Can this be done? — The Bump
Blended Families

Can this be done?

Hello all!

I'm semi new here, though I am a chronic lurker:-)  I have a question that I am sure has been asked, but my search for previous posts on it has been unsuccessful. Here goes:

 DS's bio-dad wants to claim DS on taxes as his dependent next year.  Background: Bio-dad and I are not/never have been married.  DS does and always has lived with me.  DS is 15 and I/DH have claimed him every year.  Bio-dad lives out of state and visits with DS on holidays, summer, etc.

My understanding is that bio-dad does not meet the criteria to claim DS as his dependent (dependant resides with him 6+ months of the year, provides more than 50% of support, etc.) 

If he does not meet the criteria, can he claim DS by me just 'letting' him?

Thanks in advance for any information:-)


PS--I already posted this on the Money Matters board.  The consensus there is that I probably need the insight of a professional.  I'm posting here because I'm wondering if similarly situated nesties may have had gotten such insigght from a professional.

Thanks again in advance.

Re: Can this be done?

  • There's an IRS form.  I'm not sure which number it is, but DH's ex lets us claim one of the kids every year and she had to sign a form to let us claim her.  We used Turbo Tax so I think that is how we found out about the form.

     ETA:  We had to send the form to the IRS with our signature page the first year.  You can list multiple years on the form, so we had her sign off up to 2010. 

  • It depends on who you ask, DH ex, has let us claim ss every year for the past 5 even thought the papers say she can, the accountant says it's up to her, whether she wants to claim him or let us.
  • Your question was answered correctly on Money Matters.  The fourth or fifth post, I believe.

    Yes, it can be done.  You will need either a notarized letter or form 8332 I believe.  You can find the information on page 18-19 of the instruction manual for the 1040 (and probably a different page for the 1040A but we itemize.  It would be whichever page explains line 6c Dependents.  The section should be captioned (or similar) Definitions and Special Rules - Children of Divorced or Separated Parents.  You can also find it in Publication 501. will have the information as well.

    The relevant section reads:

    Children of divorced or separated parents.  A child will be treated as being the qualifying child or relative of his or her noncustodial parent (the parent with whom the child lived for the lesser part of 2008) if all of the following conditions apply:

    1.  The parents are divorced, legally separated, separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all time during the last 6 months of 2008.

    2.  The child received over half of his or her support for 2008 from the parents (without regard to the rules on Multiple Support Agreements).  Support of a child received from a parent's house is treated as provided by the parent.

    3.  The child is in custody of one or both of hte parents for more than half of 2008.

    4.  Either of the following applies:

    (a)  The custodial parent signs form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for 2008 and the noncustodial parent attaches the form or statement to his or her return.  If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984, the noncustodial parent can attach certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332.

    (b)  A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement between the parents provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2008.

    If conditions (1) through (4) apply, only the noncustodial parent can claim the child for purposes of the dependency exemption and the child tax credits.  However, this special rule does not apply to Head of Household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits or the earned income credit.

    Note the last paragraph as well.  He can, in addition to the exemption, get the child tax credit.  He won't qualify for any other credits (earned income, after school care, etc.)  However, you will lose the child tax credit, his exemption, any child care credits, the earned income credit and any other credits (or possible stimulus this year, if that unlikely event occurs again) for which he might qualify you.  You might want to do the math if any of that concerns you.

  • Thanks ladies! Very, very helpful information.  Thank you very much--BPO I didn't know where to begin to look and/or what issues to weigh.

    Thanks again:-)

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