“Someone Else Claimed My Dependent” — How To Straighten Things Out

How to file your taxes when someone else has already claimed your dependent

Claiming a dependent is usually pretty simple: you give the IRS their social security number, certifying that your relationship with that person satisfies a few simple rules. But things can get more complicated, especially if someone else also claims the same person as a dependent. If they file their return first, the IRS will assume it’s legitimate and award them the full tax benefit of the dependent. Then your return will be rejected when you try to e-file.

What can you do then?

The process is fairly straightforward. After your e-filed return has been rejected because someone else claimed the same dependent you need to file a paper return. You can still prepare your return online, but instead of e-filing you will need to print it out, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence proving that you have the right to claim the dependent.

2014 Tax Return Coupon

The IRS will then review both returns claiming that dependent and award them to the taxpayer who most deserves to claim them.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you actually can claim the person in question as a dependent. There are two types of dependents, qualifying children and qualifying relatives, and both have different requirements.

Criteria for claiming a qualifying child

In order to claim someone as a qualifying child, he or she must

  • Be your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these
  • Be under age 19, under age 24 if a full-time student, or any age if permanently and totally disabled
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
  • Have lived with you for at least half the year, unless absent due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military service
  • Not have provided more than half of his or her own support

Criteria for claiming a qualifying relative

In order to claim someone as a qualifying relative, he or she must

  • Have lived with you all year as a member of your household, or be one of the following family members: child, parent, sibling, stepparent, stepchild, stepsibling, half sibling, grandparent, grandchild, child-in-law, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew. 
  • Be a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
  • Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
  • Not be a qualifying child of you or someone else
  • Have a gross income of less than $3,800
  • Have more than half of their total support for the year provided by you

When you sent your cover letter and evidence along with your return, you should strive to prove that you satisfy all of the requirements for the type of dependent that you are trying to claim.

Can I find out who claimed my dependent?

The IRS can’t tell you who else has claimed the dependent for several reasons. One is that since they don’t know who made the right claim, they don’t want to violate the privacy of someone who really is claiming their own child. Another is that there’s always the potential for mistakes, and it doesn’t make much sense to punish someone for accidentally writing a “4″ that looks like a “9″ when copying a Social Security number.

What if two people both meet the requirements to claim a dependent?

If two different people both have the right to claim the dependent according to the criteria listed above, the IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year. If the dependent lived with both people for an equal amount of time, then the IRS will award the dependent to the taxpayer with the higher AGI.

Why dependents require a Social Security number

For a while, dependents didn’t require a Social Security number at all. The IRS used to take taxpayers’ word for it when they claimed dependents. But in 1987, the rule changed to require taxpayers to give a Social Security number for every dependent they claimed. And suddenly, seven million dependents disappeared. Many of them were probably due to misunderstandings: two divorced parents each claiming all of their kids, for example. But others could have been due to shady behavior, including claiming children while knowing someone else would claim them, or even fabricating dependents entirely.

Prevent this in the future

The problem this year can be solved by mailing in a paper return, but how do you prevent this from happening in future years? The IRS is working to improve its safeguards against tax fraud and identity theft, but these aren’t perfect. The best thing you can do to prevent someone else from claiming your dependent is to file your taxes as early as possible. That way your e-filed return will be accepted and theirs will be rejected. Then you’ll get your refund on time and the burden of proof will be on them to prove they meet the dependent criteria.

Photo via CarbonNYC on Flickr. 

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 7:25 pm and is filed under Tax Tips.

521 Responses to ““Someone Else Claimed My Dependent” — How To Straighten Things Out”

  1. j. lawson says:

    Is There A # That I Can Call Too See If My Child Has Been Claimed Already?

    • Markette Plummer says:

      Can I have the number to find out if someone is already claimed my child

      • quick says:

        Try to e-file they’ll let you know

        • K. Lytle says:

          My ex husband claimed all 4 of my children on his taxes and myself without my permission. I had actually notified him through email and text before tax season opened he was NOT allowed to claim any of us. Also 3 of the kids are Not his.

          • K. Lytle says:

            How do I turn him in? I do Not want to be held liable for his tax fraud. He will not give me a copy of it either.

          • Tax Advisor says:

            Hi,
            As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children.
            After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
            To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependents.

    • ymont says:

      What is the #?

      • Tax Advisor says:

        Hi Ymont,
        The IRS number is 800-829-1040.

        • Rae says:

          This number is absolutely useless! Its all automated and no human picks up. Add to that it keeps telling you to go to the IRS website then hangs up on you. I need an educated English speaking human to speak with so I can straighten this out. My child has been taken care of by me and lived with me since birth and the childs father does the bare minimum yet he claimed him on his taxes. Where is a valid number?

    • K.Khan says:

      I am not sure what happened because we filed paper. But we went on line to get our transcripts and both of my children had been deleated from my tax return causing us to owe as apposed to getting a tax return.

      There is NO-ONE who can claim my kids, I was divorced and their Dad has no contact and pays no support. In fact their names were changed 3 years ago and he has no clue what there names even are, much less their SS#.

      The thing is my son is applying for college financial aid and we need correct tax transcripts NOW. There has already been a huge delay. And the internet says they will not even send us a rejection letter explaining things until the 2nd of next month. Is that insane or what. Nothing online says someone else is claiming them, they have just been deleted, with no explanation at all. All information was given correct names and socials daughter checked for CTC. I am just disgusted.

  2. A. P. says:

    In what kind of cases would it go further then you demonsrating your position as the rightful HOH?

  3. Linda Diaz says:

    Hi, I do not know if i am contacting the correct place, but I am seperated from my husband and disabled. Is it possible that he can claim me as a dependent on his tax return?
    If so, is there a way i can find out if he has? For some reason this has been heavy on my mind and i need to know if it’s possible.
    I have no other of checking online, only through the library computer…so could you email me the answer(s) to my email address?
    dz_lnd@yahoo.com
    Thank you,
    Sincerely,
    Linda Diaz

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Linda,
      One of our customer service representatives will contact you by email regarding this issue.
      Thanks.

      • kt says:

        I have claimed my daughter for the past 3 years and all of a sudden her mother said she claimed her this year but she only worked 3 months. I feel like she had someone else claim her. I support her more than her mother. Shoul i file an amended taan amended tax return. Please email me @ransom9316613@gmail.com. than you

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi KT,
          As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.

          After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

          To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  4. Jenna says:

    My federal return was rejected. My boyfriend said he knew I claimed our kid he was just “seeing if he could get anything”. He got the money and i didn’t but according to him I filed first. Could this be?

  5. Jenna says:

    Hi, My sons father had claimed myself and our son as dependents (2010) and come to find out his aunt had already claimed our son (and possibly myself) because we had lived with them in 2009. We only lived with them for 3 months of 2010 and they never asked for our permission to do so. They are claiming we depended on them during both years but my sons father was working full-time both years (with only a 4 week break because of a death of our best friend). He provided everything for my son and I during both of those years. I’m not sure how to go about this situation and could use any advice regarding this issue, please and thank you!

  6. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Jenna,
    If your boyfriend’s tax return was accepted by the IRS, and he claimed the same dependent that you did, then his tax return must have been received by the IRS first, unless your tax return had already been rejected for a different reason.
    At this point, though, it doesn’t really matter which tax return the IRS received first, because your boyfriend has already had his refund released with your dependent claimed. The only way to rectify the situation so that everyone’s tax return is correct is to have your boyfriend file an amended tax return WITHOUT claiming your dependent. Once the amended tax return is accepted, he will be required to pay back part of his refund to the IRS, and you will be able to file your tax return and claim your dependent. An amended tax return must be filed by mail, but it can be prepared and printed out here at RapidTax.com for a fee. If your boyfriend files his amended tax return, you will probably also have to file your tax return by mail. You may also wish to contact the IRS directly, and see if you can request that the same IRS agent handle the corrections to both your tax return and your boyfriend’s tax return, so that it will be processed without further complications.
    Thanks.

    • Toya says:

      I had gave permission to my sister to file my two kids and me my sister and mother got into a disagreement about the and my sister trying to cheat out of my money now my mother had called the irs on her telling them that my sister was not suppose to file them but I gave her permission too file them what will happen next

      • Tax Advisor says:

        Hi Toya,
        The dependents will be granted to whoever they spent more time living with during the tax year. Also, if they spent the most time with your sister, she can show proof proving she has the right to claim the dependents.

  7. Tax Advisor says:

    Hi Jenna,
    Your son’s father would not be able to claim you as a dependent because your relationship to him is not one of the qualifying relationships allowed by the IRS. However, he should be able to claim your son. The best way to rectify this situation is if his aunt will file an amended tax return, and remove your son from her dependents. Then you will be able to file a tax return for that year and claim your son. If you cannot reach an amicable resolution on this matter, you will need to contact the IRS and inform them that she has claimed your son although she is not entitled to, and the IRS will have to take action.
    Thanks.

    • Kebrina Walker says:

      Hi my daughters father claimed her on his taxes without my permission and his taxes came back already. I have documentation stating that I’m her mother, I take her to doctors appointments, and all her documentation has my name there. I also receive government assistance in Washington, DC. His name is not on the birth certificate and I have mail from another address stating that I do not live there. I live with my father in Landover, MD in another residence.

      • Tax Advisor says:

        Hi Kebrina,
        You will have to file a paper return (mail in your tax return), along with a cover letting explaining why you qualify to claim your daughter. Also, you will include copies of evidence claiming you have the right to claim your daughter.
        Once the IRS receives this, they will review it along with the father’s return and grant the dependent to whoever rightly qualifies to claim her.

  8. latest technologies says:

    What i do not realize is actually how you’re now not actually a lot more neatly-preferred than you may be right now. You are very intelligent. You recognize thus considerably in terms of this matter, made me individually imagine it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. Always deal with it up!

  9. Char says:

    For the pass two years there has been someone claiming my dependent. Making me pay back. I have contacted IRS on numerous occasions even filing motion to reconsider and provided the required documents to get the process started, and nothing has been done. At this point do I need to get an attorney involved? Thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Char,

      Our advice is that you file your tax return with your dependent listed on it. Although, he/she may already be claimed, this will cause the IRS to audit your tax return. An audit should help resolve the problem. However, you must be prepared to provide proof that the person you are claiming meets the qualifications of a dependent. Consulting an attorney can be expensive, so you may want to consider initiating an audit before seeking legal recourse.

  10. Char says:

    Thank you there was an audit done and I provide everything requested and still I will owe or they never receive my documents.

  11. C. Noble says:

    Is there a way to have someone contact me about this? My boyfriend has a mediated parenting plan and it was stated that hiim and his ex alternate who claims the child every year. This previous year (filing in 2011) she was asked if she claimed the child, she said “just for the child income credit” is there any way to still have this audited? We tried getting ahold of our attorney for information, but he does not even contact us back anymore.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi C,

      If your boyfriend and his ex both claimed the same child as a dependent, it will automatically prompt an audit from the IRS. An audit should help you sort things out.

  12. Alice says:

    The father of my son is trying to claim him. He’s not listed anywhere on the birth certificate no proof that he’s even the father and I’ve never lived with him always by myself and he’s never lived with me. Is the anyway that he can claim my son and what do I do if he does?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Alice,

      It sounds like the father of your son doesn’t live with your son or help support him. If this is the case he shouldn’t be able to claim him. In order to claim a child, he or she must live with you for at least half the year and you must provide at least half of their support. If the father does claim him, go ahead and claim him as well. This should prompt an IRS audit and will give you an opportunity to sort the situation out with the IRS.

      • undercover dad says:

        My ex wife has legally full custody of kids as of august i left the house up in to point i paid all the bills even after i left and still take care of my kids all bills are in her name have anther home that we rent in my name her motherinlaw and her went and claimed my kids behind my back and now say i never lived there or paid any bills even though she secretly drops kids off to me 5 times a week. I dont know if i can even prove i ever lived there just the bills i paid im sure he does take care of your kid how would he get the ss number my wife says the same about me the only one who truly knows the truthe are my children all because of money hungry woman, where men have to pay them off to see there own kids

      • Whitney says:

        My mother filed for my son this but his father forgot to take him off his tax paper how do i go about this

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi Whitney,
          The father can file an amended return to correct the mistake made and take your son off of his listed dependents or your mother can send proof to the IRS to show she has right to claim your son as a dependent.

  13. BOB says:

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS THERE A NUMBER I CAN CALL AND SEE IF SOMEONE FILE ME AS THEY DEPENDENT????

  14. jeffery kennedy says:

    who can i report my brother from claiming myself, he has done for years, when he has not ever suported me at anytime at all?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jeffery,

      The best thing to do is just to paper file as an independent person. You can include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS. If your brother claims you, and you do not file as his dependent, this should prompt an audit, which will force him to offer proof of his support for you. Hopefully this resolves the situation.

  15. Distraught says:

    What is the next step to take if I efiled my returns already and someone else claimed my children? He pays child support but the children have lived with me the full 12 months out of the year and I support them financially. The IRS has contacted me via email what do I do now?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Dear Distraught,

      The best thing to do is get in contact with the IRS, either by emailing them back or calling at 1-800-829-1040. Explain your situation and get their advice. You can also paper file your return and claim your child as a dependent anyway, this should prompt an IRS audit which will give you the opportunity to prove the child is your dependent.

  16. Tracy Bricks says:

    My soon to be ex husband filed his taxes and used one of our children behind my back. I have the court order and rental agreement showing I had custody of our son. How long does it take approximately to get it resolved? My e-file was rejected due to this situation.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tracy,

      The first step is to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Explain your situation and get their advice. If your e-file has been rejected, you can always paper file and along with your return include a letter explaining how the child is rightfully your dependent. When two tax filers claim the same dependent, the IRS usually follows up with an audit, which should settle the matter.

  17. Jessica says:

    I just went thru a custody battle and the court papers say that I can claim our daughter this year and her father next year… Well I’m worried his fiance is going to try and file our daughter on her taxes… Is there anything I can do to prevent it or if it does happen what can I do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jessica,

      The best thing to do in this situation is to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. You can explain your situation and they should be able to tell you if your daughter has been claimed. If someone else does claim her, the best thing to do is file as you normally would, claiming your daughter like you were supposed to. You can submit a letter with your return explaining your situation to the IRS. If it comes to that, the IRS will audit your returns, which should settle the matter in your favor.

  18. terria says:

    Hello, I am writing my husband has a 4yr old daughter, who has been living with us since 2009. We took her mother to court recently and were given full custody. My husband was deployed for 2010 and at that time my stepdaughter lived with me in our home. Her mother filed her on her taxes without our knowledge . But the mother did not provide any financial support since birth and she did not live with her at all. My husband supported her the entire time. Is there anything we can do I do have documents showing the child lived here and attended school the entire time in nc with me while her father was deployed.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Terria,

      If you and your husband are filing jointly, the best thing to do is file as you normally would, claiming his daughter as a dependent. Instead of e-filing, you can paper file and submit along with your return a letter explaining the situation to the IRS. Two people claiming the same dependent will most likely provoke an audit, which should help settle the matter in your favor.

  19. TASHA says:

    HELLO, IM WRITING BECAUSE I TRIED TO E-FILE MY TAXES YESTERDAY AND THEY WERE REJECTED STATING THAT SOMEONE HAD ALREADY CLAIMED MY DAUGHTER AS A DEPENDENT….WHAT CAN I DO TO GET THIS TAKIN CARE OF BECAUSE I DIDNT GIVE ANYONE MY PERMISSION TO CLAIM HER..

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tasha,

      The first thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Describe your situation to them and get their advice. They should be able to help you. Also, though your e-filed return was rejected, you can also paper file. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS and providing evidence that your daughter is in fact your dependent. Two different returns claiming the same dependent should provoke an audit, which will allow you to sort this situation out.

      • andrea says:

        If we are audit because someone filed my child will I still be able to get my money

        • Tax Advisor says:

          Hi Andrea,
          If you successfully defend your audited tax return to the IRS and prove with documentation that you meet all the criteria to claim the dependent, then you will probably be granted the dependent and receive the money. However, if you do not provide the documentation proving you meet all the criteria to claim the dependent child, then you won’t.

  20. joamy says:

    I just got my taxes rejected because it says that my 2nd dependent was already claimed on someone else taxes…… I believe its my daughters father, how can i find out???? Im so upset because im in NJ he’s in FL, doesnt pay child support or anything….. Please, what should be my next step?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Joamy,

      Your next step should be to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and find out who claimed your dependents. Then, you should paper file, just as you normally would, but include a cover letter explaining your situation and offering evidence that the dependents are in fact your dependents. If worst comes to worst, the IRS will audit both of your returns and then give you the opportunity to prove once and for all that the dependents are yours.

  21. Aundrea says:

    I e-fied my taxes and someone has claimed 2 out of 3 of my children. I then Paper filed my taxes and sent a cover letter explaing what happed alon with a court order from the jude showing who can claim my children (just in case their father claimed them) if he did in fact claim them and i proved my point to the IRS by sending proof will my process go faster? And will the IRS notify the courys that he brock an court order.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Aundrea,

      You did the right thing paper filing and providing proof that the kids are your dependents. It sounds like you provided pretty definitive proof that should clear the matter up pretty quickly. At this point, the worst thing that can happen is that the IRS audits both of your returns and then decides the kids are your dependents. As for the IRS notifying the court, you’ll have to call them at 1-800-829-1040 and ask them if they can do that sort of thing.

  22. Sherryl says:

    Tried to file yesterday for my 4 year old granddaughter as I have been doing for the past 4 years.
    It was rejected so as I was advised by IRS I sent in a paper return along with copies of my daughters and granddaughters birth
    certificates and their social security cards and my state id. So that they can see we are indeed grandmother and granddaughter plus we all have the same last name. We are positive it was my nephew not only does he have a different last name but he has no right because he does not support her nor does he reside with her. Do you think I sent enough proof to correct this issue. What is the procedure now with that being done and about how long does it take.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sherryl,

      You did the right thing paper filing and explaining your situation to the IRS. Unfortunately, in order to claim her as a dependent, you have to do more than just prove your relationship and their age. You also have to prove that they lived with you for at least half the tax year and that you provided at least half of their support. But don’t worry, if two people claim the same dependent, the IRS usually audits the returns. This should give you an opportunity to prove officially that the girl is your dependent.

  23. adam says:

    hi i just filed my taxes and was told it was rejectd because someone claimed my daughter the weird thing is they didnt claim my son can i call the irs to find out who claimed my daughter i ask there mother and she swore up and down hat no one i her family claimed her but i think she is full of it i just waned to know if i can call the irs to find out who claimed my child

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Adam,

      Yep, you can give the IRS a call at 1-800-829-1040. They should be able to tell you if your daughter has been claimed and by whom. They should also be able to advise you on the best way to resolve the situation.

  24. daniel says:

    if my son is claimed on his mothers, mothers taxs and i have a court order that i claim him on the odd number years and she claims him what will happen to her and is that even legal for her to do. and if she already filed and i go to file him sents he leaved with me the whole year and the mother never payed child support or had anything to do with him.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Daniel,

      The best thing to do in this situation is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and get their advice. You should be sure to file as you normally would, claiming your son like you are entitled to. Even if your e-file is rejected on these grounds, you can still paper file and include a cover letter explaining your situation. Two people claiming the same dependent should spark an IRS audit which will then give you an official opportunity to resolve this situation in your favor.

