I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until...
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Level 1

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

What can I do to make it to where I dont hurt my self, I have my custody paperwork, but I just dont want to be in any trouble.
7 Replies
Level 15

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

Please explain more.    Where is your child living?  Is he living with his father?  Or just going to the school where the dad lives?  We need to know who your child spent the most nights with in 2020.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 15

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

Sounds like the custodial parent changed so follow the IRS rules for custodial/non custodial parents ...

 

 

The IRS goes by physical custody, not legal custody. You are the custodial parent if the child(ren) spend more than half the nights, in a year, with you.

 

 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: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17#en_US_2017_publink1000170897 Scroll down to "Children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart)"

 

Level 1

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

Hes going to school there during the week yes, but until August he lived with me. I still send food there, get him all the time, and help with everything under the sun. Until August he was fully in my support, and still was after he started school where his father lives.  It states in my custody paper work that only i can claim him not his father. Until this year I had no help from this man. I was giving him money.

Level 15

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

Your reply is still confusing..  where does your child LIVE?  Did he start living with his dad when he changed schools?  If you count up the number of nights he lived with you---will it be at least 183 nights in 2020?

 

 

See below:

Are you the custodial parent?  Do you have an agreement with the other parent to allow the other parent to claim them--due to divorce or that you live apart and share custody?  Did one of you sign a Form 8332?

 

If there is a signed 8332 then the custodial parent retains the right to file as Head of Household, get earned income credit and the childcare credit + education credits if the child is a full-time college student.  The non-custodial parent gets the child tax credit for children under the age of 17.

 

As far as the IRS is concerned, the custodial parent is the one with whom the child spent the most nights during the tax year--at least 183 nights.

 

 

 

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 1

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

As i stated above, hes stays there during the week, for school since I live in a different town. There is a custody order inline. Im the primary physical custodial parent, not him, and im the only one allowed to claim him on any document its only been me and him for 9 years. I just agreed to what my son wanted, and thats to go to school there. No he wouldnt have him majority of this year I would. I know regardless, he will still try to claim him.

Level 15

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

You did not really explain where your child was, and we could not tell from what you posted.  The IRS does not care about custody agreements.  The IRS cares where the child lived for the most nights.  So again--if he was with you for at least 183 nights YOU are the custodial parent and you can claim your child on your tax return.  

 

If the dad tries to claim him and happens to file first, then your e-file will be rejected.  If that happens, print sign and mail your tax return so that it will be hand processed.  Then the IRS will sort out who could claim the child.  If the dad should not claim him he will face repayment of any child-related credits he received and perhaps some penalties too.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
Level 15

I have raised my son for 9 years by my self, until this year when we decided to send him to the school where his father lives, our custody agreement states online I can file him on my taxes but i know

Count every day he stays with you overnight and if it is more then 183 he is still your dependent no matter what the agreement states since the IRS doesn't need to follow those.   Talk with him  and make sure you are both on the same page ... if you both try to claim the same child then it could get ugly and someone will lose and owe back the refund + penalties + interest  which is not in anyone's best interest. 

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