I'm recently divorced, our divorce decree does not specify who's going to claim our 2 children for tax purposes as dependents. We had discussed with the attorney that my wife was welcome to claim the children going forward. I'm planning to claim the children for 2011, as I supported them and was with them all year. My divorce was finalized Feb 4, 2012. My wife only worked about 5 weeks in 2011, and paid barely $60. in taxes because she claimed 4 dependents at work. Now she's coming at me with this idea that she wants to claim the 2 children and file seperately for 2011. I'm not sure what's legal here, and want to minimize any arguements with the ex-wife. Any SUggestions or insights here?
I told the ex-wife we could look at both ways of filing to see what might produce a mutually agreeable outcome - with concern for legality being considered. Last year while I was busy working in California, the wife/ her friend decide to go apply for EBT (Grocery assistance) in the state of GA. She recieved like $500. a month for three months, before they asked her to verify the info she had provided. So, she calls to me with this news - asking me to lie to the Ga agency. I told her flat out n
Thank you for your question.
Preparing the taxes in a number of ways is a good idea, and will allow you to compare which one is more advantageous for both of you. Typically filing jointly is best, XXXXX XXXXX depends on the circumstances. You may even agree between yourselves to file the way that is most advantageous, and then whomever claims the exemptions can pay a portion of that to the other parent.
If you file separately, from the IRS' perspective, it is the parent who had the children the most number of nights during the year that is entitled to claim them. If the children were split equally, the parent with the higher adjusted gross income is generally entitled to claim them. That may help in your negotiations with your wife.
I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
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