Tax season is approaching quickly, and if you are like many Ohio residents, you may be starting to get your paperwork in order. But if you are like many Ohio residents, you may also be confused about what deductions you can make this year.
If you are an unmarried parent, there are several federal tax issues and deductions that you should consider.
First of all, you should determine whether you can file as head of household. This requires being unmarried since Dec. 31, 2014, earning at least half of your household income and having your kids live with you at least six months out of the year.
Filing head of household typically means a lower tax rate and affords you more deductions.
Speaking of deductions, the next issue you need to address is determining which children you can claim as dependent. Your dependents open the door to other tax credits and deductions, which we will discuss in the next post.
If you were recently divorced, the dependent child issue was probably addressed in your separation agreement or divorce decree.
It’s typically the custodial parent who claims the children as dependents, and the IRS establishes that a parent can claim a child as a dependent if the child lived with the parent for at least six months out of the year and was financially supported by that parent for at least the same.
But if your divorce decree states otherwise, then you can sign a waiver stating that you are allowing the non-custodial parent to claim the children.
Although it’s not possible to split the deduction for a child, it is possible to take turns claiming the children as deductions. Another option is to have one parent claim one child as a dependent and the other parent claim the second child as a dependent.
Source: Forbes, “8 Things Single Moms And Dads Need To Know About Taxes,” Emma Johnson, Jan. 26, 2015