Georgia child support deviations – Child and dependent care tax credit

The court can deviate from the presumptive child support amount calculated by the child support worksheets for several reasons, IF the child support deviation is in the best interest of the child(ren) for whom child support is being determined. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(1)(A). The fifth deviation category under the statute is child and dependent care tax credit. OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(E). This deviation is included in the statute consider a deviation where "one of the parents is entitled to the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit." Id. A "dependent" is defined as "[a] natural or legally adopted child of the taxpayer." OCGA §48-7A-2(3). There is a specific schedule for the child and dependent care tax credit that is based upon income, and the tax credit is basically subtracted from the amount of taxes a person owes. OCGA §48-7A-3(b). A child can only be claimed as a dependent once. Thus, after a divorce, only one parent is entitled to this tax credit for each child. Generally, the parent who has primary physical custody is entitled to this credit, though the parties can negotiate this issue as part of their settlement discussions. If a parent is entitled to this tax credit, the court "may deviate from the presumptive amount of child support in consideration of such credit." OCGA §19-6-15(i)(2)(E).

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