "there is a substantial understatement of tax attributable to grossly erroneous items of one spouse" for "there was omitted from gross income an amount properly includable therein which is attributable to one spouse and which is in excess of 25 percent of the amount of gross income stated in the return"; redesignated as par. (1)(C) former par. (1)(B), substituting "had no reason to know, that there was such substantial understatement" for "had no reason to know of, such omission"; reenacted as par. (1)(D) former par. (1)(C), substituting preceding ", it is inequitable" the words "all the facts and circumstances" for "whether or not the other spouse significantly benefited directly or indirectly from the items omitted from gross income and taking into account all other facts and circumstances" and "attributable to such substantial understatement" for "attributable to such omission"; substituted in concluding text "attributable to such substantial understatement" for "attributable to such omission from gross income"; added pars. (2) to (4); and incorporated in provisions designated par. (5) similar provisions of former par. (2)(A), substituting as par. heading "Special rule for community property income" for "Special rules" and deleting former par. (2)(B) respecting determination as provided in section 6501(e)(1)(A) of amount omitted from gross income.

1983Pub. L. 98–67 repealed amendments made by Pub. L. 97–248. See 1982 Amendment note below.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 97–448 substituted "December 31, 1982" for "January 2, 1978".

1982—Subsecs. (g)(1)(B). (h)(1). Pub. L. 97–248 provided that, applicable to payments of interest, dividends, and patronage dividends paid or credited after June 30, 1983, subsec. (g)(1)(B) is amended by substituting "(relating to withholding on wages, interest, dividends, and patronage dividends)" for "(relating to wage withholding)" and by striking out "of wages", and subsec. (h)(1) is amended by substituting "(relating to withholding on wages, interest, dividends, and patronage dividends)" for "(relating to wage withholding)" and by striking out "of wages". Section 102(a), (b) of Pub. L. 98–67, title I, Aug. 5, 1983, 97 Stat. 369, repealed subtitle A (§§301–308) of title III of Pub. L. 97–248 as of the close of June 30, 1983, and provided that the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 [now 1986] [this title] shall be applied and administered (subject to certain exceptions) as if such subtitle A (and the amendments made by such subtitle A) had not been enacted.

1981—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 97–34 substituted "the exemption amount" for "$1,000" and "twice the exemption amount" for "$2,000" in cls. (ii) and (iii) and inserted provision following cl. (iii) defining "exemption amount".

1978—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 95–600, §102(b)(2), increased the exemptions wherever appearing from $750 and $1500 to $1,000 and $2,000, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1978.

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 95–600, §701(u)(15)(A), amended par. (1) generally, designating existing provisions as introductory material and par. (A), and in such par. (A) inserting reference to chapter 5, and adding par. (2).

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 95–600, §701(u)(16)(A), substituted "who, at the close of the taxable year for which an election under this subsection was made," for "who, at the time an election was made under this subsection,".

Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 95–600, §701(u)(15)(B), substituted "chapters 1 and 5" for "chapter 1".

Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 95–600, §701(u)(15)(C), substituted "chapters 1 and 5" for "chapter 1" and inserted provision relating to chapter 24 of this title.

1976—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(a)(1)(A), struck out "of the United States" after "Tax Court".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(a)(1)(B), (C), substituted in heading "Special rules" for "Definitions", in par. (1)(A) "of such year; or" for "of such year; and", and in par. (1)(B) "of such death;" for "of such death; and".

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 94–569 substituted "after January 2, 1978" for "more than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this sentence" after "With respect to service in the combat zone designated for purposes of the Vietnam conflict, no such election may be made for any taxable year beginning".

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 94–455, §1906(b)(13)(A), struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 94–455, §1012(a)(1), added subsecs. (g) and (h).

1975—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 93–597 added subsec. (f).

1971—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 92–178 increased the exemptions wherever appearing from $650 and $1,300 to $675 and $1,350, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 1970, and before Jan. 1, 1972, and to $750 and $1,500, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 91–679 added subsec. (e).

1969—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 91–172, §801(a)(2), (b)(2), (c)(2), (d)(2), increased the exemptions wherever appearing from $600 and $1,200 to $625 and $1,250, respectively with respect to taxable years ending Dec. 31, 1970, and to $650 and $1,300, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1970, and before Jan. 1, 1972, to $700 and $1,400, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971, and before Jan. 1, 1973, and to $750 and $1,500, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1972.

1958—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 85–866 substituted "section 6213" for "such section".

Effective Date of 2003 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 108–121 applicable with respect to any astronaut whose death occurs after Dec. 31, 2002, see section 110(a)(4) of Pub. L. 108–121, set out as a note under section 5 of this title.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–134 applicable to taxable years ending before, on, or after Sept. 11, 2001, with provisions relating to waiver of limitations, see section 101(d) of Pub. L. 107–134, set out as a note under section 692 of this title.

