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January 23, 2013


Arthur Rubin

I am a tax preparer, not a lawyer, but I've heard that the Family Court can order the custodial parent to prepare the 8332 and send it to the Court and/or the non-custodial parent. In (at least) some states, the Court could bring contempt-of-court proceedings against the custodial parent if (s)he doesn't comply.

Yet another reason why an attorney should keep a tax preparer on call.

Cindy Galford

Excellent post Trish. I have lost clients because I refuse to claim the dependent exemption for the non-custodial parent with out the 8332. Like the IRS, I don't want to get in the middle of a family fight. Unfortunately, not all preparers play by the rules....

Michael Cash, EA

Even a court order finding the custodial parent in contempt for refusing to sign Form 8332 is not enough. See Clinton: T.C. Summary Opinion 2010-75


I wish all tax pros would follow this rule :)


The IRS won't allow the deduction based on an unfollowed court order, but the court order would presumably put pressure on the person to follow it, and would presumably (but IANAL) be grounds for a lawsuit to recover for damages.

Attorneys and tax preparers certainly should keep a list of references of individuals they trust to do a good job. I don't know if lawyers are allowed to keep one particular individual on call, though, as that may get into ethical issues, especially for the lawyer.

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