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William Perez

Tips for Resolving Disputes over Dependents

By January 24, 2012

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Quite frequently readers will ask how they can resolve disagreements among family members over who get's to claim a dependent. It's helpful to start with some ground rules, and my number one rule here is to prevent (if at all possible) the IRS from getting involved in family disputes. Now the IRS will get involved only if two or more people attempt to claim the same person as a dependent. So if at all possible, it's best to resolve your differences before anyone has filed their tax return.

In some situations, it's not easy or practical or even desirable to resolve a dispute. And here's where the tax rules can come to your aide. The underlying tax law spells out several tie-breaker tests, and these can be used ahead of time for resolving conflicts. The tie-breaker tests operate in the following order:

  1. If one person can claim a dependent under the qualifying child criteria and another person can claim a dependent under the qualifying relative criteria, then the qualifying child rules prevail.
  2. If two or more persons can claim a dependent under the qualifying child criteria, then the parent prevails.
  3. If both parents can claim the dependent as a qualifying child, then the parent with whom the child resided for the longest period of time during the year prevails.
  4. If the child resided with both parents equally during the year, then the parent with the highest adjusted gross income prevails.
  5. If two or more people can claim the dependent as a qualifying child and if neither person is a parent, then the person with the highest adjusted gross income prevails.

In other words, the tie-breaker tests narrow down the field of possible people who can claim the dependent until just one taxpayer is left.

Let's see how this works with a real life example I found in comment #176 of a previous blog post about dependents. The situation is this: there exists a family. The birth mother resides with her parents (let's assume for the whole year). The father lives in a separate residence. Their daughter resides an equal amount of time with both the father and the mother.

First thing we notice is that the daughter would fulfill the qualifying child criteria for three different taxpayers: the mother, the father, and the grandparents. The first tie-breaker tests doesn't apply, since no one is attempting to claim the daughter as a qualifying relative. The second tie-breaker test comes into play to award the dependent to the parents; so the grandparents are out of the picture. The third tie-breaker test doesn't help much, because the commenter stated that the daughter resides equal amounts of time at her father's and her mother's house. So it turns out that the fourth tie-breaker test is crucial: here the dependent goes the the parent with the highest adjusted gross income. That information wasn't mentioned in the blog comment, so we don't know which of the two parents gets to claim the daughter.

Now, it turns out that the mother in our example has already allowed the father to claim her daughter. So for our purposes, the decision process is over. The two parents have decided among themselves. But, the commenter continues, it's the grandparents who are pressuring to claim the daughter. Now, as a tax preparer, I don't like getting into these family situations, but these are real issues with real money at stake. I think the best that a tax preparer can do is help a family walk through the tie-breaker tests and figure out what's going to pass muster with the IRS.

And being able to survive IRS scrutiny provides financial protection. The IRS uses these same criteria in situations where it receives two (or more) tax returns each claiming the same dependent. The IRS does not know, right off the bat, which tax return is the correct one. So the IRS will a guess by granting the dependent to one person and denying the dependent to the other taxpayers. The taxpayer who has lost a dependent can fight the IRS's decision and have an opportunity to prove they are the most eligible person to claim the dependent. In doing so, the taxpayer will need to demonstrate not just that they are eligible to claim the dependent, but also that they meet the tie-breaker tests. The results of losing a dependent in an audit situation can be a serious financial setback, since a taxpayer may have also claimed other tax incentives related to that dependent, such as head of household status, the earned income credit, or the child tax credit. Having to pay back these tax incentives, plus interest, is no small feat, but this financial situation that can be prevented by first looking to the tie-breaker tests before filing a tax return.

January 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm
(1) desperate for an answer says:

My ex husband is telling me he is going to claim my son for taxes this year. My son, Chris, is my biological child. Not his. Chris lived with my ex from the middle of May until Nov 30th. So he did have him a little more than half the year. My ex has my sons w-2, from when chris worked over the summer. Chris wants me to file for him as my dependent, he is 18. I really just want to know if my ex has any leg to stand on? And will he be able to claim my son over me? Please please please let me know so I dont have to wait for a tie breaker situation if I am just gonna lose.

