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The Guy Behind the Tree
The Guy Behind the Tree, Experienced Investor & Financier
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My ex-husband currently receives Social Security for ...

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My ex-husband currently receives Social Security for himself and our 14 year old son even though my son lives with me for the majority of the year. Is it correct that I cannot list my son as a dependent on my Tax Return?
The IRS has specific rules for the claiming of a child or a qualifying relative as a dependent. From a reading of these requirements, you can claim your son as a dependent.

The IRS will not accept someone claiming a child as a dependent unless these rules are met. The person who is NOT entitled to claim the dependent will have their tax return changed, and possibly audited. The IRS computers match almost perfectly for checking doubly claimed dependents.

The IRS offers a publication that specifically states the requirements for claiming a child as a dependent:

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#d0e3591

(See "Qualifying Child" section)

Here is an article summarizing the IRS publication:

http://taxes.about.com/od/dependents/a/Dependents.htm

The key points are - under the qualifying child rules, the child must live with you for more than half the year. Under the qualifying relative rules, the taxpayer must provide more than half of the dependent's total support.

Since the child lives with you for more than 1/2 the year, according to the IRS you can claim your son as a dependent.

Hope these thoughts help.
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