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Special Rule For Non-Custodial Parents

There are specific circumstances in which the non-custodial parent of a child may be allowed to receive qualifying child tax benefits. The individual must, however, meet specific qualifications laid out by the IRS.

A special tax rule allows a non-custodial parent to claim a child as a qualifying child for purposes of the Code Sec. 24 child tax credit and the Code Sec. 151 dependency deduction, the latter being suspended for years 2018 through 2025. The non-custodial parent may claim the child as a qualifying child under Code Sec. 152(e) (notwithstanding the rule of Code Sec. 152(c)(4)(B)), if:

(1) The child is in the custody of one or both parents for more than one-half of the calendar year;

(2) The child receives over one-half of the child's support during the calendar year from the child's parents;

(3) The parents:

• Are divorced or separated under a decree of divorce or separate maintenance,

• Are separated under a written separation agreement, or

• Live apart always during the last 6 months of the calendar year; and

(4) The custodial parent releases the claim to the dependency of the child to the non-custodial parent in a written declaration that the non-custodial parent attaches to the non-custodial parent's tax return.

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