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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I am sending this note on behalf of a friend who is a former

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I am sending this note on behalf of a friend who is a former inmate of the New Jersey system. I am planning to file income tax for the 2008 year. I am the legal guardian of my 15 year old daughter although my mother has temporary custody. My daughter lives with me and my mother in Jersey City. I want to claim my daughter on my 2008 taxes although I've never claimed her in the past.   I have learned that my ex plans to file and claim my daughter also. Is it the right thing for me to do to claim her?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.

Does the divorce agreement between you and your ex-spouse stipulate who is allowed to claim your daughter?

How old is your daughter? Has she lived with you for more than half of the year?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I was never married to my daughter's mother. My daughter is 15. I've been out of prison for 1 1/2 years and my daughter has been living with me and my mother.
Expert:  Merlo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again niecyw,

You may claim your daughter as a dependent if you and she meet ALL of the following definitions to be a qualifying child:

1. She must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year.

2. She must be under the age of 19 or under age 24 and a full time student.

3. You must have provided for more than half of her support for the year.

If more than two taxpayers attempt to claim the same child as an exemption, the IRS will consider your daughter to be the qualifying child of the parent that she lived with for the longest time during the year. So unless the child's mother has specific written approval from a court to otherwise claim your daughter, then since she has lived with you for the entire year, you are the one entitled to claim her as a dependent.

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Thank you.

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