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Level 1

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

Per our divorce decree, I claimed my daughter as a dependent and my ex will claim our son. I did add our son on my return as a non dependent. I added in childcare for her but not for him. When my ex files it is rejected with the code F2441-526 and not allowing him to claim childcare for our son because his ss# was already used on my return. How do we fix this so he is able to get the childcare credit for our son? I did not put in any expenses for him.

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Level 11

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

As the non-custodial parent, he is not allowed the dependent care credit, even though he is claiming the dependent.

There is a special rule in the case of divorced & separated (including never married) parents. When the non-custodial parent is claiming the child as a dependent/exemption/child tax credit; the custodial parent is still allowed to claim the same child for Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status, and day care credit. This "splitting of the child" is not available to parents who lived together at any time during the last 6 months of the year; then only one of you can claim the child for any tax reasons. The tax benefits may not be split in any other manner.

Note in particular that the non-custodial parent can never claim the Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status or the day care credit, based on that child, even when the custodial parent has released the exemption to him.

 So, it's good idea to let the other parent know that you will be claiming those items, as many first time divorced parents are not aware of this rule and may try to claim those items, which will cause the IRS to send out letters.

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

Scroll down to "Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)"


4 Replies
Highlighted
Level 3

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

Did you get earned income credit?  
Level 1

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

Yes I did
Level 11

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

As the non-custodial parent, he is not allowed the dependent care credit, even though he is claiming the dependent.

There is a special rule in the case of divorced & separated (including never married) parents. When the non-custodial parent is claiming the child as a dependent/exemption/child tax credit; the custodial parent is still allowed to claim the same child for Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status, and day care credit. This "splitting of the child" is not available to parents who lived together at any time during the last 6 months of the year; then only one of you can claim the child for any tax reasons. The tax benefits may not be split in any other manner.

Note in particular that the non-custodial parent can never claim the Earned Income Credit, Head of Household filing status or the day care credit, based on that child, even when the custodial parent has released the exemption to him.

 So, it's good idea to let the other parent know that you will be claiming those items, as many first time divorced parents are not aware of this rule and may try to claim those items, which will cause the IRS to send out letters.

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

Scroll down to "Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)"


Level 11

Ex husband not able to claim childcare expenses for dependent child

For tax purposes, there is no such thing as joint custody, regardless of what your legal agreement says. The requirement, to be custodial parent, is that the child live with you MORE than 50% of the time. One of you has to be the custodial parent and the other the non-custodial parent. The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody.