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If you are an involved dad, can you claim your kids on taxes?

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2018 | Fathers' Rights

Many dads in the Phoenix area really want to be involved in the lives of their children and make a lot of efforts do so. Sometimes, the moms of these children sadly try to interfere with these efforts, which means that these men need to use the formal legal process to assert their fathers’ rights.

While these disputes often involve custody or parenting time, another right that dads may well have is the right to get some credit for providing for their children via child support, extra payments and gifts, and via the food, clothing, shelter and the like they provide when their children are with them. One way a man can get this credit is by being allowed to claim all or some of their children on his tax return in a given year. These tax breaks can save a man thousands of dollars in tax liability and can thus free his wallet up so he can better provide for his children.

It is important for Arizona dads to remember, though, that this is not an automatic process. Moreover, it is very risky just to enter in to an informal agreement with the child’s mother to split the exemption, as the internal Revenue Service will not enforce such agreements in the event of dispute.

The IRS’s rule is that it will assume that the parent who has the child most of the time has the right to claim these exemptions. In order to surrender this right, the parent must sign an IRS-approved form and give it to, for example, the non-custodial dad. The dad can then claim the exemption for the children listed on that form for that tax year.

While the IRS will not go chasing down this form if a custodial mom does not provide it, a dad can and should make sure his custody, parenting time and support orders mention that the mom must provide him this form and under what circumstances she must provide it.