Qualifying Child Rules (2004 IRS FAQ)

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IRS FAQ 8.1 Earned Income Tax Credit: Qualifying Child Rules



My child was born and only lived 40 minutes. Can she be used as a qualifying child when figuring the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit?

If your child was born alive and died during the same year, and the exemption tests are met, you can take the full exemption. This is true even if the child lived only for a moment. Whether your child was born alive depends on state or local law. There must be proof of a live birth shown by an official document such as a birth certificate. Under these circumstances, if you do not have a social security number for the child, you may attach a copy of the child's birth certificate instead and enter "DIED" in column 2 of line 6c of the Form 1040 or 1040A.

If you have determined that you are eligible to claim your child's exemption, you may also be eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit. Please refer to the Form 1040 (General Inst.) Instructions or Form 1040A Instructions for the Child Tax Credit. The referenced pages will explain who qualifies for this credit and how to calculate it.

The Earned Income Credit generally requires that you provide a valid social security number for your qualifying child. However, if you meet all the other requirements to claim this credit and your child was born and died in the same year, you will not be required to provide a social security number for that child. Instead, you may enter "DIED" on line 4 of Form 1040, Schedule EIC (PDF), Earned Income Credit, and attach a copy of the child's birth certificate.

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In order to claim the Earned Income Credit, does the child have to be claimed as a dependent?

A qualifying child for the Earned Income Credit does not need to qualify as a dependent unless he or she is married.

Refer to Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, for a full discussion of the Earned Income Credit rules.

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If the noncustodial parent receives permission from the custodial parent to claim a child on his or her tax return, is the noncustodial parent eligible for the Earned Income Credit?

The noncustodial parent cannot claim the Earned Income Credit on the basis of that child because the child did not live with that parent and does not meet the residency test. The custodial parent may be able to claim the Earned Income Credit.

Refer to Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, for the Earned Income Credit rules .

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My wife and I have two children and we are going to file separate returns this year. Can we each claim one child for the Earned Income Credit?

In order to qualify for the Earned Income Credit, your filing status cannot be Married Filing Separately. If you are married, you usually must file a joint return to claim the Earned Income Credit.

However, if you are married and your spouse did not live in your home at any time during the last 6 months of the year, you may be able to file as Head of Household. In that case, you may be able to claim the Earned Income Credit.

Please refer to Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, for a complete discussion of the Earned Income Credit. Refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information, for the Head of Household filing status rules.

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Source: IRS.gov

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