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Momma431112
Level 1

Can separate people claim children

I’m sorry, I didn’t know how to word the title.

Here’s our situation; three adults, one house, my four kids. Myself, my husband, and my adult 24y/o brother. My husband and brother are both roofers on the same crew. They combine their income to pay bills, buy necessities, go grocery shopping, etc.

 Tax time is around the corner and my brother asked if he could claim two of my children because he supports them financially just as much as we do, he lives with them year round, and changes diapers, cooks for them, helps them with homework, babysits when I run errands, etc.  I am totally fine with that, if it’s legal. So, is it legal for my husband(the children’s father) to claim two of my children and my brother(their biological uncle) to claim the other two because they supported them equally?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
DavidS127
Expert Alumni

Can separate people claim children

Because your children meet the test of qualifying child for you, your husband, and your brother, the IRS Publication 501 Tiebreaker rules apply.  One of those rules appears applicable to your situation:

  • If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child.

As a practical matter, the “figure out how much tax benefit is obtained for one child from the child tax credit/credit for child and dependent care/earned income credit and then share that much with your brother” approach may be the easiest way to make things fair.

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4 Replies
xmasbaby0
Level 15

Can separate people claim children

NO.  You file a joint return and claim your children on your tax return.  If you want to "share" in the amount you receive as a tax refund with your BIL, that is a family choice.

 

There are several child-related credits you *may* get if you have a dependent child.

You might be getting the Child Tax Credit--that is not all a refund--it lowers the tax you owe, up to $2000 per child, but if you do not owe tax then you may not get the full amount of CTC.  In some cases, you could qualify for the "Additional Child Tax Credit" which is a refundable credit, and would increase your refund.  If you qualify for this credit, TurboTax calculates and automatically adds it to your refund.

You might be able to claim the child and dependent care credit if you paid someone to take care of your child so you could work. This is not a refundable credit, so it will not be in your refund.  It can lower the tax you owe.

You might qualify for Earned Income Credit, which is a refundable credit if you worked and earned income. The EIC is based on the amount you earned.  If you do qualify for EIC, TurboTax automatically calculates the amount and adds it to your refund.

 

 

Look at your 2019 Form 1040 to see the child-related credits you received

 

PREVIEW 1040

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/1901539-how-do-i-preview-my-turbotax-online-return-before-filing

 

Child Tax Credit line 13a

Credit for Other Dependents line 13a

Earned Income Credit line 18a

Additional Child Tax Credit line 18b

Child and Dependent Care Credit line 18d

 

Your tax refund is on line 20 of your Form 1040

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
AmeliesUncle
Level 12

Can separate people claim children

As far as I can think of, it is allowable for him to claim some children IF his income (AGI) is higher than the combined income (AGI) of you and your husband.

 

If his income is not higher than your combined income, then he is NOT allowed to claim any of the children.  But as was mentioned, you are welcome to give some of your tax refund to your Brother-In-Law.

 

DavidS127
Expert Alumni

Can separate people claim children

Because your children meet the test of qualifying child for you, your husband, and your brother, the IRS Publication 501 Tiebreaker rules apply.  One of those rules appears applicable to your situation:

  • If a parent can claim the child as a qualifying child but no parent does so claim the child, the child is treated as the qualifying child of the person who had the highest AGI for the year, but only if that person's AGI is higher than the highest AGI of any of the child's parents who can claim the child.

As a practical matter, the “figure out how much tax benefit is obtained for one child from the child tax credit/credit for child and dependent care/earned income credit and then share that much with your brother” approach may be the easiest way to make things fair.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"

View solution in original post

Momma431112
Level 1

Can separate people claim children

Thank you.

We have decided, to avoid accidentally breaking laws, to see how much my husband and I qualify for without claiming our children, subtract that from the total after he claims all four, and give my brother half of the difference. My brother will still be filing his own taxes, but without claiming any of the children.

 Also to clarify for anyone, he’s MY brother, not my husband’s. And they make the same amount of money as they are coworkers on the same crew, I myself do not work because the cost of childcare in my area is much higher than minimum wage, so there’s no income to combine.

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