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by section 3201 of Pub. L. 105–206 applicable to any liability for tax arising after July 22, 1998, and any liability for tax arising on or before such date but remaining unpaid as of such date, see section 3201(g)(1) of Pub. L. 105–206, set out as a note under section 6015 of this title.

Amendment by section 6011(e)(2) of Pub. L. 105–206 effective, except as otherwise provided, as if included in the provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Pub. L. 105–34, to which such amendment relates (see section 1131 of Pub. L. 105–34), see section 6024 of Pub. L. 105–206, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–168, title IV, §402(b), July 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 1459, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 30, 1996]."

Effective Date of 1989 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–239 applicable to returns the due date for which (determined without regard to extensions) is after Dec. 31, 1989, see section 7721(d) of Pub. L. 101–239, set out as a note under section 461 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–647, title I, §1015(b)(4), Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3569, provided that: "The amendments made by this subsection (other than paragraph (3)) [amending this section and sections 6601 and 6653 of this title] shall apply to returns the due date for which (determined without regard to extensions) is after December 31, 1988."

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by section 104(a)(2) of Pub. L. 99–514 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1986, see section 151(a) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Amendment by section 1708(a)(3) of Pub. L. 99–514 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1982, see section 1708(b) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as a note under section 2 of this title.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, §424(c), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 803, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 100–647, title VI, §6004, Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3685, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section and section 66 of this title] shall apply to all taxable years to which the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954] applies. Corresponding provisions shall be deemed to be included in the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 and shall apply to all taxable years to which such Code applies.

"(2) Authority to disregard community property laws.—Subsection (b) of section 66 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as added by subsection (b), shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1984.

"(3) Transitional rule.—If—

"(A) a joint return under section 6013 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 was filed before January 1, 1985,

"(B) on such return there is an understatement (as defined in section 6661(b)(2)(A) of such Code) which is attributable to disallowed deductions attributable to activities of one spouse,

"(C) the amount of such disallowed deductions exceeds the taxable income shown on such return,

"(D) without regard to any determination before October 21, 1988, the other spouse establishes that in signing the return he or she did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was such an understatement, and

"(E) the marriage between such spouses terminated and immediately after such termination the net worth of the other spouse was less than $10,000,

notwithstanding any law or rule of law (including res judicata), the other spouse shall be relieved of liability for tax (including interest, penalties, and other amounts) for such taxable year to the extent such liability is attributable to such understatement, and, to the extent the liability so attributable has been collected from such other spouse, it shall be refunded or credited to such other spouse. No credit or refund shall be made under the preceding sentence unless claim therefor has been submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate before the date 1 year after the date of the enactment of this paragraph [Nov. 10, 1988], and no interest on such credit or refund shall be allowed for any period before such date of enactment."

Amendment by section 474(b)(2) of Pub. L. 98–369 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1983, and to carrybacks from such years, see section 475(a) of Pub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 21 of this title.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–34 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1984, see section 104(e) of Pub. L. 97–34, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1978 Amendment

Amendment by section 102(b)(2) of Pub. L. 95–600 effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1978, see section 102(d)(1) of Pub. L. 95–600, set out as a note under section 151 of this title.

Pub. L. 95–600, title VII, §701(u)(15)(E), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2919, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that: "The amendments made by this paragraph [amending this section and section 6401 of this title]—

"(i) to the extent that they relate to chapter 1 or 5 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954, sections 1 et seq. and 1491 et seq. of this title, respectively], shall apply to taxable years ending on or after December 31, 1975, and

"(ii) to the extent that they relate to wage withholding under chapter 24 of such Code [section 3401 et seq. of this title], shall apply to remuneration paid on or after the first day of the first month which begins more than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 6, 1978]."

Pub. L. 95–600, title VII, §701(u)(16)(B), Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2920, provided that: "The amendment made by subparagraph (A) [amending this section] shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1975."

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Pub. L. 94–455, title X, §1012(d), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1614, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [enacting this section and section 871 of this title] shall apply to taxable years ending on or after December 31, 1975. The amendments made by subsections (b) and (c) [enacting section 879 of this title, amending section 6073 of this title, and repealing section 981 of this title] shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1976."

Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(d), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1835, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that:

"(1) General rule.—Except as otherwise expressly provided in this section, the amendments made by this section [see Tables for classification] shall take effect on the first day of the first month which begins more than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 4, 1976].

"(2) Amendments relating to income tax.—The amendments made by this section, when relating to a tax imposed by chapter 1 or chapter 2 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954], shall take effect with respect to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1976."

