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Dependents & Exemptions

Question: My husband and I were separated the last 11 months of the year and our two minor children lived with me for a greater part of the year than they lived with my husband. My husband provided all the financial support. Who can claim the children as dependents on the tax return?


Since your children lived with you for the greater part of the year, the IRS will consider you the custodial parent. Generally, a child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. 

Your husband may be able to claim an exemption for a child if you release a claim to exemption for the child by completing Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, or by signing a substantially similar statement and your husband attaches it to his return.

Note: If you release a claim to exemption for a child, you may not claim a child tax credit for that child.

Refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information or Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals, for more information on the special rule for children of divorced or separated parents (or parents who live apart).

Additional Information:

Category: Filing Requirements, Status, Dependents, Exemptions
Subcategory: Dependents & Exemptions

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20224