Tax Benefits For Single Dads

Tax Benefits For Single Dads
  • Opening Intro -

    Many assume single parenting refers to a mother struggling to provide for a child while she balances a job and runs her household.

    However, the last few decades have shown an increase in the number of single parenting households where the father is the primary caregiver.


It can be a struggle to work through all the details of parenting as a functioning couple, and the thought of doing it on your own might seem impossible. Fortunately, there are bright spots along the journey that can help alleviate some of the burdens you face.

Tax Season Can Help

It’s easy to dread April 15th, as the thought of owing on your taxes can be stressful. However, if you are a single dad, there are several items that might make filing a bit easier.

However, before you can assume that you will be filing your taxes as a single dad, the legal team at Cordell & Cordell professionals cautions you to have all the documentation available to provide proof of your filing eligibility.

Court orders, such as received through a divorce, separation, or other proceedings, are generally what you need for IRS purposes. It’s always best to speak to your attorney before making decisions that can carry troubling consequences.

The Cordell & Cordell law office has handled many cases of mistaken assumptions and overreaches through a divorce and other issues, and it can be quite costly to find a resolution. Here’s what you need to know about filing taxes as a single dad.

Know Your Dependents

Before you can even file, you must decide who you can claim. The IRS will look at both your paperwork and your personal documentation of the residence of your child. Because both parents cannot claim the child as a dependent, the IRS will usually allow the claim from the parent who is listed as the custodial parent in the court paperwork.

If there is no paperwork, you may be awarded the right to claim primary caregiver and custodial parent by submitting proof that the child or children spent at least six months or more overnight at your house. Because custody paperwork is not always followed, there are exceptions to the rules when it comes to claiming a child as a dependent.

Know How to File

Once you have determined eligibility for claiming dependents, consider what status you will be filing under. If you are single but still supporting your child, you may be eligible to file as head of household. This offers a larger standard deduction and better tax brackets. You will be able to use this status if you are unmarried as of the last day of the tax year, you can claim one dependent and you provide 51% or more of the costs for supporting your household.

other valuable tips:

Know Your Tax Breaks

Those who claim children on their tax returns are eligible for certain tax credits. These are often more beneficial than having a deduction because they reduce the amount of taxes owed to the IRS after your tax liability has been calculated. For each child, you can claim the Child Tax Credit. This can help reduce your tax bill by almost $2,000 each child.

You can also use the costs of childcare services for kids under the age of 13 as potential credit. If you pay someone to take care of your child while you are working or in school, you may claim a part of this expense. You might also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit if your income is low.

Check With a Specialist

Before making any decisions, check with a tax specialist or accountant for more information. They can help you get the most from your filing status.

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