Legal seperation and dependents
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New Member

Legal seperation and dependents

Per my legal seperation, we alternate years that we claim the children. 2016 was his year so do I put that I have no dependents?
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New Member

Legal seperation and dependents

Yes, you should still enter them on your return, but you must select the appropriate answers to the questions in the Dependent section of TurboTax. (See detailed instructions below.)

While you cannot report them as your dependents this year, since the IRS only allows one parent to include the children on their return for this purpose. You can; however, take advantage of a special rule for divorced & separated (including never married) parents. This rule is only applicable when you are the custodial parent (meaning the children spend more than 6 months with you) and you do not claim them as dependents. This special rule allows the custodial parent to still report the children on their tax return for the Earned Income Tax Credit, Head of Household filing status, and the Dependent Care Credit. For more information on the topic, please read the IRS document on the topic; Dependents and Exemption

Turbo Tax will help you report your children accurately on your Tax return by taking the following steps. 

  1. Log in to TurboTax.com and continue to your return.
  2. Go to Personal Info (at top of page).
  3. Select, add a dependent and follow the prompt on each page.
  4. When you come to the page titled:  Do you have an agreement with other parent about who can claim him/her? (screenshot below; Parent Agreement) Select, Yes if applicable.
  5. The following page is titled: Is other parent claiming per your legal agreement? (screenshot below: Legal Agreement) Select, Yes, other parent will claim child for 2016 per our legal agreement, if applicable.
  6. The next page will say the children are not eligible to be your dependents, but they will be used on the tax return for any other credits that you may be entitled to take this year. 

After you have completed these entries, complete the return as you normally would and answer the prompts in the Turbo Tax software.  For more information, read; What happens when both parents claim a child on a tax refund.


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