If I claim as HoH without claiming a dependent, can my daughter claim the child tax credit etc?

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difromoz
difromoz Member Newcomer
edited January 4 in Credits/Deductions

My daughter and young granddaughter live with me. I pay all the household expenses (utilities, etc.) plus at least half of my granddaughter's personal expenses (clothes, food, etc). My daughter and I file separate tax returns. Her ex-spouse has remarried and pays minimal child support (approx $200/month). I file as head of household but do not claim either daughter or granddaughter as a dependent. Does this prevent my daughter from claiming any child tax credit, etc.

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Answers

  • AlexO
    AlexO FreeTaxUSA Agent
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    Hello, difromoz!

    That is a great question!

    The individual who claims the child as a dependent is the individual eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit.

    However, in your case, you may not be able to claim head of household. I recommend reviewing the tiebreaker rules within Publication 501, linked below. See page 15. The tiebreaker rules indicate that if more than one individual can claim a child as a qualifying child, only one individual can claim all tax benefits for the child.

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

  • difromoz
    difromoz Member Newcomer
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    My daughter does not intend to claim my granddaughter as her dependent if this would prevent my claiming HoH. Do I need to include her signed document to this effect in my tax return?

    I assume the father is not a factor since my granddaughter does not live with him and he is paying a small fraction of her support.

  • MatthewD
    MatthewD FreeTaxUSA Team
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    Hello,

    Since your granddaughter is living with you, you do not need the Form 8332 to claim her. Just an agreement between you and your daughter is enough. Keep in mind, your daughter cannot claim the same child as a dependent on her tax return.

  • KristineS
    KristineS FreeTaxUSA Agent
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    Hi difromoz,

    In your original post you mentioned you already file as Head of Household (HoH) and do not claim your daughter or granddaughter. To claim that status means you already meet all of the following requirements for HoH status which include:

    1. You are unmarried or considered unmarried on the last day of the year. See Marital Status, earlier, and Considered Unmarried, later.
    2. You paid more than half the cost of keeping up a home for the year.
    3. A qualifying person lived with you in the home for more than half the year (except for temporary absences, such as school). However, if the qualifying person is your dependent parent, your dependent parent doesn't have to live with you. Special rules for parents apply.

    It's not whether your daughter has an intention or not of claiming her daughter/your granddaughter, she must be eligible to do so first. If eligible, she can decide to claim her daughter/your granddaughter and the HoH fling status separately on her own (but it doesn't sound like your daughter is eligible to claim HoH status, see #2 above). Her choices on her tax return have no relevance to your filing status of HoH. You must qualify for that status seperately on your own. You do not need any signed documents from your daughter.

    She may choose to claim her daughter or not if she is eligible, along with the appropriate filing status.

    You might like to try the Interactive Assistant Tool from the IRS under Filing Status and Dependents to work through some scenarios.

  • difromoz
    difromoz Member Newcomer
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    `Thank you for the follow-up, I am sorry I did not make it clearer. I meet every requirement as HOH except that I am the grandparent and not the mother. (I could, however, claim my granddaughter as a qualified child/relative.)

  • difromoz
    difromoz Member Newcomer
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    See above — so regardless of the dependent issue which favors my daughter — I claim HOH status as supported by the 1040

  • Kaybee
    Kaybee Member Level 3
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    You need to have a dependent to be eligible to claim HOH. You cannot claim HOH without a dependent that is blood related (like granddaughter)