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Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2430
Experience:  Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
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We are grandparents an supporting our two granddaughters.Our

Customer Question

We are grandparents an supporting our two granddaughters.Our daughter died and the youngest had to live with the father until she was 18. To make a long long story short. The girls are both in college.T he father which is no help at all claims the on his taxes and It told him that I am going to claim the this year. He also has medical ins and says anything over that we need to pay. Last year we paid $5000. for dental work with pmts. Because he was getting $1300 a month for over three years and we still paid for things she needed. Did not save anything for her college he never help either of them even get into college. So is he still able to claim them legally? Thank you,Louise
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  R. Klein, EA replied 5 years ago.

Randalltax :

The tests to claim a dependent start with 5 basic dependent tests. If two taxpayers both meet all tests, then there are tiebreakers that are very specific.

Randalltax :

Of the 5 tests, you will both meet some of are both related to the dependents, for example.

Randalltax :

You must also provide MORE than half of the financial support for the dependent. Chances are, only one of you meets this test. But it is possible the nobody does. Financial support means the cost of a living place, food, and if tuition is paid, then that counts, too. Medical expenses and insurance are other related expenses. Who provides MORE than half?

Randalltax :

Even if you paid $10K a year for each child, but he provided $11K, then the father would meet the test and you would not.

Randalltax :

Housing is based on the cost for renting out a place of similar size/quality to a non-family member, by the way.

Randalltax :

If the children earn their own money, only the money they spend on their own support is counted.

Randalltax :

If nobody meets the More than Half rule, one of the tiebreakers is going to be the fact that the natural parent gets the first right to claim the children.

Randalltax :

That's the non-emoitional side of the tax law.

Expert:  Anne replied 5 years ago.

Different expert here. First, let me say how sorry I am for the loss of your daughter. No parent should have to outlive their children.

I'm afraid that the above answer my colleague is not entirely correct. On page 12 of
it gives a chart for who can be considered a "Qualifying Child". Please note that the rule is not that YOU provided more than 50% of your granddaughter's support. It's whether or not SHE provided 50% of her own support.

However, the most important tie breaker here will be rather or not you made more money than the father. Please see page 15 example 11 found in Publication 501 (Rev. 2011) Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

Since the father probably won't tell you how much he makes (unless you already have a pretty good idea based on history) the only way to determine this is to file claiming your granddaughter as an exemption under theQualifying Child rules, If he files first, you will have to mail your return to the IRS.

Once the IRS receives the 2nd tax form claiming the same dependent, they will send both you and the father a letter stating that the child was claimed on another tax return and would either of you like to amend. You should not amend your return.

After the deadline for filing the amended return has passed, the IRS will send both you and the father a packet of information they will need to determine who has the legal right to claim the granddaughter.

Although I have no doubt that you meet Relationship, Age,Residency,Support, and Joint returntests to claim your granddaughter as a Qualifying Child, it will eventually come down to who made the most money.

If you're already sure that he has a healthy income that exceeds yours, then I'm fraid he will be able to claim his daughter
Anne, Master Tax Preparer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 2430
Experience: Enrolled Agent with 25 Years Experience specializing Individual and Small Businesses
Anne and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I like the answer as it makes me feel like we have at least a chance. I do have his SOCIAL SECURITY # XXXXX will be able to find out. Now I want to take him to small claims court to get her car.He sold hers and gave her the ones he had bought three or four at an auction and let her pick one. She has been driving it until she graduated for high school.Moved in with me and will not give her the title. do you think she has a chance? Also for every question you answer costs #40.00?
Expert:  Anne replied 5 years ago.
First, thank you for the accept.

You set the $ amount you are willing to pay for an answer, and you get all of the follow up questions that are related to the fist question until you are satisfied that you fully understand the answer

New questions should be posted on a new thread, but I will answer this one to the best of my ability. (legal isn't my long suit, so you're free to not accept, and repost this to legal if you want.)

First, as I'm sure you know, you represent yourself in small claims court.

I believe though that the more evidence you have that the car in question is hers, the better your chances.

If her name was on the title, (which would be great evidence) you can apply for a lost title.

If the car title and insurance were totally in her father's name, and she has nothing in writing that states that he gave the car to her (not just loaned it to her), then you will have a much harder time. Judges, like the IRS, want facts. Its up to you to have SOMETHING that shows the car was hers......not just "on loan" from her dad.

I truly wish you the best of luck, and please don't hesitate to ask for me if I can help you in the future.