  25. Sherryl says:

    Thank you!
    Now what kind of proof is acceptable that she lives with me. She is 4 years old.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sherryl,

      According to the IRS, you can prove that your dependent lived with you by school, medical, daycare, or social service records that show you and the child sharing the same address. You can also provide a letter on the official letterhead from a school, medical provider, social service agency, or place of worship that shows your names, common address, and dates. In some cases, the IRS may require you to show more than one document. This IRS form can help you figure out which documents are acceptable.

  26. Felicia says:

    My mother has custody of my little cousin and has had custody of her for a few years now. She tried to claim her as a dependent on her taxes, but it was rejected because they say she was already filed. She gave noone permission to file her, so what can she do to resolve this problem? She has no idea who did it, but she thinks that the childs mother went and gave someone her social security number to someone to file her…… so we need advice on how to get this resolved. Thank you in advance!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Felicia,

      The first thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. They should be able to tell you who claimed the girl as a dependent. The way to resolve the situation is for your mother to paper file as she normally would, claiming her niece as a dependent. But she should also include a cover letter explaining her situation as well as evidence proving the child is rightfully her dependent. If this still doesn’t resolve the situation, the IRS will audit both returns, giving your mother a chance to prove her case once and for all.

  27. Shawn says:

    My kids dad went to get his taxes prepared his information was rejected it was said that our son has already been carried I didn t give anyone bt him permission to carry him what should I do.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shawn,

      The first thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and find out who is claiming your kids. If someone else has claimed him, you can paper file and include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence that the child is in fact your dependent. If this doesn’t resolve the situation, the IRS will audit both of the returns in question, giving you the opportunity to prove your case.

  28. champ says:

    My sons moved in a lady with her three children and the have one of their own. the lady’s father claimed three of the children last year and gave them 2 of 3 thousand dollars and helped himself with the rest. This year he has done so again and told them he would give them 5 thousand dollars and keep the rest. Ms son is very upset about this situation. the children live in his home and he provides for them. his father in-law claim he is always having money problems and takes food and money during the year from them. what can my son do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Champ,

      One thing is clear: the children are not rightfully the dependents of their grandfather. They do not live with him for at least half the year, and it doesn’t sound like he provides at least half of their support. If your son and this lady are married, they can file a joint return and claim the children as their dependents. If they aren’t married, then the only person who can claim them is their mother. She can do this even if her father claims them by filing a paper return and including a cover letter and evidence that they are indeed her dependents. This should resolve the problem. If not the IRS will audit both their returns and she will have an opportunity to prove her case.

  29. Angela says:

    I went to file my taxes and it were rejected because one of my children had been use. Unfortunately it was my son that passed away in October. What do I need to?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Angela,

      The best thing to do is paper file your return. Even though your son passed away, you can still claim his as a dependent for the year. When you paper file, claim him as a dependent and include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence that proves you and your son pass the four tests (relationship, residence, age, and support) described in the body of this post. If this still doesn’t resolve the problem, the IRS will audit both of the returns in question and this should resolve things in your favor.

  30. tierra says:

    Hi,
    My dependent has been claimed by his aunt but she did not take care of him or he does not live with her what next step do I take so that I can rightfully carry him as my dependent

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tierra,

      The best thing to do is paper file your return claiming your dependent. If you try to e-file, it will be rejected because the dependent has already been claimed, but you can still paper file. Include with your return a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving how you and the dependent pass the four tests described in this post (relationship, residence, age, and support). If this still doesn’t resolve the issue, the IRS will audit both your return and your aunt’s. This should give you an opportunity to prove definitively that the dependent is yours.

  31. Sandra says:

    i want to know if i can claim 3 children that i am sharing a house with there mom on my taxes

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Based on your comment, it doesn’t sound like you are related to the children in question. In order to be your dependent, a child must be your child or stepchild (by blood or adoption), foster child, sibling or stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these. Furthermore, a child can’t be claimed as a dependent by more than one taxpayer, so if their mother is claiming them, that means you can’t.

  32. josh says:

    My child filed his taxes and got money back. However, he has lived at home for over the entire past year as well as he has been supported by myself and my wife for a majority of the year. Is there a way for us claiming him to override himself? Thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Josh,

      It is possible to still claim him, provided he is either under age nineteen, or under twenty-four and a full-time student. If so, all you have to do is paper file your return with a cover letter explaining your situation and offering evidence that he is your son, that he lived with you for half the year, and that you provided more than half his support. If there’s still a question in the IRS’s mind, they’ll audit both of your returns.

  33. stacy says:

    my daughters fathers friend that is a femaile lives with him and she had claimed my daughters for the past 5 years and i was unable to because she beat me to it illegally because he could not we have our children half and half and she claimed the entire year and i wanted to know if i can claim my children now for those years and if she will ust have to pay the irs back or how that works exaccrly? what do i need to provide? and who do i conatct and how long is the process take to get my refund for the past 5 years ?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Stacy,

      The best thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Your situation is so unique, I’m not sure exactly how to handle it. I will tell you that even if you can retroactively claim dependents for the last five years, you will only be able to get a refund back for the last three years.

  34. Lakeyasha says:

    I just tried ti file my taxes and it was rejected twice saying my 2 kids social security number was already used. I don’t know what to do next.I kept trying to resend it and it keeps rejecting me to file. My kids lived with me all their lives and I claim them every year.Now this will hold me up for getting my refund within the normal two weeks I usually get it.

  35. Lakeyasha says:

    Do you around how long it takes after mailing your taxes and proof that the kids stay with you? I really needed my money fast.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lakeyasha,

      You did the right thing mailing in a paper return and providing evidence that the dependents are yours. Unfortunately, the best case scenario for the IRS reviewing a paper return is six to eight weeks. If they have to review evidence, it can take as long as six months. And all of this is assuming that your return doesn’t get audited. In that case it could potentially take even longer.

  36. shely says:

    can my son claim me as a dependent when he files his taxesif I get medca and foodstamps but have no income at all since 2010

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shely,

      There are two types of dependents: 1) qualifying child, and 2) qualifying relative. Since you are his mother, you cannot be his qualifying child, but you can be his qualifying relative IF a) your gross income for the year is less than $3,700 and b) your son must have provided more than half of your total support for the year. Refer to this section of IRS Publication 501 for further details.

  37. Flip Wilson says:

    Two issues here;
    (1) A life long friend of the family, age 59, dying with cancer, separated from an evil spouse with no place to go and now on food stamps, lived with us for most of 2011. Her husband is devious and money hungry like you would not believe. We have cared for her for more than 9 months out of the year but I am certain the husband will claim her on his taxes. What should we do and shouldn’t we be claiming her on our taxes?
    (2) Living with us for all of 2011 is also my 20 year old son, his girlfriend and their child which is our grandson. I just learned the mother’s brother, even though the child lived here sense it’s birth in August 2011 and the mother lived here for all of 2011, has claimed them on his taxes. I was shocked, they have only been there for two weekend visits and that was only recent in 2012.

    Thank you so much in advance for any feed back as I may not get the chance to reply.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Flip,

      To address your first issue, from what you’ve told me, it sounds like you should be able to claim her provided she lived with you all year as a member of your household, her gross income is less than $3,700, and you provided more than half of her support. Her husband will not be able to claim her, as they are married. As for your second question, you should be able to claim them both. Your son’s girlfriend has to meet the same requirements as your family friend, but your grandchild sounds pretty definitely your dependent. If someone else claims them, file a paper return claiming them both and include a cover letter explaining your situation as well as evidence that they meet all the requirements of your dependents. Here’s an IRS publication that could be helpful in sorting through the details.

  38. esmeralda says:

    hi
    i have i my daughter and her father and i have joint custody so each year either parent has to report her. this year it was his year but am not sure if he reported heror someone else how can i figure out he claim her this year ?

  39. Des says:

    I just tried to claim my fiance child that has lived with us for 2 years. She moved with her aunt in november of 2011. When i sent my return it said she has been claimed already, what should i do we have school records and everything.

  40. Des says:

    My fiance daughter lived with us for two years. She moved with her aunt in November 2011. I cliamed her last year, but when i did my returns this year it rejected them because someone else claimed her. We took care of her the entire year though. What should i do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Des,

      First off, it doesn’t sound like you yourself are eligible to claim her. In order to claim a child as a dependent, the child must be your son, daughter, adopted child, stepchild, brother, sister, stepsibling, foster child, or a descendant of one of these. Now, if your fiance wants to claim her, he should submit a paper return claiming her as a dependent along with a cover letter explaining his situation and evidence that she was in fact his dependent. The IRS will either award him the dependent or audit the two returns claiming him, giving him an opportunity to further prove his case.

  41. Sandy says:

    I just found out someone claim my daugther. I never recieve her first ss card in the mail I had to reapply for it I just moced to this place before I give birth what im I suppose to do.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sandy,

      You should paper file your tax return and claim your daughter as a dependent, only be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence that she is your dependent. You don’t need a Social Security card – here’s a document with all the acceptable evidence. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, the IRS will audit both your return and that of the person who claimed you, giving you an opportunity to prove your case for good.

  42. vanessa says:

    hi someone used my daughters ss number without me knowing i never gave her ss to any one but i was gnna do my taxes with this income tax place and i didnt like how much they were charging so she said ok and gave me my daughters ss card back but when i had went to do my taxes at my regular place i go to my taxes were rejected saying someone else claimed my daughter besides me what can i do i sent the irs the taxes thru the mail will i still be able to get my taxes if so how long will it take

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Vanessa,

      You did the right thing paper filing your return in the mail. Did you send a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving your daughter is your dependent? The IRS will need this information in order to let you claim her. If the evidence that she’s your dependent is inconclusive, the IRS will audit both returns, giving you a chance to prove that she’s your dependent once and for all. A normal paper return can take up to six weeks to process, but processing evidence, and an audit, could take even longer. It’s impossible to say, but it could be anywhere from six weeks to six months.

  43. James says:

    I was taking care of my girlfriends child since she was born sept 7, 2011. My girlfriend gave me her daughters social so i can claim her daughter since she was not working.I filled taxes yesterday. Now the father of my girlfriends daughter wants to file taxes and claim my gf’s daughter. What will happen, and who will win? this is with my girlfriends consent of her daughter.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi James,

      If two taxpayers claim the same dependent, the IRS will most likely audit both returns. You’ll then be asked to offer evidence that the child in question is in fact your dependent. The IRS will then award the dependent to whoever has the more legitimate claim.

  44. James says:

    Thanks for the response tax adviser much appreciated.

  45. Rick says:

    I want to ask I had 2 kids born at USA but cause the INS canceled my working permit i back to my country that mean I can’t claim them, so my aunt finally claim them, I am afraid of it ,later if my child can not sponsor me so I could go back to live in usa, you think that’s legal they claim my child but my child does not live in the usa?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rick,

      Yes it is wrong. In order for your aunt to claim the children as dependents, they must have lived with her for at least half the year. If she lives in the U.S. and the children do not this would be impossible. The best thing to do in this situation is to contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

  46. shelai says:

    I have custody of my grandchild but do not file return, we receive ssi disability, and I think that my daughter is claiming him on her return. How can I find out and what can be done. She does not support child in any way and he doesn’t live with her at all.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shelai,

      The best thing to do in this situation is to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Explain your situation and they should be able to tell you if your granddaughter is being claimed as a dependent. You might consider paper filing a return and claiming your granddaughter as your dependent (include a cover letter and some evidence). At the very least this would prompt the IRS to audit both returns, which would probably deny your daughter the ability to claim the child.

  47. Jackie Zarate says:

    hello, my question is: over a year ago I lost my son documentation he is two years, I think people where we leaved at used to claim him as dependent. what I can do to report it and where?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jackie,

      The best thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Explain your situation to them and they should be able to tell you if he has been claimed and what to do about it.

  48. LJ says:

    I think I’m clear based on reading the article but I want to be sure. I live in VA and my son’s mother lives in SC. We agreed to claim him alternately. This is my first year claiming him but my e-file was rejected saying SSN has already been claimed. His mom said she didnt claim him. If I submit a letter stating the previous will that suffice? Will him living in SC affect my claim? I provide most of the financial support.

    Thanks
    -LJ

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi LJ,

      You can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and ask them who claimed your son. Even when your e-file is rejected, you can still paper file your return and claim your son as a dependent. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence that proves he’s your dependent. At worst, the IRS will audit both returns and you will have an opportunity to prove your case. There does seem to be a little problem, though, based on your comment. In order to claim a child as your dependent he must live with you for at least half the year. There are exceptions, such as illness or education, but it doesn’t sound like they apply in this situation. Check this IRS publication to make sure your son really does qualify as your dependent.

  49. Rey says:

    Hi, this is my first year filing a tax return and I might end up In a situation similar to some here. My sister and nephew lived with me last year and I provided half of his support. My sister asked me to claim my nephew on my taxes and give her the refund to help her out since she didn’t have a job last year. I agreed and my return was accepted by the IRS but last night she told me that my nephew’s grandmother called saying she tried to claim him as well but was rejected by the IRS because I already did. My sister said she let her claim him in the past but this year she told her not to file. My question is since the grandmother tried to file electronically but failed will I be audited? My sister says she straitened things out with the grandma and she is not going to file by mail in an attempt to claim him but I am wondering if te simple fact that she tried electronically will effect the return, will I be audited? Will it be delayed? As I said this is my first year and I don’t really know what to expect lol. Please any help would be appreitiated.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rey,

      You shouldn’t be audited just because someone tried and filed to e-file with a dependent you already claimed. If she doesn’t paper file and contest your claiming of the dependent, the IRS is most likely going to assume you’re in the right. And if you do get audited, don’t panic. As long as the dependent is rightfully yours there’s nothing to worry about.

  50. Hannah says:

    Hi, I just have one quick question. I know I’m probably over thinking this. But, my husband is 20 he turned 20 in December of last year. The tax person him and his mom used said that she could claim him because we got married in August of 2011. He didn’t go to College this past year like he did in 2010. So my question is, did the tax person tell his mom the right thing? Because he is having to pay his mom for the money she is losing by not claiming him because he claimed me and our 8 month old son. Thanks in advanced.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Hannah,

      There are two types of dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Your husband cannot be a qualifying child because he is not under 19 or under 24 and a full-time student. Your husband may, however, be her qualifying relative but only if his gross income was under $3,700 and his mother provided over half of his support. If this is not the case, he can’t be her dependent. Also, FYI your marriage status is determined by the last day of the year. So if you were married on December 31, 2011, the IRS will consider you married for all of 2011. He is under no legal obligation to pay his mother for the money she is “losing.”

  51. Kira says:

    My concern now is that my ex claimed our daughter and we were supposed to split half of the return since we separated in September 2011, but now he is telling me I am not going to get anything!!! He is bitter about our split and says I don’t deserve a thing!!! I find it very unfair because we both take care of our daughter. I pay for all of her medical insurance since she was born. She is now 3.5 years-old.
    I am struggling because I only work part time, and my daughter need new clothes, but I am not the type to ask for money from my ex.
    My question now is that we both e-filed already. I know this might seem harsh, but I have to do something about it its just not fair…I am considering of amending my taxes, and re-filing and claim my daughter as well. I will submit it via mail…is this a bad idea?
    Will my previous filing affect anything or make the IRS take his side since I do already know he claimed her?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kira,

      Amending your return to claim your daughter only makes sense if you can definitively prove that she is your dependent. Can you prove that she lived with you for over half of the year? Generally, if two parents claim the same dependent, the IRS will award the child to the one with whom the child lived for the longest time over the course of the year.

  52. Nicole says:

    I’m 22 years old. My father claimed me on his tax return even though I didn’t live with him. And I graduated from college last year so I was only in school full time for 3 months out of the year. I paid for my schooling and my other bills and I worked full time and even provided the majority of the household for my disabled mother. My father told me he would amend his taxes so that might make it easier, so I included a note in my tax return stating that he made a mistake and will amend them. Now, it turns out he refuses to do it. How will the IRS sort all of this out?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nicole,

      From what you’ve told me, it sounds like you are definitely not his dependent, so the good news is that it shouldn’t be hard to prove that to the IRS. You did the right thing including a note with your return explaining the situation. The IRS should audit both of your returns and ask you both for evidence. The bad news is that audits can often take a long time. You might call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to see if there’s anything you can do to expedite the process.

  53. Geri says:

    Hi my niece and her two children had been residing with me for almost two years. I provided for the three of them. She worked a couple if jobs but not for long did not make over $2500 and still did not contribute to the household or her children. I finally had an enough and told her that she had to leave, which she did (in September 2011) and she returned a month later (October 2011) to pick up her kids. The kids still continued to come over for weekends and holidays after they left. I talked to her the other day and she told me that someone claimed the kids on their taxes. She said that the person how claimed them is her friend’s sister, who lives in another city and she has never met. I know that that person does not really have any legal rights to claim them and I was really thinking about filing via paper to claim them. Of course I never claimed her but should have and she told me that I could claim her (I mean REALLY). What do they do to the person that claimed a person, received money for claiming that person but really did not have any legal rights?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Geri,

      This woman will be made to pay the tax that she rightfully owes the IRS along with penalties and interest, but this is only likely to happen if the IRS catches something wrong with her return and audits it. You might give them a call at 1-800-829-1040 to see what they recommend doing.

  54. gina says:

    Hello,
    I have a question my husbands ex wife doesn’t allow him to claim his two children even though she doesn’t work she lets her sister who lives in a different address claim them to help her sister not have to pay and for her to receive money..
    what should he do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Gina,

      Well, what you should do depends on whose dependents the kids actually are. If they are your husband’s dependents – which would involve them living with him – then he should file his return claiming them as dependents. Paper file so that it’s not rejected and include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence that proves they are indeed his dependents.

  55. brittany says:

    i have a similar situation of some on here and i was wondering if you could help..i recently had my son in september,when i went to file my taxes this year it was rejected.i was told that my dependent was already claimed.his father pays me money but doesnt live with us and doesnt know his social security number. i want to know if theres any way i can find out who has tried to claim him.he resides in my care, under my roof and i just dont understand it..please please help me out..

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brittany,

      From what you say it sounds like your son is indeed your dependent. The best thing to do in this situation is to give the IRS a call at 1-800-829-1040 and explain your situation to them. And don’t worry, even though someone else has claimed him, you can still claim him. You’ll just have to paper file and include with your return a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence that proves your son is your dependent. The IRS will either award him to you, or audit both returns that claim him, giving you a final chance to prove your case. Good luck!

  56. Carrie says:

    Hi! I was needing some advise. I claimed seven children on my taxes. Three are my natural born children, three are children who I am in the process of adopting and lived with me the entire year, and one is a foster child that lived with me for 8 months last year. I e-filed but it was rejected because someone claimed one or more of my children. I can’t find out which child, or if it was more than one of them, or anything. I am planning to send the form by mail along with the proof showing that I have the right to claim each of them. My questions are…how long might it take to get this resolved, and now that I know how to handle the federal taxes, how do I approach this with my state taxes? I moved so I have to file with both Alabama and Louisiana.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Carrie,

      You could try calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and see if they can help you determine which of your children were claimed and who claimed them. As for the amount of time it will take to resolve this, that depends entirely on the IRS. In all likelihood it will not be fast. I would say the best case scenario is 8 weeks. But submitting evidence like that can take a lot longer, especially if they end up auditing your return. In that case it may be closer to 6 months. As far as I’m aware the same process should work for state taxes, though you might see if you are able to e-file. I would call the tax authority in each of those states to see what they recommend.

  57. rachel says:

    I tryed to claim my daughter but couldn’t, because her ss num was already claimed ho
    w do I find out who the other person is who claimed my daughter on their taxes?

  58. mercedes says:

    how can i fine out if someone used my name on thier taxes without my permission?