December 31, 2012 at 1:01 am
(2) John says:

Through talking with officials at the IRS, my understanding regarding how the IRS handles two taxpayers who claim the same dependent is that the IRS will pay both and then ask both to submit documentation to support their claim. Then whoever is determined not to be entitled with then need to repay what they were not entitled to.

January 15, 2013 at 3:33 pm
(3) AJ says:

I would see if your ex would be willing to split the dependaent. You would get Head of Household and Earned income credit and he could get the dependency exemption

January 23, 2013 at 2:09 am
(4) angel says:

I have a question thay needs to be answer. I would like to know can i claim my son on my taxes even though he resides with the grandparents and i libe some where else. I see him 50% of the time but my parents dont pay taxes they are on disability. I use to claim him because i lived there but 2012 i didnt. Can you help i dont want to screw my taxes up this year an have irs come after me. Help please. Thank u.

February 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm
(5) iaila mae says:

question is my daughters boyfreind can claim her kids even thou hes not the biological father,kids stayed with me almost a year when my daughter decided to messed around with the boyfreind, i have proff of resedency for the kids but only provide half of the support because my daugther is in wellfare.

February 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm
(6) Roy says:

Okay… I have legal guardianship over a seventeen year old who is currently in the ninth grade. I have had him since May, 2012. However, I didn’t get it legalized until early August due to finances. Now, his mother claimed him this year because it kicked my return out of the system. I am wanting to appeal it because we are currently struggling to provide for him and she just wants the money to blow. She currently resides in another state. I am not a relative but I am engaged to his sister and we all three live together… me, her, and him. Big question is: Can I win? I don’t want to waste my time if I am going to lose straight up… but we really need this money for him and it just isn’t morally right for her to do this. So there has to be a way for me to win, right?

February 8, 2013 at 12:03 am
(7) michelle says:

My daughters father has already claimed her when on our parenting plan says I have the child more and this is my year to file. The father has verbally told me that this IS my year to claim. Then when I went to claim, I find out that he has already claimed her. I’m unsure what to do, any suggestions?

March 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm
(8) Britainy says:

I need advice my youngest son resides with me all year and visits his dad once a week. His dad does not provide anything for him except pampers from.time to time. His father claimed our son on his taxes after I deliberately told him he can’t because I take care of him. He beats me to it. I filed without him anyway because I was about to get evicted but I want him to still pay for what he did and get the money back that he got from claiming him. How can I do this?

March 27, 2013 at 4:04 pm
(9) William Perez says:

The only procedure is for you to file a return claiming that same dependent. The IRS will investigate and determine which parent is eligible to claim the dependent.

April 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm
(10) Tiffany says:

My ex owes me 7 grand in back child support. If he filed his taxes in Jan, how soon will i get what he owes me?

April 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm
(11) William Perez says:

I’m not sure, Tiffany. If the other person has a federal tax refund, then than refund will be processed by the Treasury’s Financial Management Service’s Treasury Offset Program. That program then uses the federal tax refund to pay various debts such as child support. You might want to contact that agency to determine what their processing timeframes are.

April 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm
(12) Erica says:

If I live separately from my parents and have for the past year and a half, attend school full-time, with loans taken out in my name but co-signed by him, but the rest of the tuition paid for by my dad, can he still claim me as a dependent? He doesn’t give me money or anything during the year. I’m 22 about to be 23 April 8, 2013 (tomorrow) I’m also pregnant- due next month, so this would be the last year he could claim me (if he can now)

April 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm
(13) William Perez says:

Erica, in general you would need to review the criteria for dependents who are qualifying children. In particular, whether your dad meets the support test (providing more than half of your total financial support for things like housing, groceries, etc.). There are other criteria as well. But based on what you said, it looks like reviewing the support test would be a good place to start.

April 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm
(14) Brinley Davis says:

I am divorced and both my ex and I share the expenses for a 3 year old daughter. Can we legally switch years in which we claim custody for the child . . . for example I would be the custodial parent claiming all benefits on even years, and he the custodial parent during all odd years? This includes switching years in which we file as head of househould. Does form 8332 cover this or does it only release claim to dependent exemptions?

