Fair Exemptions
June 24, 2010 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Can we split the tax exemptions by giving one parent two children (exemptions) in odd years, one child (exemption) in even years?

Divorce in progress. We have joint physical and legal custody of three children.
For exemption purposes in the USA, can we alternate each year claiming two children for one parent/one child for the other parent?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IMNAL or an accountant, but yes. When not claiming the child use this form. Best to check with your lawyer or accountant, of course.
posted by Pineapplicious at 8:49 AM on June 24, 2010

Sorry, the link doesn't work. The IRS Form is #8332 "Release/Revocation of Release of Claim
to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent".
posted by Pineapplicious at 8:51 AM on June 24, 2010

My ex and I have done this for years since our divorce. She gets even years, I got odd years.
posted by octothorpe at 8:55 AM on June 24, 2010

2nding Pineapplicious--two kids, my ex spouse claimed one, I claimed the other. (No alternate years involved) But I did need (several years down the road I needed a paper filled out by my ex stating he would not claim the one child). Link that Pineapplicious has is not working, ask your accountant for one.
posted by 6:1 at 9:20 AM on June 24, 2010

Talk to your accountant, but the thing the IRS really cares about is that one kid doesn't get claimed twice. They don't actually care who claims whom.
posted by valkyryn at 9:59 AM on June 24, 2010

I've been doing this for years with my son's mother. The form linked above is the one you want. It's not, strictly speaking, necessary - my son's mother has never filled one out, so I just file without it. She also claims him every year, even on years she is not supposed to.

She's gotten in some trouble for it, but all I've ever had to do was make sure I did everything right, and provide the IRS with a copy of the court order and any other documentation they ask for.

Which is to say two things - one, that the IRS is apparently cool with splitting the deduction, and two, even if your ex decides to be stupid and claim the kids anyway, you're covered if you did your paperwork correctly.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:06 AM on June 24, 2010

Another thing to keep in mind is the age of said children, my ex and I in our agreement have it written that we each claim one child until the older one ages out and then do every other year with the younger one.
posted by momochan at 11:36 AM on June 24, 2010

This is what my ex and I do.
posted by brandsilence at 11:43 AM on June 24, 2010

Just chiming in to support what everyone else is saying. Write it into the divorce, fill out the form and watch your flex spending accounts (I'm not able to use them on the years I don't have the kid credit).
posted by Gucky at 7:52 PM on June 24, 2010

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