IRS discusses documents on change in marital status.Two individuals file a joint Federal return as "married," but in fact are not married under applicable state law. This could occur, for example, if the person who presided over the "marriage" ceremony was not authorized au·thor·ize
tr.v. au·thor·ized, au·thor·iz·ing, au·thor·iz·es
1. To grant authority or power to.
2. To give permission for; sanction: under state law to conduct weddings. One or both of the individuals then files an amended return Amended Return
A return filed in order to make corrections to a tax return from a previous year. It can be used to correct errors and claim a more advantageous filing.
An amended return is filed using Form 1040X. listing marital status marital status,
n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. as "single" or "head of household."
Sec. 6013 generally entitles a husband and wife to file a joint income tax return. Marital status for this purpose is determined on the last day of the tax year (assuming the individuals are both living on that date and have the same tax year). State law governs whether individuals are in fact married as of the final day of a particular tax year.
The IRS An abbreviation for the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency charged with the responsibility of administering and enforcing internal revenue laws. addressed the following situation in Rev. Rul. 76-255. A and B were married in 1975 and filed a joint tax return for 1975 on April 15, 1976. A state court annulled the marriage on April 16, 1976, stating that no valid marriage ever existed. The Service concluded that, in light of the court's decision, A and B were single individuals as of Dec. 31, 1975. Accordingly, they had to file amended Federal income tax returns for 1975 to reflect their unmarried status.
Similarly, the Tax Court has held that, following an annulment annulment
Legal invalidation of a marriage. It announces the invalidity of a marriage that was void from its inception. It is to be distinguished from dissolution or divorce. To justify annulment, the marriage contract must have a defect (e.g. , taxpayers may be entitled en·ti·tle
tr.v. en·ti·tled, en·ti·tling, en·ti·tles
1. To give a name or title to.
2. To furnish with a right or claim to something: to amend prior-year returns to replace "married" status with "single" status; see, e.g., Wilson, TC Memo 1976-285.
Documentation. A legally flawed marriage ceremony raises different documentation issues for taxpayers than an annulment. In the case of an annulment, the wedding ceremony typically could have produced a binding marriage were it not for some other, external matter (e.g., fraudulent conduct by one of the individuals). Because the ceremony itself was not flawed, taxpayers often must initiate a court action if they wish to invalidate in·val·i·date
tr.v. in·val·i·dat·ed, in·val·i·dat·ing, in·val·i·dates
To make invalid; nullify.
in·val the marriage. The resulting court decree will provide the taxpayer with documentation for requesting that the Service change the taxpayer's filing status from married to unmarried. In this situation, by contrast, the taxpayers may not have initiated annulment proceedings. Instead, they are attempting to show the IRS that their wedding ceremonies were invalid or that they failed to observe another absolute requirement (such as obtaining a marriage license). Therefore, they may lack the type of conclusive documentation produced by an annulment proceeding.
Nevertheless, the Internal Revenue Manual contemplates such a situation. IRM (1) (Information Resource Management) See Information Systems and information management.
(2) (Inherited Rights Mask) In NetWare 3.x and 4. 220.127.116.11.8 states, in effect, that if a single taxpayer fries a joint return and subsequently seeks to file on an individual basis, the Service should honor that request if the taxpayer satisfies two conditions. First, the taxpayer must provide "verification, such as court documents, showing the marriage was not valid for the tax period involved." Second, the taxpayer must provide certain allocations of income, credits and other items. Similarly, under IRM 18.104.22.168.2.7.11, taxpayers seeking to change filing status from "married" to "head of household" on the basis of an invalid marriage must submit "marital status documentation, such as a Dissolution of Marriage dissolution of marriage n. modern, gentler sounding, term for divorce, officially used in California since 1970 and symbolic of the no-fault, non-confrontational approach to dissolving a marriage. (See: divorce). ."
In both sections, the manual states that taxpayers must provide documentation "such as" court records to show they are not married for the relevant year. Thus, the IRS can accept documentation other than court records. Each case should be reviewed individually to determine if the taxpayer has produced adequate documentation of unmarried status. This documentation could consist of a declaratory judgment declaratory judgment
In law, a judgment merely declaring a right or establishing the legal status or interpretation of a law or instrument. It is binding but is distinguished from other judgments or court opinions in that it includes no executive element (an order that from a court that no valid marriage has occurred, as it appears that courts in at least some states can issue such judgments.
Alternatively, for example, the taxpayer could submit an article from a reliable newspaper establishing that a "marriage ceremony" in which the taxpayer participated was invalid under applicable state law. This might occur if the individual who conducted the ceremony had no authority to do so. In reviewing each situation, Service personnel should keep in mind that the IRS has not only the right but the duty of determining whether a man and woman who file a joint return are, in fact, legally married and entitled to file such a return.
Common-law marriages common-law marriage: see under husband and wife.
Marriage that is without a civil or religious ceremony and is based on the parties' agreement to consider themselves married and usually also on their cohabitation for a period of . Of course, even individuals who participate in invalid wedding ceremonies may be considered married at some point under state law. If a state recognizes common-law marriage, individuals who meet the requirements for such marriages would be deemed married, regardless of whether they participated in a valid ceremony.
IRS LETTER RULING (CCA (1) (Common Cryptographic Architecture) Cryptography software from IBM for MVS and DOS applications.
(2) (Compatible Communications A ) 200202001 (6/1/01)