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Divorce - alternating kids on taxes

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Can someone remind me of what the IRS thinks of parent court agreements of sharing kids for tax purposes?

Thanks

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IRS/federal law trumps state law. The IRS doesn't think about what a state court says. The IRS has their own rules about who's a qualified dependent, who's a custodial parent. Period. That said, if the parents are agreeing, then the custodial parent can sign Form 8332 to allow the non-custodial parent to claim the child. But the custodial parent retains certain benefits, such as HOH.

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And, if your client runs afoul of state law/divorce law, his ex could drag him back to court, he might owe damages to his ex due to breaking the divorce contract. What is it that you/your client needs to know? (It might be a legal issue and not a tax question.)

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It's more on the due diligence, TP provided the divorce decree  and I know it's not enough to prove the kids lived with TP, provided 50% of their support etc.... 

 

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You client doesn't have to support the kids. (Kid can't pay more than half his own support + divorced parents together have to pay more than half.) The kids have to stay with that parent more than half the nights of the calendar/tax year, or that parent has a signed 8332 from the custodial parent. If it's a new client, you'll ask for things that show the kids' address as your client's address: report cards, doctor bill, etc., and ask a lot of questions. Go through the Due Diligence form with them. If you're uncomfortable with any answer, ask more questions. Give your client a list of the documents the IRS will require if your client is audited and ask if he has them (you don't have to see them unless you are still uncertain) or can obtain them. Here's an example for CTC:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14815.pdf 

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The plot thickens when the child lives with both parents half the time.  Yea, right.  The IRS won't get involved unless they both happen to claim the same child in the same year.  Due diligence, though, demands that we see some kind of proof.  I once caved for a parent who said he had his child half the time, but I saved all 18 emails telling him what docs he needed to produce.  To my surprise, the next year he had them all.

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