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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 12224
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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My son is going through a divorce and in court his wife told

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My son is going through a divorce and in court his wife told the judge that she feels her parents should claim the 2 children on their taxes since she and children live with them. My son paid child support and has documentation from child services showing so. The judge told her absolutely not. They must file as still married to get the most back in a return. What recourse does my son have? He wants to turn his ex father in law into the IRS.

NPVAdvisor :

OK, the 5 filing statuses are married filing jointly, married filing separately (by the way, you're right about needing to file as married filing jointly to get the biggest standard deduction), single, head of household, and qualifying widow/widower

NPVAdvisor :

But it's your status on the last day of the year that determines which filing status you may qualify for.

NPVAdvisor :

If either one of them (lets say they file as married filing separately, if they are still married at the end of the year) wants to claim the dependency exemptions they will ALWAYS win out over the parents under the tiebreaker rules, as long os they do qualify iunde the tests for taking the dependency exemptions

NPVAdvisor :

If two people claim, the the IRS will make a determination as to who get the dependency exemptions (and any other associated credits, etc., such as the child tax credit0


Are you saying...since they were still married, the grandparents should and cannot claim them?

NPVAdvisor :

A dependent for any one year can only be claimed by one person (or couple filing jointly)

NPVAdvisor :


NPVAdvisor :


NPVAdvisor :

I was talking about filing statuses

NPVAdvisor :

BUT, your son qualifies under the tests ....( providing their support, for example ..... the grandparents, if they try to claim them will be disllowed


My son had to file an extension because his wife wouldn't file with him. They he finds out in court that she gave her parents permission to claim children. What recourse does my son have?

NPVAdvisor :

FIl;e his return and take the dependency exemptions

NPVAdvisor :

There will be an automatice computer matching of the children's SS number trying to be claimed on two different returns

NPVAdvisor :

then the fun starts

NPVAdvisor :

HTe grandparents will get a letter (probably with their taxes being redone for them and a bill)


Great. You have helped very much. We will be turning them into the IRS.

NPVAdvisor :

No need, the system does it for you

NPVAdvisor :

Here's the information directly from the IRS site:

NPVAdvisor : <table border="0">

Tests To Be a Qualifying Child

Tests To Be a Qualifying Relative

  1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.

  2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), (b) under age 24 at the end of the year, a student, and younger than you (or your spouse, if filing jointly), or (c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.

  3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year.2

  4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.

  5. The child is not filing a joint return for the year (unless that return is filed only to get a refund of income tax withheld or estimated tax paid).

If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, only one person can actually treat the child as a qualifying child. See theSpecial Rule for Qualifying Child of More Than One Person to find out which person is the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.

  1. The person cannot be your qualifying child or the qualifying child of any other taxpayer.

  2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under Relatives who do not have to live with you , or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household2 (and your relationship must not violate local law).

  3. The person's gross income for the year must be less than $3,800.3

  4. You must provide more than half of the person's total support for the year.4

NPVAdvisor :

If this HAS helped, I would appreciate a feedback rating of 3 (OK) or better … That's the only way they will pay us here.

HOWEVER, if you need more on this, PLEASE COME BACK here, so you won't be charged for another question.



Lane and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you

Thanks for the rating.

What I would do is let your son tell her (with the quiet confidence that comes with having all the facts)

"That he know something she doesn't....

... and they can just go ahead and file that way if they want to.

... but that, by the way, you don't get to GIVE that permission, the IRS does.

But GO ahead... let them file that way .... lets see what happens ....

I can see around the corner on this one!"