Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taxes and Child Custody: What is the IRS Form 8332 and What Would I Need it For?

What is the IRS Form 8332 and what would I need it for?

If you are a divorced or separated parent with a minor child, then only one of you will be able to legally claim your child on your taxes. For some parents, they want the child tax deduction to receive a better refund or to offset taxes that might be owed.  Others have a better financial benefit for filing head of household with the child as a dependent.  If you have been in the courtroom for a divorce or legal separation, you may already have court orders as to who claims the child on their taxes and when (some parents alternate years, or in relationships with more than one child, one parent claims one child every year, the other claims another every year).

However, if you do not have a court order in place as to who gets the claim your child every year on their taxes, then section 152(e)(1) of the IRS tax code governs who can claim the child—the parent who has the child more than 50% of the time.  In most cases, this is the custodial parent, or the parent with primary physical custody.

When one parent is claiming the child, it is strongly recommended that they file their taxes with a signed 8332 IRS form from the other parent.  This form is a technicality that just shows the other parent that they are signing over their right to claim the child as a dependent, and will help if the IRS ever audits you or your ex-wife for possible fraudulent tax claims.

For more questions and answers regarding taxes and child custody, click here!

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