My son, my ex and my son's taxes

blue_velvet_elvisApril 7, 2007

Any advise for me to give my adult son? I use the term adult loosely, my son is 20 years old and has been living in Georgia for over a year now.

He went to file his taxes online and found that "someone" else had already claimed him as a dependant. My son is not a student and not a dependant of anyone. He called in a panic wondering what to do about his taxes.

Obviously my ex has committed some sort of tax fraud. My son was counting on his refund which at this time he can't get.

What should my son do from here?

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partst

I would think your son should just go ahead and file his return. If he doesn't check the box asking if someone else can claim him as a dependent the IRS should process his return and send his refund. He may get a letter in the future from the IRS asking questions and all he would have to answer is that no one else is supporting him.

Your ex will most likely get a audit and some king of penalty or fine. Let him worry about it!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 4:45PM
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raee_gw

He should call the IRS and ask them.....And he should call his father and ask *him* if he claimed son as a dependent. Father can amend return, if he should not have claimed him. If he will not, (and he should under the threat of being turned in to the IRS for fraud), the IRS can advise son on what to do. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 4:53PM
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liketolearn

Did your son live with your ex during 2006? For how long?
Was your son a full-time student?
How much income did your son have?

You would need to provide more info to know if your son qualified as your ex's dependent.

I'm guessing your son tried to file electronically and the IRS rejected the return because someone claimed him as a dependent. The IRS will not (due to confidentiality laws) tell him who claimed him as a dependent.

If your son wants to contest it and claim himself then he will need to mail in his return. As partst says the IRS will send a follow-up letter to determine who is correct and the other one will have to pay additional taxes, penalties, and interest.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 5:04PM
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blue_velvet_elvis

liketolearn, my son was never a student in 2006, never lived in the same state as his father in 2006 and worked full time at 7.00 an hour all year in 2006.

I told him to send a letter with his return stating all of the above. No quick way anyone can think of? He thought he was getting a refund within a month and had the money almost spent. There is, of course, a lesson in every thing that happens to you.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 5:30PM
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liketolearn

"... my son was never a student in 2006, never lived in the same state as his father in 2006 and worked full time at 7.00 an hour all year in 2006 ..."

Based on the above no one should be claiming him as a dependent. He will need to mail-in his return and wait for the refund. Often the IRS will send the refund as normal and then the IRS will follow-up with both parties to see who filed incorrectly. Sometimes the follow-up is within a month and sometimes as long as 2 years later. I wouldn't bother saying anything to ex ... just let him think he got away with it and let the IRS hit him up for the back taxes, penalties, and interest.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 12:40AM
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joyfulguy

Unless our son is very distant emotionally from his father, I think that it would be well for him to speak of the matter to his father.

It gives the father a graceful out in terms of righting the situation.

Then it'll be up to him what he does about it - but he's had a heads up from someone with whom there's ordinarily supposed to be connections and a measure of loyalty.

There's also validity to the point that he knows the law and has transgressed it ... he has made his bed, so it's up to him to lie in it.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 2:27AM
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blue_velvet_elvis

Our son currently loathes his father and blames him for every bad thing that's ever happened to him. They don't speak. If they did speak, especially of this matter, I can't imagine the exchange to bode well for them reconciling in the future.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 8:10AM
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clg7067

The IRS seems to like to wait until the last minute of the 3 year period to send an audit. I'll bet the father is really going to regret this in penalties and interest. Make sure your son makes a note and keeps documentation to prove that he is not a dependent. Three years from now it may be hard to remember all the details.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 11:25AM
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dekeoboe

I guess I missed something. Why do you assume it is your ex that has claimed him? Couldn't it be some other unscrupulous person?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2007 at 6:18PM
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housenewbie

Whoever it is, it's someone who knows his SSN.

