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Dependents & Exemptions

Question: Are child support payments deductible by the payer or can the payer claim a dependency exemption for the child?


No, child support payments are neither deductible by the payer nor taxable income to the payee.

The payer of child support may be able to claim the child as a dependent:

  • Generally, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent, and the custodial parent is allowed to claim a dependency exemption for the child if the other tests for the child to be a dependent are met. The parent with whom the child lived for the greater part of the year is the custodial parent for income tax purposes.
  • The noncustodial parent may claim an exemption for the child if the special rule for a child of divorced or separated parents or parents who live apart applies, which requires, in part, that the custodial parent sign a Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, or a substantially similar statement and the noncustodial parent attach it to his or her return.

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