Growing Without Rain

News and Views about Taxes

Claiming an exemption when you are not the custodial parent

with 2 comments

The IRS has changed the rules for claiming an exemption for your child if you are not the custodial parent. For tax years 2009 and forward, you are generally required to file Form 8332, which the custodial parent must sign indicating that he/she agrees to the release of the exemption.

If your divorce decree or separation agreement was executed prior to 2009, you can attach certain pages of the decree or agreement in lieu of Form 8332, provided that the decree or agreement states that (a) the noncustodial parent can claim the child with no strings attached (specifically WRT payment of child support), (b) the custodial parent will not claim the child as a dependent, and (c) the years for which the custodial parent’s claim will be released to the noncustodial parent. If your decree or agreement qualifies, you must attach the cover page (where you would include the custodial parent’s SSN), the pages that include the required information above, and the signature page with the custodial parent’s signature and date of agreement.

You must attach either Form 8332 or the required copies of a pre-2009 divorce decree or separation agreement to your return in each year that you claim the exemption as a noncustodial parent.

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Written by nctaxpro

January 25, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Federal, Taxes

2 Responses

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  1. I volunteer for VITA every year and this year they had a test question similar to what you are suggesting in the post.

    Unfortunately, my answer was wrong to the question “who can claim an exemption for dependent” because I said that a divorce decree is all that is required.

    Right answer is that it is important that the custodial parent sign form 8332 and release the exemption.

    Thanks for pointing it out and making it clear.

    Best of luck with the EA exam, I am also preparing for the first part right now and plan to sit for the exam in May or June.

    Zahid Lilani

    January 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    • Zahid:

      Thanks for your comment. Good to know that the VITA exam asks about this!

      nctaxpro

      January 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm


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