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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4018
Experience:  Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
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2012 tax year my ex husband could have taken our son as a deduction

Resolved Question:

2012 tax year my ex husband could have taken our son as a deduction and he did not take it even after I explained to him that our son qualified as a full time student. I have it in writing that he said he couldn't claim him. So, I claimed our son.
Now he is talking to his tax guy and wants to amend his 2012 tax return to include our son. He is telling me that I have to amend mine also. Can he and do I have to?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 9 months ago.

Stephen G. :

Hello, my name isXXXXX & I'll be helping you today. My goal is to give you a complete & accurate answer that you can understand.

Stephen G. :

Who did your son live with?

Stephen G. :

How old is he and is he a full time student?

Stephen G. :

Did your husband provide more than 1/2 of your son's support?

Stephen G. :

Finally, did your divorce agreement state who would claim your son as a dependent?

Customer:

He lives with me. He is 21 yrs old now. He was a full time student from January thru May of 2012.
My exhusband stopped paying any support June of 2011.

Customer:

The divorce agreement stated that he was able to claim him on even years.

Stephen G. :

Well, the last one is the killer.

Stephen G. :

Here's what will happen

Stephen G. :

If you don't amend your return, when he files the exemption will be denied because you already claimed him.

Stephen G. :

However, if your husband protests that determination and provides the proper documentation, he will eventually be granted the exemption and the IRS will send you a notice adjusting your account to remove the exemption.

Stephen G. :

All that will take quite a bit of time.

Customer:

He doesn't have any documentation at this point other than my text messages.

Stephen G. :

You can also protest and state that you provided more than 1/2 of your son's support, he lived with you full time, except while away from home at school, and the IRS may determine that the divorce agreement doesn't govern 2012 as he wasn't still paying support.

Stephen G. :

Well he should be able to get a copy of the divorce agreement from the attorney or the court if the Judge approved it.

Stephen G. :

But if you just say you won't amend your return, he might just not bother with it as it isn't the smartest thing to stir up the IRS over something like this.

Customer:

I do have documentation to support my case including an email from him stating he couldn't claim him.

Customer:

He does have the divorce agreement.

Stephen G. :

Well, the email from him doesn't mean anything; he obviously didn't know what he was talking about;

Stephen G. :

Have you figured out how much money is actually involved?

Customer:

ok

Customer:

About $900

Stephen G. :

For you or your ex husband?

Customer:

I don't know how much it would mean to him

Customer:

$900 for me

Stephen G. :

So evidently his accountant told him that unless you amend your return, it would cause a lot of correspondence with the IRS and could be a giant pain. Which is what I would tell him; of course I would have had him claim your son in the first place in accordance with the divorce agreement.

Stephen G. :

Since I'm working with you & not him, I'd say just tell him he didn't support your son & you aren't amending your return; he had his chance and didn't take it so too bad so sad.

Stephen G. :

Let the chips fall where they may.

Customer:

That is what I was thinking!

Stephen G. :

You aren't under any obligation to amend your return just because he says so. those days are over.

Customer:

We are at the point now that I can be done with him as our son is no longer going to school.

Stephen G. :

Just realize that if push comes to shove & the IRS is made to decide, you may lose because of the divorce agreement.

Stephen G. :

How long have you been divorced?

Customer:

since 2007

Stephen G. :

My sense is that nobody thought that after your ex husband stopped paying support the exemption would even be an issue.

Customer:

It does say in the divorce agreement that if the parent who's year it is to take the deduction can't then the other can.

Stephen G. :

Now, your son hasn't claimed himself has he?

Stephen G. :

I don't know what that statement actually means. Can't claim him why? Because in that year that parent didn't support him?

Customer:

No, he was going to. But after I figured up what my tax break would be, he agreed to let me take it. I did pay his amount that he owed in return.

Stephen G. :

Well, as a minimum your husband should pay that. Of course, your son could always claim himself & that would "trump" both of you, as you can always claim yourself even if you don't support yourself.

Customer:

There was no clairification.

Stephen G. :

Lawyers are uniformly great about that; no clarification

Customer:

Thank you for your advise.

Stephen G. :

You are very welcome & good luck.

Stephen G. :

If you need to contact me again with any tax or financial questions, you can just ask for "Steve G" at the beginning of your question. Thanks again for using us for your tax and financial questions. You may get a short survey from the site; if it isn't too much trouble I would appreciate it if you would answer it; the survey results are used to rate our performance;

Stephen G. :

Please remember to rate my response, it is the only way we get credit for our work.

Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4018
Experience: Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
Stephen G. and 4 other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

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