Since January 1st, 2018, the most frequent question we get on the tech support line has to do with tax adjustments. The TCJA (Tax Cut and Jobs Act) of 2018 has created quite a bit of confusion on how the Kansas Child Support Calculator should create the suggested tax adjustment value.
We’ve written about this previously in several blogs but let’s take a moment to present an updated picture of just how the ITC adjustment suggestion works with respect to two of the four parts of the ITC adjustment calculation.
Remember that your Bradley Child Support Calculator suggests an Income Tax Considerations adjustment based on current (2018) tax law, not 2017 or some earlier taxes.
The Federal dependent exemption was abolished by the TCJA starting in 2018. However, KS tax law has not been changed for the Kansas dependent exemption, so the current KS tax rules still allow a dependent exemption. The Tax Results created by the Bradley Child Support Calculator report clearly shows the abolished Federal dependent exemption in a green highlighted area:
The dependent exemption used in the suggested Income Tax Adjustment is the portion circled in RED in the example above. The dependent exemption values are directly linked to the “Tax Deduction To” input on the Children page of the program and allocated to the parent you select.
The CTC (Child Tax Credit)
The TCJA increased the Child Tax Credit to $2000 per child from the $1000 previous value. There were also limits placed on the income applicability of this credit. For a parent who files married filing joint, the credit is fully applicable up to an adjusted gross income of $400,000 (AGI – shown on IRS form 1040 line 38).
From $400,001 to $440,000 there is a phase out of the credit. Above $440,000 the credit is fully phased out and not available to that parent. If the parent files with any other status, then the credit is fully applicable up to $200,000, but from $200,001 to $240,000 the credit is fully phased out. Above $240,000 the credit is not available to that parent.
Keep in mind that the CTC is available only for qualified children. For CTC purposes, this will usually mean that the child must be related to the taxpayer in one of several ways (son, daughter, grandchild, etc.), must live in the taxpayer’s home more than half the year, must not provide more than half of his or her own support, and be 16 or younger at the end of the tax year.
The Bradley Child Support Calculator program will look at the entry for “Tax Deduction To” on the children page to determine which parent can take the CTC. Normally only the custodial parent can receive this credit, but there is a special rule for divorced parents. Using IRS form 8332, the custodial parent can waive their right to claim the CTC in favor of the non-custodial parent for one or more tax years.
Under the TCJA, which abolished the Personal Exemption for dependents, there is some confusion as to whether IRS Form 8332 is still applicable to the CTC, so even though the Child Support Calculator recognizes that it may be, and you may show the CTC tax deduction as allocated to the non-custodial parent on the Children page (and the Calculator’s suggestion for the ITC value is based on the entries you make in the “Tax Deduction To”), you may wish to consult with your tax advisor as to new revisions to the Form 8332 instructions in deciding whether to make that allocation.
Finally, in addition to the updated CTC there is a new credit introduced by the TCJA – commonly referred to as the “Family Credit.” This $500 credit is available for each dependent who is not a “qualified child” for CTC purposes (age 16 or younger at the end of the tax year), but who are qualified dependents of the parent with whom they reside. This credit added to the CTC, and shown as the “family credit” value on the Income Tax Considerations Adjustment Detail report.