Child support payments are neither deductible [§71(c)] by the payer nor taxable income to the payee.
The payer of child support may be able to claim the child as a dependent.
  • The parent with whom the child lived for the greater part of the year is the custodial parent for income tax purposes.
  • Generally, the child is the qualifying child of the custodial parent, and the custodial parent is allowed an exemption for the child if the other dependency tests are met.
  • The noncustodial parent may claim an exemption for the child only if the custodial parent signs a Form 8332, Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, or a substantially similar statement, and the noncustodial parent attaches it to his or her return. [§152(e)]