Tax season is upon us, and everyone is looking for every extra break they can get. You may be divorced, and your kids live with their other parent, but you still pay your child support on time. This means you are still taking care of your kids, so you can claim them as dependents, right?
Unfortunately, no. You do not get the right to claim your child as a dependent just by paying your child support. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) primarily looks at which parent the child lives with the most. The IRS will not let both parents claim a child as a dependent in the same year.
The IRS has certain rules when it comes to claiming a child as a dependent. First, the child must be under the age of 19, or 24 if he or she is a full time college student. Secondly, the child may not be claimed if he or she paid for more than half of his or her expenses or lived with you for less than 6 months.