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Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 29970
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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I am really upset. My CPA has been filing my status as Head

Customer Question

I am really upset. My CPA has been filing my status as Head of Household for years and when my daughters applied for FAFSA I've learned I am NOT qualified for that status! I am married and my husband is much older and became critically ill years ago, was put on a ventilator and in and out of the hospital and rehabilitation centers. I have twin daughters both 18 and a grandson (3 year old) that lives with. I've just researched and the college is correct! What should I do? I am scared too death. How can a CPA make that kind of mistake???
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I just don't know what to do...he just sent me tax return for this year also with the head of household status. Please see my notes above!
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Tax Professionals generally expect a deposit of about $32 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.
you are correct - as long as you are married and living with your husband - you may only use filing status MFJ - married filing jointly OR MFS - married filing separately.You would be ONLY allowed to use if you are NOT living with your husband.I suggest immediately contacting your CPA and work out the appropriate correction actions.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Therein lies the problem. I told him the issue with the school sending me a letter to verify and he said it would be easier to just keep filing head of household but that is not allowed. I researched and found the info already you just sent. I need to understand the corrective action, especially in light of a CPA that doesn't seem willing to correct his mistake.
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.
The corrective actions would be to amend past tax returns and change to correct filing status.In additional if you choose to file a joint tax return with your spouse - you would need to add his income and have him agree to sign amended tax returns..I assume that you CPA would agree to prepare these amended tax returns and explain you what would be your additional tax liability because of these corrections.Moreover - if the CPA admits that as HIS mistake - he would not charge you for filing amended tax returns.As he doesn't agree - that would be a civil matter between you and the CPA - so generally you would be entitled for damages.But you would need to negotiate with the CPA.If he refuses any negotiation - your only option to sue the CPA for damages.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ugh..ok...thank you
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.
The best way - as in most situations - to negotiate.If you are not able to negotiate directly - you might want to use a third party to help.But if there will not be any agreement - the only way to sue for damages.What would be considered damages?In similar situations - that will be additional penalties, interest charges if you will have to pay additional taxes to the IRS.and costs for amending tax returns.Additional taxes are generally not considered as damages as you would have to pay them anyway...I appreciate if you take a moment to rate the answer.Experts are ONLY credited when answers are rated positively.If you still have any doubts, need clarification - please be sure to ask.I am here to help you with all tax related issues.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well my husband is 82 and has had congestive heart failure since our 18 year old daughters were in the second grade. He has no income other than social security. I am 54 and struggle to take care of and pay for our family and now a 3 year old grandson. I'm overwhelmed with this information and don't know what to do. My CPA is also a friend, although I do pay him,.so I'm just in a big mess
Expert:  Lev replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for your situation...If you provide more information about your income and deductions - I will estimate your possible consequences if you amend your tax returns.Let just use information from your 2015 tax return.So would be able to see the entire situation.