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Publication 555

Community Property


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Important Reminder(p1)


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Photographs of missing children.(p1)

The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

taxmap/pubs/p555-000.htm#TXMP15fd8beeIntroduction

This publication is for married taxpayers who are domiciled in one of the following community property states: This publication does not address the federal tax treatment of income or property subject to the "community property" election under Alaska state laws.
Community property laws affect how you figure your income on your federal income tax return if you are married, live in a community property state or country, and file separate returns. Your tax usually will be less by filing a joint return if you are married. Sometimes it can be to your advantage to file separate returns. If you and your spouse file separate returns, you have to determine your community income and your separate income.
Community property laws also affect your basis in property you inherit from a married person who lived in a community property state. See Death of spouse, later.
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California domestic partners.(p2)


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If you are a registered domestic partner in California, the rules discussed in this publication for reporting community income do not apply to you. You must report all wages, salaries, and other compensation received for your personal services on your own return. Therefore, you cannot report half the combined income that you and your domestic partner earned as a married person filing separately does in California.
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Comments and suggestions.(p2)


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We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service 
Individual Forms and Publications Branch 
SE:W:CAR:MP:T:I 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6406 
Washington, DC 20224


We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at *taxforms@irs.gov. (The asterisk must be included in the address.) Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.
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Ordering forms and publications.(p2)
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Visit www.irs.gov/formspubs to download forms and publications, call 1-800-829-3676, or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 business days after your request is received.

National Distribution Center 
P.O. Box 8903 
Bloomington, IL 61702-8903


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Tax questions.(p2)
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If you have a tax question, visit www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

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Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals
 505 Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
 971 Innocent Spouse Relief (And Separation of Liability and Equitable Relief)
Form (and Instructions)
 8857: Request for Innocent Spouse Relief
See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications.
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Domicile(p2)


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Domicile

Whether you have community property and community income depends on the state where you are domiciled. If you and your spouse have different domiciles, check the laws of each to see whether you have community property or community income.
You have only one domicile even if you have more than one home. Your domicile is a permanent legal home that you intend to use for an indefinite or unlimited period, and to which, when absent, you intend to return. The question of your domicile is mainly a matter of your intention as indicated by your actions. You must be able to show with facts that you intend a given place or state to be your permanent home. If you move into or out of a community property state during the year, you may or may not have community income.
Factors considered in determining domicile include:
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Amount of time spent.(p2)


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The amount of time spent in one place does not always explain the difference between home and domicile. A temporary home or residence may continue for months or years while a domicile may be established the first moment you occupy the property. Your intent is the determining factor in proving where you have your domicile.
Note. When this publication refers to where you live, it means your domicile.