  59. Norman says:

    I gave my brother inlaw 2 of my kids to claim and someone already claim them which that i dont know of
    my brother inlaw recieved a letter from the IRS and he’s afraid he might be paying back

  60. J says:

    IRS will not notify of who stole which childs identity. Mail them in and then its supposed to be processed within 10 weeks. My identity was stolen in 2010 and I wasn’t notified until February 2012. Good luck

  61. Diesha says:

    How do I go about finding out who claimed my son and I?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Diesha,

      The best thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. They should be able to give you more information. You will most likely have to file a paper return with proof that you and your son are not somebody else’s dependents.

  62. Angela says:

    How do I find out whats going on with my taxes? I found out someone claimed my daughter so the irs gave me some paper work to mail of. So I mailed it off but no one has not got in contact with me.What should I do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Angela,

      You should know that resolving these sorts of issues can take weeks or even months. I wouldn’t begin to be alarmed until I hadn’t heard anything in 2-3 months. There are some things you can do however. If you are expecting a refund, you can check the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website, which should tell you what stage of processing your return is in. Alternately, you can call the IRS’s customer service at 1-800-829-1040 to speak to a live agent.

  63. melissa says:

    A friend of mine asked me to claim her daughter because i help support her and give her rides to and from stores and doctors and dentists,etc as a way to help pay gas back and money i have given throughout year to help buy clothes and food for her child. The child lives with her mother and her mothers 2 parents. 3 months later my friend came across her parents tax return and they had evidently claimed her child also but 3 months after i had already received the refund. Who has the right to claim the child if the mother never gave permission to her parents and they do not provide anything for the child? Rent and food is paid by the child’s mother and they do not help with anything for the child.
    .

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Melissa,

      First of all, no one, including the child’s mother, has the right to “let” someone claim a dependent. You can claim a dependent if your relationship with the child meets IRS requirements. In order to claim a child as a dependent, that child must be your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these. This automatically disqualifies you, no matter how much you may do to help. Based on what you’ve written, I would guess that the child’s mother should claim her and I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to.

  64. jojo says:

    My fiance and I have been claiming my soon to be step-son for years. We recently did our taxes and found out his biological father claimed him before we did this year. My fiance has a court documents of the seperation stating he was only allowed to claim him in 08. What do we do to make this right. He hasnt seen his son in over a year and hasnt paid child support either. Matter of fact he claimed him and the state took part of his claim for back child support. Please help not sure what to do!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jojo,

      First off, you and your fiance are not married and therefore cannot file a joint return. You will have to file two separate returns and only she will be able to claim her son. The first thing she should do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and explain her situation. Most likely they will tell her that she will have to paper file her return and include proof that a) the child is her dependent and b) she has greater claim to him than the child’s father.

  65. Pgasperecz says:

    I just found out that my sons grnadmother claimed my child. The mother and I have been seperated his entire life and I do pay child support. It bothers me that my son is being past around like a meal ticket for her family. How do I make a taxfraud claim? I know for a fact my so has lived with his mother the whole time because he talks to me everydya on the phone and he has never lived with his grandmother… please help.

  66. Pgasperecz says:

    How do I report someone else claiming my son who he did not live with?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Pgasperecz,

      If you are planning on claiming your son yourself, you can file a paper return, which will spark an IRS audit of everyone who has claimed him. If you are not claiming him, but just don’t want someone else to unfairly claim him, you can report fraud to the IRS using Form 3949. Refer to this page for more information.

  67. Kevin says:

    Tax advisor say. ” In order to claim a child as a dependent, that child must be your child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these”. I have read on other tax advise web sites that the child does not need to be related to the taxpayer to be claimed as a dependent. In fact the dependent doesn’t even need to be a child. What is correct?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kevin,

      That’s true. There are actually two different types of dependents: qualifying child and qualifying relative. A qualifying child must be one of those things you listed above, but a qualifying relative doesn’t have to be a child or even a blood relative at all. But these two types of dependents are not created equal – qualifying children typically get you a greater tax benefit. If a credit or deduction requires a dependent, either type qualifies, but if it specifies a qualifying child, only a qualifying child counts.

  68. guayanes says:

    my step child lived with me since january 01 to june 15 in 2011 ,then she moved to her natural father’s home , I paid for her supporting in that time period, then her natural father did claim her in his taxes , and my tax filing was rejected, do i have the right to dispute this before IRS against him y receive this benefit back to me?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Guayanes,

      In order to claim a child as your dependent, the child must have lived with you for over half of the year. Unfortunately June 15 is slightly less than six months. Plus, if there is a dispute over whose dependent your stepdaughter is, the IRS is probably more likely to award her to her natural father. Though I don’t know all the details of the situation, I would say this one is probably not worth disputing.

  69. Mary says:

    My ex husband has recently filed multiple returns from many past years that were never filed. I believe he has claimed our children on these returns and he was not legally allowed to. My returns were all filed within the proper years and included the children. Will I be audited if the SSN numbers flag from his late returns being filed?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mary,

      Yes, you might be audited. But there’s nothing to be afraid of. If the kids were rightfully your dependents, all you’ll have to do is provide evidence to the IRS demonstrating this. Plus, if it’s just regarding past year returns, you’ll ostensibly already have received your refunds, so an audit won’t delay any money getting to you.

  70. Tonya says:

    Hello what can I do if someone used my daughter social security number to claim them as there dependent on there tax refund without my permission they stole my daughters information and claimed that my child lives with them and my daughter has never lived with this person a day in her life what can be done about this issue thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tonya,

      The first thing to do is call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 and alert them of your problem. They will probably tell you to go ahead and file a paper return, claiming your daughter as your dependent. But along with your return, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your problem and evidence that proves your daughter is in fact your dependent.

  71. Andy, says:

    I want to find out who claimed my daughter. Her mother was married to another guy and was divorced close to two years. The mother worked two or three weeks out of the whole year. I have a suspicion that the mother let her ex-husband claim my daughter with the promise she get part of the refund. They had two kids together which I know he claimed. The mother still uses his address even though she has a place.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Andy,

      For more information, I would call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Your comment is a little unclear. Do you want to claim your daughter as a dependent? Have you not filed taxes yet? If this is the case, what you’ll have to do is paper file, including a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving that she’s your dependent. Be aware, though, that in order to claim someone as a dependent, you don’t have to have supported them. They just can’t have provided over half of their own support.

  72. Andy, says:

    I forgot to mention, the mother bought a new car and there’s no way that could happen because she does’nt work. I pay child support and my parents and I buy everything for my daughter and have since she was born, she’s 17 now.

  73. Kay Harmon says:

    I’m asking this for my boyfriend. He and his ex have 2 sons. Over the years he always claimed his youngest son and she claimed the oldest son. (They were never married-but legally agreed upon this) His youngest son past away last year-when he e-filed his taxes claiming the youngest son it was rejected saying someone else had already claimed him. (He suspects the ex) I’ve read the previous responses and understand about doing a paper file with a cover letter explaining the circumstance which we will do—but my question is “If it was the ex and the IRS determines he does have the right to claim him what happens then? Does he have to take her to small claims court to get the refund that she has already received or does the IRS make her pay it back?”

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kay,

      You’re correct. If the IRS determines that he deserves the dependent and someone else has wrongly claimed that portion of the refund, they will just pay your boyfriend what he’s due and then go about collecting from his ex. He shouldn’t have to go to court unless it’s to reach some sort of agreement about how they are going to claim his oldest son in the coming years.

  74. Nyesha says:

    Someone claimed my son on their 2008 taxes without my knowledge how do i find out who it was?

  75. Reynaldo says:

    Hi, I called IRS to report that someone claimed my dependent((me and my wife called) yes our two daughters because when we filled tax 2011 they responded that our dependents were already claimed by somebody, it has been 2-3 months of sending and receiving letters and documents, I never believed that this process of calling IRS to report fraud and that someone that is not even a relative could get the refund so easy, someone that me and my wife don’t even know, and the picture gets even worse because me and my wife are the victims and we are getting auditing, is hell living on planet earth, even today I receive another letter saying (we need more documentation) I have send dozens and dozens of documents to prove our daughters live with us since they were borne to this day such as “birthcertificate, residency rent payment, letter from daycare, doctors, utility bills, school, etc…) It is sad that a thief receive the refund and the victim gets punish, right now I will seek help from a lawyer even thought I don’t have money to pay for one, but probably it will be my last chance to fight for my daughters, one is 6 years old the other one is 3 year old, I just feel so sad of how this process has been, I hope at the end justice will prevail.

  76. Nathan says:

    My wife and her ex have two children, which each of them claims one for tax purposes. We found out this year he claimed both without telling us claiming it was due to money owed him while my wife was off last year on maternity leave. Would this be worth filing by paper with a letter as mentioned above?

    Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nathan,

      That depends on how much a dependent changes your tax situation. If it significantly adds to your refund, it might be worth it. But if he’s actually the child’s father, it might be difficult to prove to the IRS they the child can’t be claimed as his dependent unless you have some sort of legal agreement that states that you each claim one child each year.

  77. chico says:

    hi this is important question! i need to know can a non-dependent person claim my daughter on there taxes? like my ex gf hasnt had a job in two years and some how is getting money back at the end of the year1how is that so? she lives off county has no income wahts so ever but yet she claiming my daughter. we have joint custody and pay child support for two years now..can the person she lives with claim my daughter evn tho hes not the father?please help someone and thank you for any feed back.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chico,

      Your ex-girlfriend is allowed to claim your daughter as a dependent as long as they shared the same residence for more than half the year, your daughter is under 19 or under 24 and a student, and your daughter did not provide more than half of her own support. Whether she can claim your daughter or not is not dependent on the amount or source of her income.

      The person your ex lives with cannot claim your daughter unless he is married to your ex or has adopted your daughter.

      If both you and your ex are eligible to claim your daughter as a dependent, she will go to the parent with whom she lived for the longest amount of time during the year. See this IRS page for more details.

  78. chico says:

    how do i claim my child support payout back at the end of the year? is there a form i have to file? and who do i ask bout that?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chico,

      I’m not sure what you mean by “claim my child support payout.” Child support payments are neither deductible to the payer nor taxable income to the payee.

  79. chico says:

    sorry wrong choice of words. but what i mean is what i pay out? do i get something back at the end of the year.

  80. Fiana says:

    My fiance and I have been taking care of his little brother for a year this month. A few months ago his sister asked her mom if she can claim him. Their mother told her yes. We live in Gov. housing and he is on our lease, his school information is our address and he just got Medicade and we used our address. she told me her mom wrote a note saying she can claim him, but can we get something stating she cant claim him or what we need to do. we or his sister dosent have custody over him. His parents live out of town. Also his sister said his mom is claiming him but she lives in New York, were in Ga.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Fiana,

      Okay, first off all, only one person can claim this child as a dependent. So either your fiance, his sister, or his Mom can claim him, but not more than one. You can claim someone as a dependent if they have lived with you for at least half the year, unless they were absent due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military service. That means, based on the description of your situation that you have given me, that if your fiance’s brother lived with him for at least half the year, he should be able to claim him as a dependent. His sister and mother cannot claim him if he did not live with them for at least half the year.

  81. Roy says:

    I want to know my ex claimed my daugther on 2010 witch she was born on 10/04/2010 but I was the one supporting her and her 2 childs (non u.s. Citisens) wile she was pregn. And after she had my daugther and since she had claimed her I didnt claim herbecause i thougth i could get on trouble and didnt know a lot about this subject plus I foud out somebody made a froud saying she work for thos company whitch she didnt work the hole time she was pregn. But some how this person does this to a lot of ppl. (gives them false wages that they work for hiscompany but this company does not exist fisical) plus she let someone borrow her ssn to work and she just claim the tax at the end of the yr. Whatcan I do to proof she is just a big froud and Im the one that shoulda claim my daugther on that yr. (we are separated now)

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Roy,

      It sounds like you could potentially claim your daughter as a dependent. In order to do this, your daughter must be a U.S. citizen or resident or a resident of Canada or Mexico, and she must have lived with you for at least half of the amount of time she was alive in 2010. If you and your ex are both qualified to claim your daughter as a dependent, the IRS will award her to the one she lived with for the longest amount of time in 2010. If she lived with you both the same amount of time, then they will award her to the one with the highest adjusted gross income. So, in order to claim your daughter as a dependent you will need to prove that your daughter meets all of the criteria that determine someone as your dependent, and then you will need to prove that she lived with you longer than she lived with her mother or additionally that you have a higher adjusted gross income.

  82. Roy says:

    My other question is my other daugther is being living with me since she was 2 1/2 months old but her mom never put my name on the birthcertificate and I had being holding to file my taxes till 2010 thats when i finally din my 09 & 10 taxes but tI got a letter from the IRS thather info didnt match I dont know if her mom gave me the wrong social or isbit because im not on the birth certificate k do not think her mom being claiming her but I do know she has never being arround or try to help me with anything that has to do with my daugther I dont know anything from her for over a yr all ready what can i do to be able to get my taxes refound straighten up. Icluding the issue with my other daugther and her mom claiming her on her taxes

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi again Roy,

      This is a little out of the tax realm, but my only advice to you here is that you are somehow going to need some sort of document to prove that you are the biological father of your daughter in order to claim her.

  83. Jessica says:

    Ok so this is probably a stranger question. I live with my mother and I have a 5 year old daughter who she has been claiming for the last 5 years since I do not work at all. We received a letter in August telling us that we are being audited. Sent all this paperwork in and now they are saying my mom can’t claim my daughter, but we have no idea why and neither does H&R Block. I know her father didn’t claim her. He lives in a different state and I don’t think he even knows her ssn and he has never done it before either, and they also never said that someone else claimed her just that my mom can’t claim her.. Any ideas with this one?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Did your mother e-file? If so, chances are that another person didn’t claim your daughter, since the IRS’s electronic system will automatically reject a return if a dependent’s SSN has already been claimed by someone else. Another person could have paper filed and claimed your daughter, but this is pretty typical and most likely wouldn’t prompt an audit.

      As for whether your mother can claim your daughter, it sounds like she meets all of the requirements.
      1) Your daughter is her granddaughter.
      2) Your daughter is under age 19
      3) Your daughter is a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico (You don’t make this explicit, but I’m going to assume this is the case. If it isn’t, this could be what’s causing the problem)
      4) Your daughter is obviously unmarried
      5) It sounds like your daughter lived with your mother for at least half the year (again, if this is not the case, this could be the problem)
      6) Your daughter did not provide over half of her own support.

      I would make all six of these points to the IRS. If they still won’t let her claim your daughter, I would think about looking into contacting a taxpayer advocate.

  84. njtova818 says:

    My gielfriend and I have lived together for almost 5 years and I have been the only provider for household. In VA I couldnt claim her as a dependent, but we recently moved to NC with our family. Can I claim her in NC?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi njtova818,

      The qualifications for claiming a dependent are based on federal law. That means if you couldn’t claim someone in VA, you can’t claim them in any other state.

  85. Somaly phin says:

    Hi, I’m maly and this will be my first year filing for taxes and I want to list my little sister as my dependent because I’ve been supporting her for over 7 months now because she’s living with me. I think a family member of mine has been claiming her a few years now, but I think I should claim her cause she’s under my care. I provide everything for her. Should I claim her or not?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Somaly,

      You can claim your little sister as a dependent as long as she meets the following requirements:

      • she is under age 19, or under age 24 and a full-time student
      • she is a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
      • she is unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
      • she has lived with you for at least half the year
      • she has not provided more than half of her own support

      As long as she meets all of those qualifications you’re free to claim her as a qualifying child. If she’s older than 19 (or 24), look into claiming her as a qualifying relative. You can find those requirements here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

      Also, if two returns are e-filed both claiming the same dependent, the IRS will reject whichever return is filed second. So if you want to avoid the other relative claiming her (and then having to mail in evidence to the IRS that you rightfully deserve to claim her, which can be a real pain) file as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the less opportunity they will have to claim her.

  86. Nashay says:

    Hi, my daughter father filed her on his taxes without my consent and i have reported him the end of this year and sent the form in to Fresno do u believe he would b able to file my daughter again?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nashay,

      I’m not sure. It’s entirely possible that he will be able to, although I do know that the IRS is stepping up its fraud prevention efforts this year. The best thing you can do at this point is file as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the less time he has to claim her. It’s generally the second return that claims the dependent that gets rejected.

  87. idrees says:

    My son mother only worked 2 months last year. I pay child support for him every week can I file him on my taxes

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Idrees,

      In order to claim your son as a dependent, he must

      • be under age 19, or under 24 and a full-time student
      • Be a U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
      • Be unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
      • Have lived with you for at least half the year (unless absent due to illness, education, etc.)
      • Not have provided more than half his own support

      You can find more info here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

      If your son is still young, the biggest sticking point is probably who he lived with. Unfortunately, if he lived with his mother for most of the year, you can’t claim him as a dependent.

  88. stephanie G says:

    Someone had claimed my kids last year without my permission, so I filed a paper return and it was accepted but during the year some thingd Have happened and im now staying with the person who did this last year and because im staying with them and im unemployed they are requesting to claim my kids now with my permission. am I able to let them claim my dependants even after all that happened last year?

  89. John D says:

    Im seperated with my ex and I’d like to know if there is any way we can file separately and split the EIC?

  90. Cindy says:

    I just want to share this with all of you. I just found it yesterday digging and digging everywhere and even in this page I couldnt find an answer. But here is what I found. Please read and advise wiseley!! Dont let anybody fool you!!

    Child of divorced or separated parents or parents liv-ing apart. Even if you cannot claim your child as a de-pendent, he or she is treated as your qualifying person if:
    The child was under age 13 or was not physically or mentally able to care for himself or herself,
    The child received over half of his or her support dur-ing the calendar year from one or both parents who are divorced or legally separated under a decree of di-vorce or separate maintenance, are separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all times during the last 6 months of the calendar year,
    The child was in the custody of one or both parents for more than half the year, and
    You were the child’s custodial parent.
    The custodial parent is the parent with whom the child lived for the greater number of nights in 2012. If the child was with each parent for an equal number of nights, the custodial parent is the parent with the higher adjusted gross income. For details and an exception for a parent who works at night, see Publication 501.
    The noncustodial parent cannot treat the child as a qualifying person even if that parent is entitled to claim the child as a dependent under the special rules for a child of divorced or separated parents.

  91. lyndsee says:

    so last year i was audited because im self employed nd i didnt have enough proof to show so janurary i got a new bf bd we have been together nd live together he provides nd support myself nd my twin boys can he claim us on his taxes nd if he does will they take the money i owe from him?

  92. sharday owens says:

    hi my son father who has no rights to him has filed him on his taxes but he had him for half the year not straight but it adds up to six months we didnt agree on it how do i fix this

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sharday,

      It sounds like your son’s father has every right to claim him, especially if your son lived with him for six months. If a child qualifies as the dependent of two different parents, the IRS will usually assign the dependent to whomever the child lived with for the longest amount of time. If the child lived with both parents for an equal amount of time, then the IRS will treat the child as the qualifying child of the parent who had the higher adjusted gross income. If that’s you, then it might make sense to file a paper return claiming your son as a dependent and offering evidence that you can rightfully claim him. If not, then there’s really not a lot you can do. Your son’s father sounds like he has every right to claim him. Many people in your situation will establish some sort of legal agreement establishing that they will alternate years claiming their child as a dependent. For more info so page 14 of this document: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

  93. sharday owens says:

    he is also doing it in another state the child legally lives with me in ny but goes to visit his dad in illinois

  94. dpizzle says:

    Hello. Tax advisor I have a situion. Where. An ex girl friend wants to claim my two kids who I have legal full custody over. I’ve live with her from the beginng of the year of 2012 till june 10 2012. now She has her own kids by me but wants to claim my two that I was awarded custody over we. Were neverd married. We just lived together and since parted ways june 10 2012. And. When y’all difine more then 6 months is that from jan to the end of june? Help me. Thanks dpizzle

  95. dpizzle says:

    Dear tax advisor
    She’s not the mom of my two that I have custody over she’s just an ex girl friend that I have kids with

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi dpizzle,

      In order to claim a child as a dependent on your taxes they must be your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these. It doesn’t sound like your ex will be able to claim your kids.

