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Phil: I am rereading the HOH rules. It seems then that a person with custody of two children could allow the ex to claim them both but still file as HOH as both children would in fact allow her to claim them as a qualifying child. She would have no dependents but with her HOH deduction and personal exemption all of her income would be eliminated. She can still claim both children for EIC due to the fact that she has custody.

By giving the exemptions to the father who has a much larger income it will reduce his taxes and he will compensate her in the settlement. If you don't need the exemptions trade it for something else.

To sum up, this individual could file as HOH with no dependents but two qualifying children for whom she paid more than half the cost of maintaining the home. She could still claim both children for EIC which is her big refundable tax credit.

I am not addressing the emotional and family issues just the financial ones.


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