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I have a family member that has two kids in Puerto Rico; which is part of the US. However in PR they don't pay Federal taxes they just fill out the 1040PR to pay for social security.

This family member is the main financial support for his kids, since his ex doesn't work. Now he moved to Florida around Oct 2017, and he brought his kids with him for one month. Afterwards he had to return them to his ex since she has the custody.

Can he claim the tax credit for them even though they only spent 1 month with him in FL?

If so, for how long can he say that they were dependent on him?

The entire year or the period of time in which they were in FL with him?

Their main residence is in PR which is a US territory, but there are some tax nuances, so we're not sure.

Thank you!

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These answers are from the federal government point of view; since he's in Florida, I don't believe that Puerto Rico law is applicable, but IANAL.

Can he claim the tax credit for them even though they only spent 1 month with him in FL?

There are a number of tax implications, but the answer is "no."

Dependent exemption: Absent a divorce decree that specifies this, this is claimable by the custodial parent. The custodial parent may fill out Form 8332 to waive their exemption, at which point the non-custodial parent may claim it.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): This has a hard line that the child must spend more than half the year (183 nights) with the claimer, so may not be claimed.

Dependent care credit: This also has a hard line that the child must spend more than half the year with the claimer, so may not be claimed.

If so, for how long can he say that they were dependent on him?

The amount of time they were physically with him, ie, a month.

  • Hi Magua, thanks for your reply. There were some custody issues last year they actually lived with him in PR for a period of time of over 6 months. – sonar Jan 30 '18 at 3:06
  • Unfortunately, the EITC and the dependent care credit can only go to the custodial parent. If the children spend more time with him than with their mother, there would possibly be an argument for claiming custody, but without custody there is no way to claim those items.. – Magua Jan 30 '18 at 15:34

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