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Does a foster parent have to file income taxes for foster care assistance provided for foster children?

Silver Creek, MS |

My father recently became a foster parent after accepting 2 of his grandsons that have been removed from the mother's home. I am completing his foster parent packet and there is a W9 form included. This is new to me, as well as my father. Online research has lead me to believe this is more for DHS's records for reporting money provided for the care of the children. However, I am very unsure of my understanding.
I need to know if my father will need to file with the IRS next year. Due to his severe arthritis, I complete all necessary paperwork for him. So, if I have this to look forward to, I need to start preparing now and studying as much as I can, so I, too, can have a good understanding. Thank you in advance.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you are wondering whether or not he can claim the foster kids as dependents, the answer is yes, as long as they lived with him and he provided more than half of their support.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.


  2. Qualified Foster Care payments received by a foster care provider are not taxable income. during the taxable year as qualified foster care payments. I am not sure of the reason that DHS would ask for a W-9 form since "qualified foster care payments" are not taxable. You should simply ask them to eliminate the mystery. your father can claim the foster-childred as his dependents as long as the foster-children (a) live with your father for more than 6 months in the year with your father; (b) are either below the age of 19, or below 24 and in college; and (c) do not provide more than 1/2 of their own support.


  3. I agree with attorney Tomas and the other attorney that responded. The income received as assistance is not taxable and the children can be claimed as dependents if they would otherwise qualify as described. It would be a good idea for you to have a tax professional prepare this tax return if it is beyond your capabilities as a tax preparer.

    Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.