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Having trouble filing and being able to deduct my child care expenses

Her father is claiming her- Im not trying to claim her, just deduct her share of expenses. Maybe I'm filing it out wrong.
2 Replies
Level 15

Having trouble filing and being able to deduct my child care expenses

Only the custodial parent can claim the day care expenses ... 

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.

Level 15

Having trouble filing and being able to deduct my child care expenses

If you are the custodial parent where the child physically lived for more than half the year (183 nights) then:

When you enter the dependent, you say that he/she is "Your child" (not you and your spouse if remarried),
he/she lived with you the whole year,
“no” the child did not pay more than half of his/her own support,
"yes", you have a custody agreement,
and "yes", the other parent is claiming this year.  

That will give you the EIC, Child Care Credit and Head of Household filing status if you otherwise qualify.

The other (non-custodial) parent can claim the child’s exemption and child tax credit only and needs a signed 8332 form to do so.

**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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