You can’t divide a dependent exemption in half.
So, your ex claimed your child as a dependent on their tax return, when you were the only parent eligible to do this. Was it out of revenge? Maybe it was just miscommunication? Perhaps they believed they were actually allowed to? It happens. Regardless of the reason they did it, now you need to fix it and prevent this from happening in the future. RapidTax is here to help.
What will happen if I e-file my tax return?
You are the custodial parent of your child. Are you sure? To avoid confusion with the tax jargon I just threw your way, a custodial parent (for tax purposes, anyways) is the parent who the child lives with for the majority of nights per year. If both parents spent an equal amount of time with the child, then the parent with the highest adjusted gross income is the custodial parent (by default), according to the IRS. Keep in mind that determining who the custodial parent is does not depend on a state or county court ruling. For tax purposes, the IRS only considers federal law.
If both you and your ex e-file your tax returns and claim your child as a dependent, the one of you who filed second will be rejected by the IRS. This is inevitable. Even if you are the custodial parent, the IRS e-file system is a machine and you will still need to prove this.
What steps do I need to take to prove that I am the eligible parent?
The first thing to understand is that each tax situation is unique, and the best thing to do is contact the IRS directly for specific instructions on how to proceed. However, if you want a general idea of the steps you’ll need to take, keep reading.
Step #1: Double check that you meet all of the eligibility requirements set up by the IRS. This is important because if you do not meet even one of the following and your ex does, it could work against you. These requirements are: (more…)