Tax information for Parents of Kidnapped Children

Topic 357 – Tax Information for Parents of Kidnapped Children

You may claim a kidnapped child as your dependent if the following requirements
are met:

  1. The child must be presumed by law enforcement to have been kidnapped by
    someone who is not a member of your family or a member of the child's family,
  2. The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred,
    the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of
    the portion of such year before the date of kidnapping.
If both of these requirements are met, the child may meet the requirements
for purposes of determining:
  • The dependency exemption
  • The child tax credit, and
  • Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing

This tax treatment will cease to apply as of your first tax year beginning
after the calendar year in which either there is a determination that the
child is dead or the child would have reached age 18, whichever occurs first. 

For more information, refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard
Deduction, and Filing Information.

I thank The Browser for the pointer.


Completely logical, but...something's just plain wrong when we have to consider the tax status of kidnapped kids.

According to all I have heard, kids are usually kidnapped by the non-custodial parent, which as I read it, bar them from the deduction. So this regulation doesn't cover the majority of cases.

I Second Zamfir.
If you truly have a kindnapped child, getting a tax deduction is not your biggest concern.

Cold. Just plain cold.

What if you are the kidnapper can you also claim the kid and take a deduction from any ransom?

Who doesn't love morbidity in the tax code?!

One problem is that it assumes that you know who the kidnapper is, or at least whether they are a family member or not.

Also, if you are the kidnapping parent, are you still entitled to a deduction?

I agree with JSIS. How amazing is the US tax code that it even includes direction for people with kidnapped children. Our government is the best. If there was an international competition for tax codes and how detailed and precise they are, then ours would win, fo sho.

hahah That's the way it should be :]

Very helpful information. Thanks for sharing it!
pool cues

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