Sign Up

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
makohanbani
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

My ex is claiming our daughter this year in 2017 and said she will be claiming child care expenses and wanted to know how much I paid towards our daughter's child care because she wants to claim that as well.  I'm reluctant to disclose that to her since I intent to claim child care expenses as well.  How does that work?  She has also asked me to complete a tax for 8332 and complete Section I.  I'm reluctant to do that as well since we currently have no signed agreement and go to court on 16 March for Custody.  She insists I can claim Child Care and so can she.  I think she is trying to set me up to be audited by having me complete the form and claim something that I won't be able too.  Does this sound right?
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Critter
Level 15

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

Briefly, there are 5 tax benefits of having a child dependent: Dependent exemption, child tax credit, dependent care credit, head of household, and eligible for EIC. The tax code assigns all 5 benefits to the parent who has custody more than half the time.  Custody is defined as where the child sleeps at night.  (If the child is on a sleep over of a camping trip etc, the day is counted toward the parent where the child would have slept if not for the event in question.)

So for the IRS there is no 50% custody, you have to count nights, and one parent will almost always have more than the other.  If for some reason the # of days is exactly equal (like in a leap year, 366 days, exactly 183 nights for each parent) then the tax benefits are assigned to the parent with the higher income.

If the divorce decree says that the non-custodial parent (parent with less than 50% time) gets the dependents in a certain year, the custodial parent must fill out and sign a copy of form 8332 and give it to the other parent, this releases the tax benefits to the other parent.  However, the form 8332 only transfers the dependent exemption and the child tax credit. Eligibility for Head of Household, Dependent Care Credit, and EIC always stays with the custodial parent and cannot be transferred.  The only way to transfer all 5 tax benefits from one parent to the other parent is to arrange the children's sleeping schedules so that the desired parent qualifies for the particular year.

If you are the custodial parent, then in the years when you give your ex the form 8332 allowing him or her to claim the dependent exemption and child tax credit, you can still qualify for EIC, Head of Household and the Dependent Care benefit.  You do this by carefully answering the questions in the dependent interview in turbotax by saying yes you have a dependent, and yes you are signing a form 8332 to allow the ex to claim the exemption.  Turbotax will assign a special status to your children of "Non-dependent, use for HOH and EIC".

Your situation is covered in IRS publications 501 and 504, which you should definitely read.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf

View solution in original post

6 Replies
Critter
Level 15

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

Briefly, there are 5 tax benefits of having a child dependent: Dependent exemption, child tax credit, dependent care credit, head of household, and eligible for EIC. The tax code assigns all 5 benefits to the parent who has custody more than half the time.  Custody is defined as where the child sleeps at night.  (If the child is on a sleep over of a camping trip etc, the day is counted toward the parent where the child would have slept if not for the event in question.)

So for the IRS there is no 50% custody, you have to count nights, and one parent will almost always have more than the other.  If for some reason the # of days is exactly equal (like in a leap year, 366 days, exactly 183 nights for each parent) then the tax benefits are assigned to the parent with the higher income.

If the divorce decree says that the non-custodial parent (parent with less than 50% time) gets the dependents in a certain year, the custodial parent must fill out and sign a copy of form 8332 and give it to the other parent, this releases the tax benefits to the other parent.  However, the form 8332 only transfers the dependent exemption and the child tax credit. Eligibility for Head of Household, Dependent Care Credit, and EIC always stays with the custodial parent and cannot be transferred.  The only way to transfer all 5 tax benefits from one parent to the other parent is to arrange the children's sleeping schedules so that the desired parent qualifies for the particular year.

If you are the custodial parent, then in the years when you give your ex the form 8332 allowing him or her to claim the dependent exemption and child tax credit, you can still qualify for EIC, Head of Household and the Dependent Care benefit.  You do this by carefully answering the questions in the dependent interview in turbotax by saying yes you have a dependent, and yes you are signing a form 8332 to allow the ex to claim the exemption.  Turbotax will assign a special status to your children of "Non-dependent, use for HOH and EIC".

Your situation is covered in IRS publications 501 and 504, which you should definitely read.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p504.pdf

makohanbani
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

After reviewing p501 it seems as if my daughter's mother can not legally claim our daughter.  My ex moved out on 1 May and we all lived together from 1 Jan - 30 Apr (I paid all of the expenses to include 100% of the child care).  My ex moved out and we split time with our daughter 57% to my daughter's Mom and 43% to me.  I remained paying 100% of the day care expense for the Month of May and then my daughter's Mother removed her from that day care when she had her.  Since then ~1 Jun we have paid for our own day care providers separately.  

In my review if my daughter resided in my home for the majority of the year I can claim her as a depended and receive 100% of the child care deductions for 2017.  That is why my daughter's mother is trying to get me to sign the 8332 because she wants to make the claim instead of me.  

If this is all correct I should just file my taxes claiming my daughter as a dependent.  Am I understanding this correctly, or is there something else I am overlooking?
DeniseF1
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

Correct, if your daughter stayed with you more than half the year, she qualifies as your dependent unless there is some agreement in place stating otherwise.
makohanbani
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

There is no agreement, we do not go to court until 16 March for our Custody Hearing so all that said I should feel comfortable about filing my taxes and claiming my daughter on my return?
DeniseF1
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

Yes.
DeniseF1
New Member

My ex and I off-set which year we claim our daughter. She claims in odd years and I claim in even years. Can both parents claim child care expenses?

No, both parents cannot claim child care expenses on two separate returns. If you are not claiming the child on your tax return, you are not allowed to claim any expenses related to child care.  In order to claim child care expenses, you must claim the dependent on your tax return for the tax year the expense was incurred.  

Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads
Privacy Settings
v