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How Does Child Custody Affect My Taxes?

Claiming a Dependent Child

Tax season is here, and people across the nation are taking advantage of every deduction possible. The IRS allows taxpayers to claim a child as a dependent in order to reduce tax liability. This deduction can be claimed smoothly by a couple filing a joint tax return. Newly divorced parents, however, face a more difficult battle.

Can Both Parents Claim The Child?

No, only one parent is allowed to claim a child as a dependent on a tax return. The IRS does not allow parents to “split” a child as a dependent in order to minimize their respective tax liability. If more than one child is in question, then parents can, in effect, “split” the children between them and each claim one child as a dependent to receive the deduction.

Who Gets to Claim The Child?

Generally, the parent with primary custodial responsibility can claim the child as a dependent. The noncustodial parent could claim the child as a dependent only if the custodial parent gives express written permission through an official IRS form that is submitted along with the return to the IRS. If custody is an even split, then the IRS will give the deduction to the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.

What If Both Parents Claim the Child?

If a situation arises where both parents claim the child as a dependent on their respective returns, then the IRS will accept the return of the parent with whom the child lived with the longest and reject the other parent’s return. In some cases, the IRS may reject both returns since the child is listed on both returns.

What About Ohio State Taxes?

Ohio follows the same rule as the IRS as it relates to claiming dependents. Only one parent can claim a child as a dependent on Ohio state income taxes.

Seek Answers to Your Child Support Or Child Custody Questions

Do you have questions about your child custody case or are you looking to make adjustments? Contact us today to get the answers you seek. Call us today at (440) 336-8687 to speak with an expert.