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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29966
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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In 2005, my brother and his family were living at my mothers

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In 2005, my brother and his family were living at my mother's house in Oregon. As she was supporting them all - she filed her taxes showing that she was supporting her grand daughter.   The IRS agreed and gave her a refund based on that fact. No one in my brother's family was working. Now, in 2009, my (now ex-) sister-in-law is suing her in small claims court for that refund. Is that allowed? A

Your sister-in-law may not sue your mother for the mother's refund - that refund belonged to your mother - she may only sue for damages resulted by improper actions.

If your mother lawfully claim a child as a dependent - there i s no improper action from her side.


If your sister-in-law thinks that she is entitled to a refund - she should file a tax return and request a refund from the IRS.

Please see the IRS publication 501 for rules for claiming a dependent -


In additional - your sister-in-law should consider the statute of limitation to claim a refund - that is generally three years from the date the refund was due.

Thus - 2005 tax refund was due on Apr 15, 2006 and the statute of limitation run out of Apr 15, 2009 - that means - if your sister-in-law decides now to claim her refund from the IRS - she will not get any refund even if it was due.


While I think that chances for your sister-in-law to win are slim - your mother should be prepared for the court.


Let me know if you need any help.


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