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merilescurry82
New Member

My ex-husband is claiming our son, however I paid for thousands of dollars worth of daycare. I understand I can't claim him, but is there a way I can claim the care?

 
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Hal_Al
Level 15

My ex-husband is claiming our son, however I paid for thousands of dollars worth of daycare. I understand I can't claim him, but is there a way I can claim the care?

Yes, if you are the custodial parent*.

 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

*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. In the rare case (could probably only happen in a leap year like 2016), where the time that  each parent has the child is exactly equal, then the parent with the higher income (AGI) is the custodial parent, for the purpose of determining who has first priority on claiming the child as a dependent.

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 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. (without conditions - usually the payment of child support). 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. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

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1 Reply
Hal_Al
Level 15

My ex-husband is claiming our son, however I paid for thousands of dollars worth of daycare. I understand I can't claim him, but is there a way I can claim the care?

Yes, if you are the custodial parent*.

 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

*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. In the rare case (could probably only happen in a leap year like 2016), where the time that  each parent has the child is exactly equal, then the parent with the higher income (AGI) is the custodial parent, for the purpose of determining who has first priority on claiming the child as a dependent.

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 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. (without conditions - usually the payment of child support). 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. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

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