Pub. L. 94–455, title XXI, §2114(b), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1907, provided that: "The application permitted under the amendment made by subsection (a) of this section [amending section 3 of Pub. L. 91–679, set out as an Effective Date of 1971 Amendment note below] must be filed with the Secretary of the Treasury during the first calendar year beginning after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 4, 1976]."

Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Pub. L. 93–597, §3(c), Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1952, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 2 of this title] shall apply to taxable years ending on or after February 28, 1961."

Effective Date of 1971 Amendments

Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §201(a), (b), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 510, provided in part that the increases in exemptions from $650 to $675 and from $1,300 to $1,350, respectively, were effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1970, and before Jan. 1, 1972, and to $750 and $1,500, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971.

Pub. L. 91–679, §3, Jan. 12, 1971, 84 Stat. 2064, as amended by Pub. L. 94–455, title XXI, §2114(a), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1907; Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that: "The amendments made by the first two sections of this Act [amending this section and section 6653 of this title] shall apply to all taxable years to which the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954] applies. Corresponding provisions shall be deemed to be included in the Internal Revenue Code of 1939 and shall apply to all taxable years to which such Code applies. Upon application by a taxpayer, the Secretary of the Treasury shall redetermine the liability for tax (including interest, penalties, and other amounts) of such taxpayer for taxable years beginning after December 31, 1961, and ending before January 13, 1971. The preceding sentence shall apply solely to a taxpayer to whom the application of the provisions of section 6013(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as added by this Act, for such taxable years is prevented by the operation of res judicata, and such redetermination shall be made without regard to such rule of law. Any overpayment of tax by such taxpayer for such taxable years resulting from the redetermination made under this Act shall be refunded to such taxpayer."

Effective Date of 1969 Amendment

Pub. L. 91–172, title VIII, §801(a)(2), (b)(2), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 675, 676, provided in part that the increases in exemptions from $600 and $1,200 to $625 and $1,250, respectively, were effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1969, and before Jan. 1, 1971; and to $650 and $1,300, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1970, and before Jan. 1, 1972. Pub. L. 91–172, title VIII, §801(c)(2), (d)(2), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 676, which provided for increases in exemptions to $700 and $1,400, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1971, and before Jan. 1, 1973, and to $750 and $1,500, respectively, with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1972, was repealed by Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §201(c), Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 511.

Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 85–866 effective Aug. 17, 1954, see section 1(c)(2) of Pub. L. 85–866, set out as a note under section 165 of this title.

Separate Notice to Each Filer

Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(d), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740, provided that: "The Secretary of the Treasury shall, wherever practicable, send any notice relating to a joint return under section 6013 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 separately to each individual filing the joint return."

§6014. Income tax return—tax not computed by taxpayer

(a) Election by taxpayer

An individual who does not itemize his deductions and who is not described in section 6012(a)(1)(C)(i), whose gross income is less than $10,000 and includes no income other than remuneration for services performed by him as an employee, dividends or interest, and whose gross income other than wages, as defined in section 3401(a), does not exceed $100, shall at his election not be required to show on the return the tax imposed by section 1. Such election shall be made by using the form prescribed for purposes of this section. In such case the tax shall be computed by the Secretary who shall mail to the taxpayer a notice stating the amount determined as payable.

(b) Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for carrying out this section, and such regulations may provide for the application of the rules of this section—

(1) to cases where the gross income includes items other than those enumerated by subsection (a),

(2) to cases where the gross income from sources other than wages on which the tax has been withheld at the source is more than $100,

(3) to cases where the gross income is $10,000 or more, or

(4) to cases where the taxpayer itemizes his deductions or where the taxpayer claims a reduced standard deduction by reason of section 63(c)(5).


Such regulations shall provide for the application of this section in the case of husband and wife, including provisions determining when a joint return under this section may be permitted or required, whether the liability shall be joint and several, and whether one spouse may make return under this section and the other without regard to this section.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 736; Pub. L. 88–272, title II, §201(d)(14), title III, §301(b)(2), Feb. 26, 1964, 78 Stat. 32, 140; Pub. L. 91–172, title VIII, §803(d)(1), title IX, §942(a), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 684, 726; Pub. L. 94–455, title V, §§501(b)(8), (9), 503(b)(2), (3), title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1559, 1562, 1834; Pub. L. 95–30, title I, §101(d)(13), (14), May 23, 1977, 91 Stat. 134; Pub. L. 99–514, title I, §104(b)(16), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2106.)

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–514, §104(b)(16)(A), substituted "who is not described in section 6012(a)(1)(C)(i)" for "who does not have an unused zero bracket amount (determined under section 63(e))".

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 99–514, §104(b)(16)(B), amended par. (4) generally, substituting "where the taxpayer claims a reduced standard deduction by reason of section 63(c)(5)" for "has an unused zero bracket amount".

