Life and Taxes, Divorce and Earned Income Credit.

@gtargirl (5385)
United States
April 11, 2009 3:59pm CST
The IRS publications are a bear to interpret, so I'm asking my MyLot friends and experts this vital tax question (aaarrrgggh ). I have signed the yearly paper to give my son as a dependent to my ex-husband. Therefore, I cannot claim the kid on my taxes even though I am the custodial parent. Yes, I know, I am sickly nice. In any case, he made way too much to qualify for the Earned Income Credit (EIC). So can I still claim the EIC? You would think not, BUT, apparently I can if my ex-hubby doesn't qualify. That's what it says on page 27 and 244 & 245, example 9 etc. of IRS Pub 17: here's the link, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf If you can help or interpret the meaning for me, I would be so in your debt. Better yours than the IRS.
1 person likes this
2 responses
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
12 Apr 09
That is a very good question. I can only claim my daughter every other year on my taxes. Her dad gets to claim her the other years. She lives with me full time also and he never sees her. You should be able to claim your child if he doesn't.
2 people like this
@reinydawn (11650)
• United States
12 Apr 09
Hey, check my reply on this one, it might help you too.
@reinydawn (11650)
• United States
12 Apr 09
OK, you're not reading that right, I think. As I write this I'm waiting for my hair to dry so I can go to work - yes, on Easter. My next day off (it's been about a month) is Thursday - April 16th. That's a holiday in my line of work - I'm a CPA. Here's the deal with EIC (Earned Income Credit). The child (doesn't always have to be your own) has to live with you more than half the year. That's a major qualifier. He can't live with both of you for more than half the year so wether your x qualifies or not is irrelevant. That only matters if someone in your household also qualifies - like say you live with your mother, she may also qualify. So, in short, if your son lives with you most of the time then your husbands other qualification (income) don't count. Basically, if the child lives with you, you start to qualify - this is also the case for Head of Household. Don't file as single, you get to use the child that lives with you to cliam Head of Household even if you can't claim the exemption for that child. But only one person in the house (if you live with your mother or something) can be HOH. Now, as long as that's ok, the next step is determining your income level to see if you qualify and for how much. Are you using tax software? Turbo Tax is pretty good and if you qualify for EIC then it's going to be free to use on-line - I think, it used to be like that eons ago when I got EIC. Feel free to PM me if you want. I'm way busy, but I gotta myLot to keep my sanity! I'll get back to you in time to finish filing.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
13 Apr 09
Thanks, Reinydawn. I am going to read this thing again. It's all so confusing. I'll probably use TurboTax or efile so both will probably walk me through it. At least, I hope so. The thing I worry about is that I did sign that form so my husband can claim him as a dependent. Arrrgggh . . . taxes!!!
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11650)
• United States
13 Apr 09
The tax software does walk you through it, but you still have to know the answers to the questions. Pub 17 is pretty big and has TONS of information in it. Stick with the 1040 instructions, it has a nice section on EIC - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040.pdf - it starts on page 46. Don't beat yourself up about signing over your son as a dependant. Most likely it wont make much difference on your tax situation if you're getting EIC. You can figure it both ways though just to see what the difference is. Do a "pretend" return with your son as a dependant (don't file it) to see what your tax position is. Then go back and take your son out of your return to see what the real numbers are. Good luck! Holler if you need me!