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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    12

    Default Can You Sue the Other Parent for Wrongly Claiming Dependants

    State of GA

    Mother and children live in GA the entire 12 months of the year. Mother is the sole provider. Biological father lives in PA, does not pay child support and hasn't seen the children in 10 years. Bio dad claims children on taxes. Can mom sue? Can mom report dad for tax fraud? What can be done? Can social security numbers be changed due to fraud? Should the police be alerted?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    6,916

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting jk-smith
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    State of GA

    Mother and children live in GA the entire 12 months of the year. Mother is the sole provider. Biological father lives in PA, does not pay child support and hasn't seen the children in 10 years. Bio dad claims children on taxes. Can mom sue? Can mom report dad for tax fraud? What can be done? Can social security numbers be changed due to fraud? Should the police be alerted?
    How do you know that the bio dad claimed the dependent exemption for them? And why didn't the mother claim the dependent exemption for them? If she had done that, the IRS would match the two returns, see that two people claimed the exemptions, and send letters to both to start the process of determining which parent was entitled to the exemption. When it found out that the mother was entitled to it and not the father, the IRS would adjust the father's account accordingly and he'd have to pay back the extra tax, some interest, and perhaps a penalty, too.

    So if the mother claimed the exemption, she got the deduction for it and he was disallowed the deduction for it. If for some reason she was not eligible to claim the exemptions then his claims to the exemptions did not harm her at all. Either way, she had no losses and nothing to sue him for. There is nothing the local police can do about this either.

    If he took the exemptions improperly and she never took the exemptions herself then the IRS may not know about it. She may report that to the IRS. That is the only thing she can do. See the IRS page on reporting tax fraud.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    5,969

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    How do you know that the bio dad claimed the dependent exemption for them?
    Isn't it true that if the mother filed an electronic return and the father had already claimed the exemption, her return would be rejected and she would have to file a paper return?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    215

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Isn't it true that if the mother filed an electronic return and the father had already claimed the exemption, her return would be rejected and she would have to file a paper return?
    Right, the IRS eFile system won't let SSN's for dependents be used twice, so Mom would have to file a paper return. Mom may also want to adjust her withholding so that she gets a very small refund or owes a little bit each year, in case the IRS delays processing her return while it works out who gets to claim the kids.

    Based on post hx I think OP is mom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    14,929

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Isn't it true that if the mother filed an electronic return and the father had already claimed the exemption, her return would be rejected and she would have to file a paper return?
    Yes, that is exactly true, and exactly what mom should have been doing all along. That is how you get dad in trouble with the IRS for claiming a child that does not live with him and that he does not support.

    Unfortunately mom cannot got back and fix all 10 years, but she can file amended returns for 2015 (April 15th 2019 is the absolute deadline for that year) 2016, and 2017 claiming the children, and she can file a paper return for 2018 if dad beats her to electronic filing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    6,916

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Isn't it true that if the mother filed an electronic return and the father had already claimed the exemption, her return would be rejected and she would have to file a paper return?
    Yes, assuming the mother had claimed the exemptions on her return, and the father filed electronically too. So whether she filed electronically at first and then by paper, or by paper at the start, if she claimed the exemptions that would have flagged the father's return too for the IRS to sort out which of them was entitled to the exemptions. And thus my question to the OP if the mother claimed the exemptions on her return.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Parents are divorced. There is no existing order in the divorce that mentions claiming the children. Mom & Dad are the only parties with knowledge of the children's social security numbers. Mom was notified during the e-file process. A paper return will be filed. Mom claims the children every year as dependents/ exemptions. The question only pertained to 2018 and not the previous 10 yrs. Not sure why it matters but OP is not the mom. Thank you for the responses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    14,929

    Default Re: Claiming Dependants

    Quote Quoting jk-smith
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    Parents are divorced. There is no existing order in the divorce that mentions claiming the children. Mom & Dad are the only parties with knowledge of the children's social security numbers. Mom was notified during the e-file process. A paper return will be filed. Mom claims the children every year as dependents/ exemptions. The question only pertained to 2018 and not the previous 10 yrs. Not sure why it matters but OP is not the mom. Thank you for the responses.
    Thank you for clearing that up. Your incomplete sentences in your original post certainly made it sound like it was a long term issue. Mom is doing things properly to handle the matter. Mom's return will be processed in the normal 4-6 weeks for a paper return (hopefully, this whole shutdown business has thrown some spanners in the works). Believe me, dad will be hurting when about 6-8 months from now he starts getting letters from the IRS requiring him to pay the excess refund back.

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