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I recvd letter from I.R.S. ...

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dmari posted 11/30/2013 18:14 PM

I received a letter from the IRS regarding claiming dependents. Quick back story: In December 2012, I told stbx that we can each claim one child for 2012 since we were together the majority of the year. Fair, right? Well, he goes and claims both without telling me so when I try to file, it is rejected ... twice. So I go by the IRS Residency Test to determine that I have the right to claim BOTH children so I go ahead and file a paper tax return which triggered a red flag since both of us claimed the children.

Anyways, I feel I am on solid ground for 2012 tax return and still feel I had the right to do what I did.

But for 2013, I have not worked at all ~ living off of savings, child support, support from family and I also receive a little interest most months from a trust. Both kiddo's have needs that I tend to 24/7. Will I still need to file taxes? If I do, I'm going to claim the kids again. But if I don't need to file this year, maybe I can allow stbx to claim them for 2013 only. Could I use this as a bargaining tool? Like, pay for your half of the medical bills and half of the kids tuition idiot and I will allow you to claim both children for 2013 ONLY??

Thoughts and opinions? Or what would you do?

Gemini71 posted 11/30/2013 18:28 PM

Since you have no earned income, whether or not you have to file will depend on how much interest/dividend income you've had. The threshold is usually low (I don't remember the exact amount). Your situation is unique enough to warrant the money for a professional preparer. You can have them do it both ways for you, with and without claiming the kids. I'm assuming you still qualify under the Residency Test. If you want to use it as leverage, go for it!

dmari posted 11/30/2013 19:41 PM

Thanks Gemini71! I always have a professional do my taxes ~ I'm so paranoid that I'm going to screw it up! Thank you for the suggestion of having them try it both ways ~ with and without claiming the kids. I never thought of that. And yes, I still qualify under the Residency Test as stbx has not seen them for the entire year.

I'm thinking I should meet with my accountant now to crunch numbers because I'm in the process of writing my "position motion for motion to set trial" and would like to find out if I can use it as leverage.

Thanks again! Anyone else use claiming dependent children as leverage???

phmh posted 11/30/2013 19:54 PM

If you're on good terms with your accountant (or if you can find an accountant forum similar to this one where people are friendly and want to help) maybe you could have the accountant do a rough proforma of your XWH's taxes so you know what the dollar benefit to him is.

I know you wouldn't have all of his information, but they should be able to give you a rough estimate of how much claiming the kids would help him based on the last information you do have (especially if you know what his marginal tax rate is likely to be.)

Knowledge is power, especially in negotiation. You could then use that to try to convince him to take the deal if that's what you want to do (although maybe hold this card close until/unless it were necessary.)

Good luck!!!

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