Tax Return question

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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby RockyCali » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:06 pm

I have minority number of nights of all 3, but I also have IRS 8332 forms signed several years ago. I claim S12 every year, and D10 every 3rd year, never claiming S7. I knew that she would be eligible to claim all 3 every year, so my offer amounts to 4 children claimed every 3 years (out of 9).

Childcare expenses can only be deducted for a child claimed that year. HOH requires you to claim at least 1 child that year, as well.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby RockyCali » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:13 pm

JimRockford wrote:[...]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.

Or if there is any way to ask her sign 8332 "to ensure that the IRS has the same information on file that is in our court order," that would be my first strategy.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby Karl j » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:54 pm

dicktracy wrote:Hello. Ex and I have shared custody of one child in New Jersey. We alternate years claiming our child as a dependent. I claimed the child as a dependent in 2016, as well as filing Head of Household and claiming childcare expenses. Ex states she should have been entitled to file as Head of Household and claim Childcare costs because she believes she is the Custodial Parent. She is asking that I amend my return. Our Agreement reads as follows:

Custody: The parties shall share joint legal custody of their child. The parties, agree, therefore that they will share in the significant decision making concerning, but not limited to, the health, education, religion and general welfare of the child. The parties agree the Mother shall be recognized as the Parent of Primary residence and the Father shall be recognized as the parent of alternate residence.

Is the ex right in stating she is the Custodial Parent? If she is not the custodial parent, would she still be able to claim Head of Household and childcare expenses in the same year she is not claiming the child as a dependent? Thank you.


It sounds like she is the custodial parent. She would need to unconditionally allow you to claim the child by filing Form 8332. Did you have an 8332 for 2016?

Also 2 parents cannot claim head of household on the same dependent. Just because someone is willing to take your money to file a tax return for you, does not automatically mean they know what they are doing.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby dicktracy » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:03 pm

Hi Karl. It seems as though considers ex the Custodial Parent and will claim Head of Household.

What I'm trying to figure out now is, with ex filing HOH and myself claiming our child as a dependent, who claims the child care credit and child tax credit. Everything I'm reading seems to point to my ex but if you know more please share. Thank you.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby JimRockford » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:11 pm

I also think that there is confusion between the 8332 and filing status. From what I understand, the 8332 allows the NCP to take the exemption for the child, it does not allow for HoH filing status.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby Karl j » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:12 pm

dicktracy wrote:Hi Karl. It seems as though considers ex the Custodial Parent and will claim Head of Household.

What I'm trying to figure out now is, with ex filing HOH and myself claiming our child as a dependent, who claims the child care credit and child tax credit. Everything I'm reading seems to point to my ex but if you know more please share. Thank you.


How can you claim the child as a dependent and she claim the same child for head of household at the same time?
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby gamingdad » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:40 pm

You can't claim head of household if you don't have a qualified dependent.
If you are claiming a dependent, and getting the child tax credit, then you can file head of household.
If it's a year that you are not filing for the child tax credit, then you would file single.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby Karl j » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:54 pm

dicktracy wrote:Hi Karl. It seems as though considers ex the Custodial Parent and will claim Head of Household.

What I'm trying to figure out now is, with ex filing HOH and myself claiming our child as a dependent, who claims the child care credit and child tax credit. Everything I'm reading seems to point to my ex but if you know more please share. Thank you.


Dicktracy - I believe you would get to claim both tax credits assuming she filed an 8332 unconditionally giving you the dependency exemption for 2016. I'll look it up tomorrow at work and give you a definitive answer.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby JimRockford » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:12 pm

This from TurboTax:

Form 8332 only transfers the dependent exemption and the child tax credit. Eligibility for Head of Household, Dependent Care Credit, and EIC always stays with the custodial parent and can not be transferred.
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Re: Tax Return question

Unread postby minuette » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:41 pm

dicktracy:

If one parent had more overnights than the other parent in 2016, the IRS deems the parent with more overnights to be the custodial parent.

If you both had 183 overnights of parenting in 2016 (since it's a leap year), the custodial parent is deemed by the IRS to be the person with the higher AGI.

~

A custodial parent is entitled to claim the Head of Household Filing Status; the Earned Income Credit (if eligible otherwise); and the Dependent Care Credit, without regard to whether the non-custodial parent claims the dependent exemption and Child Tax Credit.

The non-custodial parent, who is entitled to claim the dependent exemption by court order, is entitled to claim the dependent exemption and the Child Tax Credit, and should submit a copy of Form 8332, signed by the custodial parent and which releases the claim to the dependent exemption, with the tax return.

~

Having stated that:

How many overnights did you have custody of the child in 2016? This drives all other answers.

If the answer is 184 OR 183 and you have the higher AGI, the IRS would rule that you are eligible for:

HoH Filing Status
Dependent Exemption
EIC (if otherwise eligible)
Dependent Care Credit
Child Tax Credit

.....

If the answer is 182 OR 183 and you have the lower AGI, AND you have a Form 8332 or equivalent signed by the custodial parent, the IRS would rule that you are eligible for:

Dependent Exemption
Child Tax Credit


(CV: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program tax preparer since 2008, certified in Advanced w/HSA, International, Foreign Student, and Military return prep; VITA Site Coordinator since 2010; I am directly overseen by the Los Angeles IRS SPEC office; I have direct contact with the IRS SPEC western region, IRS TAC Long Beach, IRS TAC Los Angeles and IRS TAC Laguna Niguel, and the IRS OIC Unit in Holtsville, NY.)
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