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Child support and its effect on filing Florida tax return

With the turn of the year comes the time to think about one's financial situation at the end of the year. Come April, federal and/or state tax determinations or extensions are due for most Americans. When parents are raising a child in different households this can affect your tax return. Many are not sure how to account for child support and its effect on their tax return.

What may not be immediately apparent for parents supporting a child is that child support is not the actual factor that affects taxes. The factor that affects a person's tax return is whether a parent can claim the child as a deduction on their tax return. Whether one pays or receives child support matters not. What matters is which individual is the custodial parent, because that is generally the person who can claim the exemption on their tax return.

In short, child support payments are not considered to be taxable income. Therefore, the child support amounts either paid or received should not be calculated under one's gross income. Many people confuse child support as taxable income. In reality, it is not to be considered income in the normal sense of the word, such as income from a paycheck. It is a different type of income altogether.

This could be good or bad news depending who is asking. Everyone is always looking for a way to receive a more beneficial tax return or to claim less taxable income so that a Miami resident has to pay less in taxes to the government. This is because, simply, people want to keep more of their money. Claiming the child as an exemption is available to some parents living and raising their child in separate households.

Source:, "Child Support and Taxes Q&A," Accessed Feb. 6, 2017

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