1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–30, §101(d)(13), substituted "An individual who does not itemize his deductions and who does not have an unused zero bracket amount (determined under section 63(e)), whose gross income" for "An individual entitled to take the standard deduction provided by section 141 (other than an individual described in section 141(e)) whose gross income" and struck out "and shall constitute an election to take the standard deduction" after "Such election shall be made by using the form prescribed for purposes of this section".

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 95–30, §101(d)(14), substituted "itemizes his deductions or has an unused zero bracket amount" for "does not elect the standard deduction or where the taxpayer elects the standard deduction but is subject to the provision of section 141(e) (relating to limitations in case of certain dependent taxpayers)".

1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, §§501(b)(8), 503(b)(2), 1906(b)(13(A), substituted "entitled to take the standard deduction provided by section 141 (other than an individual described in section 141(e))" for "entitled to elect to pay the tax imposed by section 3" and "take the standard deduction" for "pay the tax imposed by section 3" and struck out provision relating to disallowance of section 37 credit in determination of tax imposed by section 3 of this title, and struck out "or his delegate" after "Secretary".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–455, §§501(b)(9), 503(b)(3), 1906(b)(13)(A), struck out an introductory provision, "or his delegate" after "Secretary", redesignated former par. (5) as (4), and as so redesignated, inserted reference to where the taxpayer elects the standard deduction but is subject to the provisions of section 141(e) (relating to limitations in case of certain dependent taxpayers). Former par. (4), which related to cases where the taxpayer is entitled to credit provided by section 37 of this title, was struck out.

1969—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 91–172, §803(d)(1), raised the individual gross income limit of $5,000 to $10,000 for exercising the option to pay the tax under section 3 of this title, and struck out provisions relating to heads of household, surviving spouses and married individuals filing separate returns.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91–172, §942(a), substituted provisions authorizing the Secretary to promulgate regulations to compute the tax in cases where the gross income is $10,000 or more, where the gross income from sources other than wages on which the tax has been withheld at the source is more than $100, where the taxpayer is entitled to a credit under section 37 of this title, or where the taxpayer does not elect the standard deduction, for provisions authorizing the computation of the tax in cases where the gross income is $5,000 but not more than $5,200, or where the gross income from sources other than wages on which the tax has been withheld at the source is more than $100, but not more than $200.

1964—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 88–272 struck out "34 or" before "37 shall not be allowed", and inserted provision that in case of a married individual filing a separate return and electing benefits of this subsection, neither Table V in section 3(a) nor Table V in section 3(b) shall apply.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 99–514 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1986, see section 151(a) of Pub. L. 99–514, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–30 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1976, see section 106(a) of Pub. L. 95–30, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date of 1969 Amendment

Amendment by section 803(d)(1) of Pub. L. 91–172 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1969, see section 803(f) of Pub. L. 91–172, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Pub. L. 91–172, title IX, §942(b), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 727, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1969."

Effective Date of 1964 Amendment

Amendment by section 201(d)(14) of Pub. L. 88–272 applicable with respect to dividends received after Dec. 31, 1964, in taxable years ending after such date, see section 201(e) of Pub. L. 88–272, set out as a note under section 22 of this title.

Amendment by section 301(b)(2) of Pub. L. 88–272 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1963, except for purpose of section 21, see section 301(c) of Pub. L. 88–272, set out as a note under section 3 of this title.

§6015. Relief from joint and several liability on joint return

(a) In general

Notwithstanding section 6013(d)(3)—

(1) an individual who has made a joint return may elect to seek relief under the procedures prescribed under subsection (b); and

(2) if such individual is eligible to elect the application of subsection (c), such individual may, in addition to any election under paragraph (1), elect to limit such individual's liability for any deficiency with respect to such joint return in the manner prescribed under subsection (c).


Any determination under this section shall be made without regard to community property laws.

(b) Procedures for relief from liability applicable to all joint filers

(1) In general

Under procedures prescribed by the Secretary, if—

(A) a joint return has been made for a taxable year;

(B) on such return there is an understatement of tax attributable to erroneous items of one individual filing the joint return;

(C) the other individual filing the joint return establishes that in signing the return he or she did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was such understatement;

(D) taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it is inequitable to hold the other individual liable for the deficiency in tax for such taxable year attributable to such understatement; and

(E) the other individual elects (in such form as the Secretary may prescribe) the benefits of this subsection not later than the date which is 2 years after the date the Secretary has begun collection activities with respect to the individual making the election,


then the other individual shall be relieved of liability for tax (including interest, penalties, and other amounts) for such taxable year to the extent such liability is attributable to such understatement.

(2) Apportionment of relief

If an individual who, but for paragraph (1)(C), would be relieved of liability under paragraph (1), establishes that in signing the return such individual did not know, and had no reason to know, the extent of such understatement, then such individual shall be relieved of liability for tax (including interest, penalties, and other amounts) for such taxable year to the extent that such liability is attributable to the portion of such understatement of which such individual did not know and had no reason to know.

