Who can claim a child on their taxes? 2 Answers as of January 03, 2011

I lived with my girlfriend and her father when my daughter was born on 2/13/2010. We split up in October 2010 and I have my daughter 3 days a week. My girlfriend is being claimed as a dependent on her father's tax return as she is a full time student, she does not file a tax return. He is also going to claim my daughter and says I cannot claim her. They refuse to even give me her social security number! I am listed as the father on the birth certificate. I had an income of around 15,000. He did provide medical insurance for my daughter and did put a roof over all of our heads but I provided all of the rest of the support, food, clothes, bills etc. Do I have any right as a custodial parent in this situation to claim my daughter on my taxes?

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Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
The rules for claiming a child as a dependent can be complex, especially in a factual situation such as you describe. Generally the dependency exemption will go to the parent who has primary custody of the child for the calendar year. That sounds like the mother and her father, in this case. It would be best to reach an agreement with them, if possible. If you cannot agree with the mother and her father, there are complex tie breaking rules. You should consult with a good CPA.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/3/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
That is something you need to work out as part of the custody but you can can claim for the time you have her.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 12/28/2010
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