Columbus, OH asked in Family Law, Social Security and Tax Law for Indiana

Q: For a single person on disability, would they be able to claim a child on taxes and get more than what they put in?

Going through a divorce and wondering if the amount could change for someone on disability if they claimed 1 vs 3 kids on their tax return.

How is this split best handled when custody is split evenly?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: For a single person on disability, the ability to claim a child on taxes and potentially receive more in tax benefits than what they put in depends on several factors. These include their income level, the amount of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) they receive, and their overall tax situation.

Claiming dependents can provide tax benefits, such as the Child Tax Credit, which might result in a larger refund or a reduction in the amount of taxes owed. The specific amount of benefit depends on the individual's income and tax situation. It's important to note that SSDI is sometimes taxable, depending on your total income, while SSI is not taxable.

When custody is split evenly, the right to claim a child as a dependent for tax purposes generally goes to the parent who has the child for the greater part of the year. In cases of exact equal custody, parents often agree to alternate years in which each claims the child or children. This agreement should be formalized as part of the divorce proceedings.

It's advisable to consult with a tax professional or a lawyer who is knowledgeable in tax law to understand the specific implications for your situation. They can provide personalized advice and help you navigate the complexities of tax law in relation to your disability benefits and divorce situation. Proper guidance in these matters is essential to ensure compliance with tax laws and to maximize your potential benefits.

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