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<<I believe that if two parents contribute equally to the expenses of raising a child that either parent can claim a deduction as long as the other agrees not to. Is this correct? I was told recently that under some circumstances both parents can take a deduction. I do not believe this but I wanted to get some second opinions. Is this true?>>

None of this is exactly correct. It's never the case that both parents can claim the same child on separate returns. If the parents are divorced and the other tests to claim the child as a dependent are met, the custodial parent is entitled to the exemption unless that parent waives the exemption, in which case the noncustodial parent can claim it. The provision for waiver of the exemption applies only if the parents are divorced; it doesn't apply if they never married -- or if they stayed married.

KAT in Chicagoland
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