A brief guide on filing IRS Form 8332 for release of dependency exemption
We tend to assume that after our children have been living with us for a certain period of time, that we are by default, their legal guardian. However in certain cases, the courts may think differently. Sometimes, due to technicalities, parents with sole physical custody of their children are not always considered, at least by the legal system, as custodial parents.
For instance, let’s say you’re a single mom and you’re raising your child on your own. And the father is not involved in the life of the child. You would think that this automatically makes you the legal guardian. But in this case, the courts usually require you to file for custody of the child. Only after that, will you be considered the legal custodial parent. If you’re not sure that you are a custodial parent in the eyes of the law, you should seek advice from a family attorney.
If the court has approved your status, it also means you are eligible to claim an exemption on your taxes because your children are now considered dependents. On the other hand, if you do not have to file taxes and have a good relationship with the non-custodial parent of your child, you may let him/her file for a tax exemption. IRS Form 8332, (also known as the Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent), is designed specifically for this purpose.
What is Form 8332 used for?
This form can be used in two situations. First, it can be filed to allow a non custodial parent to claim a tax exemption for your children. Second, you can submit your 8332 to cancel a previous release of claim to exemption for your children.
Who should file Form 8332?
IRS Form 8332, (or the Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent), must be completed and filed by a legal custodial parent of the child or children.
Can Form 8332 be filed electronically?
Yes. You can fill out Form 8332 online using PDFfiller. It is much easier to complete the form correctly and avoid making mistakes that might lead to the form being rejected. After you’ve filled out the document, you can save it, print it out and send it to the IRS. You also have the option to file its digital version via email.
How to file Form 8332
The form is easy to complete. It contains two pages, including instructions. First of all, remember that you have to complete a separate form for every child. Generally, a 8332 has three parts.
The first part is titled the Release of Claim to Exemption for Current Year. The second one is the Release of Claim to Exemption for Future Years. And the third part is the Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Future Year(s).
The titles are rather straightforward. You have to provide the name of the child and the tax year(s) for which you’re filing the document. At the end, provide your social security number, put a date and sign the form.
Where do I mail Form 8332?
Once you’ve properly filled out IRS Form 8332, you have to forward it to the IRS. But the mailing address depends on your own location. Here you can check the correct address in accordance to your state.
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