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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Emancipated Minor Claimed as Dependent of Parents

    In 2009 I was emancipated in the state of California (Sept 14 2009.) When I went to file my taxes for that year I was told by my parents that they had claimed me as a dependent. On my W2 form I claimed S 1 for the amount of $10,240.40. After my girlfriends mom helped me with a online tax file thing it said I owed $600. And well at the time I did not have that kind of money so i never filed my taxes for that year.

    So I guess my question is how were my parents able to claim me if I was emancipated? And, what should I do for these past due taxes?

    -Patrick

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    So I guess my question is how were my parents able to claim me if I was emancipated?
    Did you live with your parents for more than half of 2009? Did they provide more than half of your support? If yes, that's how they can claim you.

    And, what should I do for these past due taxes?
    Pay them, of course. File the return - there will be a penalty for filing late - then contact the IRS to set up an installment agreement to pay the taxes you owe. It's easy, and the agents are actually very nice.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
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  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    Yes, it is not all sweetness and light to be emancipated. Welcome to the adult world.

    And if you made only $10,240 then SOMEONE was supporting you as that would be barely enough for just rent and utilities in most the state.
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  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    I supported my self as far as clothes, food, recreation, school expenses and motorcycle + insurance. The only thing I can think of that they paid for/provided was a room in the house plus electricity other than that i was on my own.

    After I was emancipated I rented a small room in a garage for 300 a month I got by but barely so it was doable.

    I lived with them until July of that year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    The fact remains that if they supported you for more than half the year, they are entitled to claim you. Since you were not emancipated until September, (where did you live between July and September?) and, yes, January to July is more than half the year, guess what?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    Patrick, if you provided more than 1/2 of your own total support then your parents are not entitled to claim you as their dependent. What you need to do is to file your return and claim your own exemption. If you already filed and did not claim it, then you should amend the return with form 1040X.

    The IRS will question both parties who claimed an exemption for your social security number. You should be prepared to show what the total cost of your support was for 2009. That will include the cost of your housing, food, medical, education, transportation, clothing, gifts, etc. Then compare that to your earnings of $10,000+. If your earnings are more than half of what it cost to support you then you are entitled to your own exemption.

    When your parents calculate how much they provided they will have to allocate a portion of housing expenses, food, utilities, etc. to each person who lived in the home. They will then add what they paid for clothing, medical, etc. expenses that were solely for you alone. When they add all that together and submit it, the IRS will know if your parents provided over 1/2 of your support or not, based on the amount they paid and the amount you earned. The IRS will get that information from them and sort it out.

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    Did you live with your parents for more than half of 2009? Did they provide more than half of your support? If yes, that's how they can claim you.
    Actually, a child is not a qualifying child to be claimed as a dependent if the child provided more than 1/2 of their own support for the year.

  7. #7
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    Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    That's why the IF.

    But I find it very hard to believe that $10,240.00 constituted more than half of what it cost to support him for a full year.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    Actually, a child is not a qualifying child to be claimed as a dependent if the child provided more than 1/2 of their own support for the year.
    Hence the question of whether the parents provided more than half of his support, and the "if yes" qualifier.

    But I find it very hard to believe that $10,240.00 constituted more than half of what it cost to support him for a full year.
    Especially in California. Clothes, food, transportation, school expenses? Drop in the bucket compared to housing costs and utilities. Assuming our friend used common areas of the house - like the kitchen, bathroom, laundry facilities, and suchlike - it would be fair to calculate his housing cost at the average rate of a one bedroom or studio apartment. Assuming again that said apartment was not in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley/LA/San Diego, you're still looking at an average of $800 - $1000. Double it if we are talking about one of those areas. That doesn't even take utilities into account. Let's be cheap and assess him $100 for utilities. (Unrealistically cheap. I know I paid more than that for utilities monthly when I was in college and had 2 roommates 25 years ago. In Ohio!) We won't even factor in trash pickup costs.

    So a minimum of $900/month for housing x 7 months = $6300.

    Unless our friend had massive medical expenses that he didn't tell us about, it looks like his folks provided more than half of his support for the year.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  9. #9
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Emancipated Minor Dependent of Parents

    Quote Quoting LawResearcherMissy
    View Post
    Hence the question of whether the parents provided more than half of his support, and the "if yes" qualifier.
    There is no dependency test that requires the parents to provide over 1/2 of his support for them to claim his dependent exemption. The test is whether he provided over half of his own support. That's all I was pointing out. Obviously if they provided over 1/2 his support then he did not. However, if they provided 40% of his support and he provided 45% they could still claim him.

    I know a lot of families that live on $30,000 a year. If he lived in such a family, I would have little doubt that his $10,000 constituted over 50%. Not everyone lives in a family making $75,000 a year where each person's support is $25,000.



    Especially in California. Clothes, food, transportation, school expenses? Drop in the bucket compared to housing costs and utilities.
    My own daughter lives in San Jose with her husband. Between the two of them they make about $35,000 a year. They live cheaply. I used to live in Lake County, CA. Cost of living there is vastly less. But, state of residence doesn't matter. Cost of living and averages don't matter. You add up the common expenses of the household - rental value of home, food, utilities, , etc. and then the individual costs such as medical, clothing, etc. If the child paid over 50% of that total then the parent(s) cannot claim them. That's the whole enchilada in a nutshell...

    On another note, it is always better to file a return even if you don't have money to pay a balance due. Failure to pay is a little sin involving little penalties - 0.5% per month. Failure to file tacks on 5% of your balance due for every month you're late up to 25%. That's a big bump to the taxes already owed. You can always work out a payment plan and pay $25 a month.

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