April 29, 2013 at 11:14 am
(15) Melissa says:

my and I broke up and we had a kid togther and then I moved outta the provence he didnt file his taxes for 201

April 29, 2013 at 11:53 am
(16) michelle says:

I filed my 2011 taxes on time claiming my son who lived with me intil the first weekend of July 2011. He went away to college and moved in with my sister. Before he moved we prepared for his transition in life by doing such things as opening bank accounts, driver’s license, we completed a fafsa app and all using the address where he was going to live while attending college, which is my sister’s instead of a dorm. I also had a disability claim and my son was awarded $14000 in 2011 for which was accounted for in my tax return. With a portion I bought him a car but I told him it would be in my name under my insurance and he covered as a listed resident driver under my policy as being away at school, with drving purpose as work/school. So my son had $6000 in his account with which he was supposed to pay for rent, food, sundry to my sister, and he was going to get a job, and the deal was that when he got the job the car would be put in his name I wanted my son to learn responsibility. Well my sister decided to enable him to not work by refusing to take money from him for his expenses as planned. I strongly disagreed with this at that time and have been vocal about my disagreement this whole time. Well as you would expect my son fell into a pattern of living for free and not having drive to work becasue he was being coddled and enabled. I never transferred the car into his name, but it is still under my policy and he still has possession. I don’t know if any of this is relevent but now in 2013 my sister emailed me and told he she doing her 2011 taxes and is claiming my son because she had been supporting him, and that I had better amend my return or else I will be in big trouble. I don’t know which rules will apply here, but I feel I did have the right to claim my son, we had a plan in place. Her AGI is higher than mine, so she is gloating telling me I’m going to lose and it doesn’t matter what I say or do. Who will prevail?

May 3, 2013 at 12:12 am
(17) Nancy Guzman says:

So my mom claimed me as her dependent for 2012 taxes. I have not lived with my mom since June 9th 2012. She did not have a job all year. My siblings and I were on medical and foodstamps but we stoped recieving them in march,so she wasnt providing any source of income/ health coverage/ food. For technically not living with her half the year, can she claim me as her dependent?

May 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm
(18) William Perez says:

Nancy, that’s a good question, thanks for asking. You’ll need to review the various criteria for claiming dependents. There’s two sets of criteria: qualifying child and qualifying relative. Be sure to review each one, as the criteria are slightly different. If it turns out that your mom was not eligible to claim you as a dependent, then the procedure for correcting that situation is to file your own tax return claiming your own personal exemption.

June 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(19) Dorothea Scott says:

I had been told by the IRS representative my refund was sent to my bank 06/05/2013. It is not in my bank, how long does it take?

Thanks for the help.

June 7, 2013 at 7:12 pm
(20) William Perez says:

Dorothea, first, cross-check the bank information shown on your tax return (for example line 74 of the year 2012 Form 1040) just to make sure that information matches exactly to your bank account’s routing and account number. Also, direct deposits can take one or two business days to show up in your account. Check with your bank.

July 26, 2013 at 8:41 am
(21) Michelle says:

My 17 year old daughter ran away the first week of July. I have been providing for her and her 1 year old daughter. I hear she is staying with family now and planning to have them claim her on their taxes. In my custody papers I have the right to claim her every year until 18 or when she begins to support herself for at least half the year. Can they claim her or do I file as usual claiming them both.

August 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm
(22) Mom with Custodial Rights says:

I was married for the year 2012 and became legally separated in 2013. Hubby and I have an extension to file taxes later in the year. We are going to file separate but married. We are in a dispute as to whom gets to claim the dependent. In 2012, Hubby rented a room in May living there during the week. In June he was completely moved out. I lived with the kids the entire year while he lived with them for 5 months and 6 days and waived his right to legal visitation. He saw them about a 4 days each month there after. Now he is saying that is is his right to claim them as dependents because he paid slightly higher expenses as he was ordered to pay the home mortgage. I paid the electricity, groceries, phone, cable, some clothes, and the car insurance on my vehical. I had to also miss work for all their medical issues and wait on them when they were out of commission. He thinks he found some loophole and that I will have to do as he says and let him claim them. I am refusing. Can someone please tell me if there is some loophole I need to know about that supercedes the rule about the kids living with me the majority of the year? He is very good at manipulation and swaying people to do things his way. Please help. Thank you in advance for any advice.

