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Publication 555 2008 Tax Year

Publication 555 - Introductory Material

Photographs of missing children. 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.

This publication is for married taxpayers who are domiciled in one of the following community property states:

  • Arizona,

  • California,

  • Idaho,

  • Louisiana,

  • Nevada,

  • New Mexico,

  • Texas,

  • Washington, or

  • Wisconsin.

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.

California domestic partners.   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.

Comments and suggestions.   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
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 *[email protected]. (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.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit 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

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


  • 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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