Non-Custodial Parents and Claiming Taxes for Children

Overview of Child Tax Credits

The tax credit for children in the US stands for a pecuniary duty of the citizens that claim a child as a dependent and consists of an amount of $1000 paid for minor children under the age of 17.

Some of the characteristics that emerge within the qualifying factors for the tax credit for children in the US are the necessity that the child must be the son, stepchild, daughter, adopted child, foster child, brother, sister or a descendant of any of these relations.


The ability to take the tax credit for children in the US is based on the following necessities: they must live with the taxpayer for more than 6 months, be under the maximum age of 16, the financial support from the child is lower than half of the whole requirment, the child is a resident or a citizen of the United States and does not have an alimony or joint tax return from an ex-spouse, the child is younger than the payer, the dependent claiming criteria is fulfilled and the income of the taxpayer must be higher than one of the parents, if the child is not claimed by the parents.

Non-Custodial Parents and Tax Credits

Can a noncustodial parent claim children on their taxes? The answer to that is not unless the parent who has custody releases a claim for exemption. According to the IRS, a form needs to be filled out that releases the custodial parent from taking any tax credits or exemptions. Once that has been filed, then the noncustodial parent can claim any tax credits for the child or children in the family. They also must attach the form each year that they claim taxes for the children.

The custodial parent is usually the parent that has claimed custody of the child and who the child lives with the greatest number of nights during the year. The noncustodial parent is the other parent, but if they share the same amount of time with the child, the one with the highest adjusted gross income becomes the custodial parent. There are exceptions regarding a parent that works at night and these exceptions can be found under the IRS website for more information.

In a pre-1985 divorce or separation decree, it states that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, but they needed to provide at least $600 for the child’s care during the year. If the divorce or separation was post-1985 and pre-2009, there are other rules that apply to the custodial and noncustodial claims on the children. Today, noncustodial parents can claim up to $3000 dollars in tax credits. Different forms will be required by the IRS, so it is best to contact those who are familiar with this type of tax filing.

If custodial parents give up their right for tax credits, it can affect this right for any future credits they may want to undertake. The custodial parent should make sure this is the right decision before it is made and all the forms are filed.

Sources

IRS.gov. Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent. January 2010. 11 August 2010

LegalLace.com Tax tips for Noncustodial Parents