skip navigation

Search Help
Navigation Help


Main Topics
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z #


FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics


Comments
About Tax Map

previous page Previous Page: Publication 555 - Community Property - Community Property
next page Next Page: Publication 555 - Community Property - Identifying Income, Deductions, and Credits
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#TXMP601fc8bd

Community or Separate Property and Income(p3)


rule
spacer

Community or Separate Property and Income

If you file a federal tax return separately from your spouse, you must report half of all community income and all of your separate income. Generally, the laws of the state in which you are domiciled govern whether you have community property and community income or separate property and separate income for federal tax purposes. The following is a summary of the general rules. These rules are also shown in Table 1.
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#TXMP4e8f1412

Community property.(p3)


rule
spacer

Generally, community property is property:
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#TXMP1888f265

Community income.(p3)


rule
spacer

Generally, community income is income from:
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#TXMP3a042237

Separate property.(p3)


rule
spacer

Generally, separate property is:
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#TXMP3a6adafb

Separate income.(p3)


rule
spacer

Generally, income from separate property is the separate income of the spouse who owns the property.
Caution
In Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, income from most separate property is community income.
taxmap/pubs/p555-001.htm#f15103c9901

Table 1. General Rules — Property and Income: Community or Separate?

Community property is property:
  • That you, your spouse, or both acquire during your marriage while you are domiciled in a community property state. (Includes the part of property bought with community property funds if part was bought with community funds and part with separate funds.)
  • That you and your spouse agreed to convert from separate to community property.
  • That cannot be identified as separate property.
Separate property is:
  • Property that you or your spouse owned separately before your marriage.
  • Money earned while domiciled in a noncommunity property state.
  • Property either of you received as a gift or inherited separately during your marriage.
  • Property bought with separate funds, or exchanged for separate property, during your marriage.
  • Property that you and your spouse agreed to convert from community to separate property through an agreement valid under state law.
  • The part of property bought with separate funds, if part was bought with community funds and part with separate funds.
Community income 1,2,3 is income from:
  • Community property.
  • Salaries, wages, or pay for services of you, your spouse, or both during your marriage.
  • Real estate that is treated as community property under the laws of the state where the property is located.
Separate income 1,2 is income from:
  • Separate property. Separate income belongs to the spouse who owns the property.
1 Caution: In Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin, income from most separate property is community income.
2 Caution: Check your state law if you are separated but do not meet the conditions discussed in Spouses living apart all year. In some states, the income you earn after you are separated and before a divorce decree is issued continues to be community income. In other states, it is separate income.
3 Caution: Under special rules, income that can otherwise be characterized as community income may not be treated as community income for federal income tax purposes in certain situations. See Community Property Laws Disregarded.
previous pagePrevious Page: Publication 555 - Community Property - Community Property
next pageNext Page: Publication 555 - Community Property - Identifying Income, Deductions, and Credits
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication