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jmaheu4
New Member

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

 
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Accepted Solutions
Critter
Level 15

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

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 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). That can usually only occur if both parents lived with the child at the same time.   And yes they are that picky.

The custodial parent may claim everything child related  UNLESS they waive the dependency exemption to the non custodial parent via a form 8332.... in that case the child may be used on 2 separate returns but only in the following way :

 

Only the Custodial parent can claim: (Child would be listed as non-dependent EIC & CC only)
-Head of Household 
-Earned Income Credit
-Child Care Credit

The non custodial parent can only claim: (Child would be listed as dependent)
-The Exemption
- The Child Tax Credit

See Special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) on page 32:
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf

But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.


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6 Replies
Opus 17
Level 15

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

Where did the child live more than half the year?  If not with you, do you have a signed form 8332 dependent release from your ex?
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
jmaheu4
New Member

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

The child is with me every other weekend, we don't have a signed 8332 but it is in our divorce decree that I can claim this child every year as we have three other children that I pay child support for that she claims for the child tax credit.
jmaheu4
New Member

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

I've claimed the child for years without a signed 8332, now this year it kicked it back to me.
Opus 17
Level 15

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

That’s because you and your ex both filed incorrectly in the past, as if the child lived with you.  That may have denied her certain benefits.  This year, she probably filed correctly, which caused yours to kick back since you filed incorrectly.   
*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
Critter
Level 15

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

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 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). That can usually only occur if both parents lived with the child at the same time.   And yes they are that picky.

The custodial parent may claim everything child related  UNLESS they waive the dependency exemption to the non custodial parent via a form 8332.... in that case the child may be used on 2 separate returns but only in the following way :

 

Only the Custodial parent can claim: (Child would be listed as non-dependent EIC & CC only)
-Head of Household 
-Earned Income Credit
-Child Care Credit

The non custodial parent can only claim: (Child would be listed as dependent)
-The Exemption
- The Child Tax Credit

See Special rule to divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart) on page 32:
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf

But only if specifically specified in a pre-2009 divorce decree, separation agreement or the custodial spouse releases the exemption with a signed 8332 form - after 2009 the IRS only accepts a signed 8332 form that must be attached to the non-custodial parents tax return.


Opus 17
Level 15

My ex-wife claimed our child as a dependent and I claimed her for the child tax credit as agreed on as we have for years, this year my return was rejected, what do I do?

You can’t claim anything without a signed form 8332.  Your ex gives you this form each year that your court order allows you to claim the child.  The IRS does not enforce custody orders and won’t give you the dependent without the form.  (You can go to family court to ask the court to force her to sign if she refuses.)

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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