With no cases for a Round-Up this week, and with Tax Day just a few days away, I thought I’d convey some recent tax advice from our Federal Appellate Court:

We sympathize with noncustodial parents who are entitled to receive documents necessary to support their claims for federal dependency exemptions and child tax credits and their former spouses violate contractual or court-ordered obligations to provide those documents. But Congress in the 1984 amendment to § 152(e)(2) precluded attempts to remedy such wrongs in federal income tax proceedings. We are not at liberty to digress from the provisions of the governing statutes merely because a case may present hard facts.

Armstrong v. C.I.R., 2014 WL 961033 (C.A.8), 5 (C.A.8,2014) (internal quotations omitted) Reminding parents that regardless of the specific dictates of a divorce decree or child support order, a non-custodial parent must have a fully executed Form 8332 in order to claim the dependency exemption for a child.

The Journal of Accountancy published a great article on this case when it was first decided by the Tax Court last year, and it’s well worth the read.

With any luck, the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Armstrong comes in time to catch some parents before they file their returns this year.

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