Quick Reference For Tax Professionals ? Can Clients Use Divorce Decree To Claim Child?

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As a Tax Professional, you will have to ask your clients a few questions when dealing with this situation.
Is your client the custodial or noncustodial parent?
When is the final divorce decree dated?

If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009 The noncustodial parent may be able to attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332.

Does the decree or agreement include ALL of the following REQUIRED information?

  • The custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent for the year.
  • The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support.
  • The years for which the noncustodial parent, rather than the custodial parent, can claim the child as a dependent.

The noncustodial parent must attach the following pages of the decree or agreement to the tax return.

  • The cover page (the taxpayers social security number should be included for reference).
  • The exact pages that have include information required from above.
  • The signature page with the other parent’s signature and the date of the agreement.

If the decree or agreement went into effect after 2008

The noncustodial parent claiming an exemption for a child CANNOT attach pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement instead of Form 8332. The custodial parent MUST sign either a Form 8332 or a similar statement. The only purpose of this statement must be to release the custodial parent’s claim to the child’s exemption. The noncustodial parent must attach a copy of his or her return. The form or statement must release the custodial parent’s claim to the child without any conditions. For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support.

Important reminder for tax professionals – the noncustodial parent must attach the required information noted above even if information was submitted with a return in an earlier year.

For more information on this topic please reference IRS Pub 504

If you are using our UTS software for tax professionals and have questions about the form, feel free to contact us for any assistance.

Not yet using UltimateTax software? We have a secret to tell you – it will handle this situation for you! Based on the information you provide about your client, this form will automatically generate with the information filled in for you. This is just one of the many benefits that our software provides! Test our free demo on our home page , it literally takes a just few minutes.

UltimateTax Service, Inc. is a professional tax software provider. We provide this information as a service to our clients and friends. The information we post is for your viewing and knowledge pleasure. We take all information we post seriously and stand behind what we post. However, information we post is not meant to be used as your sole position in tax cases.

Author: Mike Steele

Serial entrepreneur since 1994. Tax preparation and tax software have been my passion over the years. Bringing value to my customers has always been a priority. If it’s not great, keep trying.

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