(3) Understatement

For purposes of this subsection, the term "understatement" has the meaning given to such term by section 6662(d)(2)(A).

(c) Procedures to limit liability for taxpayers no longer married or taxpayers legally separated or not living together

(1) In general

Except as provided in this subsection, if an individual who has made a joint return for any taxable year elects the application of this subsection, the individual's liability for any deficiency which is assessed with respect to the return shall not exceed the portion of such deficiency properly allocable to the individual under subsection (d).

(2) Burden of proof

Except as provided in subparagraph (A)(ii) or (C) of paragraph (3), each individual who elects the application of this subsection shall have the burden of proof with respect to establishing the portion of any deficiency allocable to such individual.

(3) Election

(A) Individuals eligible to make election

(i) In general

An individual shall only be eligible to elect the application of this subsection if—

(I) at the time such election is filed, such individual is no longer married to, or is legally separated from, the individual with whom such individual filed the joint return to which the election relates; or

(II) such individual was not a member of the same household as the individual with whom such joint return was filed at any time during the 12-month period ending on the date such election is filed.

(ii) Certain taxpayers ineligible to elect

If the Secretary demonstrates that assets were transferred between individuals filing a joint return as part of a fraudulent scheme by such individuals, an election under this subsection by either individual shall be invalid (and section 6013(d)(3) shall apply to the joint return).

(B) Time for election

An election under this subsection for any taxable year may be made at any time after a deficiency for such year is asserted but not later than 2 years after the date on which the Secretary has begun collection activities with respect to the individual making the election.

(C) Election not valid with respect to certain deficiencies

If the Secretary demonstrates that an individual making an election under this subsection had actual knowledge, at the time such individual signed the return, of any item giving rise to a deficiency (or portion thereof) which is not allocable to such individual under subsection (d), such election shall not apply to such deficiency (or portion). This subparagraph shall not apply where the individual with actual knowledge establishes that such individual signed the return under duress.

(4) Liability increased by reason of transfers of property to avoid tax

(A) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, the portion of the deficiency for which the individual electing the application of this subsection is liable (without regard to this paragraph) shall be increased by the value of any disqualified asset transferred to the individual.

(B) Disqualified asset

For purposes of this paragraph—

(i) In general

The term "disqualified asset" means any property or right to property transferred to an individual making the election under this subsection with respect to a joint return by the other individual filing such joint return if the principal purpose of the transfer was the avoidance of tax or payment of tax.

(ii) Presumption

(I) In general

For purposes of clause (i), except as provided in subclause (II), any transfer which is made after the date which is 1 year before the date on which the first letter of proposed deficiency which allows the taxpayer an opportunity for administrative review in the Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals is sent shall be presumed to have as its principal purpose the avoidance of tax or payment of tax.

(II) Exceptions

Subclause (I) shall not apply to any transfer pursuant to a decree of divorce or separate maintenance or a written instrument incident to such a decree or to any transfer which an individual establishes did not have as its principal purpose the avoidance of tax or payment of tax.

(d) Allocation of deficiency

For purposes of subsection (c)—

(1) In general

The portion of any deficiency on a joint return allocated to an individual shall be the amount which bears the same ratio to such deficiency as the net amount of items taken into account in computing the deficiency and allocable to the individual under paragraph (3) bears to the net amount of all items taken into account in computing the deficiency.

(2) Separate treatment of certain items

If a deficiency (or portion thereof) is attributable to—

(A) the disallowance of a credit; or

(B) any tax (other than tax imposed by section 1 or 55) required to be included with the joint return;


and such item is allocated to one individual under paragraph (3), such deficiency (or portion) shall be allocated to such individual. Any such item shall not be taken into account under paragraph (1).

(3) Allocation of items giving rise to the deficiency

For purposes of this subsection—

(A) In general

Except as provided in paragraphs (4) and (5), any item giving rise to a deficiency on a joint return shall be allocated to individuals filing the return in the same manner as it would have been allocated if the individuals had filed separate returns for the taxable year.

(B) Exception where other spouse benefits

Under rules prescribed by the Secretary, an item otherwise allocable to an individual under subparagraph (A) shall be allocated to the other individual filing the joint return to the extent the item gave rise to a tax benefit on the joint return to the other individual.

(C) Exception for fraud

The Secretary may provide for an allocation of any item in a manner not prescribed by subparagraph (A) if the Secretary establishes that such allocation is appropriate due to fraud of one or both individuals.

