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Tax tips for single parents

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2015 | Firm News

Texas parents in single-parent households may be able to save as much as $6,143 depending on the stipulations in their child custody agreements. Before filing, both parents will want to team up to make sure they’re in agreement with each other on what can and cannot be deducted. While a signed waiver from the non-custodial parent to not claim the child as a dependent is suggested, it is not required.

As of Dec. 31, 2014, in order to claim a child as a dependent, there are a few requirements. According to one source, the filing parent must earn a minimum of 50 percent of the household income, and the child must live in that household for six or more months in 2014. Eligibility also includes adopted children.

The filing parent can deduct an exemption of $3,950 for each child as long as the parent does not make more than $279,650 annually. Single parents who make $75,000 or less have the opportunity to take $1,000 off of their tax bills for each dependent child ages 16 and under. The cut-off mark for age 16 is by year end. Child care expenses are qualified for a deduction of up to $3,000, including necessary spending for summer day camps and after-school programs.

A single parent who makes less than $46,997 with three or more kids is eligible for the earned income tax credit. For parents with one to two children, qualifying for the earned income tax credit is dependent upon the filing parent’s annual income.

Before contacting an attorney or a tax preparer, child care receipts are helpful as proof of each expense and deduction. Proper communication with both parents and accurate documentation help to avoid any tax form errors, which can slow down the process of a refund.