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easterbuck90
New Member

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

 
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Coleen3
Intuit Alumni

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

NO.

There are special requirements which are covered in the Divorced and Separated Parents rules. However, dependency goes with the Child Tax Credit. Head of Household and Earned Income Credit go together.

In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)(discussed next) applies.

Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart).   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true.

  1. The parents:
  1. Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance,
  2. Are separated under a written separation agreement, or
  3. Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married.

  1. The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.
  2. The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.
  3. Either of the following applies.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
Carl
Level 15

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

Yes, the EIC if they qualify. The child would be listed in the dependent's section of their return as a "non-dependent" if they do it right.
SweetieJean
Level 15

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

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,
Coleen3
Intuit Alumni

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

NO.

There are special requirements which are covered in the Divorced and Separated Parents rules. However, dependency goes with the Child Tax Credit. Head of Household and Earned Income Credit go together.

In most cases, because of the residency test (see item 3 under Tests To Be a Qualifying Child in Table 3), a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. However, the child will be treated as the qualifying child of the noncustodial parent if the rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)(discussed next) applies.

Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart).   A child will be treated as the qualifying child of his or her noncustodial parent if all four of the following statements are true.

  1. The parents:
  1. Are divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance,
  2. Are separated under a written separation agreement, or
  3. Lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the year, whether or not they are or were married.

  1. The child received over half of his or her support for the year from the parents.
  2. The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than half of the year.
  3. Either of the following applies.

View solution in original post

Hal_Al
Level 15

If one parent claims a child as a dependent can the other claim the child tax credit?

No. 

If you and the other parent live together, either one of you (but not both) may claim the child. You may decide between you which one will claim the child. Only if you can’t agree, do the IRS tie breaker rules apply, to see who has first choice. It may be worthwhile to prepare trial returns, both ways,  to see which way the family comes out best. This tool may be useful: https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/taxcaster/?s=1.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Even if you don't live together, you cannot do what you propose (one parent claims a child as a dependent and the other claim the child tax credit).

But, 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: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch03.html#en_US_2014_publink1000170897 Scroll down to "Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)"

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