Different expert here. First, let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your daughter. No parent should have to outlive their children.
I'm afraid that the above answer my colleague is not entirely correct. On page 12 of
it gives a chart for who can be considered a "Qualifying Child". Please note that the rule is not that YOU provided more than 50% of your granddaughter's support. It's whether or not SHE provided 50% of her own support.
However, the most important tie breaker here will be rather or not you made more money than the father. Please see page 15 example 11
found in Publication 501 (Rev. 2011) Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
Since the father probably won't tell you how much he makes (unless you already have a pretty good idea based on history) the only way to determine this is to file claiming your granddaughter as an exemption under theQualifying Child rules
, If he files first, you will have to mail your return to the IRS.
Once the IRS receives the 2nd tax form claiming the same dependent, they will send both you and the father a letter stating that the child was claimed on another tax return and would either of you like to amend. You should not amend your return.
After the deadline for filing the amended return
has passed, the IRS will send both you and the father a packet of information they will need to determine who has the legal right to claim the granddaughter.
Although I have no doubt that you meet Relationship, Age,Residency,Support, and Joint returntests to claim your granddaughter as a Qualifying Child
, it will eventually come down to who made the most money.
If you're already sure that he has a healthy income that exceeds yours, then I'm fraid he will be able to claim his daughter