TaxByte 2016-10

Must Have Form 8332 to Claim a Dependency Exemption if Challenged

A recent case reaffirmed that Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent must be present to claim a child as a dependent (Richard A. Eichinger and Diana Suarez v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Opinion 2016-18). Upon divorce the custody of the children was given solely to the ex-wife, but both parents supported the children. Upon the filing of the petitioner’s tax return, they claimed the children as dependents but did not attach Form 8332 as required.  IRS audited the return and disallowed the exemption due to the lack of Form 8332. The court continue to support the requirement of Form 8332. Generally, the IRS will not be concerned if a Form 8332 is not present when only one parent claims the child as a dependent. Once the other parent claims the child or the return is selected for audit, Form 8332 becomes an issue.