Question

If my spouse and I file separate returns, does the person who claims the child also get to claim all of the child expenses and child tax benefits?

Answer

Yes, if you are married filing separate, the spouse who claims the child as a dependent will also claim all the other tax benefits associated with the child. These benefits include:

    • Child tax credit
    • Exclusion from income for dependent or dependents care benefits, but the maximum amount is half the normal allowed.

However, you can each claim the medical expenses that you paid for your child, if you’re itemizing deductions.

Note: The credit for child and dependent care expenses is normally not available for MFS returns. And the EIC is never available for MFS returns.

You and your spouse can’t agree to splitting benefits between yourselves.

Related Topics

Related Resources

New York Tax Rate

Do you earn income in New York? If so, you will owe New York income taxes. Read here to learn more about the NY tax rate here.

Give and Get: Tax Deductions for Cash Donations

When you make cash donations to a qualified charitable organization, you may be able to take a tax deduction. Learn how at H&R Block.

Education Benefits And Credits

Did you know that higher education can help you earn benefits and credits on your tax return? Learn more and get tax answers at H&R Block.

Deducting Pre-Tax Premiums

Learn whether you can deduct pre-tax premiums on your taxes with advice from the tax experts at H&R Block.