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dsm16gsx
New Member

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

It is the other parent's year to claim our child as a dependent. But I am the custodial parent based on income and I pay all child care expenses.
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
macuser_22
Level 15

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

Custodial Parent
These are a paraphrase of the IRS rules for divorced or separated parents that live apart.

[Note: Unless the parents have been separated at all times during the last 6 months of the year, these rules do not apply.]

See “Children of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart” in IRS Pub 17 for full information.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170897

This assumes that the child is under age 18 (in most states).  Once the child becomes an adult (Emancipated child), custody becomes mute and these rules no longer apply.(See examples 5 & 6 in Pub 17 for more information)

There is no such thing in the Federal tax law as 50/50, split, or joint custody. The IRS only recognizes physical custody (which parent the child lived with the greater part, but over half, of the tax year. That parent is the custodial parent; the other parent is the noncustodial parent.)

Who can claim the exemption and credits depends on who is the custodial parent. (By the IRS definition of custodial parent for tax purposes - this is not the same as the legal custody that a court might grant.).

The test that the IRS uses to determine the custodial parent is where the child lived for more than 1/2 (or greater part) of the year. The IRS will go so far as to require counting the nights spend in each household - that person is the custodial parent for tax purposes (if exactly equal and more than 183 days - The custodial parent is the parent with the highest AGI, if less than 183 days then neither parent has custody so the child cannot be claimed by either parent). And yes they are that picky.

See Custodial parent and noncustodial parent  under the residency test in Pub 17

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170899

Only the Custodial parent can claim: (Child would be listed as non-dependent EIC & CC only)
-Head of Household
-Earned Income Credit
-Child Care Credit

The non custodial parent can only claim: (Child would be listed as dependent)
-The Exemption
-The Child Tax Credit

But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.

Note. If you are the non-custodial parent filing your return electronically, you must file Form 8332 with Form 8453, (U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal) for an IRS e-file Return. See Form 8453 and its instructions for more details. This must be done within 3 days of your e-filed return being accepted by the IRS.

This does NOT mean that the custodial parent can ignore any Decree or court order allowing the non-custodial parent to claim the exemption - they can be required to issue the 8332 form. They could be required by the court to do so or be in contempt.


**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**

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5 Replies
Rainman12
Level 9

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

Whom did the child live with most in 2018?
dsm16gsx
New Member

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

The child lived with both of us equally. Based on the article I read on TurboTax, I am the custodial parent because I have a higher adjusted gross income. Yet TurboTax provides no way to indicate this on my tax return in order to claim certain credits.
Rainman12
Level 9

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/4158868-if-i-am-the-custodial-parent-and-file-form-8332-this-year-...> = Detailed, referenced Q & A on this issue. Short version: If there is no conflict between returns as filed between parents, IRS is likely to process as filed.
macuser_22
Level 15

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

The higher AGI test ONLY applies when the child has lived with both parents MORE then half the year.   That can only happen in situations when the child and both parent all lived together for parry of the year.

If the parent are separated then exactally equal is impossible in a year with 365 days in it.
**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**
macuser_22
Level 15

On TurboTax, how do I state that I am the custodial parent due to having higher adjusted gross income? We each have our child 6 months out of the year.

Custodial Parent
These are a paraphrase of the IRS rules for divorced or separated parents that live apart.

[Note: Unless the parents have been separated at all times during the last 6 months of the year, these rules do not apply.]

See “Children of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart” in IRS Pub 17 for full information.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170897

This assumes that the child is under age 18 (in most states).  Once the child becomes an adult (Emancipated child), custody becomes mute and these rules no longer apply.(See examples 5 & 6 in Pub 17 for more information)

There is no such thing in the Federal tax law as 50/50, split, or joint custody. The IRS only recognizes physical custody (which parent the child lived with the greater part, but over half, of the tax year. That parent is the custodial parent; the other parent is the noncustodial parent.)

Who can claim the exemption and credits depends on who is the custodial parent. (By the IRS definition of custodial parent for tax purposes - this is not the same as the legal custody that a court might grant.).

The test that the IRS uses to determine the custodial parent is where the child lived for more than 1/2 (or greater part) of the year. The IRS will go so far as to require counting the nights spend in each household - that person is the custodial parent for tax purposes (if exactly equal and more than 183 days - The custodial parent is the parent with the highest AGI, if less than 183 days then neither parent has custody so the child cannot be claimed by either parent). And yes they are that picky.

See Custodial parent and noncustodial parent  under the residency test in Pub 17

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170899

Only the Custodial parent can claim: (Child would be listed as non-dependent EIC & CC only)
-Head of Household
-Earned Income Credit
-Child Care Credit

The non custodial parent can only claim: (Child would be listed as dependent)
-The Exemption
-The Child Tax Credit

But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.

Note. If you are the non-custodial parent filing your return electronically, you must file Form 8332 with Form 8453, (U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal) for an IRS e-file Return. See Form 8453 and its instructions for more details. This must be done within 3 days of your e-filed return being accepted by the IRS.

This does NOT mean that the custodial parent can ignore any Decree or court order allowing the non-custodial parent to claim the exemption - they can be required to issue the 8332 form. They could be required by the court to do so or be in contempt.


**Disclaimer: This post is for discussion purposes only and is NOT tax advice. The author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information in this post.**

View solution in original post

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