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Old 10-02-2009, 02:51 AM
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Exclamation Which of us should claim the credits to get the most back with a new baby?

Hello! I'm so glad I stumbled upon your site. Here is my situation:

I live with my boyfriend. We started renting our apartment in May (possible California Renter's Credit there). He has been separated from his ex-wife going on 4 years now, we have been together for 2. He is now going through the divorce process but should be able to file separate from her this year. His gross income for this year should be < $30,000 and for me < $13,000 (possible Earned Income Credit). We had our first baby in August (possible Child Tax Credit).

How would we get the most back out of our taxes? Should/can we file jointly? Are we even able to file jointly if he is still legally married? Who should claim our daughter? Who should try to claim the Renter's Credit? Am I able to claim it if he actually paid it but I paid all other expenses (so it was basically 50/50)? Neither of us attended college this year. Are there any other credits I should be aware of that I haven't mentioned?

Any advice you can offer would be very much appreciated. I have so much to worry about with a new baby and definitely don't want to leave this up to the last minute!

Thanks!
Jessi



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Old 10-06-2009, 07:17 PM
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Jessi,

You can only file jointly if you are legally married prior to the end of the tax year. Clearly, if you are legally married, you can claim your daughter as a dependent on your jointly filed tax return. Now, if you remain unmarried at the end of the tax year, and you can allow your boyfriend to claim the daughter (as it appears that the daughter is his) and this would make the most sense as he would be at the higher tax rate than you and hence you would be able to optimise your tax refund.

California will allow only 1 person to claim the tax credit and whoever claims this tax credit will get the same amount. So, as far as CA state is concerned, either one of you can claim the Renters Tax Credit, I would would recommend your boyfriend to claim it if he agrees to share the tax credit with you.

You may be entitled to child care credit, if you have paid some Day Care expenses and may also be entitled to the Earned Income tax credit as well.

I would have your CPA run the different tax scenarios to see what would generate the maximum tax refunds when you have received the actual W-2's during the tax filing season.

Good luck!

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