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My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?

Platform:

Turbo Tax 2019 Desktop

 

Info:

My ex renounced her US citizenship after the divorce and returned to Mexico.  This was about 10 years ago.  She did it so she wouldn't have to pay income tax.  Our daughter is still a citizen.

 

The divorce decree doesn't specify who can claim our daughter for income tax.  I'm the noncustodial parent.  My previous tax preparer put my daughter as a dependent in all my old returns.  Never got asked to submit Form 8332 Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent.

 

However, when I started using Turbo Tax, the worksheet printout but NOT the step by step prompts say I need to submit this form or a copy for each return.

 

Questions:

  1. Do I really have to attach it?
  2. Does it have to be an original signature?  Will a copy suffice?
  3. Why wasn't I audited before?
  4.  If my spouse renounced her citizenship, do I write in her old social security number or leave it blank?
  5. Should I attach a statement instead explaining to the IRS how my ex will never claim our daughter because she renounced her citizenship?

 

Getting the form signed from my ex isn't a problem.  We're on good terms.  It's just that I won't see her until next month and I wanted to file by this week.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions

My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?


@amac_red77 wrote:

Thank you for explaining how this works, @Opus 17 .  I'm just going to have it done via email and get the originals when I get them @Bsch4477 .  Both of you are right, there's no reason to chance it.


The IRS instructions state that you must mail an original signed form, not a copy or PDF.  However, it's not clear that the data entry person will care.  You can certainly try and e-file, mail the PDF with the cover page, and see what happens.

 

Also note, you don't have to send a new 8332 for each year.  If your ex agrees, she can sign a form releasing the claim for all future years.  You would be required to mail the original signed form the first year and then mail a copy every future year.  It's not necessary that you have a new original form each year.

 

Lastly, you should be aware that the ability to claim a child as a dependent based on a signature release ends when the child turns 18.  When the child is 18, the ability to claim them as a dependent reverts to the usual rules which consider residency and support, and you can't use a signature release to claim a child that doesn't qualify, even if your ex would agree.  

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4 Replies

My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?

That's an interesting situation.

 

You can't claim your child as a dependent unless they lived with you more than half the year or you have a signed release.  (A form 8332 or another written statement containing the same information.). 

 

However, because your ex-spouse does not file a US tax return, the IRS will not be able to detect a conflict if you were to claim the child as a dependent without the form.

 

There is no exception in the law or regulations for when your ex-spouse is not a US taxpayer any longer.  You can't claim a child who does not live with you unless you have a signed statement from the other parent.  However, if you choose to violate the law, and claim the child as a dependent as if she lived with you, the IRS does not have an automatic mechanism to detect this situation.  You would probably get away with it unless you were selected for a random audit. 

My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?

1. 

If you are filing your return electronically, you must file Form 8332 with Form 8453, U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return. If you are filing your tax return using an online provider, mail Form 8453 to the IRS within 3 business days after you have received acknowledgement from your intermediate service provider and/or transmitter that the IRS has accepted your electronically filed tax return. 

Mail Form 8453 to:

Internal Revenue Service Attn: Shipping and Receiving, 0254 Receipt and Control Branch Austin, TX 73344-0254

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8453.pdf

2. A copy should be fine. 
3. As @opus wrote, the IRS computer would not pick up on this. 
4   Where asked her socia security number should be used. 
5. No statement would help. 

Since you are on good terms it would be simple for her to sign the form and email it to you as an attachment and you could rest easy knowing that you obeyed the law. 

 

 

 

My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?

Thank you for explaining how this works, @Opus 17 .  I'm just going to have it done via email and get the originals when I get them @Bsch4477 .  Both of you are right, there's no reason to chance it.

My ex renounced her US citizenship and doesn't file taxes but she's the custodial parent. Do I need to submit Form 8332?


@amac_red77 wrote:

Thank you for explaining how this works, @Opus 17 .  I'm just going to have it done via email and get the originals when I get them @Bsch4477 .  Both of you are right, there's no reason to chance it.


The IRS instructions state that you must mail an original signed form, not a copy or PDF.  However, it's not clear that the data entry person will care.  You can certainly try and e-file, mail the PDF with the cover page, and see what happens.

 

Also note, you don't have to send a new 8332 for each year.  If your ex agrees, she can sign a form releasing the claim for all future years.  You would be required to mail the original signed form the first year and then mail a copy every future year.  It's not necessary that you have a new original form each year.

 

Lastly, you should be aware that the ability to claim a child as a dependent based on a signature release ends when the child turns 18.  When the child is 18, the ability to claim them as a dependent reverts to the usual rules which consider residency and support, and you can't use a signature release to claim a child that doesn't qualify, even if your ex would agree.  

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