  96. Elizabeth says:

    My son, who is 14, lived with my father and step-mother all year last year and so I’m allowing them to claim him as a dependent since they paid for all of his living expenses. My question is, when filing my taxes, do i need to fill out a form for the irs releasing him to my father and step-mother? It’s all gotten so confusing and I usually do my own taxes since mine are so simple in retrospect.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      No you don’t need to release him as a dependent to your father. As long as he meets all of the requirements, your father has the right to claim him. Just be sure you don’t list him as a dependent on your own return, as this will cause either your return or your father’s to be rejected.

  97. Heather says:

    I just moved in with my boyfriend “also the father of my two sons” and he took my sons social security cards and filed taxs with them! What can I do he was suppose to do that! Who can I call so he doesn’t get that money that my sons and I deserve!!!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Heather,

      First you need to determine whether your boyfriend has a right to claim your sons as dependents. If he is their father it’s entirely possible that he has every right to claim them. Refer to this article on our sister site PriorTax to determine if he can claim them: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      If he CAN’T claim them, then you will need to file a paper return (because if you e-file it will be rejected). You also need to include a letter explaining the situation to the IRS as well as evidence that you have a right to claim the boys (according to the requirements outlined in the post I linked to above).

      If he CAN claim them, there’s really not much you can do about it. You might be able to contest it, following the same procedure above. Just so you know, when two people have a right to claim the same dependents, the IRS will award the dependents to whomever they lived with for the most time during the year. If you both lived with them for an equal amount of time, they will award them to the taxpayer with the higher AGI. Good luck!

  98. Heather says:

    I meant wasn’t suppose to do that! He stole them!!

  99. Elizabeth Gonzalez says:

    My 3 year old son has been claimed by his grandparents (father’s side) for the last 2 years. This year, I have FULL CUSTODY over my son and he only goes to the grandparents house for 2 days supervised visitation to see his father. I have been living with my husband for 8 months now, with my son. I want to authorize my husband to do taxes this year of my son since the grandparents nor father give me money nor pay child support nor buy him anything to bring to his actual house “my house” I let them know I was in charge of my son’s taxes this year, they told me, when they filed my child in their tax form, they put for no one else to claim him but them, is that possible? If so, how, they did that with out me knowing. Or is it a lie just so I won’t do taxes, because they said if any one else claims my son they could get in trouble and that they would need the grandparents signature to give who ever the power to claim my son. How so, if I have his custody, I am his mother, not them. Is this true or false? What can I do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      No, I don’t think it’s possible for a taxpayer to exclusively claim a dependent for all eternity. If they’ve experienced some tax fraud or identity theft problems in the past, it might mean the IRS flags returns that claim dependents they usually claim, but it doesn’t mean they can claim your son as a dependent if they don’t deserve him. In all probability they are probably ignorant or lying.

      From your description of the situation it sounds like you and your husband have every right to claim your son as a dependent. Just make sure he meets the requirements laid out in this article: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Just a piece of advice – I would file your return as soon as possible. Every person’s social security number can only be used once. So the IRS will reject the second return filed claiming that SSN. If your return gets rejected because they already filed and claimed him, you can still claim him it will just be a much longer and frustrating process. To get your refund as soon as possible I would file and claim him as soon as possible so they don’t have an opportunity to claim him.

  100. Elizabeth Gonzalez says:

    My husband is my sons biological step father and yes he jas lived with him for over half a year. If the grandparents claim my child without my authorization what can I do?

  101. Chauna says:

    My ex said he claimed my twins on his taxes. But they live with me their whole life. How can I stop him. I plan to efile on the 30th. What can I do because he doesn’t take care of them nor have they ever lived with him.

  102. Chauna says:

    What documents will I need to prove my sons live with me. I have their school info, insurance policies, and leasing agreement.

  103. Jonny jayne says:

    Hi,
    So I found out that my aunt claimed me and she didn’t even tell me. I looked up the requirements for claiming someone as a dependent and it says that I would have had to live with her the whole year which I didn’t. Only 7 months. Also the rules say that I had to have made less than 3800 but I made around 6000+. Don’t know if financial aid counts otherwise would be around 11000.
    Thanks.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Johnny,

      There are actually two types of dependents: qualifying children and qualifying relatives. The requirements for each are different. It sounds like you’re a college student. If so, someone can claim you as a qualifying child until you’re 24. I’m going to assume that’s what she’s doing, since that’s much more lucrative than claiming someone as a qualifying relative.

      In order for her to claim you as a dependent, you only have to have lived with her for over half of the year (unless absent due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military service), so she can potentially claim you if you lived with her for 7 months (esp. if you were at school the rest of the time).

      The income limits you cite apply to qualifying relatives. You can’t claim someone as a qualifying relative if they earned more than $3,800. But she could claim you as a qualifying child if you earned $6,000. She just can’t claim you as a qualifying child if you provided over half of your own support. Financial aid counts as you providing your own support it is a loan. This IRS publication will help you figure out if you provided over half of your own http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2012_publink1000220972

      And check out this article on our sister site PriorTax to see if you meet the requirements to be claimed as a dependent: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

  104. Jenn says:

    My kids father has told me he has claimed my 2 kids on income tax. He does not live with us nor has provided any support at all..but went behind my back and claimed them anyway. My fiancée was going to claim them as well but my children father already did. How can i put astop to it?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jenn,

      You will have to mail in a paper return to the IRS (because if you try to e-file and claim dependents that have already been claimed by someone else your return will be rejected). You should also include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence that the dependents do in fact belong to you. Be careful though: your fiance might not be able to claim them. You can only claim someone as a qualifying child if they are your biological or adopted child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, half sibling, stepsibling, or a descendant of one of these. You can find all of the requirements here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/. The best thing is probably for you to claim them.

  105. Tammy says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been living in the U.S since Fall 2007, when I started attending college. Since I’m an international student I was advised to fill my taxes as a non-resident, therefore, I wasn’t able to claim my education expenses. Is there any way that I can file an amended tax return for these years? And also, is there any way that I can check the years that I was claimed dependent by my brother? Thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tammy,

      Yes, you can file an amended tax return, but you should only do so if you’re sure you qualify as a resident. The best thing to do is to contact the service that you originally used to file them. As for being claimed as your brother’s dependent, I’m not aware of way to find this out. You should try contacting the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. If you feel that you were wrongfully claimed, you can always file an amended return claiming yourself which, once the IRS investigates, may prompt your brother to file an amended return.

  106. LisaC says:

    My fiancé has been fighting an identity theft case for about 5 years now. Every time he files his returns they are kept by the IRS. We have sent in all of the documentation that they have aske for 3 times & they claim to never have gotten it. We have faxed & sent in certified mail! They even sent us a letter about 6 months ago saying that he should be receiving a check in 4-6 weeks & that never showed up. So I guess my question boils down to, what can we do to ensure he will get his return this year? Thank you

  107. Brittany says:

    I have lived with my boyfriend for 3 years now. He had played in a band and made some small income (~7000). I claimed him as a dependent. He will still have to pay taxes on his income. Is that okay? Or am I getitng into some deep water here. He can still file on his own correct? I have made all the other income for the house and for the year.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brittany,

      I’m not sure that you can claim your boyfriend as a dependent. There are actually two types of dependent: qualifying child and qualifying relative. You can’t claim your boyfriend as a qualifying child because he is not your child. So your only option would be to claim him as a qualifying relative. However, you cannot claim someone as a qualifying relative if they make more than $3,800. You can find all of the other requirements in this article on our sister site: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

      It sounds to me like your boyfriend should file his own return and claim his own personal exemption. And if you claimed his a dependent for several years when he really didn’t qualify as your dependent you may need to file an amended return for those years.

  108. micheal dunning says:

    Me and my wife just separated and we have two children to together. She only worked 2 months in 2012. I’m active duty military and the kids and her lived with me last year. So I went to do my taxs and IRS said that there ss# has already been claimed as a dependent for someone else. Unfortunately she know my ss# also but she couldn’t get my w2. Is there anything I can do from letting this happening again or if I can do anything now from stooping her from claiming the children this year?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Michael,

      First take a look at this blog post on our sister site PriorTax. It outlines the requirements dependents need to meet in order for you to claim them: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      If your wife CANNOT claim them as dependents, you should file a paper return that claims them as dependents and include a cover letter explaining your situation and offering evidence that the children qualify as your dependents.

      If your wife CAN claim them but the children also meet the requirements for you to claim them, you could try filing a paper return (as above) and challenging your wife’s return. If dependents can rightfully be claimed by two people, the IRS usually awards them to the taxpayer they lived with for the longest time during the tax year and then to the taxpayer with the largest AGI.

      As for future years, the best thing you can do is file as early as possible that way her return will get rejected if she tries to claim them.

  109. Tan says:

    My ex wife and I have joint physical and legal custody, when i was in active duty i let her claim our daug shehter, but after that she keeps claimine her and filed every year as fast as she can. So everytime i file i get in trouble. But i just found out she didnt have income for about 3 years and she was not married but living with her boyfriend. She couldnt file head of theds household.possibly a dependent on her boyfriend. Do i have the right to correct the past tax claim and is it ture whoever claims the child first gets the refund.Thank you for your help

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tan,

      I really don’t have enough information to say if she had a right to claim them for those years. Check out this post on our sister site PriorTax. It outlines the requires a child needs to meet in order for you to claim them as a dependent: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      If it turns out that your wife did not have the right to claim them, you can file an amended return for those years, claiming them as your dependent, but only if you meet the requirements. If both you and your ex qualify, the IRS will award them to whoever they lived with for the longest amount of time during the year. If this is equal too they go to the taxpayer with the highest AGI.

      No it’s not true that the taxpayer that claims them first gets the refund. The refund will be issued to the first taxpayer who claims them, and any subsequent e-filed return that claims that SSN will be rejected. But you can always file a paper return claiming them which will prompt an IRS audit that hopefully rewards them to you.

  110. KARAHAJA says:

    HI T.A,
    MY UNCLE IN TEXAS ASKED TO CARRY MY SON IM IN CALIFORNIA AND THINKS THATS A BAD IDEA GIVING WERE IN DIFFERENT STATES AND THAT WOULD B TAX FRAUD. I TOLD HIM NO BUT HE ALREADY HAS MY SONS INFORMATION. MY SONS FATHER IS GOING TO CARRY HIM INSTEAD ON THE 31ST. IF MY PAPERWORK IS KICKED OUT THE SYSTEM BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS CLAIMED HIM BEFORE MY SONS DAD DOES DO I CONTACT THE IRS TO FILE A COMPLAINT BEFORE THEY RECEIVE THE MONEY AND ALSO TELL THE IRS I KNOW WHO COULD OF CARRIED HIM WITHOUT MY PERMISSION? WHAT FORM WOULD I NEED TO FILE A COMPLAINT AND WHERE WOULD I FIND IT JUST ON CASE I HAVE TO USE IT ASAP?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Karahaja,

      First you should try e-filing your return. Maybe your uncle hasn’t claimed them yet and you will still be able to e-file.

      If he has claimed them your e-filed return will be rejected. Then you will need to paper file your return (claiming your son) and include a cover letter explaining your situation as well as evidence proving that your son is rightfully your dependent and not that of his uncle.

  111. katty says:

    katty. i think someone is claiming my kids on their taxes i donot work so i dont fill out taxes but i think someone is claiming them without my permission..how can i know if someone is claiming them? Or what cuando i do to prevent someone claim them

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Katty,

      The only thing I can suggest is that you call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. And even if you don’t work, you should consider filing a return. There are many refundable credits out there (especially if you’re low-income and have kids) that mean you could get a refund even if your income is very low.

  112. dad says:

    Hi
    I have a 15 year old daughter who lives in another state, I have paid child support since she was born along with medical, dental and vision. I see my daughter when I can but her mother makes this difficult. There has never been a court order on who can claim our daughter. i have never claimed her and want to this year. Can i if I pay her support along with medical? I think I should be entitled to at least once in her life, not to mention the mother owes me $8,0000 in overpayments of my child support. IF there is no court order and I live out of state but pay for her support how does this work?
    Thanks

  113. angela says:

    if i adopted some one elses child and i have been taking care of that child for 3 years is it possible for the biological mother to file that dependent on her taxes

  114. Lee says:

    Im going to file my taxes from 07, this is my first time ever doing my taxes. I have a feeling that a old friend of mines try to do their taxes for 2012 with my information. Will this be a problem when I file my taxes for 2007?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Lee,

      That shouldn’t be a problem with filing your 2007 return, but that is a problem for filing your 2012 return. If you suspect that someone is trying to steal your identity you should file your return as soon as possible to prevent them from doing so.

  115. Lee says:

    Okay so sence you cant answer my question who can I contact that will. Ive been back and forth with this question with everyone.

  116. Brenda S. says:

    I tried to file my 2012 federal tax return and received an error that someone has already claimed my 1 year old as a dependent. No one has access to my son’s social security number, not even his dad and we all live together. I think someone mistyped their number or their dependents number. How do I get this resolved so that I can rightfully claim my son as a dependent.
    Thank you!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brenda,

      I recommend claiming both of your children as you normally would, but mailing in a paper return instead of e-filing. This way your return won’t be rejected. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence that the two kids really were your dependents.

  117. Brenda S. says:

    Update…I removed my son from my return planning on amending with him, but now it’s rejecting saying that my daughter has been claimed by someone else. Please advise!?

  118. renee says:

    I have a question and i need help soon……My sons father which lives 4 states away and doesnt have much to do with our son has been claiming my son for 6 years. Everytime i claim him it kicks it out and the lady that does my taxes says its because he is getting to punch first….ok the year before last i filed an amendment on my taxes and they sent me a check for what i was suppose to get for my son. last year i filed him it went thru no problems. This past year my son has lived with my mother. so i told her she could claim him because she has taken care of him. and it kicked her out. So my question would be if i filed that amendment 2 years ago would that stop anyone but myself from claiming him or did he beat us to the punch again?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Renee,

      No the amendment shouldn’t prevent your mother from claiming your son as a dependent. Most likely is father beat you to it again. In the future, I highly recommend that you file as soon as possible so that this doesn’t happen. For this year, your mother won’t be able to e-file her return, but she can still paper file it. Tell her to include a cover letter explaining the situation to the IRS and evidence that she has the right to claim her grandson as a dependent. This should prompt an IRS audit which will (hopefully) award her and not your ex the benefit of claiming your son as a dependent.

  119. cassie says:

    i had already e-filed my taxes, claiming the both mf my children, after the fact, me and the dad came to an agreement that i would let him claim one, is there any way i can take off a dependent so that he can claim one?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cassie,

      If you’ve already e-filed, the only thing you can do now is file an amended return. Contact whichever service prepared the return originally and tell them you want to file a Form 1040X.

  120. cassie says:

    i filed on the 26

  121. darius says:

    ok my sis filed me on her return and she recieved her money but she told me i got rejected as a dependent but for the last 4rys i haven’t what could of went wrong?? or is she ju saying that to keep my money???

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Darius,

      Here return could have been rejected if someone else already filed a return claiming you as a dependent. It could also have been rejected if you filed your own return but did not mention that someone else can claim you as a dependent.

  122. albert says:

    Hello I have a question I filed my taxes and I got them rejected. Turns out a stranger who my sons mother lived with for a month claimed himshe is not related to my son in any way, she also did not support him more than half the year I did. I pay child support and support him as well when he is with me. My court papers say we have equal custody of my son legally and physically. Who has a right to claim him? What should I do? I have always claimed him in the past years. Please email me @ alberto.perez@everest.edu

  123. Melissa says:

    Me and my fiancé have 1 boy and 2 girls together, I already did my taxes and claimed our youngest girl and I already received my return. My fiancé did his taxes a few days ago and noticed after he printed the tax papers that he had made a mistake and claimed our youngesr girl as well, his return was accepted my the IRS but we know its not correct cuz I already claimed our youngest girl and he needs to have it changed to our other daughter that’s 3 and a half. Will this be a easy fix with the IRS when he calls them today?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Melissa,

      The IRS’s e-file system only allows one exemption to be claimed for each Social Security number. If both you and your fiance claimed the same dependent, then his return would have been rejected by the IRS when he tried to e-file. So the fact that he was accepted suggest that you both didn’t claim the same dependent.

      If in fact you someone both have claimed the same dependent, the only way to correct this is for him to file an amended return (Form 1040X). I doubt it will be fixed by a phone call to the IRS.

  124. barry says:

    my exwife e filed and claimed my daughter my daughter lives with me,i had to do a paper return but my question is,,will the IRS go ahead and direct deposit the check in her account and later make her pay it back,or will they stopped payment on the refund,i looked at her wheres my refund and it says her tax is being processed and she will have a direct deposit in 21 days,,is she gonna get the money or not

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Barry,

      It depends on how quickly they get and process your paper return. Ideally they won’t send the money out at all, but it’s conceivable that she could receive it.

  125. GuidoJ says:

    The mother of my kids and i were never married,
    We seperated on 2012.I had my two kids with me
    Through out most of the year till she changed the
    schools they were going to!
    She called acs on me to make matters worse
    But acs came to the conclussion that i WAS
    Providing for my kids and sent me letters
    Of their house visits here where we lived.
    She has claimed the kids unrightfully!
    Because they were living with me!
    Are ACS papers proving my kids lived here
    Admisible??? Or i should take other measures??
    Please let me know!!!
    Thanks..

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi GuidoJ,

      Since she claimed your kids, your return will now be rejected by the IRS if you try to e-file. So you need to prepare your return as you normally would but print out a paper copy, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. Also be sure to include a cover letter explaining what’s happened and evidence proving that they are your dependents. The ACS letter will certainly prove helpful in this regard.

  126. GuidoJ says:

    She claimed them on her taxes
    To spend with her new boyfriend…
    Like MOST good men , i wanted my kids
    To be with me!
    How can i prove their residency!!
    With me over 2012 ..?????
    .

  127. GuidoJ says:

    Can i refile??

  128. A. Shorter says:

    I WAS TOLD I COULD AMEND MY TAXES IN MARCH BECAUSE SOME CLAIMED MY CHILD. THEY SAID IF I TOOK HER OFF I COULD COME BACK IN MARCH AND GET THE REST OF MY MONEY BY AMENDING MY TAXES. IS THAT TRUE?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi A. Shorter,

      If you tried to e-file your return and it was rejected because someone already claimed your dependent, then you should mail a paper return in to the IRS along with a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving your dependent was actually your dependent. You probably shouldn’t e-file without your claiming your child and then amend it later.

  129. Denise says:

    Hello im concered that I will not get any of my tax returen because the non custodial parent filled my son . I am not sure what to do from here I also wanted to know how long would this matter continue before something is done about it .

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Denise,

      First you need to make sure that your son qualifies as your dependent and does not qualify as the dependent of the person who claimed him. Refer to this article for the requirements: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Then, if you can claim him as a dependent and the noncustodial parent can’t, you should file a paper return with the IRS claiming him as a dependent. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence that proves he is your dependent. This will prompt the IRS to review both of your returns and it could be several months before you end up getting your refund.