August 13, 2013 at 12:45 am
(23) William Perez says:

Dear Mom with Custodial Rights, I’d suggest consulting with an enrolled agent or certified public accountant. They can review the criteria for claiming dependents and help you put together a set of documents to support your decision. There are several possibilities here. You could be eligible the kids. Even if you’re eligible to claim the kids, you might want to allow your ex-husband to claim one or more of the kids. Your tax professional can help you figure out different scenarios, so you can pick the plan that will work best for you.

October 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm
(24) What to do says:

My question is as follow,

I have a child and her biological father is not in her life. There has been no contact about her, he has contacted me on things that has nothing to do with the child in common. But also we have a custody agreement (when it was made he was regularly in her life so it was .only fair and since he paid child support) that states he claims her every other year.now that he isn’t seeing her and yeah pays support half way I don’t think he deserves that right. Is there a loop hole or some way to get this changed? I just don’t think its fair when I pay most of her expenses.

October 29, 2013 at 9:11 am
(25) Lydia says:

my daughters father does not see her, speak with, and she has never lived with him (she is 14). He only pays child supoort and tht is only because it is court ordered. In court agreement claiming her on tax returns is silent, there is no mentioning of who can claim her. She has live diwth me year around since she was a baby. He has never claimed her but for the past 2 years he claimed her before i did and was able to. Is he allowed to do this withouth any agreement between the 2 of us? Shouldnt i have to fill out a form that i woudl sign and he would then bring it to get his taxes done?

November 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm
(26) Chandra says:

My daughter’s father wants to claim her on his taxes this year. We have joint custody but I am the custodial parent. He pays court ordered child support and has visitation every other weekend. He claims to have found documentation that states he has the right to claim her every other year because he pays child support….his child support is not nearly half the cost of anything it takes to support our child. My question is have you ever heard of anything that states he can claim her without her residing with him or him paying half of her expenses? He is taking me to court next month regarding this issue and I think he’s crazy but if the judge tells me he can I will not contest it.

November 16, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(27) David Victor says:

My daughter stayed with her grandparents for 6 months and the mother of my daughter passed away 1 month after. My Daughter lives with me for the rest of the year. I payed child support all year round. Now the grand parents want to claim my daughter. Do they have more right to claim her even know Im taking care of my daughter for the remaining year and always payed child support.

December 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(28) Sherri Surman says:

My ex signed a divorce degree saying I would claim one child and he would claim the other. We live in Mississippi. Our children are 17 and 20 at the time(2012). They wanted to live with him since he was closer to school/work. I pay all expenses except rent where they lived.( and I hvae all my receipts) He ran out Jan 1st, 2013 and claimed both children. I claimed the one child from the divorce decree and left the other child for him. Where do I stand??

December 9, 2013 at 8:38 am
(29) bianca says:

I have been claiming my daughter for the past two years on my taxes then all if a sudden ger dad says that he wants to. She goes back and forth between my house and her dads house throughout the year. He said if I don’t let him file taxes claiming her he was gonna take me to court. Now one of the rules I just read was if both parents equallyshares the child through the year the one with the highly adjusted income prevails. What exactly does that mean?

December 10, 2013 at 12:19 am
(30) William Perez says:

Bianca, you asked, “if both parents equally shares the child through the year the one with the highly adjusted income prevails. What exactly does that mean?”

What it means goes like this. Normally, in order to claim a child as a dependent, a person will need to meet one of two tests: either the qualifying child test or the qualifying relative test. In the case of parents evaluating whether the parent can claim his or her son or daughter, we look to the qualifying child test. That test looks at four factors: residency, age, relationship, and support. The residency factor asks whether the child actually resided with the parent for more than half the year. In order to be eligible to claim the child, the parent will need to meet all four factors in the test.

