Tax Return question

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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby JimRockford » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:43 pm

lovingfatherof2 wrote:Jim, I didn't say it did but that is all he has to go on.



The most important thing that he should be going on is the premise of the tax law that prevents two people from claiming HOH for the same year, for the same child. Especially, since he also does your ex's taxes, he should know this. This is not high level stuff, this is a concept that they teach the first day in tax class.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby hoosier_dad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:44 pm

If overnights are equal then Pub. 504 states:

Equal number of nights. If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby lovingfatherof2 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:56 pm

I understand what you guys are saying. One year she might have the kids a day or two more than me and some years I will have them a day or two more than her.

So the question is how does your tax person know this unless you both take a parenting time tracker to him to show him who had the kids more in that year?

Im asking a real question, if you hire a tax person how would they know which parent had the kids more than the other?

Im just as baffled as you guys are, I don't know how we both were HOH two years in a row. Im sure the IRS would have caught it the first time, especially the second time. Now that we have exactly equal time according to the court order it looks like I will always be HOH since I make more (thanks Hoosier).
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby JimRockford » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:08 pm

Don't give the IRS too much credit for catching simple things via edits in their system. Unfortunately, it's during an audit when some auditor sits down with several years worth of returns that things come to light.

Your tax guy should be asking simple questions as to who had the child more than half the year. At the end of the day, you have to substantiate your claim, and a parenting time tracker would be an excellent way to do that if you are ever questioned by the IRS.

In your case, I would be worried that your "tax preparer" does not seem to understand a basic premise of tax law that prevents two people from claiming HOH for the same child for the same year, and that IRS code takes priority over any court order that was not issued by United States Tax Court, or the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby a dad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:48 pm

It's simple logic. With multiple kids, each parent could have one the majority of days. They won't check.

C'mon, start your own thread if you need it to be about you.

OP, you get the dependent as per family court but not per tax code. Logically, hoh would accompany a dependent as they are both based on being with that parent for more than half the year. However, family court cannot change tax code.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby TJinCA » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:07 pm

I think JimRockford is correct that both parents can't claim HoH for the same kid. But if there are two or more kids, it would seem that each parent could meet the criteria in IRS Pub 501 for HoH status--if each has at least one kid living with them for at least half the year. And I don't think the IRS cares to audit who's living with whom when, so as long as the parents agree (or are instructed by court order) they can decide who will claim dependents and who will file HoH.

Dependent claim would normally go with HoH status but according to IRS code it doesn't have to - even with only one dependent, one parent can claim as a dependent and the other can file as HoH (with no dependent).

According to the instructions on IRS form 8332, the "custodial parent" is normally the one with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year, or if tied it's the parent with the higher AGI.

Keep in mind that "temporary absences" are subtracted from the total nights living with either parent, so a tie is completely possible.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby dofb » Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:48 pm

HOH only depends on overnights. Period. Check out the IRS webpage to get the skinny.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby dicktracy » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:12 pm

So, at this point I think it's pretty clear that the parent with whom the child spent more than 50% of the year with is considered the Custodial Parent, with eligibility to file Head of Household. In cases where both parents spend an equal amount of time with the child in a year, Head of Household filing status goes to the parent with a higher income. Thank you for all the replies.

Anyone know anything further on who would be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit and Child & Dependent Care Credit? Would this go to the parent claiming the child as a dependent or the parent (with more parenting time) filing Head of Household?
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby gamingdad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:18 pm

If I remember correctly, if you don't have a dependent, you won't qualify for child tax credit.
I literally just an hour ago got HoH and dependent claiming based on 50/50 and being the higher earner.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby JimRockford » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:27 pm

dicktracy:

I read back through and can see that your thread kind of got high jacked earlier today and I was one of the guilty parties, my apologies to you.

It brings up an interesting situation when the decree states that it alternates and it is your year, but the other spouse had > 50% of the nights and files her taxes as HoH. I guess you are SOL as far as the tax code goes. I don't know if that means that you can somehow get any compensation from her due to the lost filing status. I am guessing that unless the decree spells out such a remedy, that you would be SOL there too.

I guess the moral of the story is, whenever you have agreed to take the deduction in alternating years, ensure that you have > than 50% of the nights in those years.
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