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How can child support impact taxes?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2021 | Child Support |

Whether you pay or receive child support, you may wonder if it will impact your taxes. In general, it should not have any effect.

Child support is an obligation you have as a parent to support your child. If you receive it, it is simply money from the other parent to help you take care of the child. It is not income, so the IRS does not treat it as such, according to FindLaw.


There are some situations in which child support can impact your taxes. The most common one is if you owe back child support due to nonpayment or missed payments. If this happens, the state can take any income tax returns the government owes you and give it to the other parent to repay the owed support.

Your child support order may also impact your taxes if it stipulates who may claim the child as a dependent. Some orders may not include this information. It could be part of custody orders.

Filing status

Child support does not have an impact on your filing status. The IRS does not consider your role as a parent or payment of child support for filing statuses. They depend on factors such as your marital status and your responsibility for providing overall support to the household.

Income amount

You should never include child support you receive as income. It will also not impact your Earned Income Credit because it is not income under IRS rules. You could face tax issues if you include it as income.

Child support has little effect on your income taxes. There is only one specific situation in which it could affect your tax return and that is if you owe overdue support payments.