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Lane
Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3908
Experience:  Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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Hello. My mother has custody of my child as i am single

Resolved Question:

Hello.

My mother has custody of my child as i am single and work a lot, unable to care for her as much as i wish i could. She does not work but her boyfriend does and is claiming her on his taxes this year. I have claimed him every year up until this one, is he eligible because he also helps her financially and they live in his home or is he not eligible because they are not related and he is not married to my mother? I do not wish to get in trouble for claiming my daughter if there is any way he is eligible.

Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

NPVAdvisor :

Hi I can help you with this ...

Customer:

hello and thankyou very much

NPVAdvisor :

I afraid that he probably is .... lets work through the tests...

NPVAdvisor :

though

Customer:

alright

NPVAdvisor :

First, generally, people who rely on you for support and reside in your house generally qualify for dependent tax exemptions

NPVAdvisor :

Most of the time, children that you provide support for, and a home, qualify as dependent exemptions.

Many times dependents don't fall into this exact description, so the IRS has designed FIVE TESTS to determine if a child or dependent can be considered an exemption.

NPVAdvisor :

Here they are:

• citizenship
• support
• gross income
• joint return
• relationship

Customer:

now they are not related in any way what so ever

NPVAdvisor :

SO ... as I go through these ... one at a time, you know, better that I whether they apply ... here we gp

NPVAdvisor :

OK, hang on ... i understande

NPVAdvisor :

lets take them one at a time

NPVAdvisor :

First, there's citizenship

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must either be:

• a US citizen,
• a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico for part of the year,
• a legally adopted foreign child who now resides in the US, or
• an adopted child living with you the entire year in a foreign country.



Customer:

ok

NPVAdvisor :

Now, I think this one's the one that's going to make the difference...

NPVAdvisor :

next, relationship

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must either be:

• a relative or
• a member of your household for the entire year.

Note: Relatives do not need to live in your house to qualify as a dependent exemption. BUT, non-relatives can be claimed as dependent exemptions only if they also live in your house.

NPVAdvisor :

for the tax year 2012 does this one apply?

NPVAdvisor :

let's keep going ... maybe one of the other ones will apply

NPVAdvisor :


The joint return test

To qualify for an exemption your dependent can NOT:

• file a joint return with a spouse. Note: This means that a taxpayer is allowed to claim a married dependent as an exemption if all other four tests are met and the dependent uses the married filing separately status.



Customer:

sorry im trying to read these and figure out what does and doesn not apply

Customer:

does*

NPVAdvisor :

I hate having to deliver bad news ... if it is, but I'm afraid that if your sone lived with the boyfriend ALL YEAR, that's the one that will probably get him "over the line," able to claim him as a dependency exemption

Customer:

so he is a us citizen but has not adopted my child nor has the grandmother, he is not related to my daughters mother's family or my family

NPVAdvisor :

the gross income test

To qualify for an exemption your dependent can NOT:

• have a gross income of more than $3,800

NPVAdvisor :

but again, the relationship test is passed if he lived with him all year

NPVAdvisor :

and finally

NPVAdvisor :


And finally, support

To qualify for an exemption your dependent must:

• receive more than one-half of his/her total support from you.

NPVAdvisor :

in this case, we're saying "from him" that the child receives more than half of his support from the mom's boyfriend

Customer:

i do support as much as i can on my low income, difference is he has a high income

NPVAdvisor :

I understand .... and remember all this really means is that he gets to take 3800 off his income for tax purposes

Customer:

so if i were to claim him and he did also i would lose and get fraud?

NPVAdvisor :

if he's in the 25% bracket, then its only helping HIM by 950 buskc

NPVAdvisor :

nope hang on a minute ... ,et me look up something called tiebreaker tests

Customer:

thankyou

NPVAdvisor :

this gets complicated, but lets look at qualifying child vs qualifying relative

NPVAdvisor :

Did the child have the same residence as you for more than half the year?

Customer:

alright, i just don't want to end up claiming fraud, no he was living with my mother's boyfriend

NPVAdvisor :

If so, that could help, because 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.

NPVAdvisor :

O'msp sorry... I was hoping that might help

Customer:

so it comes down to if the child qualify's or the dependant?

NPVAdvisor :

Well there are two sets of tests .... qualifying child and qualifying relative

Customer:

do you see anything that could help me? such as biological parent?

NPVAdvisor :

because he lived with the boyfriend all year he gets to claimm him under the qualifying relative test

NPVAdvisor :

However, the qualifying child test trumps the qualfying relative test

NPVAdvisor :

But to pass that one you would have to have had the same residence as your child for over 1/2 of the year

Customer:

so because of that i would be looking at fraud?

NPVAdvisor :

You can always sue for custody ... but as far as getting to claim him on your tax return FOR THIS YEAR I think you may not be able to HOWEVER ...

NPVAdvisor :

For nest year .... have him live with you for only 1/2 of the year and you win

NPVAdvisor :

Not fraud, they would just disallow the dependency exemption

NPVAdvisor :

we're only talking a tax return issue here

Customer:

oh i was under the impression by claiming a child you are not qualified to claim that counted as tax fraud and would result in paying back taxes plus a percentage?

NPVAdvisor :

I hate having to deliver bad news ... but maybe having all the fact will help you see around some corners for next year

NPVAdvisor :

No they would probably just count is as a mistake

NPVAdvisor :

they would have to prove intent to call it tax evasion.... and that ...

NPVAdvisor :

WOULD be problem

NPVAdvisor :

BUT

NPVAdvisor :

in the real world?

NPVAdvisor :

They'd just take back any refund or lessening of taxes paid because of it and MAYBE charge an underpayent penalty

NPVAdvisor :

By the way, here's an excellent article on disputes regarding dependency exemptions by Willia Perez, an enrolled IRS Agent:

Customer:

alright this helped clarify a lot, which is what i came here for. i have a lot of thinking to do. thank you very much for your advice and going as far as to recommend a link.

NPVAdvisor :

You are very welcome ... You can come back here if you think of of other questions on this, but if this all for now...

NPVAdvisor :

 


Positive Feedback (or an “Accept”) would be appreciated. That’s the ONLY way experts are paid!


 


However, if you need CLARIFICATION, please COME BACK here, AND feel free to bookmark.


 

NPVAdvisor :

And thank you

NPVAdvisor :

Lane

Customer:

thanks again

Lane, JD, CFP, MBA, CRPS
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3908
Experience: Juris Doctorate, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
Lane and 5 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Lane replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much for the rating Paul.


Remember what I said about next year ... (only takes 1/2 a year)




To ask for me again, say “For NPVAdvisor” at the beginning of your question

OR

Go here: http://www.justanswer.com/finance/expert-npvadvisor/ … and enter your question in the box.

Thanks again,
Lane

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