  130. CLewis says:

    I was staying with my ex in 2011 with our daughter but he took my to court dec.2011 to have us removed from his home. A few days ago he filed my daughter on his taxes without my consent and without showing her social security card.he lied to his tax representative stating my daughter lived with him the whole year of 2012. With my court papers proving we were not in his home last year what can I do to resolve this problem

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi CLewis,

      You should file a paper return claiming your daughter as a dependent. Also include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS and evidence that proves your daughter was your dependent and not his.

  131. Mario says:

    My child's mother claimed my daughter on her taxes or her parents not sure who did but I have a court ordered paper signed by the judge that  I have full custody and will claim my daughter on 2012 this years tax return and the years to come that she has no rights al all to her! What can I do to get this settled ? 

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mario,

      You need to file a paper return in which you claim your daughter. Also include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving that she is your dependent and you have a right to claim her. This will prompt the IRS to review both returns and hopefully award you the money.

  132. zumi says:

    Hi my story is compilcated
    So me and my boyfriend were separted last year and our.daughter was living with me i was not working at that point therefore i couldnt claim her so i have my brother her social and he claimed her then we recently found out that my boyfriend had claimed her to and .ow my brother just recieved a letter from irs what can we do??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Zumi,

      Unfortunately not much. Your brother can’t claim your daughter as a qualifying child, only as a qualifying relative. This means that if someone else can claim her as a qualifying child, then they get her as a dependent and your brother doesn’t. Here are the requirements for you to claim someone as a dependent: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Really the best thing to do would have been for you to file a return claiming your daughter as a dependent. You can still file a return and claim someone as a dependent even if you don’t work. If she wasn’t living with your boyfriend, it’s doubtful that he can claim her either. I would look into filing a return of your own and claiming your daughter.

  133. zumi says:

    Ok thank you but what about the irs letter does my brother have to amend it or what?
    Or can my boyfriend do an amendment ?are either of them gonna get in trouble or who will have to return the money?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Zumi,

      I really can’t say. They’ll have to do what the IRS says in the letter. If I had to guess I would say there’s a good chance your brother will end up having to amend his return.

  134. marijayne says:

    Hi my sons father claimed my child without my permission.We been separated everysince my child wuz 6 months. Old.He’s court ordered. To pay childsupport and also had to go through the court to get my signature ..but never did?.

  135. barry says:

    i am divorced and have 1 kid,each year me and my ex race to file first,,i efiled on the 30th of january with turbo tax,3 days later she tried to file but was rejected,she had her preparer do an amendment i guess and called me raising heck,anyway,,on the IRS site it tells me my return has been received and being processed,what are the chances the irs will catch her amended return before they pay me thru direct deposit,what im asking is,,will they go ahead and pay me and make me pay it back,or do you think they will catch it and neither one of us will get paid,,which scenario is more likely?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Barry,

      I have no idea. It depends on how quickly they process her return. If she’s already filed I’d guess that they will flag both of your returns for review and then either award the dependent to one person or ask you both for more information.

  136. Cindy says:

    My girlfriend tried to claim my son as a dependent and got rejected saying his ssn was already claimed. I don’t work i get little cash assistence through welfare and my girlfriend does the rest for both me and my son. I found out my child’s grandparents, my parents, claimed my son on their income tax. They do nothing for my kid and barely even see him. Soon after my son was born i left their house because it is unfit for a baby. And like i said they have done nothing for him even since day one when we were still stuck in there household. I did it all with only help from wic and welfare fortunately only untill he was 4 months old and my gf took us under her wing.
    My son is only 11 months so this is the first time anyone has claimed himhave p
    P.s. I dont know how they got his ssn, i never gave it to them and to my knowledge they never touched the card, they had to pulled a fast one.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cindy,

      There are a couple things going on here:

      1) There are two types of dependents, qualifying children and qualifying relatives. Qualifying children are the more valuable of the two. Your girlfriend CANNOT claim your son as a qualifying child. She might be able to claim him as a qualifying relative, but I highly recommend that you file your own return (even if you are not required to) and claim your own son as your dependent because you might be able to get a refund. You can find out more about who qualifies as each type of dependent here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      2) Based on your description it sounds like your parents have no right to claim your son as a dependent. So what needs to happen is that you (or your girlfriend) need to file a paper return claiming your son as a dependent. Also include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving that he is your dependent. Again, I highly recommend that you file your own return and claim your son as a dependent because the benefit for a qualifying child is generally much greater than the benefit for a qualifying relative.

  137. Cindy says:

    Now also my girl friend has refiled her taxes without claiming my son, but i dont feel my parents should be getting money for him.

  138. Cindy says:

    Thank-you I’m going to take your advice, but How do I go about doing that, filing my own, and what kind of evidence is acceptable ?

  139. barry says:

    I filed through turbo tax,,if my exwife files an amended return,or the IRS has problems with my info or dependants,how will they contact me,through turbo tax,mail,,or an email?

  140. barry says:

    mr tax advisor,whomever files first will get the refund,the irs dont stop both payments,,but after the amended form they will make the liar pay it back,like i said,whoever files first will get the credit

  141. albert says:

    Yes you can answer in a comment I left comment with question on feb 3 I hope to hear your answer soon thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Albert,

      This stranger definitely does not have the right to claim him as a qualifying child. He might be able to claim him as a qualifying relative, but that’s doubtful also. Likely only you or his mother have the right to claim him. It will probably come down to who he lived with for the longest amount of time during the year. Who supported him more is not a factor in determining who can claim a dependent, he just can’t have provided more than half of his own support. You can find out more about who can claim a dependent here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

  142. barry says:

    Tax advisor,your wrong,i claimed my kid,my exwife did an amenment 24 hours later,i still got my money,lol

    • reallife says:

      If she filed an amended tax return then yes you got your money, because she took the child off. If she would have filed a tax return with the dependent on it they would have audited you both. And nobody would have got paid. Without proving first but if ya’ll do tbis evdry year that’s ridiculous whomever the child lives with need to claim that child

  143. Cindy says:

    Do I list welfare as my income eventhough there’s no taxes? Either way my ferund comes out to $0… Thats why im writing a letter and explaining my situation correct ?

  144. Daniel says:

    My son has redied with me since 2011. I have some tax issues and student loan issues and fell on hard times financially. My sister has supported and assisted me with the care of my son this past year and i allowed her to claim him on her taxes which have already been accepted and refund distributed. My sons mother spitefully decided to file her taxes and claim my son on Saturday. She does not deserve the right to claim him as she lives in a different state and he has been in my care the entire year. What will happen now?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Whoever has the right to claim your son (in this case probably you) should file a paper return. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation as well as evidence proving that your son meets the requirements to be your dependent. You can find the requirements in this article from our sister site PriorTax: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Your sister can’t claim your son as a qualifying child (though she may be able to claim his as a qualifying relative). Since qualifying child is much more valuable than qualifying relative I recommend that you file a return claiming your own son.

  145. barry says:

    hey tax advisor,i set up my direct deposit with a money card from walmart and did the free edition with turbo tax,my card wont accept a direct deposit from the federal govt,,they will accept it from a 2nd party,such as a bank used by the irs,,so tell me,does the deposit come from the irs,,or does it come from that bank in Sandeigo,if it comes from a bank without the irs name on it,im good,,if it comes from the irs directly it will reject it,so,does it come from a bank or not

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Barry,

      I honestly have no idea. Our service doesn’t do refunds to cards. I suggest you get in contact with Turbo to find out how your refund will be paid. I know that in our company refunds are only paid out through a bank when a customer decides to pay their tax preparation fees with the money from their refunds. Since you were able to file for free, I would guess that your refund will come directly from the Treasury, but I could be wrong.

  146. Ashley says:

    Someone claimed my dependents and i sent my return in by mail. How long till I get an answer from irs?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ashley,

      It’s difficult to say. In general paper returns take 4-8 weeks for the IRS to process. However, if they have to review it extensively to resolve these competing claims it could be longer.

  147. Jeremy says:

    It is my year to claim my son as a dependent, his mother has the uneven years and I have the even ones. I was told that he has already been claimed as a dependent. His mother claims she can file head of household even though she is married and has two other children. She even called to verify it was my year to claim him. What can I do about this. I know she cannot claim head of household since she is married, can anything be done about that also?

  148. crystal says:

    My ex and I were never. Married he pays child support but never sees his children we haven’t been with each other for five years the children have always lived with me I’m on social security. So I don’t have to file taxes my boyfriend that lives with me and my children claimed. Them on his taxes for earned. Income but my my claimed them too who would be entitled. To it

  149. carolynlecca says:

    my boyfriend and I have lived together for 1.5 years. Last year he claimed me as a dependent,why can’t he claim me this year I haven’t worked all year. He told me that some one else claimed me this year and if so can I find out who?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Carolynlecca,

      First, make sure that your boyfriend really can claim you as a dependent. He definitely CANNOT claim you as a qualifying child. The only possibility would be for him to claim you as a qualifying relative. You can find the requirements on the article from our sister site PriorTax: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      If he CAN claim you as a dependent, then he will have to file a paper return, since apparently your SSN has already been used. Make sure he includes a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving that you’re his dependent. One of your relatives could have claimed you or you could be the victim of identity theft, but either way you shouldn’t let that stand in the way of your boyfriend claiming you, if in fact you meet the requirements.

  150. edgar d says:

    Hi I was windering if I can claim my daughter on my taxes with out her mothers permission i support my child n I live with her for 8 momths is that possible?

  151. Confused says:

    My fiance and his ex filed taxes together in 2011 and filed married even though they weren’t legally married. Since they did that they ended up having to go through an actual divorce when they split up. In those divorce papers it is court ordered that they switch off every other year for the child tax credit. This year is his first year to claim his son since they split in 2011. When he filed he provided the court order as proof that he is allowed to claim him this year. He obviously wasn’t able to get the EIC for him but they said because of the court order he was allowed the dependent tax credit for his son. He e-filed through a tax service here and the status says its been received and is processing and has said that since shortly after the 24th when we had them done. Would the 21 days start from the day it said it was received or the 30th since they delayed things this year? He also doesn’t believe the Ex will follow the court order and also try to claim him for the child credit. Could that possibly be why it still hasn’t been approved? The mother did not work this year and like last year would have filed married with her boyfriend so that he could claim the child. Is he legally allowed to claim my fiance’s son without being his legal step father if the mother didn’t have taxable income? Sorry for so many questions but I’ve never gone through this before with children.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Confused,

      The 21 days start from Jan. 30th because that’s when the IRS actually started the returns. I wouldn’t worry yet about his ex claiming the child. If she had already claimed him, your fiance’s return would have been rejected by the IRS, which usually awards a dependent to the first person to file. And no, the ex’s boyfriend can’t claim your son as a qualifying child. He may be able to claim his as a qualifying relative, but I think that’s highly doubtful. (You can see the difference between a qualifying relative and a qualifying child here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/). I wouldn’t worry about your fiance’s refund until it’s after Feb. 21st.

  152. ryan says:

    i had put our dependant in to see if my return would be more .and it wasnt the case. i forgot to remove her and alredy filed . now my other half has file with our dependent and the irs has rejected her’s. what do we do to not further delay out taxes?

  153. Confused says:

    Thank you very much for the response! I feel a lot better with my questions being answered. Come to find out his ex did try to go against the court order and try to claim him but she got a letter in the mail from the IRS yesterday telling her that her returned was denied because she was trying to claim a child that had already been claimed. I did forget to add that we live in Kansas which apparently is a common law marriage state which I found out during my research yesterday. Would that change anything as far as her fiance claiming my boyfriends son? They have filed married on taxes the past two years and they do live together. We don’t care if they claim him on their year every other year its just the years my fiance is supposed to be able to claim him that we care about. Thanks again!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Confused,

      As long as your fiance claims them first, there’s no way she can claim them. The IRS makes sure that only one personal exemption can be claimed for every Social Security number.

  154. Errol Benson says:

    my exgirlfriend still lives with me and i have primary custody of our daughter, she filed her taxes and claimed our daughter but i have supported both of them and thus only fair that i get get the tax return credit. now im about to file any help in this??? esb2009@yahoo.com thanx

  155. nathan says:

    I have a question I can’t seem to find the answer to: ok I’ve lived with my mom and girlfriend and on my own almost equaly for
    2012, meaning I lived on my own for about 4 months my mom about 4 months and my girlfriend about 4 months. I only had one job the whole year for 3 days making around 400 dollars, but in march of 2012 I cashed out a pension I had for about 16,000. The federal witholding was around 2900. I received a 1099-r for that and a w2 for the job I worked for the few days. Now here’s my question, I recently found out my mom somehow claimed me (I’m 28yrs old) on her taxes. She told them I didn’t work or make any money the whole year. I did some research and found out I still need to file a return and I may even get some much needed money back. I know its a mess but I need your advice, should I just file as usual? Or am I going to be rejected because I’ve been claimed already? I don’t want my mom to get in trouble either, can you please offer me some advice on how I should handle this? Please any information will be helpful. Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nathan,

      Based on your description, it sounds like your mother does NOT have the right to claim you as a dependent. You are much too old to be a qualifying child and in order for her to claim you as a qualifying relative, you must have a gross income less than $3,800 (which you didn’t). You can find more info here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/

      Basically, you have two options. You can either file your return saying that someone else claimed you as a dependent. Your return will be accepted, but there is a possibility given your age and income that the IRS would investigate your mother’s return more closely.

      Or you can file claiming your own personal exemption (basically asserting that you were not a dependent). This will be rejected if you e-file so you need to paper file. You should also include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving you were not a dependent. This will definitely cause your mother’s return to be reviewed and she will most likely have to pay back a great deal of her refund and file an amended return.

      It’s understandable that you don’t want to get your mother in trouble with the IRS, but I highly recommend you take option two. Not only will your refund be larger, but what your mother’s doing is technically illegal (whether she realizes it or not). Luckily, as long as she is due a refund she won’t have to pay any penalties or interest and I doubt that she will have to suffer any penalty greater than paying back a portion of her refund.

  156. gary says:

    Hello,

    I now reside with my girlfriends mother who needed help catching up with the rent, and so I gave her permission to claim my child as a dependend. I only agreed on five hundred dollars and knowing from the past (3 or 4 years ago) she had claimed my son without our permission. So now I am worried that she had done so again, but she swears to God that the IRS messed up and the whole thing is still pending. What can I do to find out if she’s telling the truth or not?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Gary,

      Well, the only way to know if someone has claimed your dependent is to e-file a return of your own claiming your own child. If it gets accepted, she didn’t claim your child. If it gets rejected it means that someone (possibly her) claimed the child. You could try calling the IRS to figure out who, but I’m not sure they would provide that information. If your return gets rejected the best thing to do is to mail in a paper return claiming your child as a dependent along with a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence that proves you have the right to claim the dependent.

  157. MISTY says:

    HI I NEED SOME ANSWERS I THINK MY DAUGHTER MAY HAVE BEEN CLAIMED BY HER DADS WIFE? HOWEVER SHE DOES NOT GO THERE AND HE DOES NOT SUPPORT HER IN ANY WAY AT ALL NO CHILD SUPPORT NOTHING. HOW DO I FIND OUT AND WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS? THANKS

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Misty,

      The only way to tell if someone else has claimed your daughter is to e-file your own return claiming your daughter. If it gets accepted, that means no one else has claimed her. If it gets rejected, then someone (possible her dad’s wife) has claimed her. In this situation, the best thing to do is to mail in a paper return claiming your daughter along with a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving that you have the right to claim your daughter as a dependent.

  158. Tina says:

    My ex mother in law claimed my kids without my permission. My mother was supposed to claim them. Is there a way that I can report my mother in law & my mom still be able to claim them? Help..

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tina,

      At this point your mother needs to file a paper return claiming the kids. She should also include a cover letter explaining the situation as well as evidence that proves she has the right to claim them.

  159. donna s. says:

    So I know for a fact that my sister user my kids ask her dependints and should not have, my miss live with me and I take Daddy of them we live in texas she lives in la. I understand that I half to send in a letter and my taxes but what’s the address that I send it to?

  160. jose says:

    What is fiel a paper return??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jose,

      Filing a paper return means that instead of e-filing, you print out your return, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. You can still prepare your return using an online program, you just can’t e-file it.

  161. Cecil says:

    Need some Advice……….When 2 grand

    kids live in my Household and when we give 100% support for the kids(Home/Health/School) and the Father claims the kids on his return and tells us that he will deny the right for us to claim them,what will happen to US when our return comes back rejected? The School has records and as well as DEFACS and neighbors/co-workers knows that we had the kids for 12 months. How will the IRS decide who had the right to claim them for 2012? Will the Father or I be under penalty ? Do you think IRS will send one of the claimers to Jail?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cecil,

      First of all, take a look at this article on our sister site PriorTax. It lists all of the requirements someone has to meet in order for you to claim them as a dependent: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Now, if the father CAN claim them, according to these requirements, there’s little you can do about it if he’s already claimed them. If he CAN’T claim them and you CAN, then you should be able to get the full tax benefit for them regardless of what he does.

      Every dependent’s SSN can only be claimed once. The IRS will automatically reject the second e-filed return that claims the same dependent. So, if you have already e-filed your return and it wasn’t rejected by the IRS, then you’re fine. That means you got there first and you’ll get to claim them.

      If he filed before you and your return gets rejected, then all you need to do is file a paper return claiming them. Also be sure to include a cover letter explaining the situation as well as evidence that proves you have the right to claim them as dependents. The IRS will then review both returns and award them to the person who deserves them. Don’t worry. No one is going to jail and I think it highly unlikely that anyone will even have to pay a penalty.

  162. jessica says:

    I claimed people on my tax return, few days later i found out my dependents were already claimed. Found out my uncle fraudulently claimed my dependents, so i was told paper file so the irs can determine which taxpayer has the right to claim those dependents. But my uncle already received his refund. So what do i do? I barely paper mailed my tax refun a few days ago. Am i going to get rejected again since my uncle already received the money??? Are they going to collect that money from him ????

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jessica,

      You did the right thing by paper filing. Don’t worry, only e-filed returns are rejected. When the IRS receives your return, it will prompt them to review both your and your uncle’s returns. You may be required to provide evidence proving that you have a right to claim the dependents if you have not already done so already. As for your uncle, if the IRS decides that he doesn’t have a right to claim them, he will have to file an amended return and pay back some of that extra refund money he got.

  163. Asiia says:

    Hello ,
    I just found out today that someone is claiming my 11month old son .
    I don’t know who it could be because I’m the only one with his card and his father doesn’t even know it which we are together and I don’t know what to do Please help..!!!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Asiia,

      Did you actually try filing your return? If not, do so now. There’s no way to know if someone has claimed your son unless you e-file. If the IRS accepts your return, that means you’re in the clear. If it gets rejected, that means that someone else has indeed claimed your son.

      If your e-filed return gets rejected here’s what you need to do. Print out your return, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. Also include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving that you have the right to claim your son as a dependent. The IRS will review both returns claiming your son and award the dependent to the person who meets the requirements.

  164. Lost says:

    Hello ,
    I just found out today that someone is claiming my 11month old son .
    I don’t know who it could be because I’m the only one with his card and his father doesn’t even know it which we are together and I don’t know what to do Please help..!!!

