(a) Facts: A husband and wife divorced in 2006. The decree permitted the husband to take the dependency exemption for the child in odd-numbered years provided that he paid all court-ordered support.
In 2013, the wife had custody of the child. The husband was current on child support. The father claimed the dependency exemption on his tax return. He did not file a copy of Form 8332 signed by the wife.
The IRS disallowed the exemption and assessed a deficiency. The husband appealed to the Tax Court.
(b) Issue: Was the husband permitted to take the dependency exemption?
(c) Answer to Issue: No.
(d) Summary of Rationale: The divorce decree was entered in 2006. For exemptions transferred before July 2, 2008, the transfer may be enforceable even without Form 8332 if the transfer meets the requirements in force in 2006. To claim such a transfer, however, the husband was required to attach a copy of the divorce decree to his 2013 tax return. He did not do that.
Even if the husband had attached a copy of the divorce decree to his return, the exemption would still not have been transferred. “Under the decree, petitioner’s entitlement to the dependency exemption deduction was conditioned on his payment of child support for the year. The decree, therefore, does not conform to the substance of Form 8332 or satisfy the requirements of sec. 152(e)(2).” 2017 WL 4012872, at *3 n.6. The exemption is transferred only by an unconditional statement.
Finally, the husband could still have claimed a valid transfer if he had obtained a signed copy of Form 8332 and attached it to his 2013 return, but he did not do that, either.