Can I claim my children for the earned income credit (EIC), but not as dependents, so my ex-spouse can claim them as dependents?

If you're the custodial parent, you can release your right to claim your children as dependents. If you do so, your ex-spouse (as the noncustodial parent) can claim the exemption and child tax credit for the children.

Since you're the custodial parent, you might be able to file as head of household. If you meet the qualifications, you can claim these credits:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC)
  • Child and Dependent Care Credit (Childcare Tax credit)

This is the only instance in which more than one taxpayer can claim child-related dependent benefits for the same child.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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