  165. Tristan says:

    I filed my taxes and the next day I found out someone had already claimed my son. It happened to be my parents. I had full custody and financially paid for everything. We did live with my parents but I worked full time and paid rent. I paid daycare and groceries. My son and I lived together with my parents from feb until dec of all of 2012. I know my parents owe the IRS bc my dad claimed to many dependents for several years. Not my fault.. I’m currently pregnant and really needed my whole return to help my children and I financially I’m a single mom. I’m due April 30th how fast can I get this fixed?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tristan,

      Based on your description of the situation, it sounds like your parents actually do have the right to claim your son as a dependent. You can find the requirements you have to meet here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/. It doesn’t actually matter who provided support for your son as long as he didn’t provide more than half of his own support.

      However, you also meet the requirements to claim your son. And when two people both meet the requirements to claim a child, the IRS will generally award him to whoever he lived with for the longest amount of time during the year.

      Here’s what you need to do: print, sign, and mail your return to the IRS. Include a cover letter explaining the situation as well as evidence that proves you meet all of the requirements outlined in the article above as well as proof that your son lived with you for the full 12 months of 2012. You should be able to have all of the paperwork taken care of before April 30th, but there’s a chance that you won’t have your money yet. These situation can often take several months to resolve.

  166. Andrea says:

    I efiled my taxes and they were rejected because it said someone else had already claimed my son as a dependent. I feel like my ex husband his father claimed him. Is there anyway that I can do something to find out if he did claim him or have him audited so that he will have to amend his taxes so that I can claim my son. My son lives with me the entire year, his father is ordered to pay child support but half pays it and our divorce papers state that he can not file him on his taxes. I know that I can file mine by paper and go that route but I was wondering before I did that if I could contact the IRS and something be done about it.

  167. steve says:

    Im in the middle of a custody battle and the kids have lived with me for 5 years. They still live with me and i found out this year that their mothers new boyfriend claimed them on his taxes and got the refund. How do i go about fixing this? my return has been processing for 23 days now and ive heard nothing.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Steve,

      I’m confused. Clearly you’ve filed already, but did you file a paper return claiming them or did you e-file a return that didn’t claim them. What you should have done is mail in a paper return claiming them. If you did this, then realize that it’s going to take a while for the IRS to process, a lot longer than 23 days. They have to review both of the returns that claimed the dependents and then award them to the person who deserves them.

  168. Diane says:

    What do you do when you file claiming your 20 yr old child as a dependent. They move to a different state after you file, and then tell you you BETTER give them the money for claiming them or they will turn you in for Fraud? A measly $270.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Diane,

      First of all, you need to figure out whether or not you are eligible to claim them. This article will provide some more info: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/. You can only claim a 20yr old as a qualifying child if they were a full-time student during 2012. If not, then you might be able to claim them as a qualifying relative, but the requirements are pretty strict.

      If it turns out that you really could claim them as a dependent then you’re fine. You don’t need to do anything. If you shouldn’t have claimed them as a dependent then you should file an amended return with the IRS which will probably ask you to pay back some of that money. I would not pay any money to your child. It’s up to them to file their own return claiming their own personal exemption.

  169. Charlotte says:

    Hello, I am being audited this year. I have had to take an idenity test which I passed now I have to send in proof of me dependents. The only problems with this is my niece stays with her mom some but I provide care for her. Would a letter help I have been claiming her for the past 3 years.

  170. hilda says:

    i know my sons dad claimed our son on his taxes..but my son lives with me 90% of the time. what can i do about this?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Hilda,

      You can file a paper return claiming your son as a dependent. Also include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving that you have the right to claim him. In order to claim someone as a qualifying child, they must have lived with you for at least half the year, so it sounds like your son’s dad does not have the right to claim him.

  171. santana says:

    hey, trying to find out if my kids been clime on someone else taxes tried to file them but can’t please help

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Santana,

      What you need to do is file a paper return. Also include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving that you have a right to claim your kids. The IRS will then review both returns and award the dependents to the person who most deserves them.

  172. santana says:

    please help me someone file my kids on there taxes

  173. Sabrina says:

    For 2 yrs now someone has been claiming my son as a dependent on their taxes.. When I prove that I was cheated, will I be reimbursed? Even more importantly, how can i be sure this wont happen again?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sabrina,

      Did you file taxes for those two years? If not, you should do so now. You will have to paper file and you can also include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving you have a right to claim the dependents. If you did file for those two years but did not claim your son, you should file amended returns. I’m not sure what you mean by “reimbursed” but you will receive the refund you deserve. As for preventing this in the future, the best thing you can do is file as early as possible.

  174. Cheryl says:

    My husband’s 20 year old daughter lived with us the entire year of 2012 while attending tech school. We were planning to claim her on our taxes this year, but her mother already has claimed her on her taxes. She said that she and my husband had made a deal that she would get to claim their daughter and he their son back when they were divorced. They shared custody during this time so the kids were with each parent 1/2 time. However, now, since his daughter lived with us, can her mother leagally claim her? Thank you for any advice.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Cheryl,

      Normally you are correct, she would have to live with her mother in order for her mother to claim her. However, in the case of divorce or separation these rules break down, especially if there’s a written agreement between the two parties. Check out page 13 of this IRS document to see if it applies to your husband’s situation: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf

  175. JB says:

    My wife and I have always filed jointly. Last year and again this year someone has filed one of our children. Last year we filed a paper return. The IRS sent a form to say they were investigating, and we did receive return late last year. But how do they allow this to happen again this year, with the same dependent? Are they that behind that the same person(s) can file my child two years in a row? What can I do to stop this from occurring next year besides trying to file before them?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi JB,

      Unfortunately filing before them is really the best thing you can do. Next year you should file as early in January as possible. The IRS has implemented changes to its system to try to prevent identity theft like this, but apparently they’re not catching everyone. You could also try asking the IRS for an IP PIN for that dependent. They don’t give them to everyone but that might help.

  176. David says:

    I have trouble with the common advice that a rejected return be paper filed with a cover letter to explain the situation and expect an audit.. Problem is then the taxpayers entire refund is put on hold for 7 months. What if there would have been a substantial refund irregardless of the dependency dispute and the money is needed ASAP 7 months is too long to wait. My advice would be to file the return not claiming the dependent, get the refund in hand, then file an amended return claiming the dependant with a cover letter , etc and get ready for the audit same as before. This way the undisputed part of the refund is not held up. Anybody disagree with this approach??

  177. JB says:

    Thanks for the tip on an IP pin. I haven’t heard that before, so Ill definitely keep it in mind when contacting them.

  178. Ashley says:

    Three weeks ago i had to paper file my taxes because my child’s father claimed my daughter and wasn’t suppose to. I mailed the cover letter with 2 proofs that my daughter lives with me, but the question I have is will I get my regular return back before the money I would have received for claiming her? And also how long does the whole process take since I included everything in the letter that was needed?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ashley,

      You will get all of your refund at one time – they won’t pay you part of it and then the rest of it later. How long the process takes depends on each individual case. There is a chance that it could be resolved within a few weeks but I would be prepared for it to take several months.

  179. Ashley says:

    My accountant said that I could send i could send in a return without her and on it and then resubmitt my taxes with her on it. Which i did end up doing and they accepted that also. Im wondering if I should just call.

  180. Colleen says:

    I am writing this on behalf of my brother. He filed his taxes back in Jan. and he has still not received his return. When he goes to the official IRS tax site it says that his return is still being processed, however he did receive a letter from the IRS that states they are checking his return and will give him a response no latter then April 18. I a just trying to help him understand what is going on. The only reason that I could come up with why this may be is because someone else may have claimed his children. Does this sound like a possible reason why the IRS would be holding on to his tax refund. I also was wondering if someone else did claim his children and the IRS proceeds with an audit. Is it true that the children would not be able to be claimed on next years taxes? Please if there is anyway to help me I would appreciate it. Thank you.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Colleen,

      It’s possible that the IRS could be reviewing his return because someone else claimed his dependents but I think it’s fairly unlikely. If someone else had already claimed your brother’s dependents his return would have been rejected by the IRS (unless he paper filed). His return has problem been claimed for review because it features certain deductions or credits that the IRS identifies as often being abused for tax fraud.

  181. Jaime says:

    Where can I find a sample cover letter for this? My ex husband claimed my son, although my son has been legally living with me for the past two years & my current husband & I for the last 9 months. My ex has not even seen my son in over a year. I have the required proof needed to make the claim, just no idea where to start with a cover letter or who to specifically address it to. Thanks.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jaime,

      I don’t think you need a sample cover letter. Just address it to the IRS and explain how you meet the requirements to claim your son as a dependent and how your ex-husband does not.

  182. nomiii says:

    Last year i was unemployed and i asked my brother to claim my daughter and then my ex (paperfilled) nd also claimed her recently my brother got a letter saying someone else claimed same child we were not living w/ex at that time nd i asked my ex to amend his nd he is not willing to do that i dnt want to get my brother in any trouble what would happend next?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nomiii,

      Well, it sounds to me like neither your brother nor your ex have the right to claim your daughter as a qualifying child. Your brother can’t claim her because she is not legally his daughter. And your ex can’t claim her because she did not live with him for at least half of the year. Your brother should look into claiming her as a qualifying relative. You can find the requirements here: http://www.priortax.com/filing-late-taxes/who-qualifies-as-a-dependent-on-your-taxes/.

      Here is what SHOULD have happened. You should have filed your own return and claimed your daughter as your dependent. Even though you were unemployed you very likely could have gotten a refund. You do not have the right to “give away” a dependent to anyone. They must meet the requirements in order to claim them. As for resolving the situation above, your brother needs to file an amended return either claiming her as a qualifying relative or not claiming her at all. Then your ex needs to amend his return so that he does not claim her as anything.

  183. derrick says:

    I went to claim my taxes and someone claimed my kids allready there is no way unless some one did it in way of fraud what action do i take who do i call?

  184. Tori says:

    Hi,

    This may be lengthy but I will explain to the best of my ability.

    My husband, still married, and I decided to separate during May of last year. We are still married and still very close, just not living together at this time. I lived with my husbands Mother from May 7th of 2012 til July th of 2012 and took my three children with me out of the household July 13th. The father of my children are my husband. Anyways, due to a personal decision between my husband and I we decided to let our three children stay with his mother until further notice. She got them, without me moving in, on July 27h. I have legal documentation stating that this in fact is true. So, without me living with them with her, she has had them since July 27th, me being absent from the household. I went to file my taxes and of course she claimed them, didn’t say anything to me about it and she doesn’t have legal custody of them either. We are however going through a custody battle at the time, but again she doesn’t have legal custody and she didn’t have them, without me in the picture, for over half the year.

    Yet she told me that I had no right to claim them and it was against the law if I did. I want to know if this is true and if I can claim them what do I need to provide to show that I had them for over half the year besides the court transcript stating that she hasn’t had them until July 27th?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tori,

      Based on your description it sounds like your children were living with your mother-in-law from May 7-July 13 and then again from July 27-December 31. By my count that’s over half the year. This means that she does have the right to claim them.

      However, it also sounds like they lived with you for over half the year as well, which means that you too have the right to claim them. In these situations the IRS will reward the dependents to whomever they lived with for more time. So you need to figure out whether they were literally with your or the mother-in-law for more nights. You should know that her having legal custody over or not has nothing to do with and every night that you were with them in her house can also count as a night that they spent with her.

      If it turns out that they spent more nights with her than you, you probably shouldn’t even bother claiming them as they will likely be awarded to her anyway. If it turns out they spent more nights with you, you should paper file your return claiming them along with a cover letter and evidence. You can find a list of evidence accepted by the IRS here – http://www.eitc.irs.gov/public/site_files/F866-H-DEP-2012.pdf

  185. Tori says:

    So even though I was there from May 7th til July 13th, living with the mother in law and my kids as well, does that not count towards them staying with me as well?

  186. ovidio says:

    Hi, How I know if my exwife is claiming as a depend (for 4 years ), because I wento to my country (colombia) in 2009 , and I just comeback to USA. Not to live with her , i do not live with her since 2009 the divorce is in process.

  187. Liebevou says:

    Dear TaxAdvisor,
    When I was doing my taxes, my recently married husband and I filed jointly. I have primary custody of my two children, and am legally allowed to claim them as dependents. When I filled in the information in turbotax it said I did not qualify for the child tax deductions/credits. Does turbotax somehow check online and see that they had been claimed by my ex husband? My e-filed taxes were accepted, but I was never awarded credit for my two children (then 8 & 6) who live with me full time.

    Thank you,
    Liebevou

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Liebevou,

      If your return was accepted by the IRS that likely means that no one else claimed your kids as dependents. What TurboTax probably meant is that you did not qualify for the credit based on one of the many other requirements. Not everyone who has kids can claim the Child Tax Credit. Perhaps you make too much money to claim the credit. You can see more information here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Ten-Facts-about-the-Child-Tax-Credit

      What you should do if you have a question about this is get into contact with TurboTax because only they can tell you specifically what happened.

  188. Brenda says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering who has the right to claim my daughters on their tax return.I am no longer with their father,and he takes them every other weekend to his home. I have a new partner and my 2 daughters live more with us than their father.my new partner does all the expenses my daughters need such as,schoo lsupplies and clothing.Can someone please help?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brenda,

      First of all, your new partner cannot claim them (unless you two are married and filing a joint return) so that leaves you and their father. As long as they have lived with you for over half the year it sounds to me like you should be able to claim them.

  189. marilyn says:

    i have a bad relationship with the father of my kid the court order me to go far away he was abusive and have and still have a domestic violent restraining order i left to pr for ten years ,,he got married and live in ny they both claim my kids for 10 years saying my kids live with them wish they never did when i try to collect my kids they irs told me they been claim it wasent much i can do to the regulation in pr i came back to the usa and find out what my ex and wife also he was claiming hes friend who dint live with him and doing hes taxes like he live in nj and claim hes wife to he committed a lot of fraud at the time my identity was stolen for years some one had my sss num had bye a home and car i was getting call i know he had a lot to do with this since he was mad i left and sold my paper to some one else in fl wish he have a Colombian friends that are illegal in this country when ask he did that he got all nerves he collected from 1993 to 2003
    will my kids get that money back,,,they go to collage and he been trying not to pay hes a hungry money also when he bye hes home with hes wife they say my kids live with him he got no prove i do and school they when to ,i had try to report this before to the irs and they send some paper wish i did return back and i never heard from the irs again ,,he know have to give this money to my kids can someone help me with the right number to call

  190. marilyn says:

    my kids was little at the time know they do there own tax return will the money he own to then will my kids get it for finishing collage since they do there own taxes or he and hes wife go to jail and my kids dont get the money how this work

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      If he claimed your children on his taxes when he shouldn’t have, it is possible to get that money back for the last three years. If you should have claimed your kids, you need to file a return (or an amended return) claiming your kids with evidence they were your dependents. If they should have claimed themselves, they need to file a return claiming their own personal exemptions.

  191. amanda says:

    hi my ex father inlaw files for my child but never seen him he is 5 years old and every time i try to file it says that he had alredy filed on his socail please someone help me

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Amanda,

      Based on your description it sounds like your ex-father-in-law does not have the right to claim your son as a dependent. Even though he has already filed, you will still be able to claim your son. As you’ve already noted you won’t be able to e-file. However, you can still file a paper return. When you do so, be sure to include a cover letter stating the situation with evidence that you have the right to claim your son. The IRS should review the case and award you the benefit of claiming your son.

  192. Mrs. Distraught says:

    I need help badly. My ex (we were never married) is trying to claim my 4 year old son. The irs sent me the notice explaining that someone else has claimed my dependent. But my problem is that because it was a messy breakup I picked up and left without changing our address for his doctor or social services. I didnt change things until weeks later. Now that the irs tells me my son has been claimed by someone other than myself I am concerned about how I am to prove that my son is my dependent. Will letters from people help me? I dont know if my ex can prove it but I want to make sure I can. And im too young and too dumb to have kept receipts for clothes and items we (my husband and I) have bought for him. Please help me

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Mrs. Distraught,

      Is your son in school or daycare? Are there any records related to childcare? Ultimately you need to contact the IRS and seek their advice, because I can’t tell you exactly what will satisfy them. Just explain your situation to them, they are usually pretty good about working with taxpayers in difficult situations.

  193. Gina Cavazos says:

    My ex fiance claimed our daughter and I last year (2012). We broke off the engagement and aren’t civil with each other at all. He never lived with him and he hasn’t been in our daughters life for over 4 months. How do I do it or what do I have to do in order for him not to be allowed to claim us again this year?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Gina,

      Unfortunately the only thing you can do is file before him. My advice is to e-file your return as soon as possible. The IRS probably won’t open e-file until late January/early February, but sites like RapidTax will make their 2013 applications available in the first week of January. I recommend preparing your return then so it will be filed as soon as possible.

  194. Natasha Lemon says:

    my name is Natasha Lemon and I am a single mother of 1 son age 12 who has been filed by someone tax returns without my permission. I want to know what can i do to avoid it from happening again? its getting close to that time again soon another year. I feel like if something is not done about this, that person will feel that its okay to continue filing. I need to know the next step to take.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Natasha,
      There is a chance it could have been an accident. For example, they could have wrote a 4 instead of a 9 for the dependent’s social security number. Regardless, it’s important to contact the IRS about this. Did you do that?
      If you have an idea who claimed your child as a dependent, then it will be best to talk to them about this. Only one parent can claim the child as a dependent in your situation.

  195. Kenneth.crouser says:

    someone else claimed my child an they sent me a letter stating to fill out an amened 1040x form isn’t that for the person who is in the wrong?and not me??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If two different people both have the right to claim the dependent according to the criteria listed above, the IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year. If the dependent lived with both people for an equal amount of time, then the IRS will award the dependent to the taxpayer with the higher AGI.

      I suggest calling the IRS support line at 1-800-829-1040 and let them know of your situation and also mail in your tax return with proof that your dependent is yours and lives with you.

  196. Kenneth.crouser says:

    can you email me the reply asap???thankyou

  197. Krishna D. says:

    My son father filed him last year and I was wondering if I can file for him this year

    • Tax Advisor says:

      If two people claim a dependent, the IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year. If the dependent lived with both people for an equal amount of time, then the IRS will award the dependent to the taxpayer with the higher AGI.

      You can claim your son if the following requirements are met;
      Your son is under age 19, under age 24 if a full-time student, or any age if permanently and totally disabled
      Your son is U.S. citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico
      Your son is unmarried, or married but not filing a joint return
      Your son has lived with you for at least half the year, unless absent due to illness, education, business, vacation, or military service
      Your son has not provided more than half of his or her own support

  198. tracy says:

    Hi my ex husband has a shady lawyer she put on divorce papers last yr that he geta to claim our two boys rhe next two years he dont pay for clothes shoes nothing they need is this fair for them to do we are now back in court system after a year in a half because his lawyers bogus papers what do I do he has no business claiming them if he isn’t providing for them as much as I do

  199. Misty says:

    My ex-husband and I both claimed our daughter on last years taxes. I received a letter from the IRS asking me to verify her SS# and whether or not I could actually claim her. If everything was correct, I was to do nothing; if it was wrong, I was to file an amendment. I have never heard what the outcome was and just wanted to check before we filed this years returns. What is the best way to find out what happened? I mailed in my taxes, because I received an alert when trying to e-file, and also sent in a letter, our custody papers and and my tax preparer also wrote a letter. I’m afraid he will try again. He’s already behind in child support and will probably try anything at this point.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Misty,
      I would contact the IRS about this. Considering tax season starts soon, it’s good to know you might be waiting a bit to reach the IRS on the phone.
      The general rule to this situation is that the IRS will ultimately “award” the dependent to the taxpayer who has the dependent lives with for the most time during the year. If the time is split even, the dependent will be awarded to the taxpayer with the higher AGI (adjusted gross income).

