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KimberlyLaw, Lawyer and Real Estate Broker
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4219
Experience:  13 years of experience practicing law.
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My ex- husband and I were divorced in 2007. He claimed our

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My ex- husband and I were divorced in 2007. He claimed our 23 year-old college daughter( born in 1985) as a dependent on his 2008 tax return without her knowledge (or mine). She filed her own 2008 return and claimed herself as an exemption. (FYI: My ex and I each paid half of the interest payments on her student loan during the time she was in college in '08. She graduated in May '08.) My daughter received a letter from the IRS this past week stating that someone claimed her as a dependent on a 2008 return. She asked her dad about it and he admitted that he did claim her on his '08 return. I am worried that he is going to ask her to lie for him to the IRS. What should she do? Is there anything I can do to assure that he does the right thing?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 7 years ago.
Hello, I am happy to answer your question.

I think in this situation the simple truth is the best response. Simply say that neither person knew that the other claimed her. That will be fine and it will just have to be adjusted. It shouldn't end up to be a big problem.

I hope this helps,
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My daughter told her dad (my ex) not to claim her on his tax return because she claimed herself, but he did it anyway; also he claimed/used all of the interest paid out in 2008 on her student loans. BTW - she did not live with him at all during 2008.
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 7 years ago.
Obviously what he did was wrong. It's totally up to her whether she wants to tell them that she told him not to file for her. It is not necessary that she live with him for him to claim her by the way.

If she wants the path of least resistance she can just say, the truth, that she had no idea he was filing for her and she didn't intend that. That will at least cover her, and then whatever they want to do on his end is their choice. I doubt they will do anything to himf or this.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Will my ex-husband have to repay his refund plus interest? Will the IRS penalize him monetarily (penalty)? If so, about how much would that be?
So, in regard to your reply... are you saying that even though what my ex did was wrong and he knew it was wrong, that this will all just "go away" if/when my daughter tells the IRS that she had no idea her dad was claiming her?
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 7 years ago.
Yes, I believe on her side it shouldn't be a problem. On his side it probably won't either, because he'll just say it was a mistake. The IRS doesn't necessary slap on penalties unless they think that someone like this was done intentionally.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I know he did it intentionally and regardless of that, he did not pay all of the student loan interest ( I paid half and have the cancelled checks to prove it.), but he claimed all of it; which by the way was a significant amount of interest money since it was a private loan and she took out a loan from this loan co. each of the five years she was in college. Also, since we were divorced in '07, both of our children were over 21 - so there were no custody issues.

Will he have to repay the income tax refund that he received as a result of claiming our daughter? If so, will he need to pay interest on that money? Also, had he not done this, he would have actually had to pay in additional money on his return, will he have to pay interest on that?

My daughter's letter from the IRS states that if she intended to claim herself as an exemption, then she need not do anything. Does that mean that my ex-husband will receive a similiar letter and have to answer to the IRS? Or will the above apply - he'll just say it was a "miscommunication" and all will be fine?
Expert:  KimberlyLaw replied 7 years ago.
They will both receive letters and will have to work it out on their own with the IRS. There is no way for me to guess which of the penalties and charges they may place on him because it depends on what story he gives and whether they believe him. That really has nothing to do with you, but yes, he will have to refile his return with the adjustment and may end up having to pay in something plus penalties.

Focus on getting your daugther's straightened out.

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