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Child tax dependency

Columbus, OH |

a judge put in my child support papers that my ex is entitled to claim our two children as dependents for income tax purposes. But this violates all of the irs regulations that I have read. Do I have to abide by these papers from the local court or abide by the regulations set by the federal government? The circumstances have changed since these papers were drafted in that he only sees them 3 days a month and has reduced child support.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Wait a minute, full compliance with an existing court order is expected. If you think the order should say something different, then you most petition to modify the order. Until that happens, you are bound to comply on penalty of the court's contempt powers, punished by jail and/or fine. Secondly, are you sure you have read the right IRS regs? On the question of which parent's claim will be honored, the IRS respects the order of a state court. Only if there is no court order in place will the rules about custody and support govern.

Best wishes for a better understanding of your obligations, and please remember to select a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

Asker

Posted

the papers state that he is entitled to the child dependency exemption. He claimed dependency, head of househole, dependent care costs, and the EIC. The children do not live with him and have not for 2 years. The IRS website says that the custodial parent is the only one that can use the head of household filing status. I am confused as to how he can do this because he is single and living by hisself.

Asker

Posted

*household *himself got a little ahead of myself

Posted

I agree with Attorney Sinclair. The court order must be followed until and unless there is a modification of that order. If circumstances have changed such that you think there is reason to modify the language, then seek a consultation with counsel to review the facts and circumstances. You want to determine if the language is modifiable and then if so, under what circumstances.

As for the IRS, they will defer to the state order. You need to follow the order until and unless it is modified.

Posted

You must follow the court orders. Additionally, what you have read is wrong, or was misunderstood by you. IRS regulations are absolutely clear; the custodial parent claims the children on his or her return. The custodial parent is presumed by the IRS to provide mote than half of the financial support for the children. The form number escapes me, but there exists a form that permits the custodial parent to sign off the child as a dependent to the non-custodial parent.

Asker

Posted

ok. I am understanding this. I must modify my court papers to say that, being the custodial parent and providing more than half of their support, I should claim the exemption for our children. So I will file head of household, childcare costs, and the EIC for the children and he will be claiming the dependency expemption for the children as well as the child tax credit after I provide the form 8332. Am I correct in doing so? And as for my ex husband's taxes, Is he able to claim head of household if he lived alone the entire year?

Melissa Ann Graham-Hurd

Melissa Ann Graham-Hurd

Posted

Yes, Yes, and No. Head of household is only available for people who provided a home for a child more than 50% of the year.

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