(4) Limitations on separate returns disregarded

If an item of deduction or credit is disallowed in its entirety solely because a separate return is filed, such disallowance shall be disregarded and the item shall be computed as if a joint return had been filed and then allocated between the spouses appropriately. A similar rule shall apply for purposes of section 86.

(5) Child's liability

If the liability of a child of a taxpayer is included on a joint return, such liability shall be disregarded in computing the separate liability of either spouse and such liability shall be allocated appropriately between the spouses.

(e) Petition for review by Tax Court

(1) In general

In the case of an individual against whom a deficiency has been asserted and who elects to have subsection (b) or (c) apply, or in the case of an individual who requests equitable relief under subsection (f)—

(A) In general

In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the individual may petition the Tax Court (and the Tax Court shall have jurisdiction) to determine the appropriate relief available to the individual under this section if such petition is filed—

(i) at any time after the earlier of—

(I) the date the Secretary mails, by certified or registered mail to the taxpayer's last known address, notice of the Secretary's final determination of relief available to the individual, or

(II) the date which is 6 months after the date such election is filed or request is made with the Secretary, and


(ii) not later than the close of the 90th day after the date described in clause (i)(I).

(B) Restrictions applicable to collection of assessment

(i) In general

Except as otherwise provided in section 6851 or 6861, no levy or proceeding in court shall be made, begun, or prosecuted against the individual making an election under subsection (b) or (c) or requesting equitable relief under subsection (f) for collection of any assessment to which such election or request relates until the close of the 90th day referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii), or, if a petition has been filed with the Tax Court under subparagraph (A), until the decision of the Tax Court has become final. Rules similar to the rules of section 7485 shall apply with respect to the collection of such assessment.

(ii) Authority to enjoin collection actions

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7421(a), the beginning of such levy or proceeding during the time the prohibition under clause (i) is in force may be enjoined by a proceeding in the proper court, including the Tax Court. The Tax Court shall have no jurisdiction under this subparagraph to enjoin any action or proceeding unless a timely petition has been filed under subparagraph (A) and then only in respect of the amount of the assessment to which the election under subsection (b) or (c) relates or to which the request under subsection (f) relates.

(2) Suspension of running of period of limitations

The running of the period of limitations in section 6502 on the collection of the assessment to which the petition under paragraph (1)(A) relates shall be suspended—

(A) for the period during which the Secretary is prohibited by paragraph (1)(B) from collecting by levy or a proceeding in court and for 60 days thereafter, and

(B) if a waiver under paragraph (5) is made, from the date the claim for relief was filed until 60 days after the waiver is filed with the Secretary.

(3) Limitation on Tax Court jurisdiction

If a suit for refund is begun by either individual filing the joint return pursuant to section 6532—

(A) the Tax Court shall lose jurisdiction of the individual's action under this section to whatever extent jurisdiction is acquired by the district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims over the taxable years that are the subject of the suit for refund, and

(B) the court acquiring jurisdiction shall have jurisdiction over the petition filed under this subsection.

(4) Notice to other spouse

The Tax Court shall establish rules which provide the individual filing a joint return but not making the election under subsection (b) or (c) or the request for equitable relief under subsection (f) with adequate notice and an opportunity to become a party to a proceeding under either such subsection.

(5) Waiver

An individual who elects the application of subsection (b) or (c) or who requests equitable relief under subsection (f) (and who agrees with the Secretary's determination of relief) may waive in writing at any time the restrictions in paragraph (1)(B) with respect to collection of the outstanding assessment (whether or not a notice of the Secretary's final determination of relief has been mailed).

(6) Suspension of running of period for filing petition in title 11 cases

In the case of a person who is prohibited by reason of a case under title 11, United States Code, from filing a petition under paragraph (1)(A) with respect to a final determination of relief under this section, the running of the period prescribed by such paragraph for filing such a petition with respect to such final determination shall be suspended for the period during which the person is so prohibited from filing such a petition, and for 60 days thereafter.

(7) Standard and scope of review

Any review of a determination made under this section shall be reviewed de novo by the Tax Court and shall be based upon—

(A) the administrative record established at the time of the determination, and

(B) any additional newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence.

(f) Equitable relief

(1) In general

Under procedures prescribed by the Secretary, if—

(A) taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it is inequitable to hold the individual liable for any unpaid tax or any deficiency (or any portion of either), and

(B) relief is not available to such individual under subsection (b) or (c),


the Secretary may relieve such individual of such liability.

(2) Limitation

A request for equitable relief under this subsection may be made with respect to any portion of any liability that—

(A) has not been paid, provided that such request is made before the expiration of the applicable period of limitation under section 6502, or

(B) has been paid, provided that such request is made during the period in which the individual could submit a timely claim for refund or credit of such payment.

(g) Credits and refunds

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), notwithstanding any other law or rule of law (other than section 6511, 6512(b), 7121, or 7122), credit or refund shall be allowed or made to the extent attributable to the application of this section.

