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  1. #1
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    Jul 2009
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    Default Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    My ex-wife claimed a daughter (her daughter from a previous marriage) for 10 years. We did not file a joint return and she always filed as head of house hold.
    She was reported to the IRS for this and can't provide any proof mail, school records, medical records etc, that the person lived in our home or resided in the united states during that time. (Her daughter is in Trinidad the W.I.) She claimed her for 2009 and she was in Trinidad giving birth to her own child. The lease lists all residents and the persons name is no where to be found. What kind of penalty can my ex-wife receive or will she just have to pay the money back (which is what we are hoping)?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    She may get off with only paying back taxes, penalties, and interest.

    Under Title 26 USC 7206(2), however, she is also subject to 3 years imprisonment and/or 250K in fines, and the cost of prosecution.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    Quote Quoting jorbri1513
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    My ex-wife claimed a daughter (her daughter from a previous marriage) for 10 years. We did not file a joint return and she always filed as head of house hold.
    She was reported to the IRS for this and can't provide any proof mail, school records, medical records etc, that the person lived in our home or resided in the united states during that time. (Her daughter is in Trinidad the W.I.) She claimed her for 2009 and she was in Trinidad giving birth to her own child. The lease lists all residents and the persons name is no where to be found. What kind of penalty can my ex-wife receive or will she just have to pay the money back (which is what we are hoping)?
    Your ex wife is in a world of hurt, taxwise.

    Not only did she claim a dependent that she was absolutely NOT entitled to claim (because the dependent lived in Trinidad), but she also filed as head of household, when her only options were to file either as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

    If they are just investigating 2009, she should file an amended return prior to April 15th removing the dependent and claiming a proper filing status. If you were still married on 12/31/2009 then married filing separately is probably her filing status. If she files the amended return and pays the money back prior to April 15th she cannot be penalized.

    If they are investigating more than just 2009, she should still fix 2009 before April 15th, but then she needs to see a tax attorney.

    If you were not filing married filing separately yourself during those years, you also have some potentially serious liability as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    She was not entitled to file as Head of Household from what you describe because she did not have a qualifying person living with her. How old was the daughter when she claimed her, was she providing over half her support, and is the daughter a citizen of the U.S? She might be a qualifying releative. but you have to apply all the rules to see. If she is a qualifying relative then there is no need for her to have lived with you to claim her as a dependent.

    1. Not a qualifying child test,

    2. Member of household or relationship test,

    3. Gross income test, and

    4. Support test.

    In addition, all dependents must pass these tests:

    1. Citizen or resident of U.S.?

    2. Not filing a joint return.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    20

    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    Quote Quoting Bubba Jimmy
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    She was not entitled to file as Head of Household from what you describe because she did not have a qualifying person living with her. How old was the daughter when she claimed her, was she providing over half her support, and is the daughter a citizen of the U.S? She might be a qualifying releative. but you have to apply all the rules to see. If she is a qualifying relative then there is no need for her to have lived with you to claim her as a dependent.

    1. Not a qualifying child test,

    2. Member of household or relationship test,

    3. Gross income test, and

    4. Support test.

    In addition, all dependents must pass these tests:

    1. Citizen or resident of U.S.?

    2. Not filing a joint return.
    Her daughter is 24 now. No she did not provide any support of any kind for this person in Trinidad or the US. Yes her daughter is a citizen of the US but she has been living in Trinidad for the last 10 years. As far as the qualifying relative is concerned I checked the IRS.gov for the conditions you mentioned and she would fail all the requirements, which would negate her as a qualifying relative.

  6. #6
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    No, it doesn't sound like she fails all the requirements. It sounds like she fails the support test. I left that door open because you did not tell us in your OP whether she provided any support. You keep focusing on the fact that the daughter is in Trinidad. That has nothing to do with anything. There is no "must not be in Trinidad" test.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    20

    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    Let me clarify my answer for you. Based on the conditons required to pass the qualifying relative test she does not meet any of those conditions. The conditons that you listed above based on my knowledge of the relationship and the requirements listed on the IRS website, none of those conditons are met. The fact the the person was not a resident of the US at any time for the last 10 years and no proof can be established of residency, that is why Trinidad was mentioned. She has not provided any support of any kind for this person and I know this to be a fact. I never said or intimated that there was a "must not be in Trinidad" test, the main focus was the head of house hold filing with the assertion that the person lived in our household at the time of the filing. What type of proof of support are you referring to ? Proof of medical support, education expense, room and board? None of this documentation exists. This was mentioned in the OP also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    Quote Quoting Bubba Jimmy
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    No, it doesn't sound like she fails all the requirements. It sounds like she fails the support test. I left that door open because you did not tell us in your OP whether she provided any support. You keep focusing on the fact that the daughter is in Trinidad. That has nothing to do with anything. There is no "must not be in Trinidad" test.
    Bubba, I can almost guarantee that she has been claiming EIC and/or the additional child tax credit. Therefore, if the child was not physically residing in the US, she is in a world of hurt. That is why Trinidad matters.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    I don't know whether shie claimed EIC or not as it wasn't mentioned. That is a much bigger can of worms for the ex-wife because the IRS is cracking down on EIC fraud in a big way and she would have had to sign her return "under penalty of perjury" stating that the daughter lived with her for more than 6 months of the year when she did not. That can generate criminal penalties if the IRS decides to pursue it as fraud.

    I try not to assume things that aren't stated, though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    20

    Default Re: Claiming a Dependent That You Did Not Support

    llworking/Bubba Jimmy

    Yes she has claimed EIC for the person (she is 24 yrs old.) She also claimed the same on NY State taxes (we moved to Washington state in 2006). Thanks for the info.

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