Tax Court Says When Foster Parent Relationship Ends For Tax Purposes

The petitioner was the guardian of a child that was placed in the taxpayer's home beginning in 1991 through 2004 when the child reached age 18.  In 2006, the child had a baby and the taxpayer continued providing support to the child and, now, the baby.  The taxpayer claimed dependency exemption deductions for the child and the baby (now five) on the taxpayer's 2011 return.  In addition, the petitioner claimed an earned income tax credit, child tax credit and head of household filing stats on the 2011 return.  The IRS denied the deductions and credits and head of household filing status, but later conceded that the child was the petitioner's qualifying relative which entitled the petitioner to a dependency exemption deduction.  The child's child was not, however, a qualifying child.  The "relationship" test was not satisfied and the child was no longer an eligible foster child after achieving majority.  Relationship of affinity did not apply, the court reasoned, because a foster relationship is not a relationship of affinity based on marriage and is only temporary.  Cowan v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-85.

CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.

RSS​ Facebook Twitter