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Changes to 2009 Forms

Updates to the Form 3506 Instructions on 03/03/2010—Instructions for Form 3506, Child and Dependent Care Expenses Credit

We replaced text on:

  • Form 3506 Instructions, Page 2, Column 1, second paragraph
  • 540/540A Booklet, Page 54, Column 1, second paragraph

Previous Version

Custodial parent. You are the custodial parent if you had physical custody of your child longer than the other parent during the calendar year. On days where custody is shared, the parent having custody of the child for more than 12 hours is considered to have custody for that day.

Revised Version

Custodial Parent and Noncustodial Parent. The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights during the year. The other parent is the noncustodial parent. If the child lived with each parent for an equal number of nights during the year, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income.

Parent Works at Night. If, due to a parent's night-time work schedule, a child lives for a greater number of days, but not nights, with the parent who works at night, that parent is treated as the custodial parent. On a school day, the child is treated as living at the primary residence registered with the school.

Reason for the changes

Federal Regulation 1.152-4 (effective for taxable years beginning after 7/2/08) changed the definition of Custodial Parent. California conforms.


For divorced, RDP terminated, separated, or never-married parents, this revision may change the determination of which parent is the custodial parent in qualifying for the child and dependent care expenses credit.

Back to Tax Form Changes for 2009

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