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Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2439
Experience:  Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
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My girlfriend and I have a 5 month old. We live together ...

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I have a 5 month old. We live together and help each other with the caretaking of the baby. I pay all the bills- mortagage, cable, power, water, baby stuff, etc.. But she also contributes- taking care of baby at her work-(THis saves me day care expense) and she buys a few groceries and baby clothes as well. Our accountant said she or I can get a $7300 amount of child deduction. I believe this money should be used to help the child-such as future education expense, etc... My girlfriend would like to use the credit to pay off some of her consumer debt. Being in our sitiuation, who is entitled to this deduction? If I were paying child support and the child lived with her some other place, would I be entitled to the child deduction? If I''m not, then maybe she is entiled to this deduction? The answer to this question will help me decide how to approach this with her. THanks.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Anne replied 9 years ago.


Thank you for using justanswer. This is a good question, and unfortunately, due to the Uniform Definition of a Child law that congress passed a few years ago, not an easy one to answer really.

In order to claim your child as a dependent under the Qualifying Child rules, the child must be :

Related to you biologically (child, grandchild, sibling, etc)

Under age 19 (or under age 24 if a full time student)

Lived with you for more than 6 months

Did not provide more than half of their own support.

What makes this more difficult is that your child meets this criteria for both of you. This means that you 2 need to choose who will claim the child as a dependent and whether or not that person will claim the Earned Income Credit for that child also (if that person's income is <$38,000)

You could claim the child as your qualifying dependent for the more favored Head of Household filing status and your girlfriend might still be able to claim the child for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Overview

If both of you can not agree on who should claim your child, then IRS will apply the "tie breaker rules" and award the exemption/credits to the parent with the higher income

I hope this helps you

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks Anne, for the quick response. Had one other question though. If I were paying childsupport and girfriend and baby lived in another house, would I qualify for the child deduction?
Expert:  Anne replied 9 years ago.

Hi againCustomer/p>

You're welcome. Paying child support is not really the determing factor when it comes to who can claim a child for tax purposes, but where the child lives. Current law states the custodial parent is the parent entitled to the exemption for the child. In order to claim your child, he/she must have lived with you at least 1 day longer than with the other parent, or the custodial parent may sign over the exemption by filing Form 8332 (Rev. September 2007)Release of Claim to Exemption for Child of Divorced or Separated Parents. By having this form signed and filed with your tax return, you may claim the exemption for the child, and the child tax credit ($1000) only. The other possible credits, (earned income credit/daycare credit) are still retained by the custodial parent.

I hope this helps & best of luck to you

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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks Anne for the helpful information.

Expert:  Anne replied 9 years ago.
You're welcome. Best of luck to you!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks Anne for the helpful information. Am new to this website. If I have any other tax questions in future I'll be sure to search for you.


Expert:  Anne replied 9 years ago.

Welcome and thank you for your compliment...Please, feel free to look me up anytime