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Can I Deduct Child Support on My Taxes?

 Posted on February 01, 2019 in Child Support

For parents who do not have the majority of parenting time of their children, state law typically requires that child support payments are made to the parent having the majority parenting time. The amount of a child support payment is determined based on a state’s child support guidelines, and, once a child support order is issued by a court, must be paid on time and in full.

Those who have to pay child support often have questions about the system, including whether or not child support payments can be deducted from one’s taxes. Here’s what you need to know–

Child Support Payments Are Not Deductible

According to an FAQ page provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), child support payments are neither deductible by the child support payer, nor counted as taxable income by the child support receiver.

But You May Be Able to Claim the Child as a Dependent…

While you cannot deduct your child support payments from your annual tax bill, you may be able to claim your child as your dependent, and reap the tax benefits of doing so, if you make child support payments. According to the same source cited above, while the custodial parent (or parenting with the majority of parenting time) is typically the parent that will claim the dependency exemption for a child, a noncustodial parent may claim the exemption if the special rule for divorced parents applies. This rule requires that the custodial parent sign Form 8332, which is a release of the right to claim the child exemption.

Are There Other Tax Consequences of Child Support?

While your taxes may not be directly affected based on the fact that you are making or receiving child support payments alone, if you fail to pay child support as ordered, one of the consequences may be the interception of your state or federal tax return. Typically, other steps to recoup child support benefits will be initiated before your tax return is seized, but this is one potential consequence of which you should be aware.

Answers to More Questions About Taxes and Child Support

Filing taxes is complicated as it is; if you are a divorced parent who pays or receives child support, you may have more questions about how child support may affect your taxes, or about which parent maintains the right to claim a shared child as a dependent. These questions are best answered by a tax professional, financial professional, or lawyer.

Call Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. Today

At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we understand the financial ramifications of child support. When you are in the midst of a divorce and a child support obligation is being negotiated, our experienced child support lawyers in Illinois can help you to make sense of your long-term financial picture and understand your rights and obligations. To schedule a consultation with our family law attorneys today, please call us directly or send us a message telling us more about your situation. We look forward to partnering with you!

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