I haven't ever heard of random people claiming strangers as dependents on their taxes. It seems like an odd way of committing fraud, since you only decrease your adjusted income and therefore taxes owed; you don't get a windfall.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 3:48PM
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blue_velvet_elvis

My ex admitted to eldest son that he claimed younger son as a dependant when eldest son called him in panic to make sure he hadn't been claimed as well.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:18AM
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liketolearn

The IRS will catch ex. He'll be owing back taxes plus interest and penalties. Naughty, naughty ...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:48AM
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jefreymiller

Your ex comitted tax fraud tell you son to file . He did nothing wrong so hes ok . The only problem I see is His father filed first so most likely he has themoney .But your son will recoup just not when he wants /needs the money . sad situation but HAPPENS ALL THE TIME but I could never do that to my kids the are an extention of me
make sure he not useing his SS# also we see that also for things like cell phone credit cards espacally if the have the same name

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 8:33PM
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talley_sue_nyc

oh, definitely--have the son put a freeze on his credit w/ the credit unions, in case dad tries to take out a loan or credit card.

(is it possible that dad doesn't realize the son will not get his refund bcs of this? Maybe dad thought the only party affected would be the U.S. govt? And so dad didn't think he was actually stealing from his own kid?)

And help your son figure out what he'd need to prove that he is not his dad's dependent:
-rent receipts and utility bills from the entire year, to prove that he paid for his own roof
-ATM-card records to show that he bought groceries often from a grocery store near his home, to prove that he paid for his own food
-pay stubs, other work documentation to prove that he was occupied full-time and therefore not a student

If he doesn't have any of these things, he can substitute letters (notarized!) from the appropriate people--landlord, boss, roommate.
"Junior was a full-/part-time employee who worked X hours a week, from Start Date to December 31, 2006"--especially if he doesn't have pay stubs w/ hours worked, etc. Also to prove he wasn't a student.

Have him put it in a folder, and label it, etc., and find a place to keep it so that he'll find it when he needs it. (I keep all receipts, etc., from every tax return in a folder w/ the return itself--just in case)

Another thing perhaps, to help w/ the immediate crisis, is for someone who could be a go-between (paternal uncle? paternal grandma? you?) to call the dad and tell him he needs to give his son some money to make up for the fact that he has stolen his kid's tax refund.

I know you're using the term "adult" lightly, and in this situation, you *should* use it lightly. Things like this are hard for kids to learn while they're still "kids" and being taught by their parents. This sort of grownup-finances stuff is why parents' work isn't done just because a kid turns 18.

This could be a good lesson for him in how to prepare documentation for court, in how to keep records of finances, etc. (all the best lessons hurt, unfort.)

I wonder if your son could take him to small-claims court for the amount of the refund? print out the reply from the IRS, ask his brother to testify to the conversation? The ideal would be if he could get his hands on his dad's tax return; I don't think you can subpoena documentation for small-claims court.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 1:11PM
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blue_velvet_elvis

There's a very good reason he's my EX husband. arrrgh

I got this in an email from him yesterday

"I used Matthew as a dependent this year for taxes. I paid him the difference between what he would have gotten back if he hadn't been someone's dependent. I sent the last part of that to him earlier this week."

I wrote him back and told him he couldn't have been his dependant as he lives 1500 miles away and didn't set foot in his household in 2006. He and his girlfriend DID come visit but didn't stay with him.

I haven't yet rec'd a reply.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2007 at 8:06PM
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parrot_phan

Regardless of what his father did, your son needs to be HONEST with the IRS.

Your son's integrity needs to remain unblemished.

Lying to the IRS is highly risky, carries serious consequences, and is illegal.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 1:07PM
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talley_sue_nyc

if you wanted to get your DH in trouble, print out that e-mail he sent you (and archive it on your e-mail, so it doesn't get deleted accidentally or automatically).

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 9:47AM
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liketolearn

Your ex is sure digging that hole deeper! Based on your previous statements ... your son was not a full-time student and earned more $3,300 ... and as such does not qualify to be claimed as a dependent.

Did your son file his taxes yet? Did your son file claiming himself or as a dependent?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 9:59AM
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