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Michael Gonzalez
Michael Gonzalez,
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 536
Experience:  Managing Member at EWF Title, LLC
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I LIVE ON ISLAND NY. Can I deduct my child support on my tax

Customer Question

I LIVE ON LONG ISLAND NY. Can I deduct my child support on my tax return each year?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

Child Support payments are not taxable. The parent making the child support payment can’t deduct it from income and the parent receiving the payment does not have to claim it as income. For child support to remain non-taxable, it must be designated in the final divorce decree as “child support.” Although the payment and receipt of child support does not affect your taxes there is one important tax consequence related to child support payments:

In order to claim someone as an exemption the IRS says that you must provide more than half of that person’s total support in a calendar year. A special rule was created by the IRS in order to resolve the question of dependency and who gets the exemption.

The parents must be:

  1. Divorced or legally separated under a decree of divorce.
  2. Legally separated under a written separation agreement.
  3. Living apart at all time during the last six months of the calendar year.
  4. One of both parents provides more than half the child’s total support for the year.
  5. One or both parents have custody of the child for more than half the calendar year.

The rule states that the parent who has custody for the greater part of the year is the custodial parent and that the parent will be treated as the person who has provided more than half of the child’s support. In other words if your ex-spouse pays more toward the child’s expenses than you do but you spend more time with the child and are responsible for the majority of child care you will get the child dependency exemption. You, the custodial parent who spends the most time with the child can claim the child as your dependent.

The non-custodial parent can claim the exemption if both parents agree and the following criteria are met:

A written agreement signed by the custodial parent stating that he/she will not claim the child as a dependent.

  • A final decree of divorce that states the custodial parent will not claim the exemption for the tax year and the non-custodial parent attaches the appropriate documentation to his/her tax return.
  • A final decree of divorce that provides for the non-custodial parent to claim the child as a dependent along with a statement that at least $600 was in fact given in support to the custodial parent.
  • The non-custodial parent must fill out a form 8332 from the IRS. The custodial parent and non-custodial parent must both sign the form and then it should be attached to the non-custodial parent’s tax return.
Expert:  Michael Gonzalez replied 1 year ago.

I would consult with a local CPA or a tax attorney to protect your interests.