So one thing to double check is to count the number of days the child resided with each parent, in order to determine if the child resided for more than half the year with one or the other parent. This information will also come in handy later on when looking at the tie-breaker test.

In the case that there’s a tie (the child lived an equal number of days with both parents) and assuming that each parent also meets the other factors, then we move to the tie-breaker tests. And for the tie-breakers, we go in the following order:

- the parent,
- the parent with whom the child lived for the longest time during the year,
- if the time was equal, the parent with the highest adjusted gross income,
- if no taxpayer is the child’s parent, the taxpayer with the highest adjusted gross income.

In your case, both people attempting to claim the child are the parents (the first tie-breaker). Since there’s still a tie, we move to the second tie-breaker. The second tie-breaker asks, with which parent did the child reside the longest time during the year. Here we look at the number of days the child resided with each parent. Whoever has the larger number of days would break the tie. In case the child lives with each parent for exactly the same number of days (which is the situation you are presenting), then we move to the third tie-breaker. The third tie-breaker asks which parent has the higher adjusted gross income for the year. So here, you’ll have to compare your tax returns, and see which parent has the highest adjusted gross income, which is the figure found at the bottom of page 1 of the Form 1040. This figure is found on line 37 of the year 2013 Form 1040. Whichever parent has the highest adjusted gross income would then be eligible to claim that dependent under the qualifying child test using the tie-breakers.

I hope this clarifies the issue further.

January 7, 2014 at 3:33 am
(31) KALI HATA says:


January 7, 2014 at 5:47 pm
(32) William Perez says:

Kali, indeed you would follow the same protocols as if you were filing your tax return two years ago. First I would look to your verbal agreement with the other parent. Second I would look at whether you meet all the criteria for claiming your kids as qualifying children. Thirdly, would it be possible to follow up with the other parent to find out whether he would be willing to revise his tax return to remove one or both dependents? Fourthly, you’ll need to decide how to proceed (that is, whether to claim the dependents or not or some other combination). If you do claim the dependents and it turns out that the other parent has also claimed those same dependents, the IRS will likely try to determine which person is most eligible to claim the dependents. You may want to ask a tax advisor to review the situation and offer more specific insight. Hope this helps.

January 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm
(33) Mary says:

I have three small children. I’ve been separated from my kids father for 4 months. I am a single mother and he is threatening me that he is filling for 2. So far he has not helped me with no financial needs I need help

January 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm
(34) William Perez says:

Mary, the general rule is that we look to see which person is most eligible to claim the kids using the qualifying children criteria, and that’s the person who gets to claim the dependents. However there are workarounds, and its possible for two parents two split up some of the child-related tax benefits. — That does require some cooperation with the other parent, but it could also provide each of you with some tax benefits. You may want to consult with a tax advisor who can review your situation in detail and offer specific recommendations. Hope this helps.

January 9, 2014 at 10:51 am
(35) ANna says:

I am divorced with two daughters and we agreed that I would file head of household and EIC and my ex-husband would file using our daughters as dependants. they both live with us 50/50 during the year. Now that my oldest is 19 and a full time student, we do still qualify for EIC, but I wanted to know if I could file EIC with using just one qualifying child and the dependent credit on the oldest so I can get the higher tax credits/deductions?

January 14, 2014 at 9:39 am
(36) Court Order in Place says:

I am divorced with 2 children. In the divorce decree it specifically states each of us is to claim 1 child. This has been the way its been the last 10 years. Now, my ex says he is claiming both kids. Does the divorce decree have any precedent?

January 15, 2014 at 8:02 am
(37) Gwen says:

My ex had our son in the early months this year. I have had March and we lived with my mom until September of last year. My ex has claimed our son every year, but since I have had him with me, I wanted my mom to claim him since we lived with her. If my ex decides to go to by he IRS or claim him also, what would be the most likely outcome?

