Tax time is fast approaching.   Divorced couples want to know who gets to claim their child or children as a dependent(s) on their tax returns.   Unless there is a Court order stating otherwise, it’s the primary custodial parent who gets to claim a child as a dependent.   The primary custodial parent is defined as the parent with whom the child spends the most time during the year.   However, the custodial parent may allow the noncustodial parent to claim the dependency exception instead by signing IRS Form 8332.   If both parents claim the child or children as dependent(s), the IRS will likely audit the tax returns to see who qualifies for the dependency exemption(s).   If your ex-spouse wrongly took the dependency exemption and it resulted in an IRS audit that cost you money, you may be able to obtain reimbursement in the family court.   If you allow your ex-spouse to take the dependency exemption, and they are also under a Court order to pay you child support, make sure the order says your ex-spouse may only take the dependency exemption if they are current on their child support and there are no arrears owing at the time of tax filing.

For more information, please call Philip A. Wasserman at 661-294-8484 or email him at pawlaw@earthlink.net.