  200. jessica D says:

    Stolen identity. My sister wants to claim me but she hasent yet. And this guy has my name and ssn and if so he claims me ,can I report him or what to do to stop him from getting the money and stoping my sister from getting decline?

  201. rebecca says:

    My stepdaughter has been living with my husband and me since june 2012. Her mother claimed her on the taxes in January 2013 due to her not wanting my husband to get any extra money to help us with our wedding. Now she is claiming my stepdaughter for all of 2013 even though she never paid a dime in child support. Is there anything that we can do.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Rebecca,
      You and your husband can try to also claim your stepdaughter on your taxes, however, usually the dependent is rewarded to the person who he/she has lived with the most during the year.

  202. Zahirah says:

    Hi. My husband and I have been seperated for a year and will definitely be getting a divorce. We have 2 children together and they both stay with me, so I take care of them. He recently just filed taxes and claimed our youngest, and when he claimed them in the past they hardly benefited from the money. Who can I talk to to ensure that this doesn’t continuem

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Zahirah,
      Dependents are generally rewarded to the person that they live with for the most amount of time during the year. I would suggest calling the IRS if you need to know more about your specific situation.
      Also, you can claim the dependents on your tax return as well, if they spend more time with you, then they should be counted as your dependents.

  203. Heather says:

    My brother has been living with my husband and I since February 2013. Our mother signed a letter that says she’s aware of the change of residence and she agrees with it. We included that she would continue with financial support since she received his child support. Unfortunately she didn’t hold up her end of the agreement and decided to keep the money for herself since she was out of work due to a surgery shortly after my brother’s move. After countless failed attempts to get her to assist financially, we went to our dad (child support supplier) and he reopened their divorce and requested that the child support is redirected to my husband and I. We’re still waiting for a court date. However, the state is holding the cs now and no longer dispersing it to her until the court renders a new ruling.
    She called to tell me that she was going to do a payday advanced type thing but based off her W2 that came in for her disability payments while she was out of work after her surgery. She happened to mention that “this will help me get x fixed since I can claim me and your brother.) I told her that she couldn’t since we’ve provided for him for nearly a year. She told me “well they told me I could” I don’t know who the “they” reference is towards,however I’d like to find out which one of us can legally claim my brother.
    She called to basically let me know she was planning to claim my brother.

    • Heather says:

      My brother turned 17 Oct. 2012, he’s a full time student, and doesn’t have any handicaps. Please help so we can avoid an audit.
      She is also listed on a business license with her boyfriend that lives with her, but it is inactive due to “failure to report” and I’m pretty sure she didn’t file her taxes last year.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Heather,
      You can claim your brother on your taxes since he is related to you and considering he lived with you, you financially support him (as long as he makes less than $3,900/year).
      Claim your brother when filing your taxes (and file sooner rather than later). If someone else (your mother) claims him, he should be “awarded” as a dependent to the person he lives with for a longer amount of time during the year.
      I would suggest talking to an attorney about the situation with the child support from your dad (if nothing changes).
      Good luck!

  204. carla says:

    My ex husband and I got divorced three years ago with a paralegal. On our divorce decree he claims our three children. He works in Jamaica and lives in Jamaica for over two years now. He claimed the children last year. The children live with me and only see him one week out of the year. Our divorce papers were not done correctly and we have been back to court several times. Taxes is one of the issues. How can he keep claiming them if he lives in Jamaica and works for a Mexican company?
    Would I be able to claim them or would I get in trouble?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Carla,
      If your child lives with you for more time during the year than with your husband, the child will be awarded as your dependent on your taxes. That means, if so, you should claim the dependent.

  205. Rodeochick82 says:

    I have a question… My husband and I filed our taxes 2 days after his parents filed. He has custody of 2 children and him and I have 2 together. We have always claimed 4 kids at tax time. This year my husbands parents said since my husband didn’t work that they were going to claim his 2 kids, has custody of, on there taxes. When we filed we got no flags saying that they were claimed. Should I be worried? With both having a big enough home for the 6 of us, Me and 2 kids live with me at my parents home. He lives with his 2 kids he has custody of at his parents home. Since we are married we file a joint return. Now with finding out his parents may have claimed his 2 kids. What will happen and what can we do now if it is true?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      His parents can claim your 2 kids as qualifying relative dependents if no one claimed them as qualifying children. If you and your husband claimed them as your children, you should be fine.

  206. Nikki says:

    Here is my story.

    Had a child with US citizen after child was 3 months old moved back to Canada. He ony has visitation rights but he claimed her for the past 3 years as a dependent in his house. She has only been to his house for no more then 2 months out of each of these years. I also filed for her in Canada. Which I have sole custody so I know I’m ok. Now I am going through my green card process with my husband of a year now and now live in the US as well. I understood that I can’t file until I’m legal to work so we have a paper stating he can file. But he is wanting to file as she is a dependent in his household.

    He send child support and half her school. Then she goes 4 times a year. Can you file for that? Or just that he pays that?

    Please help. I don’t think he should be able to file for that. Is that against the law? He also made me wrote that he can file till I’m legal knowing that my husband can file for me and her as were defendants.

    Thanks
    Nikki

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Nikki,
      He can claim the child as his dependent. However, the child is generally awarded as the dependent to the parent who he/she lives with for the most time throughout the year.
      If both parents claim the child, he/she will be considered the dependent to the parent who he/she lives with for more time during the year (in this case, that would be you, if filing a return).

  207. Ed says:

    Hello, my gf and I had our newborn in December, but she had moved back to her moms in august to finish her last year of school and give birth where she originally lived to have her mother help after the baby was born. I’ve basically been paying for all our rent at our home and have put our child on my insurance. Now the baby Has been living with them the entire time with the exception of coming down to visit. Who has more authority to claim our child? Her parent or I?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ed,
      Generally, the parent who the child lives with for more time throughout the year, can claim the dependent. If both parents claim the child, it will be awarded as the dependent to the parent who the child lives with for more time.

  208. Tyler says:

    I have a six year old daughter that stays with me every weekend, and occasionally during the week. I pay a large amount in child support, and have made all of the payments in 2013. My child’s mother does not work, but does collect social security. I have claimed my daughter every tax year. This year, she told me I was not allowed to claim her because she was going to do it. I have a few questions: Can she claim my daughter if she doesn’t have an employment income? Also, I have a feeling that she is attempting to get her boyfriend to claim my daughter in order to split the money with him. If I still claimed my daughter, and the boyfriend also did, would they still withhold both of our taxes?

    • Tyler says:

      Also another question, if a significant portion of my income goes to child support payments (approximately 50% of every paycheck), would that benefit my refund if I was unable to claim my daughter?

      • Tax Advisor says:

        Hi Tyler,
        I would suggest claiming your daughter on your return, regardless of what your child’s mother (and her boyfriend) do. I say that because someone will be awarded. Basically, whoever the dependent spends more time with is usually who the dependent is awarded to for tax purposes. After this, it depends on who has the higher AGI (Adjusted gross income).

  209. Kelly Hargrove says:

    Ok I’m trying to file my taxes and claim my child my mother has stated she has claimed us for 2013 and I can’t do my taxes I moved out 09/01/2013 I started working 11/02/2013 now can I still claim my child and do my taxes or does she have the right to she said she has proof but she does not have mine or my daughters social security numbers or cards. I need help what can I do and can she get our social security numbers

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Your mother has the right to claim your child (if she has your daughter’s social security number), if your daughter is under 19, if your daughter lived with her for more than half the year, and if she provided more than half of her financial support.
      If two people claim the same dependent, the dependent is usually awarded to (for tax purposes) to the person the child lived with for more time throughout the year.

  210. amelia says:

    i am a ward of the court and had been living on my own for a year supporting my self i was also full time student. i filed my tax return as single indepent. i got letter back from irs stating someone claimed me as depentdent. this was back in 2011 return its now 2013 tax return is their anything i can do about it to make sure it never happens again?
    please contact me @
    miamatos110@gmail.com

    • amelia says:

      i lost my education credit because of this

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Amelia,
      If you qualified as someone’s dependent in 2011, they had the right to claim you as their dependent on their tax return. I would suggest talking to who claimed you to avoid them claiming you again. If you have absolutely no idea who claimed you, I would contact the IRS about this. It could have been a mistake and the taxpayer entered the wrong SS number, and that number ended up being yours.
      I would suggest filing your current year taxes as early as possible this year.

  211. CONFUSSED says:

    I HAVE RASIED MY DAUGHTER FOR THE LAST 10 YRS, IN WITCH I FILE ON MY TAXES EVERY YR.
    BUT THAT LAST 3YRS HER FATHER HAS FILED HER, ONLY I GUESS BY BEATING ME TO IT. I DON’T SEE TAXES AS A GAME, FIRST TO FILE WINS. I AMENED MY TAXES EVERY YR. WITH THE IRS TELLING ME, HE WILL HAVE TO PAY IT ALL BACK AND PAY MY FEES BACK ALSO. BUT 3YRS LATER THEY STILL LET HIM DO THIS AND I STILL HAVE TO WAITING ON MONEY THAT I WORK HARD FOR EVERY YR. I HOW DO I GET THIS TO STOP WHEN THE IRS DON’T DO THIER JOB. THEY PAY US BOTH AND THEY NEVER HAVE GO AFTER HIM FOR THE MONEY. NOW WHAT. ONCE AGAIN I’M STUCK PAYING TO AMEND AND WAITING FOR THEM TO SEND MY CHECK. THAT I ALWAYS GET. SO WHY CAN’T SOMEONE SEE SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENING ON THE SAME S.S.#…..

  212. Juwon Jones says:

    I filed my daughter that was just born 2013.but my daughter mother tried to be funny by letting her sister file her after knowing i filed her first.so how does that works.i just dont know how to go about this i cant afford to be flagged or anything of that type.i did for her before the baby was here and after.i really just need some information ASAP about my situation

  213. KC says:

    I’m was named legal guardian of my nephew 5 yrs ago. August 2013 he decided he (age 17) wanted to move back with his parents. My taxes were just rejected because someone else tried to claim him? I assuming its his parents but he lived with us for 7 months out of the 12. We stilled paid for his insurance up till Janurary 2014, (he turned 18). What should we do?

  214. jojo says:

    Can the irs tell me who claimed my child

  215. Roeisha Reddick says:

    if my mom filed me that I go school. Can I still filed myself as dependent

  216. Kaitlyn says:

    My child’s father claimed our son on his taxes even though he is not the residential parent nor does he pay any support or any money towards our child. Since he filed first the IRS reqected my return.
    I was told to fild a paper tax with a letter explaiing the situation and the documents that state i’m the residential parent. Do i need to do anything else?

    How long will the process take once the IRS recieves my paper return?

  217. vic says:

    My ex gf the mother of my child had one of her family members or her boyfriend claim our daughter who is 5 I have claimed her since she was born we seperated 3yrs ago and she does not work and has not ever worked we have joint custody and I am the only working parent.. so my return got rejected and I would like to know how what the IRS can do about it since I am her father and am the only working parent. She put her address on the school form and on the medicaid but we have joint custody and have a court order stating that. What can be done about this?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Vic,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.

      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent (the dependent lives with you, is your child, you provide more than have their support, and the child makes under $3900/yr).

      Best of luck!

  218. J.Reedus says:

    Hello. I’m trying to figure out what to do, step by step.

    I found out in early 2010 that my mother claimed both me and my son as dependents on her taxes. I was not even living in the same state as her since early 2009. I dont know if she’s been claiming us ever since then (although I wouldn’t put it passed her….she has used my # for bills when I was a child). How do I find out if she’s continued to use our numbers since then? How do I stop her??? I don’t file taxes because I’m receiving public assistance, and I do NOT want her (or anyone) claiming either one of us on their taxes. What do I do??

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi J.Reedus,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS with an included cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.

      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      Best of luck!

  219. Tanya says:

    My niece Grandmother(Guardian) died in May 2013. she came to live with me in June 2013. I enrolled her in school here with my brother’s blessing(The Mom is deceased). In December 2013 her maternal Aunt called and said don’t bother claiming her because her Mother gave her the right to claim her for 2013. The Aunt claimed her in 2012 even though my niece didn’t live with her. I did attempt to Claim her electronically file and was rejected. I do have all the proper documentations from both schools, SS, death certificate and a statement from my brother. If I paper file what is the time frame for receiving my refund? Should I wait to be audited before sending the documents?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tanya,
      As long as you can prove that you meet all of the qualifications to claim her as a dependent, then you should be fine. Since you are mailing everything in, it could take up to 16 weeks, so be prepared to wait.

  220. bm says:

    hi so i made a mistake by uploading previous documents when filing my taxes this year and i am not supposed to claim my daughter this year instead the mother gets to per legal agreement even tho our daughter does live with me most of the year… anyways i e-filed and then 2 days later her mother is asking me for her information so she can file taxes and claim her, i check mine and see that i have already claimed her since i had the previous year and all the information remained the same from previous years taxes.. is there anything and if so what can i do to fix this without having the irs all up in my business?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi there,
      If the tax return has already been accepted by the IRS, you’ll have to file an amended return, form 1040x. On the amended return, you will note the changes from the first return you filed. It’s good to know though, it takes the IRS up to 16 weeks to process amended returns.

  221. Nicole says:

    I have 2 sons that live with me all year. When their father & I seperated we had an agreement written up that we each claim one child. At that time he bothered & lived in the same school district. 3 years ago he stopped bothering. He sees them maybe 10 weekends out of the year. I claimed them that last 3 years. In 2013 he finally started working & went and claimed my son (if we go by our custody agreement, he claimed the wrong child.) I spoke with the IRS and even with our agreement stating he claims one/ I claim other they still said I am entitled to claim both. I went to claim and got denied because he had already filed. My question is just to make sure what both the tax representative & the irs are correct that as long as I can prove they both live with me (which I can) that it’ll over rule the custody agreement? I know my next steps, just wanted to double check.

  222. Tatiana says:

    Hi,
    My boyfriend’s wife left him in July 2013, for the entire year he was the main support of the household, they have 4 children. He has been paying child support since then as well. He tried to e-file his tax returns for 2013 and claim 2 of the children as dependents but came back that he couldn’t. We are not sure if that their mother claim all of them or she gave 2 of the kids to someone else. Maybe she put a block on their social security numbers. Please advise asap. Thank you!!!

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tatiana,
      This is a common issue with many people. As this article says, he will have to file a paper return to the IRS. That means he will mail his printed return to the IRS. Also, he will have to include a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving he has the right to claim the children.

      After the IRS receives the mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      To help, when sending the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain the requirements are met to claim the dependents (the dependents lives with him, is his children, he provide more than have their support, and the children makes under $3900/yr).

  223. v sharrock says:

    Hello my sister is trying to claim her son but it came back saying someone already claimed him but she don’t know is there a number she can call to find out who claimed him
    Please and thank you

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi,
      She can not find out who claimed him. However, as this article says, she will have to file a paper return to the IRS with an included cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving she has the right to claim the child.

      After the IRS receives the mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

  224. Brandy says:

    My brother has been living with me for the past year, paying my bills and supporting my children because I am going to school and have not worked. One of my children’s fathers has never seen them and doesn’t work or pay child support so he can’t claim them, the other pays $60 a month but he is on SSI and can’t file taxes plus he has a no contact order with my children. He has lived with me but is not on the lease; however, there are bills in his name such as the cable/internet etc. and he pays everything. I allowed him to claim my 3 children this year because he has supported them but when he checked the status of his return it said the following:
    Take Action.

    We have received your tax return and it is being reviewed. You will receive a notice from us requesting additional information within 30 calendar days. You may not receive all or part of your refund until we receive and review the information we requested. If you need more information after you receive our notice, call the number on the notice.

    Please do not contact us until you have received the notice as we are unable to take any action until then.

    I can prove my children live here and can show that my brother has bills and stuff in his name here and that he is related to them but other then that have no concrete proof that he lives here because he’s not on my lease. Should this be enough to satisfy the IRS’s inquiry so that he can get his refund? Was he legally allowed to claim my children? I was sure that he was.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Brandy,
      Your brother can claim your children as a qualifying relative if he meet the following requirements;

      -The dependents cannot be a qualifying child of another taxpayer.
      – The dependents earns less than the personal exemption amount during the year. For 2013, this means the dependent earns less than $3,900.
      – He provides more than half of the dependent’s total support during the year.
      -He is related to the dependents
      -The dependent must be a citizen or resident alien of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

      As long as he can prove these above requirements, he should be fine. He can provide that he provides more than half of the dependents support during the year through the bills and expenses he pays for.

  225. dg says:

    What can I do if I went to file my children on my federal taxes this year for 2013, it was rejected. The mother is claiming that she did not claim the children but i have an idea that her father did. How can her father claim my children if I have the right to claim them on my taxes? How to I find out if he did? This would NOT have been a mistake, as there is a court order of NO ARREARS and child support is paid up front and full, that i did not give anyone else permission to claim my two children?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children.

      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependents (the dependents lives with you, is your children, you provide more than have their support, and the children makes under $3900/yr).

  226. Ken says:

    My daughter is a student and claimed herself by mistake. She already filed and my return was rejected. When she files a 1040x does she need to send one to federal and state? (we live in PA) and does she have to file a new 1040EZ?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Ken,
      A very common mistake! The 1040x will be the new tax form and when she files it, she will report any changes from the original. She will have to do it for both federal and state.

  227. Marcus l says:

    Someone claim my daughter without my or her moms knowledge I have my paper tax return and the cover story but were the ird office I send it to? For federal return.

  228. Genee says:

    So here’s the problem. I claimed my son and after I realized I had put the wrong numbers for my w2,I had to mail it instead,along with taking my dependent off because the other parent made more income,therefore I decided to let him claim the dependent this year. So he started to efile his taxes and was rejected cause the dependent was already used. How long will it take in order for my amend to change so he can file his taxes and get the dependent?

  229. Fred says:

    My neice signed the proper papers giving me permission to claim her daughter who actually lived with me for over two years, when I recently went to file my taxes I was rejected cause someone already claimed her, what can I do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Fred,
      You’ll have to file your return by mail to the IRS with proof that you qualify to claim her as a qualifying relative dependent, along with a letter stating your situation.

  230. cindy says:

    I been filing my children since birth and for some apparent reason these past 2 years my refund was rejected each time due to someone filing him I will never allow anyone to file child knowing I work and my son lives in my household the other parent is not involved in my children life my.question is I’ve Been told I can put a pin on my children social security number and how do I go about amending my taxes for the past two years.

  231. Tavia says:

    My husband and i went to file our taxes and it was rejected electronically. Now my stepson is 7. His mother has only worked 9 months of his life and that was only in the first 2yrs. She has been letting her mother file him and his siblings all this time. He has stayed with us equal number of nights and my husband pays Child support and in addition so much more. My husband makes the higher AGI between him and her. By the Tax laws my husband is eligible to file his son? Will they make his grandmother pay back all those years? Now granted his grandmother was eligible to file my stepson his first 2yrs because his mother and him lived with her (by tax laws) but she isn’t eligible now or the past 5 years. Her mother and her live in two different addresses.
    My husband said we should mail our taxes in and file a FORM 3949-A to report Fraud. How should we go about this?

    Thanks Tavia

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tavia,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  232. timothy loner says:

    what documents do i need to prove my stepson and his father lived with me all year.my stepson being my dependant and his father having full custody yet his mother claimed him without our knowledge

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi there,
      Any documents that prove your stepson lives with you such as school records with your address listed, doctor bills with your address and his name listed, etc.

