How should taxes be filed for a divorced couple if one ex-spouse isn’t allowed to claim their child on the tax return?

by William R. Lazor, CPA | Jan 03, 2019

I got divorced this year (2018). In the divorce, I will be claiming our child every year, and in return my ex pays a lot less child support. For the year of 2018, my ex used the child care flex spending option on their paycheck, so they were able to get money taken out tax-free to pay for their portion of daycare. Since they are not allowed to claim the child on taxes, how do we do the taxes for this year (since they claimed the tax credit for the daycare, but are not allowed to claim the child on the taxes)?

Effective for the year 2018, there is no deduction for personal exemptions for the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s dependents. In addition, your marital status is determined as of the last day of the year, so you will not be “married” for 2018.
Some of the other answers to your questions are a bit more complex and depend upon additional facts. It would be wise for you to consult in person with a CPA who can make inquiries and render appropriate advice.

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Answered by: William R. Lazor, CPA, is a partner/shareholder with Kronick Kalada Berdy & Company PC in Kingston, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
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