Child Tax Credit: Claiming a child as a dependent when the parents are divorced or separated.


Divorce is part of life.

However, there are some limitations when parents of an eligible child divorce.

If you want to know what to do with the IRS when applying for Child tax creditwe have an answer.

What does the IRS say about divorced parents?

According to I.R.S., only one parent or dependent can claim their child on their tax returns.

If both dependents claim a child for their taxes, I.R.S. take time to determine which parent will require a tax return.

Who can request a tax return?

in I.R.S. illustrates important and clear points about who can qualify for a tax credit if both parents are fighting for the benefit.

  • The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child spent the most nights during the year. The other parent is the non-custodial parent.
  • In most cases, because of the residency check, the custodial parent claims the child on their tax return.
  • If a child lived with each parent for the same number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.

However, parents without care may be eligible to qualify for a qualified child.

Right of non-custodial parents

According to the IRS:

  • The custodial parent may revoke the dependency waiver and sign a written statement or Form 8332, Waiver/Withdrawal of the Custodial Parent’s Child WaiverPDF, for the non-custodial parent to file with their tax return.
  • Non-custodial parents may qualify for the Child Tax Credit, Supplemental Child Tax Credit, and Other Dependent Credit.
  • Non-custodial parents are not eligible for Earned Income Credit, Dependent Care Credit, or Head of Household filing status.

What if the child is the eligible child of more than one person?

The IRS insists that simply one parent may qualify for the child as a qualified child.

Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Personsis the guide that the IRS provides for all your further questions.


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