(2) Res judicata

In the case of any election under subsection (b) or (c) or of any request for equitable relief under subsection (f), if a decision of a court in any prior proceeding for the same taxable year has become final, such decision shall be conclusive except with respect to the qualification of the individual for relief which was not an issue in such proceeding. The exception contained in the preceding sentence shall not apply if the court determines that the individual participated meaningfully in such prior proceeding.

(3) Credit and refund not allowed under subsection (c)

No credit or refund shall be allowed as a result of an election under subsection (c).

(h) Regulations

The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, including—

(1) regulations providing methods for allocation of items other than the methods under subsection (d)(3); and

(2) regulations providing the opportunity for an individual to have notice of, and an opportunity to participate in, any administrative proceeding with respect to an election made under subsection (b) or (c) or a request for equitable relief made under subsection (f) by the other individual filing the joint return.

(Added Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(a), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 734; amended Pub. L. 105–277, div. J, title IV, §4002(c)(2), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–906; Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-640; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title IV, §408(a), (b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3061, 3062; Pub. L. 114–113, div. Q, title IV, §424(a)(1), Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 3124; Pub. L. 116–25, title I, §§1001(b)(1)(A), 1203(a), July 1, 2019, 133 Stat. 985, 988.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 6015, acts Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 737; Sept. 2, 1958, Pub. L. 85–866, title I, §74, 72 Stat. 1660; Sept. 14, 1960, Pub. L. 86–779, §5(a), 74 Stat. 1000; Sept. 25, 1962, Pub. L. 87–682, §1(a)(1), 76 Stat. 575; Mar. 15, 1966, Pub. L. 89–368, title I, §102(a), 80 Stat. 62; Nov. 13, 1966, Pub. L. 89–809, title I, §103(j), 80 Stat. 1554; Dec. 30, 1969, Pub. L. 91–172, title III, §301(b)(12), title VIII, §803(d)(7), title IX, §944(a), 83 Stat. 586, 684, 729; Dec. 10, 1971, Pub. L. 92–178, title II, §209(a), 85 Stat. 517; Oct. 4, 1976, Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(a)(2), (b)(13)(A), 90 Stat. 1824, 1834; Nov. 6, 1978, Pub. L. 95–600, title IV, §421(e)(7), 92 Stat. 2876; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–34, title VII, §725(a), (c)(2), 95 Stat. 345, 346; Sept. 3, 1982, Pub. L. 97–248, title II, §201(d)(7), formerly §201(c)(7), title III, §§307(a)(6), 308(a), 328(b)(1), 96 Stat. 420, 589, 591, 618, redesignated and amended Jan. 12, 1983, Pub. L. 97–448, title I, §107(c)(2), title II, §201(j)(1), title III, §306(a)(1)(A)(i), 96 Stat. 2391, 2395, 2400; Aug. 5, 1983, Pub. L. 98–67, title I, §102(a), 97 Stat. 369, related to declaration of estimated income tax by individuals, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, §§412(a)(1), 414(a)(1), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 792, 793, applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1984.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (c)(4)(B)(ii)(I). Pub. L. 116–25, §1001(b)(1)(A), substituted "Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals" for "Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals".

Subsec. (e)(7). Pub. L. 116–25, §1203(a)(1), added par. (7).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 116–25, §1203(a)(2), amended subsec. (f) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Under procedures prescribed by the Secretary, if—

"(1) taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it is inequitable to hold the individual liable for any unpaid tax or any deficiency (or any portion of either); and

"(2) relief is not available to such individual under subsection (b) or (c),

the Secretary may relieve such individual of such liability."

2015—Subsec. (e)(6). Pub. L. 114–113 added par. (6).

2006—Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(a), inserted ", or in the case of an individual who requests equitable relief under subsection (f)" after "apply" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e)(1)(A)(i)(II). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(1), inserted "or request is made" after "filed".

Subsec. (e)(1)(B)(i). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(2), inserted "or requesting equitable relief under subsection (f)" after "subsection (b) or (c)" and "or request" after "such election".

Subsec. (e)(1)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(3), inserted "or to which the request under subsection (f) relates" before period at end.

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(4), inserted "or the request for equitable relief under subsection (f)" after "subsection (b) or (c)".

Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(5), inserted "or who requests equitable relief under subsection (f)" after "subsection (b) or (c)".

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(6), inserted "or of any request for equitable relief under subsection (f)" after "subsection (b) or (c)".

Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 109–432, §408(b)(7), inserted "or a request for equitable relief made under subsection (f)" after "subsection (b) or (c)".

2000—Subsec. (c)(3)(B). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(1)], substituted "may be made at any time after a deficiency for such year is asserted but" for "shall be made".

