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but I'd read that if my ex had less than 30% custody of the kids, he could allow me to claim 100% of the tax rebate

To the best of my recollection, the dependent child deduction is all or nothing. There is no way to split it within any one tax-year. If there isn't a written agreement re-assigning the deduction and rebates, then the test is unambiguous... the parent providing more than 50% of the support (usually defined as "where the kid sleeps at night").

Some of us have divorce agreements (in writing folks) that re-assign these tax bene's according to some rule or formula (every-other year f'rexample). Some people have amicable relations that allow a year-by-year decision (which must be affirmed in writing by the consenting party in the documentation of the tax return of the parent claiming the benefits).

my accountant advised me that after he had done that, he had the right not only to revoke his decision at any time, but also to make the revocation retroactive, meaning I would have to pay back any of the rebate I had been "overpaid".
Read your Marital Settlement Agreement. If it is in writing there, and you follow the agreement, there is no ticking time bomb of retroactive punishment.

Well, not that I know of, anyway. For specific questions, the TAX STRATEGY board is excellent resource, but be sure you hvae all the details of your situation (including details of all written agreements) before you go posting.


- D

PS: If you have (low enough income) AND (high enough expenses) it possible for BOTH parents to qualify for deductions for CHILD CARE EXPENSES. but that's a different story than who gets to claim the dependents. And each parent qualifies on their own, independent of what the other one does, so again I see no ticking time bomb.

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