  233. J Linden says:

    I was told I need to provide proof that my girlfriend and son lived with my last year. Would some type of letter from WIC stating we recieved benefits from them while living together last year be proof?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi J Linden,
      You can show school records, medical records, anything that shows their name associated with your address. You will also have to show your lease or mortgage with your name and address listed, so that all addresses correlate.

  234. Patreaka says:

    Hi someone claimed my son and I don’t kno who it is. I was rejected when I tried . I mailed all the information I was asked to mail proven I can claim him and I am his mother 2 weeks ago. How long does it take for the IRS to approve And mail my return to me

  235. Isabella says:

    Hi,
    I had my son on Dec 11th 2013. He’s my first. After filing my taxes, my return was accepted and I was expecting a decent refund. When my taxes came in, two weeks later, it was SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than my return said it would be. I’m head of household and he’s my dependent (I know my fiancée didn’t file for him). Then I got a letter from the IRS asking me to prove he’s lived with me, that he’s my son and a copy of my return. I sent it all, but my real question is why did that happen if everything went smoothly on the return? And when should I expect the rest of the return? I think all I got back was what I worked for and not the credits.

    Thank you.
    Isabella

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Isabella,
      The IRS will do this if two or more taxpayers attempted to claim the same dependent. Are you sure you used the correct social security number for your son? There could also be a chance that someone used the wrong social security number when claiming a child, and that wrong number was your son’s number (although this is less likely, it could happen).

      Once you send your proof that your son is your child and lives with you, the IRS will review the information and as long as it’s fine, you will be granted your refund. The amount of time this will take can vary, I wouldn’t expect to get your refund for at least another 4 weeks.

  236. J Mills says:

    My girlfriend and her 2 kids live with me. My girlfriend does not work. Neither does her ex. I supported her and the kids the entire year with no support from him. I am claiming her as my dependent and i was trying to claim the kids, but he already did. I filed a paper return (its in the mail). How likely is it that i will be able to claim the kids without being their biological father?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  237. Alpha says:

    Hi! I have 4 children and I didn’t work the whole year last year. My ex husband usually claimed 2 of my kids. He asked me if it’s ok if he can claimed the other one and he’ll give me half of the money for one, so I let him. But now I found out that he His girlfriend is the one who claimed one of my child. which he knows I’m against it. Can I call IRS against her. She doesn’t have my permission to claim my son. All my kids lived with me from Monday-Friday night. What should I do. And oh yeah, my ex husband mom is the one who claimed my youngest son because my 4 kids and I lived with her.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Alpha,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  238. Yay says:

    Wow that is interesting

  239. concerned single parent says:

    So my ex claimed our child on 2012 taxes says she lived with him for 6 months and I claimed her as eell but I have custody we lived with him only4 months we had a joint account hhe’s a month behind on child’s support we both got a letter from tge irs he lied so he can get the money what should I do about this shouldn’t he get into trouble about this problem

    • Tax Advisor says:

      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependents.

  240. nelson flores says:

    hello
    since November 2013 my wife and I got separated, but she gave my daughter’s social security number to other person. I am the only one that can claim my daughter this year, what SHOULD I DO AND IS THAT A FEDERAL OFFENSE?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  241. tiffanyhelpmepls says:

    okay I need help pls pls pls I have a 9 year old son and I take care of my dad that cant walk to I cant work but anyway what I need help with is that I dont know how to get my sons father and step mom from using my son on their taxes I believe that have been using him for the last 4 to 5 year off and on just because my sons father owes me over $6,000 child support and the IRS sends the money to the child support office they give him his money back and not give it to me to help me with my son.. so what do I have to do to get them to stop using my son so I can get the child support that my son should get but cant because they are using my son.. so what can I do pls pls pls pls help I really need this help thanks for your time and god bless you…

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Tiffany,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.

      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  242. tara says:

    Hi ..I filed my taxes and it was rejected due to someone claiming my kids.i was told to mail in birth cert.,ss # and my id.my question is how long after do I have to wait for my refund.im super frustrated ..and they can’t tell me who it was so even more frustrating.TIa

  243. Sheldon says:

    I have a question involving my daughter. her mother claimed her on her taxes without asking me. I have full custody of our daughter and not once has the mother been involved with the child since she was born. I have not received any help or money from the mother. is there a way I can turn her in for doing this?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sheldon,
      As this article says, you will have to file a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS. Also, you will have to include a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your child.

      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependent. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependent.

  244. karla says:

    Someone claimed my nieces even though they lived with me the whole year. I dont have proof of school since they didnt go to school & was watched by a private babysitter & medical papers all got sent to my sister at her address but my sister said she would write a letter to the irs & send copies of their ss cards her Id. Would that be sufficient for the irs? The person who claimed them are of no relation to my nieces & have nothing to do with them. They had stolen my nieces information from my sister out of spite.

  245. vp says:

    if someone claim my kid how long does it take for me to find out after I file my taxes

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi,
      You will find out when the IRS accepts or rejects your tax return. This usually happens pretty quickly (within a few days) for e-filers. If you paper filed, it will take a few weeks.

  246. Sylverwings says:

    Hi, I have a wonderful daughter I have been custodial parent to for 5 years now. a child support order is in place. It states that if he is100% caught up on paying back support (which will happen sometime this year) he gets to claim her every odd year on taxes. He has never met her, doesn’t know her full name, has never sent her anything, has never called, and the child support is being taken directly out of his paychecks. He didn’t even go to the court date for the support hearing. He pays bare minimum support (not even half her cost of living). is it legal that he can claim her? I know he doesn’t have her ssn because he asked for it one year (he was not caught up so I did not give it to him).

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi “Sylverwings”,

      I would suggest filing a paper return to the IRS, by mail. That means you’ll mail your return to the IRS along with a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children.
      After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.

      Best of luck!

  247. You completed a number of fine points there. I did a search on the theme and found nearly all folks will agree with your blog.

  248. kathomas says:

    My mothers boyfriend claimed my son n did not have permission what can i do?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Kathomas,

      You can still prepare your return online, but instead of e-filing you will need to print it out, sign it, and mail it to the IRS. Be sure to include a cover letter explaining your situation to the IRS as well as evidence proving that you have the right to claim the dependent.

  249. StephRid says:

    My ex husband lied to me and told me that it was in a court order that he be allowed to claim one of our two kids every year. He lives in another state and I have custody of both kids. He gets to see them only for 7 weeks a year, so per law, he has no right to claim them at all. After doing some investigating I found out that there is no court order. He has claimed one child for the last 4 tax years. Is there a way to have him audited or something so that I can go back and claim my child for those years? I have tried countless times to contact the IRS and can never get a real person on the phone. Any help on this situation would be appreciated. I know he will not willingly file an amendment.

  250. Von says:

    In 2009, I tried to e-file but couldn’t so I mailed my return. I received a bill from the IRS saying that I had to pay money back because I didn’t have the right to claim my children although I’m a single parent and sole provider of them. TThe irs took my taxes in payment of the money they said I owed. Is there any way to prove that I had the right to claim my children and get that money returned to me?

  251. Frustrated says:

    I am unable to work and my mom financially supports me and my children who all live with me. My son’s father doesn’t provide nearly as much for him as my mom does, neither does he live with him at all. I live somewhere else, can my mom still claim my children with my permission since she does support us? If an audit would come up, how would we handle it?

  252. IJDK says:

    Ok. So I’m on disability. I have no earned income. My neighbor came to me telling me she knew a tax guy who could file my taxes for me and get me credit for my dependents. She did it and was on disability as well. The guy said everything was legit. He did it from my home. I don’t even know his name. I received a return a couple weeks later. . So I recently received a letter from social security wanting copies of my earning statements for self employment etc. to see if I still qualify for benefits. I didn’t work for anyone. I have no paperwork. All I got was a refund to my bank. What is going to happen to me?! I am scared! I don’t want to go to prison over a few thousand dollars! Please help

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi IJDK,

      I suggest asking your friend for this tax agent’s phone number to contact him directly. It seems a bit strange that he did not provide you with any paperwork what so ever.

  253. Shannon says:

    Need help i send all of.my document to the irs bcuz somebody
    Claim my daughter for 2013 and i couldnt file her . The only th
    Thing i got from saying they got my information and it take
    Up 180 day. So when will i know i will be able to file my daughter
    Bcuz i send then everything in feb and got a letter in
    March. I just want to know is they waiting for me
    To file this year so they. Will know, would the y be able
    To tell if her father file her bcuz he is on her
    Birth.cerfication. Please help

  254. CJ says:

    Hi,

    Our court order states that my ex-husband can claim one of our two sons if gainfully employed (we have 50/50 custody). Since he supposedly is earning a self-employed living, for the 2013 tax year I claimed only one child. Then on August 28 we had a hearing for arrears and the judge decided that he didn’t meet the criteria for “gainful employment” and that I could claim both kids. So I amended my return, and e-filed it, prepared to have it rejected and to have to send a paper return with the new court order, due my ex having already claimed the other child.

    However, my return was accepted. Which means which means my ex-husband hadn’t filed taxes at all. Since he supposedly started this home-based business in 2011, I am now wondering if he didn’t file a tax return for 2011 and 2012 either.

    If that’s the case, one of our sons was claimed by no one and I could have claimed him. Do I have a way to find out? Can I just try to amend my 2012 and 2011 returns to claim our second child and see if it goes through? Or can I get in trouble if he’s already been claimed?

    Thanks for any input.

  255. Stephanie says:

    When sending the paper copy with cover letter to resolve this issue…what type of things are considered ‘evidence” that I have the right to claim her over her absent father?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      You will most likely need to provide documentation that you meet all the criteria to claim the dependent. This includes proving your relationship to the dependent, that your dependent is a citizen of the United States, Canada or Mexico, that the dependent lived with you for more than half the year, and that the dependent did not provide more than half of his or her own financial support.
      Keep in mind that for most types of dependents, you will be asked to prove that the dependent lived with you for more than half the year. Be prepared to show documents such as school records or medical records that indicate both you and your dependent lived at the same address.

  256. A.Hwan says:

    My in-laws claimed all 3 of my children without my permission for the past two years, My wife and I both lived with them the entire time for which they claimed them. I was employed the whole time and provided the financial support for my children.

    If I were to send in the paper return and it was proven that I am the one who has the right to legally claim them and receive the return will my in-laws have to repay the money they have received due to their fraudulent claim?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi A.Hwan,

      Once the IRS audits both parties to determine who can rightfully claim the children, the party who has made a fraudulent claim will most likely have to pay a penalty.

  257. Karen says:

    Hi my sister claimed my daughter with my permission but her taxes were rejected because the father of my daughter claimed her but he has no right because I live with my sister and I have legal and physical custody of my 5 year old daughter what can I do about it ?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Karen,

      Although your situation is a little bit different, I suggest that your sister still file a paper return with the IRS along with a cover letter explaining the situation and evidence proving that she has the right to claim your daughter.

      The IRS will then review both returns claiming that dependent and award them to the taxpayer who most deserves to claim them.

  258. Jasmine Montes says:

    I let my mom use my daughter as a dependant but she only gave me 700$ but i read its 1000 per child. Did she lie to me and keep some of the money?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Jasmine,

      It’s possible that your mother only received $700 from claiming the child tax credit for your daughter. The child tax credit begins as a non refundable credit, reducing your mother’s tax. The remainder is then the refundable credit (aka the refund amount the taxpayer receives). It’s a bit hard to be positive about the exact amount that she received since it is limited by income amounts.

  259. jane says:

    My son is staying with my sister for a month and she said ahe needed my sons birthcertifacte nd social security to be on her lease at the housing units can she claim him on her income tax?

  260. chelsea grimes says:

    This lady got ahold of my kids and mine ss# and has claimed for the past two years and I have written the IRS 2 letters about her claiming my kids and i have spoken to them on the phone and went to there office what can I do about this

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Chelsea,

      Assuming that this ‘lady’ is not someone who you know or who could claim your children as dependents I highly suggest that you call the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit toll-free at 1-800-908-4490 or visit irs.gov/identitytheft. This is a form of identity theft and should not be taken lightly. Although you called the IRS already, the phone number provided above is for specialized in this type of situation.

  261. Andrea says:

    In 2004 my ex bf claimed our kids fraudulently on his taxes and received a hefty return, I found this out as I was getting my taxes prepared. I called the IRS back when it happened and they said I needed to provide proof of residency for the kids, which I did. They told me it could take quiet awhile to get this corrected, and in the meantime life has happened, kids with medical issues, and I’m wondering if there is a time limit on this sort of thing? What are my options?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Andrea,

      According to the IRS, the process can take 8-12 weeks. I am assuming, based on the information above, that although this occurred in 2004, you found out about it this year. If you have not been contacted within this time frame, I suggest contacting the IRS again.

  262. Denise says:

    Hi. My child’s father claimed her since day one. He use to give me money but now he doesn’t. I wasn’t working at the time he was claiming her but now I am. She never lived with him. He just kept her social security number on file and did it like that. I told him I was going to claim her next year..what can I do?? Like I said she stays with me the whole year and every address I’ve been at she has been with me. She doesn’t have mail that goes to her fathers house at all…help!!,

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Denise,

      Typically, two ex spouses will agree on who will claim each dependent. When this agreement ceases to exist, it can complicate things a bit. If you both insist on claiming the dependent, then file your return with the dependent being claimed. The return that is filed second will be rejected while the other return will be accepted with the dependent listed. If your return happens to be the rejected one, you will need to notify the IRS. At that point in time, they will request that you provide proof that you should be the parent to claim the child as your dependent (aka the “custodial” parent). Once you provide the requested documents, the IRS will determine if you are able to claim this dependent instead of your child’s father.

      Unfortunately, this is a bit more time consuming than it should be, however this is how the IRS handles a situation where no agreement has been made between parents.

  263. shaquetta says:

    last year my tax return was denied bc the father took both of them on his tax return…we agreed that he could take the son and i carry my daughter, due to a little dispute that we had he took the both of them and i got denied. i feel as though i deserve to get all claims back..from 2013 for the daughter!! on november 19 temporary custody was awarded to the father in family court which we understood that he would be able to take both childrens for the year of 2014…we got back together december 8th 2013 and agreed that i can take the daughter but now his mom says he cant do it like that and i think hes planning to let her take the kids bc he lives at 119 deas drive and the kids stay down the road with the mom can i get returns from 2013?the kids lived with me with no help from the father since the day they were born up until a month before my sons 5th bday and my daughter was 9 months

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Shaquetta,

      Typically, two ex spouses will agree on who will claim each dependent. When this agreement ceases to exist, it can complicate things a bit. If you both insist on claiming the dependent, then file your return with the dependent being claimed. The return that is filed second will be rejected while the other return will be accepted with the dependent listed. If your return happens to be the rejected one, you will need to notify the IRS. At that point in time, they will request that you provide proof that you should be the parent to claim the child as your dependent (aka the “custodial” parent). Once you provide the requested documents, the IRS will determine if you are able to claim this dependent instead of your child’s father.

  264. sara says:

    My ex husband and I agreed to file together after we first separated 3 1/2 years ago when we were still married. I filed an emerald advance to get money back in time for xmas claiming the 3 kids and him. He didn’t work until we werent together, about 5 months of 2011, I worked all year except 5 weeks when I was laid off until I had another job. When tax time cane around he filed first and costume our kids and I was left owing money since I was waiting on a student loan paper to file. Since then, I have not filed taxes. The kids lived with him for a year when I lost our house and had to live with family. So he could claim them in 2012. I got them in the middle of 2013 and now have sole custody with a ruling that only I csn claim them. How do I make it all right? I don’t have w2s and I don’t live where I lived then, and am not sure how to go about this. Am I entitled to the taxes from 2011? Thanks

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sara,

      Since your ex-spouse filed for 2011 already, he was able to claim your children. If you file for 2011 and claim your children, it will be rejected by the IRS. At that point, you will need to provide proof that you were to be the custodial parent for that year. The IRS will then determine if you are in fact entitled to claim them as your dependents.

  265. Sandra says:

    How can my friend find out if her daughter was used as a dependent in someone else’s income taxes?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Your friend can contact the IRS if she is just questioning whether or not this has occurred. However, once she files her return and claims her daughter as a dependent, she will be notified if someone else has claimed her daughter. One of the returns submitted will be rejected. If hers is rejected, then she will be asked to provide proof to the IRS that she should be able to claim her daughter.

  266. Grace says:

    Hi, my ex husband and i both claimed my daughter for the year of 2013. I was aware that he would try to claim her but I had already claimed her for the year when he gave me a paper to sign saying that I give him my permission to claim her.. I didn’t sign the paper so obviously he’s forged my name.. We have an agreement saying we would take turns claiming her,but I’m not sure if I understand the rules of the IRS..Even though I claimed her on his year I take care of her 10 months out of the year at least.. he gets our daughter every other weekend but really when those weekends are convenient for him..I’ve already received a letter from the IRS but I’m not sure what its saying that I need to send them proof that she is my dependent? Also in our agreement it plainly states that I am the primary custodial parent.

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Grace,

      You will need to mail the IRS a cover letter explaining your situation and evidence proving you have the right to claim your children. I suggest sending a copy of your agreement stating that you are the primary custodial parent. It could be that they just did not have access to this specific information. After the IRS receives your mailed return, cover letter and evidence, they will review to see who deserves to claim the dependents. If two people have the right to claim a dependent, the IRS will generally award the dependent to the person with whom the dependent lived for the greatest amount of time during the tax year.
      To help, when you send the return, evidence and cover letter to the IRS, be sure to prove and explain you meet the requirements to claim the dependents.

  267. Vanna says:

    Hi…gotta a question….I have a boyfriend who i meant 1yr. Now n this past month he wanted to claim two of my kids…didn’t think it through and I let him..now I regret it…cuz I left him n now trying to tell him not to count with them…how can I fix this? What will happen if he already filed but its the early tax filing..and I don’t want him to file with my kids? How can I fix this?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Vanna,

      Based on what you’ve said above, it doesn’t sound as if your boyfriend is qualified to claim your children. If he filed his taxes claiming your children AND you did as well, then the IRS will most likely reject both returns seeing as the same dependents were claimed twice. You and your ex-boyfriend will then be requested by the IRS to provide proof that you are qualified to claim the dependents. Being that you are their mother and who they reside with, the IRS will most likely see you as the qualifying person to claim these dependents. The frustrating part will be the time it will take to clear this up with the IRS but I do not see why it would work against you.

  268. Megan Scott says:

    Hi. My husband has 2 children from his previous marriage. His divorce decree states that he has the right to claim his son as a dependent. His ex has the right to claim their daughter as a dependent. For 2013 tax return, she claimed both. We noticed when our e-file got rejected. We filed a paper return with a cover letter and copy of the court order. We both received refunds. 2 concerns and one question:
    1. The son didn’t live with us at all in Yr2013 (we moved to another state). I read IRS will pick the parent who lived with the dependent longer in the year. But we do have a court order to give my husband the right to claim him.
    2. We received a letter from IRS. Is it a normal procedure? It says someone else claimed the same child on income tax return, and also it says if we believe we have the right to claim the child, we don’t have to take any action.
    Question: Isn’t her action considered “tax fraud”?

    • Tax Advisor says:

      Hi Megan,

      To address your questions and concerns in order,

      1. As long as you have a court order, that will overrule. The IRS states that the child must live with you as a general rule typically for those without a court order to follow.

      2. This is normal procedure for the IRS. They are required to inform you when someone else has claimed a dependent that you have.

      3. As you will see on the IRS Information Referral form, this type of situation is considered a ‘False Exemption’. Based on the information you have provided, the situation should work out in your favor.

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