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(3)(A)], inserted "against whom a deficiency has been asserted and" after "individual" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(3)(B)], amended heading and text of subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The individual may petition the Tax Court (and the Tax Court shall have jurisdiction) to determine the appropriate relief available to the individual under this section if such petition is filed during the 90-day period beginning on the date on which the Secretary mails by certified or registered mail a notice to such individual of the Secretary's determination of relief available to the individual. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, an individual may file such petition at any time after the date which is 6 months after the date such election is filed with the Secretary and before the close of such 90-day period."

Subsec. (e)(1)(B)(i). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(3)(C)], substituted "until the close of the 90th day referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii)" for "until the expiration of the 90-day period described in subparagraph (A)" and inserted "under subparagraph (A)" after "filed with the Tax Court".

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(3)(D)(ii)], amended heading and text of par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The running of the period of limitations in section 6502 on the collection of the assessment to which the petition under paragraph (1)(A) relates shall be suspended for the period during which the Secretary is prohibited by paragraph (1)(B) from collecting by levy or a proceeding in court and for 60 days thereafter."

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(2)(B)], amended par. (3) generally, substituting "Limitation on Tax Court jurisdiction" for "Applicable rules" in heading and restating provisions relating to limitations on the Tax Court's jurisdiction and eliminating provisions relating to res judicata and allowance of credits or refunds in text.

Subsec. (e)(5). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(3)(D)(i)], added par. (5).

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(a)(2)(A)], added subsec. (g) and redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h).

1998—Subsec. (e)(3)(A). Pub. L. 105–277 substituted "of subsection (b) or (f)" for "of this section".

Effective Date of 2019 Amendment

Pub. L. 116–25, title I, §1203(b), July 1, 2019, 133 Stat. 988, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to petitions or requests filed or pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 1, 2019]."

Effective Date of 2015 Amendment

Pub. L. 114–113, div. Q, title IV, §424(a)(2), Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 3124, provided that: "The amendment made by this subsection [amending this section] shall apply to petitions filed under section 6015(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 18, 2015]."

Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title IV, §408(c), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3062, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply with respect to liability for taxes arising or remaining unpaid on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2006]."

Effective Date of 2000 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–554, §1(a)(7) [title III, §313(f)], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-643, provided that: "The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section and sections 6330, 6331, 7421, and 7463 of this title] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 21, 2000]. The amendments made by subsections (c), (d), and (e) [amending sections 6103, 6110, and 6330 of this title] shall take effect as if included in the provisions of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 [Pub. L. 105–206] to which they relate."

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–277 effective as if included in the provision of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105–206, to which such amendment relates, see section 4002(k) of Pub. L. 105–277, set out as a note under section 1 of this title.

Effective Date

Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(g), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this section [enacting this section, amending sections 66, 6013, 6230, and 7421 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 6013 of this title] shall apply to any liability for tax arising after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998] and any liability for tax arising on or before such date but remaining unpaid as of such date.

"(2) 2-year period.—The 2-year period under subsection (b)(1)(E) or (c)(3)(B) of section 6015 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall not expire before the date which is 2 years after the date of the first collection activity after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998]."

Separate Form for Applying for Spousal Relief

Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3201(c), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 740, provided that: "Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998], the Secretary of the Treasury shall develop a separate form with instructions for use by taxpayers in applying for relief under section 6015(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as added by this section."

[§6016. Repealed. Pub. L. 90–364, title I, §103(a), June 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 260]

Section, acts Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 738; Feb. 26, 1964, Pub. L. 88–272, title I, §122(d), 78 Stat. 29, Nov. 13, 1966, Pub. L. 89–809, title I, §104(l), 80 Stat. 1563, provided for the declaration of estimated income tax by corporations.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal effective with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1967, except as provided by section 104 of Pub. L. 90–364, see section 103(f) of Pub. L. 90–364, set out as an Effective Date of 1968 Amendment note under section 243 of this title.

§6017. Self-employment tax returns

Every individual (other than a nonresident alien individual) having net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more for the taxable year shall make a return with respect to the self-employment tax imposed by chapter 2. In the case of a husband and wife filing a joint return under section 6013, the tax imposed by chapter 2 shall not be computed on the aggregate income but shall be the sum of the taxes computed under such chapter on the separate self-employment income of each spouse.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 739.)

[§6017A. Repealed. Pub. L. 101–239, title VII, §7711(b)(1), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2393]

Section, added Pub. L. 92–512, title I, §144(a)(1), Oct. 20, 1972, 86 Stat. 935; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834, related to place of residence.

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal applicable to returns and statements the due date for which (determined without regard to extensions) is after Dec. 31, 1989, see section 7711(c) of Pub. L. 101–239, set out as an Effective Date of 1989 Amendment note under section 6721 of this title.