We're starting an FSA program at work that includes dependent care expenses. M already has one but she wasn't a legal guardian for E at the time of her last open enrollment and we didn't get our act together to start it up during the 30 days after the adoption so we've been waiting for her next open enrollment period to come around. Now I have the option of setting aside $5000 pre-tax for daycare. This is great, except that it means we have to make a decision. An infuriating, insulting decision. Which of us will claim E on our taxes this year? Because only one of us can, and unlike what we do with our mortgage every year (plug it into both of our tax returns to see who it helps more before deciding who claims it), we have to decide this right now.
Please excuse me while I lose my shit for a moment...
[Edited 30 minutes later to say... Never mind. Lost my nerve already. Actually, I just have a very sick little boy and what is likely to be a long, worried night ahead of me and I'm not in the mood for any blog drama this rant might have sparked. I saved the original post in my drafts, so maybe I'll post it again another time.]
I'm totally going to come back and delete the above once I cool off. I get that rage like that will only serve to divide us further and it's not representative of how I feel on a day to day basis. I just felt so separate and so unequal and so very angry sitting in my office FSA presentation. It was just a little more than I could bear so you get my vent.
On a more practical note, anyone have tips as to which of us should claim him? Is the general rule to go with the higher income parent or am I making that up? Also, anyone knowledgeable about dependent care FSAs versus child care tax credits and which is likely to benefit us more? Maybe we should skip the FSA business altogether? I'm totally in over my head on this stuff.
Oh and while I'm venting: Dear Japanese spammers, would you PLEASE go haunt someone else's blog for a while? I'm so sick of deleting your comments. I'd hate to go to comment moderation but I'm starting to think it's the best option, at least for a while. Lame.