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Do you get tax credit for paying child support

3 Replies
Expert Alumni

Do you get tax credit for paying child support

No, unfortunately child support payments are not deductible.  However, alimony payments are deductible if you were divorced prior to December 31st 2018. After January 1st 2019 they will not be.


Is child support deductible

Is alimony deductible

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Level 15

Do you get tax credit for paying child support

Some states, NY in particular, may a tax break for that.  If your state is one, it will come up in the TT state interview.

Level 15

Do you get tax credit for paying child support

The custodial parent has first priority on claiming the children on her taxes; regardless of the amount of support provided by the non-custodial parent. The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody. The non-custodial parent can only claim the child as a dependent if the custodial parent gives permission (on form 8332) or if it's spelled out in a pre 2009 divorce decree.  Even if a divorce decree, dated after 2008, gives the non-custodial parent the right to claim the child, he must still get form 8332 from the custodial parent. A properly worded decree should require her to provide that form.


There is a way to split the tax benefits. For future negotiations with the other parent (and maybe even for this year) the following info may be of use:

 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 dependency 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.


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

You can if you are the custodial parent.  The custodial  parent is (the parent the child lived with for more than 183 days in 2016.

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