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If you need to complete Form 8332 Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent (usually only done by the custodial parent), you can do that in the TaxAct® program as follows:

  1. From within your TaxAct return (Online or Desktop), click Federal. On smaller devices, click the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner, then select Federal.
  2. Click Miscellaneous Topics in the Federal Quick Q&A Topics menu to expand that category and then click Release/Revocation of release of claim to an exemption
  3. Click +Add Form 8332 to create a new copy of the form or click Review to review a form already created 
  4. The program will proceed with the interview questions for you to enter or review the appropriate information

When you print your return, Form 8332 will print as a part of the return so you can sign the form and provide it to the noncustodial parent to include with their tax return.

For the noncustodial parent, if, when entering dependent information in your return, you select the dependent type Child who lived with someone else due to divorce/separation, do not enter any months that the dependent lived with you, and on the following screen check the box Check here if you meet the above requirements for [dependent name], then during the filing steps you will be prompted to print Form 8453 U.S. Individual Income Tax Transmittal for an IRS e-file Return.  The need to send Form 8332 (along with Form 8453) in this situation does not prevent you from electronically filing your return, you would just not be able to do a completely paperless option; you would mail in both forms after electronically filing your return. This should not delay the filing process of your return in any way.

In this situation, Form 8453 will automatically be generated as you go through the filing steps in the program. At that time there will be a screen E-filing - Print 8453 where the program will prompt for Form 8453 to be printed. When the form prints the box will be checked Form 8332 - Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent (or certain pages from a divorce decree or separation agreement, that went into effect after 1984 and before 2009) (see instructions) towards the bottom of the form. This would enable the return to be electronically filed and Form 8332 to be sent to the IRS along with Form 8453.

When you print/preview the Federal Electronic Filing Instructions a few screens later, you will be provided the address where to mail Form 8453 and the Form 8332 that you received from the custodial parent.  Be sure to keep copies of whatever you send with Form 8453 to the IRS for your records.

Additional Information

Per the IRS Instructions for Form 1040, starting on page 18:

Children of divorced or separated parents. A child will be treated as the qualifying child or qualifying relative of his or her noncustodial parent (defined later) if all of the following conditions apply.

  1. The parents are divorced, legally separated, separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of 2019 (whether or not they are or were married).
  2. The child received over half of his or her support for 2019 from the parents (and the rules on Multiple support agreements, later, don’t apply). Support of a child received from a parent's spouse is treated as provided by the parent.
  3. The child is in custody of one or both of the parents for more than half of 2019.
  4. Either of the following applies:
    1. The custodial parent signs Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement that he or she won't claim the child as a dependent for 2019, and the noncustodial parent includes a copy of the form or statement with his or her return. If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 1984 and before 2009, the noncustodial parent may be able to include certain pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. See Post-1984 and pre-2009 decree or agreement and Post-2008 decree or agreement..
    2. A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement between the parents provides that the noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent provides at least $600 for support of the child during 2019..

If conditions (1) through (4) apply, only the noncustodial parent can claim the child for purposes of the child tax credits and credit for other dependents (lines 13a and 18b). However, this doesn't allow the noncustodial parent to claim head of household filing status, the credit for child and dependent care expenses, the exclusion for dependent care benefits, the earned income credit, or the health coverage tax credit. The custodial parent or another taxpayer, if eligible, can claim the child for the earned income credit and these other benefits. See Pub. 501 for details.

Custodial and noncustodial parents. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2019. The noncustodial parent is the other parent. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. See Pub. 501 for an exception for a parent who works at night, rules for a child who is emancipated under state law, and other details.

Post-1984 and pre-2009 decree or agreement. The decree or agreement must state all three of the following.

  1. The noncustodial parent can claim the child as a dependent without regard to any condition, such as payment of support.
  2. The other parent won't claim the child as a dependent.
  3. The years for which the claim is released.

The noncustodial parent must include all of the following pages from the decree or agreement.

  • Cover page (include the other parent’s SSN on that page).
  • The pages that include all the information identified in (1) through (3) above.
  • Signature page with the other parent's signature and date of agreement.

CAUTION! You must include the required information even if you filed it with your return in an earlier year.

Post-2008 decree or agreement. If the divorce decree or separation agreement went into effect after 2008, the noncustodial parent can't include pages from the decree or agreement instead of Form 8332. The custodial parent must sign either Form 8332 or a substantially similar statement the only purpose of which is to release the custodial parent's claim to certain tax benefits for a child, and the noncustodial parent must include a copy with his or her return. The form or statement must release the custodial parent's claim to the child without any conditions. For example, the release must not depend on the noncustodial parent paying support.

Release of certain tax benefits revoked. A custodial parent who has revoked his or her previous release of a claim to certain tax benefits for a child must include a copy of the revocation with his or her return. For details, see Form 8332.


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