(a) In general. The Secretary may deny the Federal income tax benefits of community property law to any spouse with respect to any item of community income if that spouse acted as if solely entitled to the income and failed to notify his or her spouse of the nature and amount of the income before the due date (including extensions) for the filing of the return of his or her spouse for the taxable year in which the item of income was derived. Whether a spouse has acted as if solely entitled to the item of income is a facts and circumstances determination. This determination focuses on whether the spouse used, or made available, the item of income for the benefit of the marital community.
(b) Effect. The item of community income will be included, in its entirety, in the gross income of the spouse to whom the Secretary denied the Federal income tax benefits resulting from community property law. The tax liability arising from the inclusion of the item of community income must be assessed in accordance with section 6212 against this spouse.
(c) Examples. The following examples illustrate the rules of this section:
Example 1 Acting as if solely entitled to income.
(i) H and W are married and are domiciled in State A, a community property state. W's Form W-2 for taxable year 2000 showed wage income of $35,000. W also received a Form 1099-INT, “Interest Income,” showing $1,000 W received in taxable year 2000. W's wage income was directly deposited into H and W's joint account, from which H and W paid bills and household expenses. W did not inform H of her interest income or the Form 1099-INT, but W gave H a copy of the W-2 when she received it in January 2001. W did not use her interest income for bills or household expenses. Instead W gave her interest income to her brother, who was unemployed. Neither the separate return filed by H nor the separate return filed by W included the interest income. In 2002, the IRS audits both H and W. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may raise section 66(b) as to W's interest income, denying W the Federal income tax benefit resulting from community property law as to this item of income.
(ii) H and W are married and are domiciled in State B, a community property state. For taxable year 2000, H receives $45,000 in wage income that H places in a separate account. H and W maintain separate residences. H's wage income is community income under the laws of State B. That same year, W loses her job, and H pays W's mortgage and household expenses for several months while W seeks employment. Neither H nor W files a return for 2000, the taxable year for which the IRS subsequently audits them. The IRS may not raise section 66(b) and deny H the Federal income tax benefits resulting from the operation of community property law as to H's wage income of $45,000, as H has not treated this income as if H were solely entitled to it.
Example 2 Notification of nature and amount of the income.
H and W are married and domiciled in State C, a community property state. H and W do not file a joint return for taxable year 2001. H's and W's earned income for 2001 is community income under the laws of State C. H receives $50,000 in wage income in 2001. In January 2002, H receives a Form W-2 that erroneously states that H earned $45,000 in taxable year 2001. H provides W a copy of H's Form W-2 in February 2002. W files for an extension prior to April 15, 2002. H receives a corrected Form W-2 reflecting wages of $50,000 in May 2002. H provides a copy of the corrected Form W-2 to W in May 2002. W files a separate return in June 2002, but reports one half of $45,000 ($22,500) of wage income that H earned. H files a separate return reporting half of $50,000 ($25,000) in wage income. The IRS audits both H and W. Even if H had acted as if solely entitled to the wage income, the IRS may not raise section 66(b) as to this income because H notified W of the nature and amount of the income prior to the due date of W's return (including extensions).