January 17, 2014 at 8:33 am
(38) Christina says:

My ex husband and I both claimed our daughter last year, and have since been notified that the IRS is looking into it. I discussed everything with an IRS rep and was told that I am the correct claimant. However, my attorney says that Federal Law and State Laws are different, and I am wondering which set of laws is the overruling authority, State or Federal?

January 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm
(39) William Perez says:

Christina, your attorney should be able to answer that question. Since I’m not an attorney, I cannot answer a legal question.

January 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm
(40) Charity says:

I got married in Nov. My mother has been claiming me for years. Now both my mother and my husband are trying to claim me for the year. Can this legally be done?

January 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm
(41) christa says:

If I had my daughter april 29th and I started working in september and made 2417 can I claim her because h&r block is telling me I cant . 1st they said because she’s not 1 yet and then because I didn’t make 3000 or more can someone please tell me if their screwing me

January 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm
(42) Shay Leigh says:

My sister is disabled & she moved home with her 20 year old son in September 2012 & has lived rent free both herself & her son since then. My parents want to claim them both as dependents since they provide almost 90% of both living expenses along with food, lodging, etc since that time. My nephew earned a whopping 4900.00 appx income for working 4 months in 2013. My question is should he file for his tax return or can my parents file using him as a dependent?


February 3, 2014 at 7:21 pm
(43) Marlon says:

My mother died and her husband has her w2 form and will not give it to me, he cannot file because he’s on a fixed income, and when she filed she never filed as married he is in none of her papper work, I am head of household now and he does not stay with me, what can I do to get my mother’s w2 back so I can file

February 4, 2014 at 3:27 pm
(44) Jen says:

My husbands ex wife claims their 2 children every year on her taxes. There is nothing in their divorce decree that says how to file taxes with children. So she beats him to it before he has his taxes done. Is there a way we can fight this and claim one of the children? He sees them 3 times a week and sometimes more but they live with their mom. He pays children support also. Please help

February 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm
(45) crystal says:

Went to file my taxes 2 nights ago & was told my 2 youngest have already been claimed on their fathers taxes. He walked out Sept 2012. We divorced in June 2013. The kids have always lived with me. They very rarely even visit with their father much less stay the night enough for him to have claimed them. Now I’m stuck, as the custodial parent proving I deserve this exemptions for the 2 children. He owes $5000+ interest in back support from last year is why he done it… but some of that money he’s getting from getting to claim the kids is mine to begin with. What can I do?

February 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm
(46) extremely lost says:

My questions is: My husband and I have been seperated alittle over 8 months. I have my own home and he his. My daughter lives with us both 50/50 right now and we both have provided for her the exact same during the year. He tried to tell me i was not eligible to claim my daughter because i worked evenings and he had her in the evenings. I did however claim her, I had her the same amount of time as he did and i just found out he claimed her as well and states i will get audited. I dont know how seeing as i provided for her just as much as he did and now she lives with me more full time then him. How do i handle this?

February 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm
(47) Lina says:

Hi, I am the custodial parent in my child support case. The non custodial parent in my case has agreed to not claim my children on his tax forms for the 2013 tax year because he has not supported the children. Our case states that we are to alternate odd and even years to claim the two out of the three children we have together. However, even though he is giving me permission to claim his year I would prefer more than a verbal agreement. I read upon the form 8332 which I planned to get noterized, if we did go this route. But it claims that I would release my rights as the custodial parent, which defeats the purpose. Going through the courts would take much too long for modifying. please get back as soon as possible.

February 10, 2014 at 11:10 am
(48) stressed out mother says:

I have an issue I have a court order stating I am the custodial parent Im granted to claim my child in my taxes but my ex told me he claimed him but since I didn’t work last year my now fiance has claimed both my children and myself … my ex did his tax in the end of January n my fiance did his recent now what happens??? Since my child has been claimed twice and what do I have to do to get the money im owed??

