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katsouth61
New Member

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

Me and my child's father were never married and are not living together.  We each have our child 50/50.  He is telling me that we can each claim our child 50/50 on taxes, but I can't find anything to support that.  We originally agreed to claim the child every other year, which is fine.  Do we need to file a special form to allow the parent to claim the child?  Thank you!

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
georgesT
New Member

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

Yes, it is allowed. Both of you could claim the child, but not for the same tax benefit.

As a custodial parent who spent the most time with the child during the year, you will be entitled to claim Head of Household, Earned Income Credit and Dependent Care Credit. 

You will have to file an exemption Form 8332, as the custodial parent, to gives permission to the non-custodial parent to claim the dependent exemption and Child Tax Credit.  

Both parents cannot claim Head of Household, only the custodial parent is allowed. 

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4 Replies
georgesT
New Member

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

Yes, it is allowed. Both of you could claim the child, but not for the same tax benefit.

As a custodial parent who spent the most time with the child during the year, you will be entitled to claim Head of Household, Earned Income Credit and Dependent Care Credit. 

You will have to file an exemption Form 8332, as the custodial parent, to gives permission to the non-custodial parent to claim the dependent exemption and Child Tax Credit.  

Both parents cannot claim Head of Household, only the custodial parent is allowed. 

SweetieJean
Level 15

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

"We each have our child 50/50."  Please count the actual nights. Whoever has more is the custodial parent.
macuser_22
Level 15

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

Slight correction.   The custodial parent (the parent where the child physically lived for more than half the year) does not file a 8332 form.  They fill out a 8332 form to release the child exemption to the non-custodial parent, sign it and give it to the non-custodial parent who must file it with their tax return.

That can either be attached to a mailed return or if e-fiing mailed with Form 8453, (U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return). See Form 8453 and its instructions for more details.

This must be done within 3 days of the e-filed return being accepted by the IRS.
<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8453.pdf">http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8453.pdf</a>
**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.**
macuser_22
Level 15

Can we each claim our child 50/50?

There is no such thing in the Federal tax law as 50/50, split, or joint custody.  The IRS only recognizes physical custody (which parent the child lived with the greater part, but over half, of the tax year.  That parent is the custodial parent; the other parent is the noncustodial parent.)

Who can claim the exemption and credits depends on who is the custodial parent. (By the IRS definition of custodial parent for tax purposes - this is not the same as the legal custody that a court might grant.).

The test that the IRS uses to determine the custodial parent is where the child lived for more than 1/2 (or greater part) of the year. The IRS will go so far as to require counting the nights spend in each household - that person is the custodial parent for tax purposes (if exactly equal and more than 183 days - The custodial parent is the parent with the highest AGI, if less than 183 days then neither parent has custody so the child cannot be claimed by either parent). And yes they are that picky.

See Custodial parent and noncustodial parent  under the residency test in Pub 17

<a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170899">https://www.irs.gov/publications/...>
**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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