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What is Form 8332 (Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent)

What is Form 8332 (Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent)
Ines Zemelman, EA
28 December 2022

Form 8332 is a tax form that allows a non-custodial parent to claim a child as a dependent on their tax return.

This form is often used when the non-custodial parent has been granted the right to claim the child as a dependent by a divorce or separation agreement, or by a court order.

How to File Form 8332 Electronically

Filing Form 8332 electronically is easy and convenient. To do so, you will need to use the IRS e-file system, which allows you to file your tax return and other forms online. To file Form 8332 electronically, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Gather all of the necessary documents, including your tax return, Form 8332, and any supporting documentation.

  2. Visit the IRS e-file page and create an account if you do not already have one.

  3. Follow the prompts to complete and submit your tax return and Form 8332 online.

Benefits of Form 8332 or - When to Use One

There are several benefits to using form 8332 when claiming the dependency exemption for your children on your tax return. Some of these benefits include:

  • For one, it allows the non-custodial parent to claim the child-related tax credits and deductions, which can significantly reduce their tax liability.
  • Additionally, claiming a child as a dependent may also make the non-custodial parent eligible for certain other tax benefits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Using form 8332 can help prevent disputes between parents about the dependency exemption and reduce the risk of an audit by the IRS.

NOTE! Form 8332 should be used by non-custodial parents who have been granted the right to claim a child as a dependent by a divorce or separation agreement or by a court order. It is important to note that the custodial parent must sign Form 8332 in order for the non-custodial parent to claim the child as a dependent.

Requirements for Form 8332

There are a few requirements that must be met in order to use Form 8332 to claim a child as a dependent on your tax return. These requirements include:

  • The child must be a qualifying child or qualifying relative, as defined by the IRS.
  • The non-custodial parent must have been granted the right to claim the child as a dependent by a divorce or separation agreement or by a court order.
  • The custodial parent must sign Form 8332 and provide it to the non-custodial parent.
  • You must have a written agreement with the noncustodial parent stating that you will release your claim to the dependency exemption.
  • The agreement must be in writing and must specify the tax year or years for which the noncustodial parent can claim the dependency exemption.

How do I Get Form 8332

You can obtain a copy of Form 8332 from the IRS website or by contacting the IRS directly.

You can also obtain a copy from a tax professional or by requesting one from the custodial parent.

How to Use Form 8332

To use Form 8332, the non-custodial parent must complete and sign the form, and the custodial parent must also sign it. The non-custodial parent must then attach the completed form to their tax return when they file.

NB! It is important to note that the non-custodial parent can only claim the child as a dependent for the tax year(s) specified on the form.

FAQ

1. What does form 8332 allow?

Form 8332 allows a custodial parent to release their claim to the dependency exemption for their children to the noncustodial parent. This allows the noncustodial parent to claim the dependency exemption for the child or children on their tax return.

2. How do I stop a non custodial parent from claiming a child on taxes?

If you are the custodial parent and do not want the noncustodial parent to claim the dependency exemption for your child or children, you can do one of the following:

  • Withhold form 8332 from the noncustodial parent.
  • Revoke your previous release of the dependency exemption using form 8332.
  • Include a provision in your divorce or separation agreement stating that the noncustodial parent cannot claim the dependency exemption for your child or children.

3. What happens if a non custodial parent claims a child on taxes?

If a non-custodial parent claims a child on their tax return without the proper documentation, such as form 8332, they may be subject to penalties and interest from the IRS. Additionally, the custodial parent may be required to pay back any tax credits or other benefits they received as a result of claiming the dependency exemption for their child or children.

4. Do you have to file 8332 every year?

It depends on your agreement with the noncustodial parent. If you have a written agreement specifying the tax year or years for which the noncustodial parent can claim the dependency exemption, you only need to file form 8332 once. If your agreement does not specify the tax year or years, or if you do not have an agreement, you will need to file form 8332 every year that you want to release your claim to the dependency exemption.

Ines Zemelman, EA
Founder of TFX