Question

My child’s other parent is filing as head of household and claiming our child as a dependent. Can I claim our child for the EIC?

Answer

Probably not. Sometimes a child meets the tests to be a qualifying child of more than one person. Only one of them can claim the child as a qualifying child for:

  • Head of household filing status
  • Earned Income Credit (EIC)

No other person can claim any of these benefits unless he or she has a different qualifying child.

If two taxpayers are each eligible for claiming children on their taxes as qualifying children, they can choose who will claim the children. If they both claim the children, the IRS will apply the tie-breaker rules.

In the tie-breaker rules, when claiming a child on taxes, the benefits will be given to the parent the child lived with the longest. If time spent with each parent is equal, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income (AGI) will receive the benefits.

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