February 11, 2014 at 1:51 am
(49) Eric says:

Ok so this gets rather complicated on my end of this situation. My ex fiancee and I lived with her parents for most of the year in 2013. My ex made very little during the year. I think probably
Somewhere around 7-8000 AGI. I made roughly 14k and her parents made around 200k. They maintained the home and provided most of the support for our son because my ex never consulted with me when it came to regards of our son needing specific items. I did contribute a lot myself throughout the year however in the support of my child. I eventually moved out of her parents home October 1st, she and my son were suppose to move in also but didn’t after the fact I entered a lease with all three of us on it. I understand somewhat the tie-breaker rules. But here’s the kicker, sinceshe lived with her parents all year with our son does she carry him although provided more support and had the higher AGI. I was planning on amending my return because it was denied and she carried our son. My son stays with me roughly 2 night’s a week since I moved from her parents. I do care for him 2-4 times a week without him sleeping over. I really think it to be wrong of her to have carried him since she does stay with her parents and they maintain the home rather than her. I maintain a home on my own for the sake of my child’s well being (false pretense). She had me believe she was moving in until after I received the lease. What to do? Again her
AGI is around 8k mine around 14k and her parents with whom she and my son reside is roughly 200k.

February 13, 2014 at 9:00 am
(50) Shawn Hopkins says:

My ex wife has claimed all three of our children since we were divorced 4 years ago. It is stated in our divorce papers that I claim one of our children and she claims the other two. I tried to claim my son this year and she had already claimed all three again this year. Is there anything I can do to get this fixed??

February 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm
(51) liz says:

My mom and dad has cliamed my boy friend on this year taxes . He owes back child support … will they take all my mom and dads taxes to pay his stuff off??

February 19, 2014 at 11:30 am
(52) Christine says:

Me and my ex husband ha a court order that he claims on e child and I claim the other. He does NOTHING financially to help raise the kids. He gets them 2 days a week and I get them the other 5. I have to pay for everything. I even have to buy the groceries he eats at his house. I claimed both kids on my taxes this year. He is saying it fraud and he can have me arrested. Is this true?

February 21, 2014 at 2:37 pm
(53) Ashley says:

can my mom claim me and my kids I was not able to work most of the year and she toll care of me and my kids for that period of time and I have a w-2 how would we do that

February 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm
(54) melissa pullen says:

My x husband claimed our daughter even tho the paper work States I claim odd and he does it even…. how is this possible

February 24, 2014 at 10:52 pm
(55) Jorge says:

Hello. My ex and I have two kids ever since we slip up I been paying child support and taking the kids on weekends pluss my mother and father take them during the week. I wasn’t always claiming them before but after my ex stop working and I had a court agreement that I could claim them every year she keeps harassing me that I have to give her the same amount of money from my tax return the she used to get when she let one of her friends claim them. Is this even legal. Her friend never lived with my kids or was a primary care giver

February 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm
(56) corey says:

I have a situation. I have a son I pay child support for and I have him on my insurance. His mother doesn’t work and get government assistance. She gets section 8 food stamps and all that stuff but in reality my son doesn’t stay with her he stays with her parents. Since he stays with them they feel they should be able to take him on there taxes but she tells the government that he stays with her so she can get her assistants. So I feel legally I have the rights cause she is lying to the government and they are helping her. Do I have a right to file him? Will filing him get her or her parents in trouble? Please help?

February 27, 2014 at 10:00 am
(57) Georgette says:

I have a question. I live in Montana, i have 3 kids, i owe back child support on my 2 older ones. My 3rd one i have custody of, he has a different father
was how much can child support take of my federal income tax with my child tax credit with my 3rd child?

February 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm
(58) Angel says:

My husband owes back child support! His new girlfriend claimed him on her taxes I’m not sure how they filed but I was told they took 2000 From her! My question is could they took That money for the back support he owes? If so how long does it take for me to get that money

March 2, 2014 at 6:13 pm
(59) Jamie says:

My son moved in with his dad in July, I disagreed with the move. My ex filed for custody of him after he turned 18 so he could receive support. We are still fighting over custody of my son and it gets uglier and uglier because I objected to the custody and they ordered that they had no jurisdiction over an 18 year old, therefore custody cannont change, which means support doesn’t change. He objected and so it continues….another court date is on the way. We took our son to a financial planner and they said whomever has the lowest income, most dependants (my ex is remarried) should file the FAFSA. He filed the FAFSA. In our divorce decree it states that I claim my son and his dad claims our other son. This is most likely my last year claiming him. He told me that I could not claim him because he filed the FAFSA and it is connected to the tax return. He said that our kids would not get student loans needed for college (we have two in college) Is that right, was I wrong in claiming him if we still share 50/50?

