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Dependents & Exemptions

Question: Can a state court determine who may claim a dependency exemption for a child?


Federal tax law is what determines who may claim a dependency exemption for a child. Even if a state court order allocates a child’s dependency exemption to a noncustodial parent, the noncustodial parent must comply with the federal tax law to claim the exemption. The noncustodial parent must attach to his or her return a copy of the release of claim to exemption by the custodial parent, either on a Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, or a substantially similar document.

Refer to 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