March 4, 2014 at 3:35 pm
(60) val says:

My childrens father doesnt support my two kids and they have never lived with him. I told him he couldnt claim my.kids but he did so behind my back. My boyfriend has been living off and on with me but has lived with me for a total of six months last year and has been supporting my children. So the question is what can i do about my childrens father claiming.them on.taxes when they didnt live with him or he didnt support them

March 10, 2014 at 9:54 pm
(61) Mable says:

My ex and I have been divorced for 2 years. He owes me over $12,000 in child support, the IRS has taken my 2013 refund to pay past taxes filed jointly. I filed Innocent Spouse Relief before they took my refund. My questions are: 1) I was under impression no collection can be made until a decision is made about Relief requested; and 2) I am under financial hardship, have 5 kids (he is father of), and if he owes me child support, then why am I paying his past tax debt? (he was the one working, I was stay at home mom, and didn’t earn any income, nor did he provide much of his to me and kids)

March 12, 2014 at 12:25 am
(62) William Perez says:

Mable, you may want to contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service or a local income tax clinic to see if they can help you resolve this problem.

March 17, 2014 at 5:20 pm
(63) Jane says:

If my daughter and my grandchild have always lived with us and we pay more than half of their support, can we claim both as qualifying children. Who is more entitled to claim the grandchild, the grandparents or the father who does not see the child but pays support.

March 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm
(64) satchy says:

My son’s father claims my son on his taxes but my son lives with me and only goes with his father every other weekend . I do get child support but only the minimum . I asked my ex to give me some of the money he gets for my son so I can start putting it away in an account . he said I have no right to ask for any of that money is this true because if I could claim my son I would but im on disability can someone please help me . My ex said he opened up an account for my son but I have no proof of that account and he said a judge told him that I have no right to ask for tax money for my son is this true

April 8, 2014 at 9:58 pm
(65) Robin says:

My ex was court ordered that he cannot claim our son on his tax returns but, went ahead and did it anyway!! Because he filed before me, the IRS rejected my tax return saying the father already claimed him!! What are my options now???

April 8, 2014 at 11:34 pm
(66) William Perez says:

Robin, good question. You’ll need to file your tax return on paper and mail it in to the IRS for processing. The IRS will then double check to make sure only the right person claims the dependent.

April 8, 2014 at 11:09 pm
(67) Kid in need says:

I have already filed my taxes as single and gotten my return. I worked for six months last year and earned over $5,000. I am not in college. My father wants to claim me as a dependent and keeps asking for my forms, I don’t want to be claimed and I am never going to share my information with him. What happens if he tries to claim me as a dependent? Can he claim me?

April 8, 2014 at 11:39 pm
(68) William Perez says:

Hi Kid in Need, good question. I don’t know whether your father can claim you as a dependent or not. The typical procedure is to figure out if he can claim you. To do that, review the criteria for being a qualifying child. If you meet all four tests, then your dad can claim you. If not, then review the criteria for being a qualifying relative. If you meet all six criteria, then your dad can claim you. If neither set of rules works out, then your dad cannot claim you.
The IRS has an interactive tax tool to help you figure out if you are a dependent. That tool will walk you through all the relevant questions to help you figure it out. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading!

April 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm
(69) Sierra says:

I have a 4 month old son. His father and I were never married. We lived together prior to his birth and six weeks after. His father has never paid any financial support for our son or myself. I have paid 100 percent of our son’s health and living costs. He does not pay child support, nor does he have him 50 percent of the time (by his choice.) However he tells me that “legally I have to” rotate with him who claims our son. Is this True?

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